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How My Suicide Attempt Taught Me to Look at Life Through a New Lens

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 just spent 20 minutes writing out most of my story on my phone, but I’ve decided I’m not ready.

What I will say is this:

In August of 2016, I made a suicide attempt. I survived, miraculously, but almost no one has known until now.

I will tell you, in what I thought would be my last moments, I remembered my dad and the love I had in my life (and the pain I would be causing). And I remember feeling sadness over the loss of unfulfilled dreams. I suddenly felt the desire — to travel, meet, learn and try things — I had lost. And I was truly sad about it, and then suddenly afraid.

I will tell you I woke up in disbelief. Wide-eyed, weak and horrified, but ultimately, relieved. I hugged myself for a long time.

I will tell you although the months that followed brought some of the worst hardships I have been through, it never stopped giving me new, exciting, educational experiences; there was never too long of a time I went without awe or laughter. It never ceased to bring me love from at least one direction. The world never stopped being beautiful again. But I was lucky.

I love capturing these amazing moments, so I love my camera. Thus, when I bought it, I got a warranty. The warranty allows me to get it fixed, no matter what, and send my camera in once a year to have it taken apart and cleaned. And what a fucking metaphor that is. You see, it wasn’t the world, my life or me that was too messed up; I was just using a broken camera — and the warranty said it was always fixable. But it turned out, I was just looking through a dirty lens.

You see, our lenses have to be cleaned every so often, and if we neglect our camera for too long, by not prioritizing its well-being, our pictures come out wrong. But the camera cannot take itself apart and clean the dirt out alone, it needs the help of others. And if the camera is left on the shelf for too long, it needs a really thorough cleaning before it can be used.

So, take time to care for yourself and let in the love of others to help you do so. And if you accidentally get too dusty or an inside piece falls out of place, know someone is there for you — be it a friend, parent, doctor or a person on the other end of the hotline. There is always someone to help you clear your view. And the possibility for pictures is endless in this life.

Unsplash image by Benjamin Combs

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