Sometimes, it feels like you’re stuck in this unending dark night. There are no stars to guide you. There is no moon to light the way. You are stuck in a painful, soul rending darkness that no one else can see. The world is moving around you like you are not even there, alone, stuck in torment.

You feel not worthy of life. You feel unworthy of love. You feel a burden upon any who know you and like they would be so, so much better off in the long run if you were just gone.

It’s tempting. Walking so far into that night that you never return is so, so tempting. It seems a solution for a pain that will not ebb. It seems the best way to handle that which you cannot adequately put into words. You feel like no one will listen, no one will care, and no one will understand.

You’ve reached out. You’ve been called crazy. Unstable. Broken. Wrong. You’ve had people roll their eyes at you, shove you away, blow off your words when you try to express your pain; your needs.

The moments come where you feel like there is no choice. This is it. All else is hopeless, you might as well let go by any means possible. Just end it. There is no fanfare, no loud cry for help… The moment just comes.

It came for me twice.

The first time it came, I sat in a bathroom convinced that the abuse would never end. I would always be knocked down, beat up and for all intents and purposes no more than a tool for those in my life. I was to be used, and that was it. I held no worth, I deserved no dignity. But my friends, dear friends I hold precious and close to this day, didn’t know exactly what the situation was yet still they reached out. They shined a light into my dark night, and slowly the guided me first to safety and eventually to a place where I could see, breathe and be again.

The years that lead to that first episode and the years that followed did damage. This damage accumulated, weighing down the fragile system I had for coping with the world around me. The year following the birth of my son, I could not find up. I could not find any which way out of that dark night once more. It was so much worse this time. It was so painful, everything around me was filled with terror; with the anticipation of violence soon to come. My son would be taken away. I was not deserving of him. I was not a good mother. I hurt my son. I should never have had my son. How dare someone like me ever have a child.

My mind was, and sometimes still is, my most vicious enemy.

The little boy I feared so much surrounding was the one to save me. It was early into my pregnancy that I swore I would never leave him to feel abandoned as I often did. He would always feel loved, wanted and cherished. It was so hard to find my footing, to know how to be a good person for him.

So I called my doctor. Of all people.

And I got help.

I got help despite those who spoke ill of it, and that appointment was the day the light came back once more.

It would be a lie for me to tell the world that life is perfect. It is not. I struggle with complex PTSD every day. It’s part of my natural operating system now. It comes with heavy depression sometimes, but I have a shining little face that drags me back even when I feel like I might not want to be. I am lucky.

Not everyone is. Not everyone can find their light again. Depression is a vicious, terrible mental illness which is often blown off in terms of how severe it can impact a person. Suicidal thoughts, no matter what the condition is that leads one to them, are no joke.

You are worth it. You are worthy. There really is at least one thing to live for, if not so many, many more. There is help. If you feel yourself slipping into that dark night, please call 1-800-273-8522 – It is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Let their staff help you, or reach out to someone you trust that can direct you towards assistance. You aren’t alone. People will listen, and they will care.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. In the words of Aladdin: “Genie, you are free.”