So each day, each night we fight our demons. They come in waves at times, but never truly leave. We try to combat them in various ways – we reduce our potential exposure to those temptations, we reset our activities, we change friends, become more thoughtful, start meditating, start an exercise program, take up a healthy hobby, end relationships, maybe even move. We deal with everything but the root cause.
In the past I have never spoken in the first person, but this is different. In some important personal recent events, I was forced to face my own weakness in the past. Yes, I contemplated suicide. I was alone, without those I valued most, my family were distant at best and hostile at worst. I had to find a way to support those I had sworn to protect, make myself stronger, and re-focus my mind, body, and spirit. I was fighting every day and night and losing. I hid all of these thoughts from everyone. I have never admitted this to anyone before. I never told my counselor, my best friend. I was ashamed of my weakness.
I started with re-framing my major relationships. I did this for those who needed me the most. I was not strong enough to fight for myself, so I fought for them. I refused to be told how to behave/what to think/why to do things. I worked hard to build on the positive relationships – the ones that had survived. I pushed back on my family and made them realize I was valid and valuable. I fought back in small ways and refused to back down. As someone who hated confrontation, this was very hard for me. It was my only path to freedom. Eventually I became strong enough to push back against the worst offenders in my life. It was ugly for awhile, but I was committed to making a real and lasting change.
I viewed my suicidal thoughts as a weakness that needed a cure and embraced the discipline needed to change it. Eventually I looked at my suicidal thoughts as the weakest way out of my situation. I have been given many gifts and for me to persist and resist to the last is what my duty is to those who love me. They deserve no less.
So every day I fight my demons. They never fight fair – and what is fair? Prepare yourself with the love of those who really care. Be generous and kind with your abilities. Focus outside and protect those that need you and there is someone, something that will miss you, that needs your help and protection. My demons come when I am weak. They know how to take away my focus, take away my strength. Here is the real secret – they need my permission, my weakness, my lack of focus to take this from me and by extension, those I love. Do I still lose? Hell yes. Will I ever stop fighting? Hell no.
Be well. Live, Laugh, and Love.