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What the Fact That I'm Still Alive Proves

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It was 25 years ago that my Uncle Ricky died by suicide.

It was 25 years ago that I called 911 as I watched my dad take his last breath.

It was 24 years ago that I acquired a stepfather.

It was 24 years ago my life so abruptly changed.

Yet, I survived.

It was 13 years ago I got married at the young age of 20.

It was 11 years ago I became a mom.

It was 10 years ago I became a mom again.

It was in this time I learned my child was chronically ill.

It was during this time I began to mentally suffer.

But, I persisted.

It was seven years ago that I came to a mental health facility seeking treatment.

It was seven years ago that I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar II, depression and anxiety.

I am mentally ill.

It has been through the years that I grew to love the safety of this place.

I grew to love inpatient and residential stays because nothing could harm me.

I grew attached to its security, the people, the help, the comfort I found there.

I grew to be brave.

Now, I hate being inpatient more than words can describe.

I don’t need that level of care any more.

I’ve kept going when I wanted to give up.

I am a warrior.

I have survived suicide attempts through intentional car wrecks, overdoses and more.

I’m a survivor.

My head is still filled with anxiety, mood changes, PTSD, depression.

My mind still torments me with eating disorder behaviors that cause me to stumble through binging, purging and restricting.

I still have a long way to go to learn to deal.

But I’m still a warrior.

This week, I was told my son will receive his wish from Kids Wish Network.

It was a reminder of the real possibility we may outlive him.

It reminded me that I am still scared.

It reminded me that while I feel like I’m a burden, I really do still need therapy.

It reminded me I’m strong, but I still need someone to help me find my inner strength as I fight.

I realize that I still need people to stand by me and support me.

My insecurities tell me I’m a burden.

They tell me I’m nothing but an annoyance.

They are a lie.

This week I’ve learned I need six months of chemo due to cancer markers in my blood.

This week as I reflected on my life I’ve concluded:

I am OK.

I’ve got this.

I’ve made it this far.

I’m a warrior.

I’m a survivor.

I’ve made it to now and I will continue to make it.

I am strong. 

I believe my illness drags me down and fills my head with lies sometimes, and I may get scared, but I think the fact that I am still alive proves that I can do this.

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 text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Ola_Tarakanova

Originally published: May 20, 2017
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