What screwed me up most in life was the picture in my head of how it was supposed to be. They say “Tomorrow will be a better day, never lose hope” but lately I’ve come to the conclusion that hope is dangerous – it can drive a man insane. The minute you think about giving up, think about why you held on for so long. But please, promise me if I can’t do it anymore let nobody think I gave in. I wrote the following poem a couple of months ago
“A Battle Within Myself”
Have you ever sat up at night to let your barrier down brick by brick? I sat in the silence, the darkness and I cried too many times. I let their words destroy me and let it all ultimately defeat me, made me think I was worthless. I let the burden of their words, of my thoughts get to me. I regret it. I’ve got the scars that remind me. I regret that I let my family and friends down while drowning in pain. All because I let my anxiety and their wretchedness get me, I let it control me, the pain, the pleasure. I was merciless at their hands – it makes me cringe. The memories so overwhelm and overtake me sometimes. Though sometimes I unwillingly go back to the feelings that cause my blood to run cold. Sometimes I reminisce and hear voices saying “I’m not good enough” and I eventually decided I’m probably not. It wasn’t fair I began to care and realised I have fought too hard against them and ultimately lost the battle within myself.
The photo attached is of my tattoo which I got as a tribute to my best friend Michael who I’ve known since the day I was born, committed suicide two and a half years ago – it’s his butterfly 🦋Ever since his death we’ve associated the monarch butterfly as a symbol of him in spirit. This was my first tattoo (I got it in December 2015) and a month later I went under the needle again and got the word ‘Courage’ tattooed under my butterfly. This holds a lot of significance to me now. I’ve battled through numerous mental illnesses including two suicide attempts which have been the main reason for starting writing these blogs. Physical health problems ranging from rare disease Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, appendix surgery and chronic stomach erosion.
Courage it’s also part of the military motto. I’m the son of an ex soldier and I spent 4 years in the military cadets – aspiring to follow in my fathers footsteps. But at 16 and a half I was permanently medically disqualified for service. Depression kicked in and my life was on the downward spiral.
So I think the word and tattoo courage is so appropriate. I may have been weak enough to cut, give up or attempt suicide but I was strong enough to survive those days because it takes more courage to suffer than it does to die. But what is courage? Courage is being scared to death but saddling up to the challenge anyway.