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The Choice I Made After My Suicide Attempt

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This is my story. But it’s not over yet.

Seven years. That’s how long I’ve lived with multiple chronic illnesses, along with depression, anxiety, OCD and ADHD.

Infusions every month. My veins that once were great now don’t look like they belong to a 16-year-old girl anymore.

Holidays in the hospital. More than once. You forget what day it is while you’re in there. You suddenly realize it must be Valentine’s Day, but the only way you know is because of the sweater the clinician who just took your vials was wearing.

Traveling all over the country to see yet another doctor. Just to find that they, too, have the same answer as all the others: “I don’t know.”

A year of intense suicidal thoughts. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. Everything was getting worse, and no one understood the fiery pain I felt inside. I overdosed. In the hospital for five weeks. Intensive therapy — inpatient and outpatient. Lots of tears. Lots of thinking. Lots of pain. Lots of hurting.

But this is my story. It’s not over yet.

You get to that point and you have to make a choice. You didn’t manage to die, so now the question is clear: Are you going to try life again?

My choice was yes.

My choice was to pick up all the broken pieces that were once my heart. One at a time, I held each piece. Each one was bruised and broken, and it looked like they were beyond repair. But people started stepping in — one at a time — and they each picked up a few pieces. They brushed off a little bit of dirt and handed the pieces back to me. I smiled as I put them back together. Maybe people were willing and able to help after all. Nurses, social workers, friends, family, therapists, clinicians — everyone picked up a couple of pieces. Some picked up more than others. There are lots of pieces. Millions. Scattered everywhere. Most of them I have to pick up myself. But at least, this time, I have help, and I know how.

It’s like trying to climb up a downward escalator. Sometimes you have to sit down and catch your breath. You might not ever quite make it to the top, but at least you can stay off the bottom. You realize the small things are truly huge victories. A genuine smile, a true laugh, a spark of hope. Some of the most incredible things in this world are taken for granted so very often.

I’m by no means past this. The escalator likes to match my speed sometimes. Some days I just feel stuck. But that’s why there’s help. Find someone who can help slow the escalator down a bit. It might never stop. But it doesn’t have to be so fast.

If my story sounds anything like yours, I know it’s hard. I know it hurts. I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain. But please, make the same choice. Because this is your story. It doesn’t have to be over yet. Find help. It’s out there. I promise. The broken pieces won’t ever look the same. But just maybe, they’ll end up even more beautiful.

This is my story. But it’s not over yet.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: April 19, 2016
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