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I’m Finally Glad I Stayed and Didn’t Die by Suicide

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Editor's Note

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

If you struggle with mental illness, you know depressive episodes can hit you out of nowhere and last for months at a time. Every task feels impossible, even something as simple as brushing your teeth. Even worse, everything feels pointless because you can’t derive pleasure from anything.

I am slowly coming out of a five-month straight severe depressive episode. The hell I’ve endured over the past five months, I wouldn’t wish on anyone, ever. After month three, I planned my suicide. I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts before, but I’ve never actually had a plan. This time, I did. I had three plans, actually, depending on what I was able to get.

Obviously, since I’m sitting here writing this, I didn’t follow through with the plan. I’m sure you’re expecting me to say I didn’t do it because of my kids, but unfortunately, you’re wrong. I have two beautiful little girls, a caring boyfriend who loves and supports me, and at the time of the suicide plan, I was 10 weeks pregnant. The mental and physical pain I was in was so horrendous that I literally didn’t care about leaving my kids without a mom and breaking my boyfriend’s heart. So, what was my reason for not going through with it? I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, to get what I needed to “get the job done.”

My boyfriend questioned me that night when he got home from work, and I broke down and told him what I was planning to do. We had an appointment with my psychiatrist the next day and my boyfriend told him what I said. My psychiatrist admitted me to the hospital. This was in early May. I stayed for three days and was released.

A lot happened between that time and now. Three months after my suicide plan, I am finally able to say, “I’m glad I stayed.”

When I was so depressed and exhausted in December that I didn’t know how I was going to give my girls a good Christmas, “I’m glad I stayed.”

When I had a bad reaction to a new medication in January and sat on my bed while screaming and ripping out handfuls of my hair while my boyfriend tried to restrain me, “I’m glad I stayed.”

When I was admitted to the psych ward and treated like a prisoner instead of a patient, “I’m glad I stayed.”

When my psychiatrist felt it was best if I took four weeks off from work (under FMLA) to get my transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatments done, “I’m glad I stayed.”

When my psychiatrist wanted to do electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments while I was in the hospital, my OBGYN signed off on it, but neurologist would not because I had a history of neck problems. Instead, I was discharged with a new medication and a plan to try TMS, and “I’m glad I stayed.”

When I had to get the TMS therapy five days a week (starting the day I left the psych ward) for about 30 minutes at a time. It’s painful at first but as you get used to it, it’s definitely tolerable. I had to do this every weekday for six weeks, and “I’m glad I stayed.”

When the day for me to go back to work arrived, I put on nice clothes and a little makeup (for the first time in months), only to be told when I arrived into work that I would not be seeing patients — I’m a nurse practitioner — but instead that they were not renewing my contract and I no longer had a career. But, “I’m glad I stayed.”

Depressive episodes are hell, but they are episodes, not your life sentence. Please stay. It may take time, as it did for me, but you’ll be glad you did

Photo by Macu ic on Unsplash

Originally published: September 19, 2019
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