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My Tenuous Relationship With the Desire to Live

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Suicidal thoughts. They have plagued me for years. I have tried to kill myself a number of times. Once, I literally almost did and had to be resuscitated. I look at my future and often wonder if, or when, there are going to be any attempts in the future. When I was a teenager, I was adamant to myself I would not live past 23. That was the year it made sense to me to die. I was so sure of it.

Now, I sit here on the cusp of my 25th birthday living a life I never thought I would. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t see past the anguish and the pain. I couldn’t see through the haze the depression, anxiety and mood swings from an undiagnosed personality disorder were putting me through. Every day was a hell I had to get through, when each step felt like I was wading through treacle.

Everyone has an event in their lives that splits it, an event where there is a distinct “before” and “after,” an event that changed them completely. Mine happened in 2012 when I, accidentally or not, took an overdose of medication I was on at the time and my heart stopped.

It was a lot worse for my family than it was for me. I just remember waking up. They had to go through the days of me in a coma, doctors telling them they were unsure if I was going to wake up and if I did wake up, whether or not I would be permanently effected from what had happened.

I woke up. It was a while before I understood what had happened, that I had died and come back to life. I didn’t know what to do with this information. I slowly came back to myself, and I learned who I was again.

I healed. It took months for me to get back to myself, and even then, the me who emerged was not the same me from before. Dying can do that to a person.

I live a life where my family is ready to say goodbye to me. Once my sister told me she was ready for the call that I wasn’t alive anymore. She has mentally prepared herself for that moment because it’s happened so many times.

Since I found that out I’ve tried to kill myself once, I have a tenuous and fragile relationship with my desire to live. I don’t know how I am going to feel in six months time or six years time. I don’t know if I’m going to attempt to kill myself in the future, and I don’t know if I’m going to die. I do know that right now, I have never felt more stable in myself. I have never felt more in control of my mental health. Finally, I have a name for my disorder. I am going for therapy. I am here.

I take my medication every day. I hold down a stable job and get to do a bit of writing on the side. I’m going back to university to finish my degree. I have a solid friend circle. My life is not marked by the highs and lows it previously has been. It’s not filled with arguments and outbursts from the borderline personality disorder (BPD) that I can’t contain.

Don’t get me wrong. It can still happen, but I recognize these symptoms and am able to move past them now. BPD, my self-harm, my suicide attempts are a small part of me, but they are not all of me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 4, 2017
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