Sierra's View: Empathy.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015


Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  #WorldSuicidePreventionDay 

And I feel the need to talk, or well, write. 
Those of you who are currently struggling or have struggled in the past, I encourage you to write and share your story as well. I am inspired by all of the tweets and posts that I have seen today. There is good in the world! 

This is my story. 

Talking can be challenging for me sometimes. I know that this may come as a surprise to many of you because I tend to have no problem with this on a regular basis. But, when life gets the best of me, when I am feeling incredibly down or anxious or even angry  it is hard for me to find the words to say. No words that I express out loud convey the deep, emotional battle that I face sometimes. And, often times, it’s hard for me to speak out loud because emotion overpowers me. And as sad as this makes me, we live in a world where tears make other people uncomfortable. We live in a world that struggles with tears. Tears, in a sense, equals weakness. The last thing that I want to convey to others is that I am weak or to make someone else uncomfortable. 
It is also challenging to speak out loud because ultimately, when I do, the other person doesn’t have any thing of true value that makes me feel better. That sounds negative, I know. But what I mean by that, is the down episodes of my life, the hard times, if you will, are only ultimately overcome when I, Sierra, get through it with my own willpower and fight. Talking sometimes helps, but unless it’s to a therapist (and even then), the other person doesn’t help me feel much better. Only I can work on myself and grow from challenging experiences, such as my Depression Moments.
But I urge those of you who are struggling, to talk to someone. Anyone.  If you are feeling depressed, sad, anger, frustrated, alone, or a compilation of all of those feelings, go talk to someone. Share your feelings. Don't be afraid. 

I know what it's like to survive the roller coaster of mental illness. 
I know what it's like to want to end that roller coaster ride.
I want you to know that I have empathy for your struggles. 
I've been there. 

I feel empathy for what it's like to wake up in the morning and feel like it will take every last bit of energy to put your foot down on the ground and step out of that bed. 
I feel empathy for your frustrations in trying so hard to make others feel better that you forget to defend your own convictions. 
I feel empathy for you for feeling like a mental illness, or depression, or bi-polar is a trivial matter and that no one really cares. 
I feel empathy for feeling silly in sharing your struggles because so many others are dealing with exponentially more challenging issues, such as death, cancer, divorce, and the horribly crippling issues of this life. I know it's hard to feel like your issues are important. 
I feel empathy for working and going to school with people who don't understand. 
I feel empathy for working so incredibly hard at something and then feeling like the effort has not paid off. 
I feel empathy for those of you who even struggle to talk to a spouse. Having a mental illness and being married is very challenging. 
I feel empathy for the discouragement that you feel when you look in the mirror and hate what you see; whether thats weight gain, weight loss, or just a matter of physical changes. 
I feel empathy for feeling like you are losing control of all aspects of your life. 
I feel empathy for being frustrated and angry at the Lord. 
I feel empathy for those of you who have dealt with suicide of a loved one. I have watched it alter my family's life, and I know that it has changed yours. 
I feel empathy for when your life seems so bleak and meaningless that the last thing that you want to do is keep living; for when you want to take your own life. 


I also know that life is ALWAYS, always worth living. 
I also know that your trials are YOUR OWN. Your emotions are okay to feel. 
I know that your issues are real, even if they feel "less than" compared to others. 
I know that the feeling of waking up and walking your dog on a brisk fall morning is one of the best feelings in the world. 
I know that a hug from your spouse or significant other can help that lonely feeling, if only just for a moment. 
I know that a kind gesture, letter, or compliment from a co-worker, friend, or family member can lift your entire day. 
I know that seeing the sunset every night is one of the most 
I KNOW that your pain will make sense to you one day. 
I know that things will get better. 
I know that you are a fighter. 
I know that you are loved. 
I know that the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride of mental illness is exhausting, but the fighting and getting through it makes you so much stronger. 

I know this and I empathize with you because I fought. And I am still fighting. And I am so happy because of it. I am grateful for the life that I have been given. I am not perfect, and I am continuously working on all facets of my life. But I'm living. Truly living. And I am so so so happy because of it. 

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