For the past 12 years of my life, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. At times, I was actively suicidal – other times – I had suicidal ideations. I always had suicidal ideations – thoughts of “I could just jump off this ledge” would always pop into my head as I walked by a cliff into the ocean at my college. Or “just drive into a wall” as I would drive somewhere. Or “swallow that bottle of pills and it’ll be over soon” would constantly plague my mind. It was a comfort to think about my options, they were always there if I needed them. But, typically other thoughts like “What will you look like to those who find you? It’ll scar them forever” or “My dogs would miss me” would typically follow that would stop me from going through with my self-destructive thoughts.

Now, for the past month or so, I’ve noticed that the thoughts of jumping off a cliff still appear, but my follow-up thoughts are more like, “Well, that’s a stupid idea.” I don’t know when it started, I just recently noticed it. It’s such a strange thing to me – to be rebuffing my suicidal ideations more easily. I was struggling a lot in the fall – I was still prone to self-harm, but now, I am embarrassed by my self-harm scars. I mean, I have not forgotten the absolute misery, heartache, and the want to just die, but it doesn’t weigh on me like I’m constantly carrying around a 50lb backpack. The self-harm isn’t a punishment for being worthless, the physical pain trying to replace or remove some of the emotional pain. I have the scars on my arm to remind me how fucking hard it’s been to just keep myself alive. But, right now, it’s a new and comforting feeling that I don’t have those suicidal ideations clawing themselves into my back and whispering in my ear right now. However, I know with depression, there’s always a chance those gremlins will be back.