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When You Start the New Year Feeling Suicidal

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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.

I was so excited for New Year’s Eve this year. I had the chance to get out of my house, go back to my apartment at school and ring in the new year with my closest friends. It felt so good to be back, especially since this was the last time I would see them all before I left to study abroad next semester. As a character said on “One Tree Hill,” my apartment is the place where “everything’s better and everything’s safe.” I was so excited to start the year there surrounded by the people I love most.

However, I did not anticipate the night to go the way it did. While I rang in the new year counting down with friends, it was all but an hour later that I was crying and shaking in my room. Drinking tends to either make me much happier, or much, much sadder. And this particular night, it did the latter. I wanted to die and the alcohol was just eradicating any common sense or hesitation I normally had about it. Thankfully, I have incredible friends and one of them went and took out every single knife in the apartment and put them in his locked car. He proceeded to stay with me the rest of the night to make sure I would make it to see the morning, even though I told him at least 20 times he did not have to.

That is not the picture I had in my head for the start of 2019. I spent so much of 2018 suicidal, and I did not plan to start 2019 like this. It felt like I already started the year out with failure, like I already started as a disappointment to the people around me. I had an entire clean slate ahead of me, a blank 365 days. And not even a couple hours into this entire new year was I already wishing I was dead. That hurts. That is not how I wanted to start 2019.

But, I’m trying to learn to see things in a healthier, more positive light. I’m trying to take on a perspective that is not completely immersed in self-loathing and self-destruction. So no, I did not want to start the year crying in a corner of a room, needing the knives in my apartment removed and hidden from me. But, I had a friend who was willing to do that for me. Who cared enough to do that for me. I had friends who wanted me to live to see 2019 (and not just a couple hours of it), and fought for me to stay alive, even when all I wanted was the exact opposite. I was still in an apartment that felt more like a home to me than any house ever did. Above all, despite multiple suicide attempts and seven years of severe, persistent depression, I made it to 2019. It may not have started out particularly pretty, but I made it. And I’m going to keep fighting to keep making it to the next year, and the next, and the next, even when every fiber of my being does not want to. And when I can’t do that for myself, I know that I have people in my life who will show up and be there for me — and there is no greater gift than that.

Unsplash photo via Nine Kopfer

Originally published: January 2, 2019
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