world suicide prevention day

gratitude, suicide prevention

I didn’t realize that today, September 10th, marked World Suicide Prevention Day. I didn’t realize that when I started this blog almost 2 weeks ago this day would be right around the corner.

Everyday I think about suicide, but not in the way that you might think I mean. I think about it in the way that I am grateful every single day that I didn’t follow through with ending my own life.

Spoiler Alert: This post talks about the realities of depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s a part of who I was and a huge part of how I landed on this journey seeking my most positive life.

I first started battling depression in my early teens, I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I think I was around 14. I just remember feeling this deep sadness that I really couldn’t explain. When I think about it at the surface level I used to believe that outside sources would make me happy. From a teenage girls’ perspective I used to think that if I were prettier, skinnier, had straighter teeth, if my parents had more money, if the boy I had a crush on liked me back, if I had all of these things I would be happy.  Nobody ever taught me how to be happy. To love myself no matter what, the value of self worth, the belief that happiness comes from within. When I think back to those days I was really just trying to make sense of why I felt so sad. I thought those outside sources had to be the reasons. I was a pretty shallow teenager, and the thought of digging deeper at that age terrified me.

Enter alcohol. The constant, tumultuous love of my life. Right away alcohol made me forget about all the things I wished I was or had. Until it didn’t. My sadness began to multiply, at which point I began to cut my wrists. I wasn’t completely suicidal at this point, the cutting was used to numb the pain, much like alcohol. This would continue for years. I ended up running away to New York City after having my heart broken for the first time. I went to college there and don’t remember much of that time, but I did meet some very special people while I was there, people I still think about after all these years. After graduating I moved back home and got my first DUI. I was spiraling downward for several years. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from an outside perspective. I did my best to remain positive on the outside. I don’t know why. Part of me believes that I didn’t want people to see how bad I really felt.

A few months after moving back home some events occurred that led me to quit my job and basically hide away from the world. I didn’t leave my house regularly for almost 6 months. It was really bad, I was paranoid and had severe anxiety. Anytime I tried to leave the house I would crumble at the turn of the door knob. I lived with my mom at the time and I can’t even imagine what that must’ve felt like for her. I still have my journals from that time and there are some very dark and twisted entries. The majority of my days were spent wishing I was dead, most days I couldn’t follow through with it. The one day that I came very close to ending it all, the plan was already in motion, but I had a vision of my mom finding me. It was so powerful, I can still feel exactly how I felt in that moment while I’m writing this, and I’m tearing up. I couldn’t let her find me like that. So I stopped what I was doing and waited for her to come home and confessed everything to her. She took me to the hospital and I went through counseling for a while after that. I wish I could say that it helped me but it didn’t. I slowly started piecing my life back together, my best friend got me a job. I started reaching out to the people I shut off from. I still had my fair share of issues for years after that but it never got that dark again. Anytime my mind would start to travel down the path of darkness I would use that experience to pull me out. For a while I believed I got lucky somehow, I really wasn’t sure how I was pulled from the darkness. Something inside of me was telling me to look for the light. To find the positives in the world again. I began to change my thinking, without really knowing what I was doing.

It wasn’t until I got sober and began my spiritual journey with my Higher Power that I truly believe I was meant to stay on this Earth. And I believe you are too. If you’re reading this now and you can relate to anything I wrote about in this post, please reach out to me. I’ve been there, I know that darkness, I know that pain. It’s been 9 years since I went through that and it’s still vivid in my mind, and it will always be there. It’s part of me. You don’t have to end your precious life. There’s another way, it won’t be easy but it will be worth it. You are not alone.