A Christmas Thank You to the Woman Who Saved My Life
Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.
To the woman who saved my life, I thank you eternally.
As I write this, I am both struggling to fight back tears and to find words that can properly quantify how grateful I am for you. To put it simply: I would not be alive if it were not for you. Apart from God and my family, I have never experienced the embodiment of love and light so deep that it transcends the darkness and the worst sorrows. You are the reason there is still breath in my lungs and hope in my heart.
You fought for my life when I couldn’t or wouldn’t fight for it myself. You opened your arms and your home to receive a broken, struggling and severely ill 21-year-old kid. You pushed me through my final semester at university when I couldn’t even get out of bed most days. You made sure I didn’t quit on a lifelong goal. You celebrated the small victories — when I’d make it to class or finish an assignment. I graduated in May with honors. With the help of your husband and another selfless friend, you prioritized my health. You convinced me that bipolar disorder wasn’t the end for me, that help was available, and I wasn’t alone for the battles to come. You made sure I ate and got rest, even when I thought they were both meaningless. I wanted to waste away and you just wouldn’t let me. You haven’t let me. You reminded me no life is worthless — including my own.
You were there every day and for every dark night. You let me text you my scariest thoughts and the awful lies my sickness would scream to me – you were never afraid and always spoke truth against that suicidal, horrifying voice in my head. You found me when I’d lose a battle with self-harm. Full of grace and compassion, you’d help clean me up and take away my means to harm again. When needed, you made sure I went to get stitches. You let me talk about the terrible things that have happened because of and in spite of my mental illness — symptoms, thoughts, sexual assault, the flashbacks. All of it. You listened. You responded with tranquility. You comforted. You let me wake you at 3 a.m. when nightmares or panic attacks came. You dealt with my shaky hands, hyperventilating, ridiculous pacing and stuttering mumbles. You calmed me until it was over. You hugged me while I sobbed uncontrollably, not letting go until the last of the excruciating fear escaped from my chest and eyes.
You held me accountable. You were my medication management. Every night, promptly at 9 p.m., you made sure I took my prescribed mood-stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications. You Desiree-proofed your home for me. You kept certain things hidden so I wouldn’t be tempted to harm myself. You took my keys away every night and kept them until morning, so I wouldn’t be tempted to drive. You kept me out of the psychiatric ward. You kept me safe when impulsivity reigned over me.
Not everyone in my position is blessed in the way I have been. Not everyone has family beyond blood relations. Not everyone has someone in their corner willing to do most anything to keep you alive. Not everyone has someone fight this hard. Not everyone encounters such love and selflessness. Not everyone has someone like you. I am overwhelmingly blessed. I love you dearly, C. As the year comes to a close, please know you are one of the greatest gifts anyone could ever have or ask for – whether on December 25th or on any and every other day of the year.
With all the love in my heart and fire from my soul,
If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.
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