by Dakota Kenzig
I remember what it felt like, physically. People thought I was just emotionally struggling, but it was more than that. It felt like I was stuck in a wooden box. Like the ones they’d use on freight ships. Small, dark, only sometimes could I see glimmers of light between the cracks. But, the worst part about it was the feeling of suffocation. The oxygen was so limited, so much so I’d have to take small, shallow breaths just so I could preserve my energy. That’s the thing, people think you’re just sad.. But, it’s actually tiring. You feel so exhausted all the time and even the smallest task would wear you out.
I remember sitting for hours on end, asking myself what I had done to deserve this and what I could do to change it. Days seemed to blend together, colours soon appeared as shades of grey, food didn’t have a taste.. In the morning I didn’t want to get up and at night I didn’t want to go to sleep because I knew the next day would be exactly the same. I was so fixated on how I was feeling, I didn’t see how it was affecting my life and the people around me. My friends stopped talking to me, my mother was concerned, I was losing weight, I was sleeping all the time but I was always tired and I was failing in school. It felt inescapable, like I was trapped.
"For once, I could see a glimpse of the light and I didn’t feel hopeless, and it felt so good."
But.. Sometimes all it takes is someone to reach out their hand. I remember I was sitting with a friend and although I didn’t say anything, he could see just how much I was hurting. And then he took hold of my hand and said “Sometimes it helps to talk to someone. Its doesn’t have to be me.. Or your family.. But maybe if you talk to just one person, you might feel a little better.” For once, I could see a glimpse of the light and I didn’t feel hopeless, and it felt so good.
That night I started researching and I was so amazed to see that I wasn’t the only one. There were so many others out there, that felt the same way as me. For so long I had felt so isolated and this proved to me that everything I was feeling, was completely normal. It was more than normal, it was human.
That night, while researching, I found a not-for-profit organization that helped people just like me talk about how they’re feeling.
The first session I went to; I didn’t say a single word. I just sat there and cried. Which was something I hadn’t ever allowed myself to do. I thought I owed it to myself to find out if this was really for me. After all, it sure beat how I was previously coping. So, week after week I returned for my sessions.
Slowly, but surely, I was cracking open that wooden box I had felt bound to for such a long time. I could see the light; I could breathe again.
"If I’ve learnt anything from my experience, it's that nothing is permanent."
Now, let’s fast forward a few years. I’m a completely changed person. Now, I look forward to each day because I know there’s a new opportunity waiting for me. I spend my days doing things I love and with the people I love. I breathe so easily and I see the light in everything I do. I feel nothing but joy, knowing that I wake up each day a better person. Stronger, healthier and in control of how I feel. If I’ve learnt anything from my experience, it's that nothing is permanent. Pain is temporary and there is a life filled with joy, opportunities and experiences waiting for you. One day, you will look back and say to yourself “Man, if I survived that, I can survive anything.”
If you or a friend are feeling depressed or having thoughts about suicide, you need to know that many have made it through these feelings without causing harm and that there are people who care enough to help you. They aren't going to tell you that it's stupid or that you are over reacting-seriously, they wake up in the morning, SUPER KEEN to help people like you and they are GOOD at it.
WHAT TO DO:
Get in touch with Lifeline- you can call them on 13 11 14 OR chat online from 6pm-2am.
Share with someone you trust – you shouldn't go through this alone. Tell them how you feel and that you are thinking of suicide. Ask them to help you keep safe. If they don't understand it, find someone who does.
If life is in danger – call emergency services 000
Or get some more info: