“God, If you really love me, you’ll just end it. It would be more humane.”

For a solid year and a half my journals reflect not just (I don’t think just is the right word) my depression, and bipolar, my eating disordered behaviors or my relentless need for perfection, no for these 18 months you read a complete hopelessness; a borderline constant suicidal state of mind. I had lost in my mind and in heart this battle that I didn’t ask for. It was as if I would never understand, recover, nor regain control, find joy, see light, or feel warmth.

Often times I think to myself: Why didn’t I take my life? What kept me from crossing that line? I think the answer lies in the a lot of things.

My faith is one. Somehow my ability to communicate with God, thank him, complain to him, ask him, cry out to him, kept me alive. I also had (and still have) this understanding that my life was (and is) bigger than me. That didn’t fix the fact that I wanted to die, or that I felt like I was dying everyday a little more inside. But helped keep breathing.

hope-hands1Another thing was the support in my life. From my friends, church bible study, therapist, psychiatrist, all the way back to individuals who had impacted in growing up in my life such as teachers, mentors, children I spent time with. I was so depleated of hope an strength during this time that I had to borrow the hope and strength of other people. Sometimes, I asked for it and it was shared with me, and other times these people saw how hopeless I had become and gave it to me without my asking.

I wish I could give someone the perfect formula from hopeless to hopeful. Sometimes I look back on the past 6 years of my life and ask myself “How did I get better?” But what I can tell you is that when you don’t have hope, when you are at a complete loss, when you are well below your “rock bottom” barrow someone else’s hope. That may sound silly or even impossible.

I borrowed everyone’s and anyone’s hope I could…..If I hadn’t I’m sure I wouldn’t be here today.

I painted pottery with The little girl I’ve been a babysitter for since she was 3 moths old she, decorated a plate for me, to remind me ho much I am loved during some of the most frustrating parts of my day. I called my mom a lot, sometimes just to cry and have someone who cared about me listen. I climbed into bed with my roommates when I couldn’t keep myself safe. I continued to go to therapy week after week, month after month even after I was sure I was broken forever. I stayed connected with important adults from my childhood, who listened, encouraged and believed in me.

Everyday I felt weak. I asked God why I wasn’t like everyone else. I didn’t understand why I hurt and struggled so much. I may never know the answer to that question. Today though I look back on that girl fighting for her life and think about how strong she was. It takes so much strength to admit it to yourself much less anyone else that you need help – doing it daily is crazy. My existence was dependent upon the hope and strength that I got from God and other people, because I had officially reached empty on that tank.

What totally surprised me though is as I borrowed their strength and hope to get through each day I started to building some of my own. And then it started: recovery.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.