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Depression Tried to Kill Me Today

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Editor’s note: This piece contains language that may be triggering to someone experiencing suicidal thoughts. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

I don’t remember exactly how long it took for me to realize that suicidal thoughts were not normal for everyone. I think that is because the thoughts for me did not burst into my brain in any way that made me take notice of them. It happened slowly and quietly in a way that seemed to make total sense to me. When I was talking to my counselor and casually mentioned suicidal thoughts she immediately took notice of what I did not: my depression was worse than I was letting on. I figured everybody had thoughts of ending their life. I didn’t realize that when some people see a bottle of pills they simply see medicine and don’t wonder if there is enough in the bottle to be lethal. When they see a bridge, they think about the view and not the distance to the bottom. I didn’t recognize those thoughts as symptoms of depression.

Today those thoughts were not just a background to the dance my brain does daily with depression. Those thoughts were what greeted me as I woke up — how I could die rather than face the day. The truth is, my depression tried to kill me today.

Why is it so hard to reach out to friends and family on days like today? Why is it that we find it so terrifying to face stigma that we risk our lives to avoid it? These thoughts are symptoms of an illness and to ignore them is to put ourselves in danger. So often depression kills by convincing people it isn’t really there or isn’t causing those thoughts.

It’s the end of the day, and I am still alive. That does not mean I am out of the woods. It only means I live to fight the same fight tomorrow. But it also means I have the opportunity to fight differently. Maybe I can be ready for the fight and surround myself with people who help me fight those thoughts. Depression tried to kill me today, but it didn’t.

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 dk_photos

Originally published: December 19, 2016
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