Get Help Before It’s Too Late
*Warning: This may be triggering*
When I was seventeen years old, I tried to commit suicide. It started as an idea. A simple belief. A thought racing through my mind, “ the world would be better without you.” As someone who struggles with clinical depression and bipolar disorder, this was and still is a regular thought.
I would write suicide notes daily to drown out the noise in my mind. It always started the same – I love you all, but I’m growing tired. This phrase will echo in my mind for eternity. Usually, the next line would explain my reasons in an attempt to justify my actions and thoughts. Starting with the fact that halfway through my high school career I moved to an unfamiliar area. I was never a social butterfly so making friends was challenging. Coupled with the fact I didn't take proper care of myself made it difficult to form meaningful relationships. I would then go on to explain the weight of never feeling good enough. I was never satisfied with positive comments from others. I felt as though those were dishonest. It would spiral out of control until I had almost ten pages. I would read it every night just to muster the strength to finally end it all.
In the middle of April, on a beautiful spring day. I decided it was a perfect time. I bought some pills from some stranger on my school bus. Wrote one final, absolutely perfect note. Then took them. I sat outside and waited. Time seemed to slow and peace was in the air. The birds whistled and I rejoiced.
The weirdest part of all of this is what happened to my mind. My brain went into overdrive. I was taking in the absolute beauty of the world. I was seeing colors and life I had never seen before. I felt the breath in my lungs for the first time. I felt the plush carpeting of the green grass. I felt the embrace of the spring air. Hugging me gently. Then my eyes focused on the old rose bush by the front door. I had walked by this every day for the last few years but I had never noticed it. I mean, I knew it was there. I just never noticed it. This was the first time I truly saw the rose bush. For everything it was. The brilliant reddish-pink hues. The beautiful buds open to the sunlight. The bees were pollinating each bulb. The insects crawling up the vines and thorns. The aroma went in my nose and hit the back of my throat. This mini-ecosystem was the most beautiful, jaw-dropping piece of life I’ve ever seen. It changed me. I finally understood I made a mistake. I called my dad and cried. I didn’t want to die. My life changed.
I spent over a week in the hospital. At night I would cry, during the day I would sleep. I felt shame. I felt peace. I felt every emotion you could describe. Starting with anger and ending with hope. That hope was a driving force in my inevitable change. Over time I started to open up. I explained why I felt the way I did. I was finally being acknowledged. In the years of therapy prior, I never made this much progress. It was the first time I felt valuable in a long time. I left with fond memories that I cherish today.
After the hospital, I started taking pride in my life. I watched what I ate. I started writing poems and music. I worked out because I wanted to. I was a new person.
A brand new me
My experience was unique in a lot of ways. I was blessed with an amazing support system that valued me. My mental illness was blocking me from seeing that prior. I attribute a lot of my growth to getting help. It gave me reasons to never give up. It gave me the ability to find motivation in myself. It gave me my life back.
Don’t be me
Acknowledge when you need help. Seek it out. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t be me.
I wanted to write this out to encourage anyone struggling with mental illness to get help. Go to someone you trust and tell them how you feel. Don’t hold back. You deserve love and care. It can feel like you don’t have anyone in your corner, I’ve felt that before. There are a lot of great people there. Willing to help you at the drop of a hat. Just open up to them.
Please, if you are ever struggling with suicidal thoughts reach out to the suicide prevention hotline.