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What Turning 18 Meant to Me After Years of Suicidal Behavior

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

When I was just 12 years old, I experienced my first encounter with intense suicidal thoughts.

I didn’t want to die however. Not at first, not that young.

I simply wanted the pain to end.

I wanted something to permanently lift me from the rubble and ruins of the life I didn’t feel I could possible survive in any longer. I assumed that by picturing myself no longer breathing, I could temporarily experience peace from the chaos.

The thoughts though, didn’t improve.

Instead, they grew so strong, so manipulative and intrusive that at the age of 14, I tried to kill myself because something needed to end the battle of whether I should or should not die. I couldn’t handle the constant question of my life swirling around my head, taunting me day in and day out.

Because of this, I ended up hospitalized.

I was thrown into a room with nurses and a therapist telling me I would eventually “feel better” and that the pain I felt “wouldn’t last.” I never believed them, and when they released me eight days later with a prescription for medication and a pat on my back. I didn’t feel any better.

In all actuality, I felt worst.

See, I never felt like anyone understood the pain I was enduring, and when I left that hospital unchanged, little hope stayed within me.

In the end, I trudge on down the path of destruction and at age 16, I tried to kill myself again. Unfortunately this time it was much more harsh and harmful to my body.

For four years now, I had been flooded with daily visual depictions and mental plans of how I would end my life. At this point, unlike at 12, I did intend to leave to heaven.

I couldn’t withstand my home environment, and I couldn’t continue to live in a body so hell-bent on being self-destructive.

This lead once again to a trip to the psychiatric ward. A place not far from my memories.

I stayed for 48 days, and by the end, I came out less upset, less destined to die.

I thought I had made a breakthrough.

Maybe I didn’t need to die, maybe I could live a normal health, happy life, but the feeling of being a changed woman was short-lived.

Quickly after my release, I was swarmed with the harmful thoughts again, and I truly began to believe I would never make it out of my childhood alive.

My depression overtook me. I was now convinced I wouldn’t see adulthood, and I was afraid to even try. I felt like no matter what I did, I would be unable to succeed in keeping myself on earth.

Unsurprisingly, these thoughts led to two more suicide attempts, results in my third and final hospital stay when I was 17.

However, this time, things were remarkably different. I left that hospital with a new diagnoses, and with new, stronger medications. Ones that really helped me.

It makes me sad to look back and realize I spent most of my adolescent life depressed and constantly suicidal. I had no real intention or any real belief that reaching my 18th birthday would be a possibility.

So when my birthday rolled around, and I woke up to see the light of day, I cried. Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy, because if I can make it though six years of suicidal ideation, and multiple suicide attempts, then I can make it though whatever life throws at me.

I can survive and I will survive.

I can’t say I never think about suicide, but I can say it no longer affects my life. I hope that by sharing this I inspire you, the reader, to keep living, because I know it’s hard to wake up day after day knowing that all you want to do is end the suffering.

But, you can make it, and you will make it, because everyone deserves to feel the joys of life.

Getty Images photo via Maria Kuznetsova

Originally published: August 15, 2018
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