The past left a mark, I remember the date

And I remember the date all too well: August 28, 2010.

I woke up and was dead inside. I couldn’t feel ANYthing anymore, just an emptiness which was eating me alive from the inside. And as you know, from a previous entry, I would cut my left forearm in order to feel at least some pain. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, was better than this emptiness.

Rock bottom was awaiting me. I spiralled down rapidly fast, and there was no end in sight. I prepared myself to hit. Split up into a million pieces and more. I was on autopilot and entirely DONE with life. With myself. With everything. I just wanted this to end. However, something inside me – I am, to this day, not sure what this “something” was – kept me alive. With the help of a clinic team and the in-depth therapy I underwent, I got back on track and climbed out of this black, bottomless hole.

It has been exactly ten years now since I was too broken to function. Ten years since I was about to give up and throw in the towel. Ten years since anxiety, depression and panic attacks almost got the best of me.

Ten. Years.

September is also Suicide Prevention Month. The stigma that surrounds mental health hasn’t gone away at all. I feel like it’s the absolute contrary – you’re mocked, ridiculed, told you’re looking for attention and all that when you open up about having depression or anxiety (just as examples; the list is of course much longer). You are considered lazy when you cannot get out of bed because everything is too much to handle or to deal with. You’re in pain. Trust me when I say that fatigue (another ailment that can be closely connected to depression and anxiety) in combination with muscle or joint pain is no laughing matter. There are days when the biggest accomplishment is that I got up, rolled out of bed, dragged myself to the bathroom and put on some clothes. And sometimes, that (together with preparing something to eat) is all I got done …

And yet, I am still standing. I somehow have survived up until now. Set backs and relapses included. I’M. STILL. HERE.

As I have been doing some soul-searching and reflecting on myself in the past months, things started to click more and more. I found out something about myself which I will talk about in a separate entry. With August 28, 2020 being the 10th Anniversary of my breakdown, September being the above mentioned Suicide Prevention Month, and me being the absolute music addict, I was once again steered into a certain direction.

I know, I have chewed everyone’s ears off with the BLOOD YOUTH obsession that has taken over my life for the past seven months now (no regrets, tho!), but the lads have that one song called “Reason To Stay“. Actually, the song deals with an entirely effed up relationship, but there are words in there that HIT HOME on a different level.

I’ve never felt this low before
But the world outside holds so much more


I sent Kaya Tarsus a message on instagram and asked if he could write these two lines down for me next time they’re in my city, as I wanted them inked on my left forearm. He got back to me immediately and was very excited about this endeavour, “of course”, and he even offered to take a photo of the writing and send that my way. I was legit floored by this, and well, the lad sure is one of the nicest fellas out there – and I WILL fight you!

Fast forward to end of August …

I picked him up on his offer and this is the result:

Yep. There it is – in its entire glory. Exactly one week old now, and I am still absolutely in LUUUUUURVE with it. Even my psychiatrist thought it was a great idea to get those lines inked, given my background and my story so far. To remind myself what I have been through and SURVIVED. What I have overcome. To me, these lyrics have a very deep meaning. It’s nothing I randomly picked. Yes, the song itself is pretty awesome, too, but to me, there is so much more to it. These lyrics hit home on a very powerful level, even if the song itself deals with something else. But that’s the greatness of song lyrics: we all interpret something else when we hear or read them, and none of those meanings / interpretations is wrong. They make sense to us, tell us something. And for me, “Reason To Stay” (the headline of this entry is also a quote from the song, fyi) did exactly that.

This is my story.

And it isn’t finished, yet.

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