To the Person Who Woke Up Today Wishing They Hadn’t
To the person who woke up today wishing they hadn’t,
I wish I could say I haven’t been there, but I can’t. I wish I didn’t have a story to tell you, but I have one. It’s not a fun story — of course it’s not.
Two years ago I woke up after trying to end my life for the last time. I can vividly remember my disappointment to find that I was still breathing. I saw the veins in my wrist and deflated at the thought that there was still blood in them, heading back to my heart to pick up oxygen and keep me alive. I felt like a failure.
I’m here to tell you, if that really does make me a failure, I have never been more happy to have failed.
Two years after I woke up on the bathroom floor, the story has flipped.
Then, I wanted with all that was left of me to go to sleep and not wake up. Today, with all the power I’ve found to rebuild myself, I wish I hadn’t gone to sleep to begin with. But I am so grateful that I woke up.
Going to sleep. Waking up. Euphemisms. No matter how proud I become of my journey, I can’t deny how difficult it is to talk about suicide. I still trip over the word when I go to say it out loud. Nevertheless, please don’t sit alone with the reality of what you’ve tried to do. I didn’t tell anyone for over a year. There is no heavier weight to carry than the knowledge that you tried to end your life; in my case, three times. I won’t tell you not to be ashamed because I certainly was. It’s not easy, but cast your shame aside for just long enough to find help, because you deserve better than guilt. Don’t stay silent. Please find someone. Anyone willing to listen.
I can’t tell you why you should stay. I can’t show you, either. I can only beg you to trust me, to hang on, because I see the other side. I know you can’t see it. You might not see yourself in the future. I didn’t think I’d live to see today two years ago. Right now I’m studying abroad for four months, on the adventure of a lifetime, and reflecting on how it could never have happened if I hadn’t woken up.
I woke up and I am so glad you did too.
You might not be able to see it for yourself right now, but I know there is another side. Wrestling with your mind and your world is exhausting, but I know that someday, you’ll pin your opponent to the mat and finally see victory. It will come. That day came for me and it will come for you.
Just keep yourself breathing. However you keep yourself alive, as long as it isn’t destructive, is valid. Whether you’re in bed all day and unable to move or wandering all night to keep yourself away from your thoughts, you’re fighting it. Keep fighting it, whatever it may be in your case. You can do it because you deserve the future I know is out there. I love you, but more importantly, I want you to see the day when you feel lucky for waking up.
With so much love,
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
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