|On a post on her Facebook page, Norwegian artist Lene Marlin posted a lengthy story of her emotional state, an attempted suicide and coming out the other side:
I didn’t want to live any longer
Everything seemed perfect from the outside. That just made it worse, Lene Marlin writes
I had decided that I would never speak of this publicly. Not because I am ashamed. I am not. But because I just wanted to be done with it all. As the years have passed I’ve come to realize that I will never be completely done with it. It is a part of who I am. I live with it each and every day and will carry it with me for the rest of my life. So I might as well say it out loud:
I tried to end my own life.
I couldn’t handle the pressure.
It’s strange, isn’t it, how you can go from living life for yourself, to suddenly realizing you are living it for everyone else; their expectations and their dreams. How easily one is lost in the demands of others. How easily one takes to living other people’s lives. Now I see it all the time, kids struggling. Even older people; imagine still feeling the pressure after all those years. What kind of hope is left us then?
A different kind of pressure
I wish I could tell you that the pressure lets off, as you grow older. The one thing I can say is that it changes. You simply have more choices. I decided that I was the only one that could make myself happy. This process included making some choices that seemed very strange to people close to me, but I have no regrets. Because even while living this hectic dream-life I knew I had to put a stop to it.
I let it go too far
Because I at that time lacked both the strength and the ability to listen to myself instead of others, years passed before I was fully healed. This is my only regret. It has, however, made me live my life in a different way. For better or for worse, I discovered at an early age how I didn’t want to live my life, and that is something for which I am thankful. Others take much longer to see this and might end up never having lived the life they really want.
Went home during recess
I still have bad dreams about high school; that they call me up telling me I need to come back, do it all over again. I felt like I didn’t fit in. Like I was weird and different from everyone else. Every time we had free time, even in the middle of the day, I would go home: Play the guitar for as long as I could and run back when I had to. That’s where I found the strength I needed. I kept thinking that if I just got through those three years everything would be all right. And it was. Sometimes you just have to hold on for a little while longer.
Sometime during my twenties I found myself lying on a cold kitchen floor weak from crying my eyes out. I don’t know how many hours had passed, but I found one can actually run out of tears. That your body can only take so much. I was completely worn out; but I had come to peace with the fact that this was to be my last night. I felt surprisingly cold and detached as I wrote notes to people I cared about. I did really want to end my life that night. When my eyes closed I felt at peace. I awoke several hours later, confused and in terrible pain. Ironically I didn’t have the strength to try again; I was too weak to even die.
The importance of being heard
Not being heard is painful. It can take a good while to finally say the words that are needed, but when you do, it is important that those around really listen and take you seriously. Failing that, it is so much easier to just crawl back into your shell, sure that your heavy thoughts are yours to live with alone. That kind of loneliness is the worst.
End it all? You? You’ve lived everyone’s biggest dream. You travel the world; you make lots of money, win awards, what can possibly be bothering you? They told me I was ungrateful. The incredible pressure, the expectations, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
The pain you know
One time I ended up in the ER and was told I had been very lucky. I didn’t feel lucky. I had wanted to die, yet there I was. That night I found myself in the back of a dismal room listening to a girl on the other side of a curtain. She was talking about why she did it, and I remember her talking about the boy who had left her and how she had thought it would be them forever and now she didn’t have a reason to live. Or something like that; I was drifting in and out of sleep and can recall only fragments. No boy had put me in that bed, but I recognized the pain in her voice as my own.
We are who we become. Sometimes the road ahead is long and hard, especially when you are in your teens, when everything hurts and it is hard to believe it will ever end. You just don’t believe it will! I see it myself today with people I know who are struggling. It is hard just trying to get them to believe that life does get better. In those instances I use my own experiences; I can tell them that I know what it’s like to feel so tired and small that there seems to be no hope left. When they imagine that as they are sitting across from who I am today, that’s when I see that they understand what I am saying.
Hang in there!
You can’t change the past, but you can change how you live with it. I sometimes get flashbacks of what’s gone before. Often times I have forgotten all about it, so when the images appear it can be a lot to take in. My whole body reacts, as if it remembers what my mind has forgotten. That’s when I panic, I feel trapped and out of breath and need some time before I can tell myself that it’s all behind me. Once that happens my body settles down, but it’s a terrible feeling while it’s going on.
There is so much more contained in a tear than one might imagine. I have been seen crying on TV, which was something I never planned to do, it happened when songs and conversations took me back there. That experience was both painful and good at the same time because what I felt the most was the feeling of having weathered it and come through on the other side. A heavy thought for someone who didn’t expect to live past 30.
Those tears don’t make me feel ashamed, I know I should have cried them a long time ago.
So if you’re not in a good place when you’re reading this and can’t imagine life getting any better, please hang on for just a little longer and hear this; it will all be worth it!
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