One year. It’s been just over one year since my first suicide attempt. People always say a lot can change in a year, and I don’t think I quite realized how much can change in a year until I looked back on this past one. It’s been a year of countless ups and downs – more downs than ups – but some ups nonetheless. As I think back to my first attempt, my heart immediately hurts. Not for myself, but for those around me that I hurt. My depression was not only hard on me, but I know it’s been quite taxing for my friends and family as well. I’m grateful for my incredible support system, and more specifically, I am grateful that I can recognize them as supports, which is something I couldn’t do a year ago.
I don’t like thinking about August and September of 2013; they were the darkest months of my life, yet I know without those struggles I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sometimes I have dreams about the time I spent in the hospital and wake up feeling terrible, because it is something I’m always afraid of happening again. Even a year later there are days where I think of the hospital, or something reminds me of it and I feel physically ill. If I ever have to enter a hospital, for whatever reason, I hesitate and feel more shaky than usual. I absolutely hate hospitals, ambulances, sirens, or anything that reminds me of my experiences, yet they are a huge part of who I am today. I don’t want to think about what happened to me, or what I almost did, but it’s an unavoidable fact, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed that I have a mental illness and I’m not ashamed to admit that I desperately needed help, and that sometimes I still need help.
I’m deeply proud of the progress I’ve made. Some people have told me I’ve made a “complete 180” and really turned my life around. I disagree – turning my life around would mean turning my back on where I’ve been, and that’s simply not true. I can never turn my back on my depression because it’s still something I carry with me every day; it just doesn’t weigh me down quite like it did before.
My first attempt was the night of August 5th, 2013, and I spent all of August 6th, 2013 at the hospital being evaluated by psychiatrists and emerg doctors and nurses.
I spent August 6th, 2014 hosting my first ever live Mental Health Social Media tweetchat on College Mental Health. Here is a transcript of the tweetchat: https://storify.com/MHSMchat/mhsm-chat-wed-aug-6th-8pm-about-college-mental-he
I’ve taken huge steps on my road to overcoming my obstacles. I know I have many obstacles ahead of me, but seeing the progress I’ve made gives me hope that things will continue to get better. I want to thank the people who stood by me through it all, especially when it was tougher than I could ever have imagined. I hope that this shows that depression doesn’t have to mean the end of someone’s entire world. It wasn’t the end of mine, and it never will be.
Keep Surviving by Living.