The First Time After My Suicide Attempt When I Thought, 'I Want to Live'
On July 18, 2015, I woke up in a peaceful mood. I had a plan for the day. And that plan included killing myself.
I made a cup of coffee, washed my car, chatted with my next door neighbor, and sat down to watch TV. An old episode of “Friends” happened to be on. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what it was even about. It was almost like I was living outside my body looking down on myself from above.
In the midst of my attempt, I managed to think quickly and realize I needed to call 911. I made out a few words before passing out.
When I woke up in the hospital, one of my first thoughts was, “It didn’t work.” Then, after seeing, hugging and crying with my friends and family members, a new thought began to take hold. Each day, it grew a little stronger. And as it grew stronger, I began to listen to it more. This new, fledgling thought was simple – “I want to live.”
The next few weeks consisted of many ups and downs. I was “trapped” in the hospital. I had so much healing to do – physically, yes, but also mentally and emotionally. There was only one way I wanted to do it – by getting back to my life, making some changes, and learning how to live again.
I had many surgeries during that time to repair my face. I was breathing with a trache. I felt like I would take two steps forward and one step back. But I kept at it. I walked the halls to get my strength back. Back and forth, back and forth. I dreamed up positive scenarios for how my “new” life would take shape when I was released. I had become bound and determined to rebuild my life – but I knew it was not going to be easy.
Through work and time spent at a mental health facility, I learned I had been living with major depressive disorder and severe anxiety. For a few years I had known they were a part of me but had not fully realized the full extent of the negative ways they were currently steering my life. Later, it was discovered I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). And through my own research, I realized my past circumstances (failed relationships, unwise purchases, etc.) were directly correlated to my natural brain chemistry.
In the 15 months since my most serious suicide attempt, I can say I am learning more about myself every day. I am learning how to take life’s normal ups and downs more in stride. That is something that has never come easily to me – but as I learn more about mental health and why it is so important to take care of yourself, I know I am a work in progress. I have bad days, and I have good days – just like everyone else. I am learning to be easier on myself – there’s only one of me in this whole big world. I need to take care of myself. I am learning how to tune out the lies depression likes to try to make me believe. I am bigger than depression. I am better than depression, and yes, people would miss me if I was gone.
Today finds me in a happier place. I am looking to buy a new house soon — one where I will someday paint the walls, tile the floor, build a deck… and be happy. I am learning to take joy in the smaller moments of life – walking my dogs and hearing their sloppy wet breath as they run to keep up, my two sons’ laughter when they hear a funny joke, and of my family who has been by my side from day one. I know life will continue to throw me curve balls… it wouldn’t be life if it didn’t. How I handle them is up to me. I will continue to try to be grateful each day when I wake up, and I will continue to learn how to live again because I didn’t die.
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Thinkstock photo by Golden_Brown