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Alcoholism and Depression: How I Recovered After a Suicide Attempt

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I grew up wondering why I was different than everyone else. What I was dealing with was depression and anxiety, but of course back in the early 60s there was very little talk or understanding of mental health. I found later in life (my teens) that alcohol temporarily changed the way I felt about myself. What I did not know was that I would become a chronic alcoholic and drink for more than 30 years. I experienced severe depression, went through two marriages and had two children I rarely saw. I went to my father’s funeral drunk. My life revolved around alcohol and feeling bad for who and what I was.

I could see no way out. For years I told myself and other people that they would all be better off without me here. That thought stayed with me for more than 20 years. I spiraled down until eventually suicide felt like my only answer.

On December 12, 1992, I drove out in the country and tried to take my life with a gun. I spent a month in a hospital going through extensive surgeries. The final end result turned out quite well for me. They pieced me back together.

After that I went into treatment for alcoholism and got a lot of help through a therapist. I found SAVE (Suicide Awareness-Voices of Education) and became a Community Educator for them. I have been doing that for 13 years. I continue to speak quite a bit about my alcoholism, depression and suicide attempt.

We need more education about depression. SAVE’s statement reads: The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression.”

This does not have to happen. We often get into situations where we cannot see more than what is in front of us at the time. We are not selfish people. We are dealing with mental illnesses. Life begins to feel like it’s too hard to go on, but there is a way out. There is strength in numbers. Talk to someone. We, alone, can be our worst nightmares. Share your feelings with someone. Thank you.

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

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Thinkstock image by dreadspectacle

Originally published: December 3, 2016
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