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When You’re Not Glad to Be Alive After a Suicide Attempt

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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.

During my life, I’ve heard many stories from survivors of suicide attempts. These stories depict survivors who are overwhelmingly grateful to be alive. They acknowledge that they have a lot of hard work ahead of them, but that’s OK because they survived. That’s the main thing: survival. They survived and now they see everything that lays ahead of them. They have a future worth living for, one they weren’t able to see until now. They have people who love them and support them. They have received the help, love and support they needed and now they are ready to work on themselves and create a future for themselves.

I love reading these stories. I’m so happy they survived. I’m so glad they now see a future. I feel so relieved for them. They have received help and support. They are healing and they are growing. They are happy and they are grateful.

As a suicide attempt survivor, I expected to feel all of these things. I have survived several suicide attempts. After these attempts, I grew. I moved forward in life. I achieved things that I thought were so far beyond me. Most importantly, I received everything I ever wanted from life when I had my daughter. Being a mother was the only thing that ever mattered to me. I’m so grateful that I had my daughter. I love being a mum. I love my daughter. I’m also lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mum.

However, I’m not glad that I’m alive. I’m not glad that I survived. In fact, some days I’m so frustrated with myself. Why didn’t I complete suicide? Why didn’t I make sure no one would find me? Why didn’t I make sure I wasn’t interrupted? How could I be so “silly?” Why didn’t I just do it? I scold myself frequently. I’m disappointed in myself. I regret the fact that I survived.

Where is my happiness? Where is my gratefulness? My new zest for life? My plans for my amazing future? I thought all survivors got to feel this joy. Maybe not straight away. Maybe not for years. It’s been nearly 20 years now and I don’t feel any closer to that joy and relief of survival. No one warned me that I may feel this way. It never even occurred to me that I would feel this way. I’ve never heard of anyone regretting their survival. Well, I do. Big time.

I didn’t expect miracles. I didn’t expect to be cured. Living a life with mental illness was something I had accepted as a teenager. I guess I just thought that at some point, the relief would hit me. I live with suicidal ideation and have frequent thoughts of suicide as well as the constant feelings of regret. I’m not actively suicidal. I couldn’t do it now that I’m a mum. I could never do that to my child. I love her too much.

Can you relate? Let Amelia know in the comments below.

Photo by Konzel Creative on Unsplash

Originally published: June 17, 2020
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