I see. That makes sense. And to be honest we certainly all tend to think that there is, somewhere, a magic wand that could heal everything. It’s also probably due to the way we see mental health or disorders in general. Something that has to be “healed” absolutely.
It’s not to make a resume of my life, but I have a chronic depression. I tried a bunch of things and that’s right: exercise, antidepressants and else are not a cure in itself. Mostly things that help you to get back on your feet. So it’s still something positive and important to take. Even if it helps just a little.
Healing can be more a process than a destination for some of us. But what if it’s still possible to breath again during the process? You’re considering your future based on your past. I understand. You’ve been suffering for a long time and that’s not fair. It’s quite normal to feel exhausted. There are days, seasons in my life when I’m too. But life isn’t linear and nothing is already written. You and me can’t pretend to know what’s going to be in the future. I have examples in my life when I’ve been positively surprised. By others, by this world and how it functions sometimes. I’m pretty sure you already experienced this too. Even if it was about things you consider as being insignificant.
There are two things I’d like to emphasize, from what you said earlier.
First, it may be my opinion, although neurobiology tends to highlight this more and more: suicidal thoughts may feel like a choice but it’s more a biological response from your brain that prevents you to consider other possibilities. You feel stuck, trapped, you see things negatively and even if you’d like to, you can’t see this light you need. Allowing yourself to breathe, to take your time during those moments, definitely helps. You’ve been struggling for a long time. But when you feel ready for suicide, as you said, it’s still not your choice. It’s the result of a situation that’s weighing on your shoulders from a long time. Allow yourself to take the time you need to let this fog goes away from your brain. Decisions, the ones that are yours, has to be taken when you don’t feel pressured by yourself. Otherwise, it’s like signing a contract while having your eyes closed. I believe in you and the fact that deep inside you know that.
The second thing I wanted to say is that CBT, treatment, exercise etc. may be a helpful combination to you in order to keep going on everyday, but there is still something important that remains: the meaning you put in your life, the sense of purpose you need deep inside. You said you’ve been volunteering and helped others. That’s really good to hear and I thank you for what you did. But maybe now it’s time to think about a new strategy. To find our way in this life, we need to try things, basically. Depression, sadness, is difficult to handle but it’s not necessarily your enemy. It can also be viewed as a red flag your mind is showing you. Yea… our brains aren’t pretty great at sending clear messages. Yet, once you take a step back from how it makes you feel, you can see it as it is: a way to tell you that something is missing deep inside. There’s no need to think about it as something huge. It’s fair enough that our impact on this planet will remain pretty small. Yet it’s not insignificant as long as we focus on the present moment.
So now that you’ve build a pattern of healthy habits, in other words the conditions you need to get a bit your head out of the water, you may need to take a new step further. Because even if all of this help, it can start to seem a bit mechanical and doesn’t impact what’s going on deep inside, at your core. I know that, for me, there were many moments when it felt like I was functioning, but not existing. So maybe it’s time to dig deeper. This moment could actually be a very interesting turning point in your life and, from my perspective and based on what you said, you already have a great sense of self-awareness. What do you want to do in your life? What makes sense to you? What values do you hold? What’s not satisfying at all right now? Why are your actual resources?
I hope I don’t sound like I’m patronizing you or anything. It’s really not my intention to do that. It’s just that I think you pointed out some very interesting things.