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The Things I Wouldn't Have Believed a Year Ago When I Tried to Take My Own Life

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So much can change in a year. That sounds cliché, but it’s true, right? Think back to where you were last year. Maybe that’s a good memory, maybe it’s bad. But I can bet it’s still a long way off from where you are right now.

A year ago today, I made an attempt to end my life. In my eyes, the pain I was feeling eclipsed the thought of any pain I might be about to put my family through. In my eyes, they were better off without me. In my eyes, I was a burden, a failure, a nobody.

I guess the past year just proves to me that sometimes our eyes don’t work the way they should.

If you told me a year ago today that I would have friends, I would have laughed at you.

Friends? Me? No, friends were for other people, I would never have friends! Wrong. Today, I am about to go and spend time with people who care about me. They value me for who I am. They don’t amplify my mistakes and weaknesses; they support me through them. They laugh with me, not at me. They don’t pity me. They see me as strong for what I’ve overcome.

If you told me a year ago today that I would be in college taking my A-levels, I would have laughed at you.

A-levels? Me? No, I would never finish high school. I wouldn’t pass my GCSEs or be well enough to move to a new college. Wrong. Today I am about to go to sixth form to study and socialize and mix with other people. I can concentrate on my work. I find the work interesting. I like learning. No longer is my mind closed to anything but the whirlwind of pain I am feeling. Now, my mind is clearer, and I can open it to new people and new experiences.

If you told me a year ago today that I would be beginning to prepare my university application, I would have laughed at you.

University? Me? No, I would never be “well” enough to live on my own in a new city. I would never cope with the responsibility of managing my own studies, budget, food.

Wrong. I will go to university.

Because I have dreams, I have passions and hopes and desires. I have a spark inside me that has been lit after years of being dampened by a blanket of despair. That spark will burn and light me up inside. I will fly and achieve my dreams, I know I will.

Because I have said yes. I have said yes to living, yes to laughing, yes to loving. I have made that choice to not let my past drag me down, to blossom in spite of it.

So make that choice. Say yes, to hopes and dreams and desires. Say yes to family and friends and strangers. Say yes to life.

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

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

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Thinkstock photo by DjelicS

Originally published: February 12, 2017
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