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How the Anniversary of My Suicide Attempt Made Me Feel

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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 741-741.

As I write this, it is the second anniversary since I tried to take my life. It is not the most recent attempt I’ve had but it was the one in which I came closest to losing my life. This time of year is always hard for me as I struggle with flashbacks of the ward, incidents that took place there and, of course, what little I remember of the attempt itself.

The first anniversary was tough. I spent it thinking I did not deserve to still be alive, wishing it had worked and hating myself for not completing the suicide attempt. I genuinely believe I felt more helpless on the anniversary than I did on the day of the actual attempt. But this year, thanks to a new medication I feel is finally making a difference and the continued support of the amazing people around me, it is a lot easier to look back on.

Of course, it shook me to realize the date and see the cryptic tweets I knew I had made from a hospital bed come up on my Timehop. Instead of repeating last year and instantly allowing it to bring me down, I thought about everything I have achieved in the past two years — everything I have experienced, everything I have done, the people I have met and the places I have been. I wrote a list of all of the things I would have missed out on if I had completed my suicide attempt. I realized there were so many people I would never have met, so many university experiences I would have never progressed to, nights out I would have been absent from, nights in I would have never been here for and, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I was glad I was alive.

It goes without saying, however, that it’s not been purely positive experiences since then. The road to recovery is never smooth; I still experience the thoughts and feelings that lead to me to attempt to take my own life, and I experience them more than I would care to admit. Sometimes, I catch myself cursing the hospital staff for keeping me alive that day. But today, looking back on my list of everything that has happened since then, I wish I could thank them.

For perhaps the first time, I’m glad to be alive. And today, that’s more than enough.

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 reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Photo by Apollo Reyes on Unsplash

Originally published: November 2, 2017
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