I Know Where I’ve Been

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Last month, a teenage girl from the London Jewish community committed suicide. As people in my community expressed their shock, I found myself wishing I could have spoken to her and told her that she wasn’t alone. I had been in that darkness as well.

Today, I found a diary entry I wrote September 2017, when I was in the worst grips of my depression.

I’m putting it up because I want people to know that they aren’t alone. Many people silently suffer from depression.

More importantly, there is help available. This period of darkness doesn’t have to drown you, there are resources available.

Right now, I am so far from this life, I can barely imagine it. But it was my life before I got the help I needed.

My chest feels really heavy. I feel tired, even though I’ve had a full night sleep. Life just feels too hard to do.

I need to use the bathroom and I need to take a shower because I look a mess, but that will just take too much effort. I feel hopeless.

I feel like it would be better for everybody if I were dead. I feel I’m never going to accomplish anything. I’m a burden.

I feel just it’s so much pain to be alive. Right now, it’s the worst kind of pain. It’s not physical pain, it’s a pain that is vampire-like. It’s draining me dry. I can’t seem to find relief.

I was happy today. I can’t believe I woke up happy. Right now, happy seems impossible. All those dreams I had this morning seem lost.

I keep wishing that I could just have the courage to end myself because there’s no other salvation for me. I can’t imagine living like this. I just want to get out of this horrible suffering.

I’m crying reading it. I remember that pain. For months, I would think about jumping off the Williamsburg bridge. I could see it from my then apartment and it felt so tempting. Happily, my terror of heights kept me alive. I was too scared to walk into the bridge, so I was in no danger of falling.

I wish I could have told myself that four months later, I’d start an incredible journey where I would learn the tools I needed to keep my depression in check.

Now I’m so exhausted right. I had a busy week.

I have a full-time job at a real estate firm.

I have a side business that I’m trying to build.

This week, I have tickets to two incredible plays and a brilliant concert and two fun networking events.

I am scheduled for twelve classes in Krav Maga, studying groundwork, movement, fight tactics, and guillotine chokes, with my amazing teachers and classmates. (Krav family, you saved my life. Thank you)

I stayed in touch with friends.

I wrote, fiction and non-fiction.

I baked with my family.

And I’m so grateful I was alive to do it.

This summer, to mark my first Krav Maga test, I decided to let go of that fear that had protected me from myself. I no longer needed it anymore, I could protect myself.

As I walked the bridge, I remembered all of the pain and fear. This place was supposed to be my end. Instead, it was how I was going to celebrate a milestone in my new life.

I tossed my fear and pain over the side as I walked. Then I proceeded to smash the test and since then I have a thousand new adventures.

I would have never believed it then, but it got better.

To everyone suffering now, it can get better for you too.

I know that for a fact.

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