My Suicide Story

My Suicide Story

You will be found
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When I realized that this month was a month that made awareness to something so near and dear to my heart, I almost cried. My life has been significantly altered by suicide and its effects. Unfortunately, I have witnessed both suffering because of it, and felt it on a personal level. I have written a lot about suicide on Odyssey, but this is my outlet, and I choose to use it to pour my heart out.

I will never forget the first time that the thought of "I want to kill myself" popped into my head. I was 13, going through the unimaginable, and thought that my life was not worth saving. I thought that if someone could hurt me that much, that I needed to hurt myself. Luckily, I saw the effect of what suicide did before that happened. My freshman year of high school, a classmate committed suicide. I was in the midst of planning and getting ready to give my stuff away. But because I saw that, I felt compelled to stay, if not for me, for my friends.

So, high school came and went. Things got better. I only had a few times when I was actively thinking about killing myself. However, what stopped me was the "(insert life changing event) is about to happen." Or, "you have friends now! You have got this!" What people fail to realize is that when I am surrounded by people that I know love me, I am much happier.

Graduating from high school was euphoric. I felt like I was on top of the world, the stars, and more. I felt like nothing could stop me. Then, college came. What a lot of people fail to say about college is that even though it appears okay on the surface, a lot of the time, it's not. That was the exact case with me. I had a hard time adjusting. College is difficult to adjust to, but what was brewing was a "I need mental help" stew. I figured, at the beginning, that it was a phase that I would outgrow. However, a situation at home warranted my own emotional trauma. I thought, again, that I was not worth it.

This time, I had a plan. But you know what saved me? It's funny, but Gilmore Girls actually has an impact of why I am here. It was a personal connection with witty characters. It was something to look forward to each night and I knew that I could go to bed with a smile on my face. I had yet to get professional help, but just a few years later, I would have no choice.

They aren't kidding when they say that a lot can happen in a summer, and it did. I grew, and for the first time this past summer, I realized I was not alone. Plenty of people in college rely on others for help, and I am one of them now. Without that help, I would not be here today.

I write this to tell you that you are stronger than you realize. Just because you need a boost every now and that does not constitute weakness. You are stronger than they say, and you will surpass any expectations that you set for yourself. I am the living, breathing example of just that.

Sometimes, I think that I am not capable, I just have to remind myself that I am. It can be hard on some days, but I do it. How? I do my makeup. I write. I realize that everyone is going to have bad days, but they make it through them, so I can, too.

In Dear Evan Hansen, there is a line that says, "you will be found." It is so true. If not now, eventually. Don't lose your place on the map. You are on the right track

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please contact 1-800-273-8255.

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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Depression Does Not Discriminate

A 20-something at a top university in her state, active in her sorority and other on-campus activities, excelling in her classes, with a stable boyfriend and a life-plan, from the outside you would never expect that girl to struggle daily with depression. You would never expect me to be that girl; but you never expected Kate Spade to commit suicide, either.

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Recently Kate Spade, a very successful American designer, committed suicide in her New York apartment. I see people saying "I don't understand. She's rich and famous. She had it all." Similarly, in 2011 a boy from a neighboring high school committed suicide. People made comments about how many friends he had, how smart he was, how many things he had going for him, his lack of a "troubled past".

Next, I think of my cousin who attempted to take her life in middle school. We went to the same school but most didn't know we were related. I heard from teachers "What could an 8th grader possibly be depressed about?" I heard from the school principal that she had no reason to be depressed because she had good grades, was in Pre-AP courses, and had a friend group. I heard from other students that she, my cousin, was just looking for attention or that her boyfriend must've dumped her, but even then I knew my cousin was a lesbian and that there was no boy problem.

Depression was the problem.

Then, I think of my late aunt. From the inside, I knew some of the things going on in her life and her troubles, but from the outside, I knew people made comments about her 3 beautiful daughters, her "great marriage" and how she "had nothing to be depressed about."

And finally, I think of myself. From the outside looking in, I'm a successful 20-something with my life together headed down a straight and narrow path to early graduation from a great college and then onto law school. I have a great boyfriend, a mostly supportive family, and a great circle of close friends, all of whom love and support me endlessly. What could I possibly be depressed about?



But what people can't and will never see is that I, like so many people worldwide, suffer from a major depressive disorder. I fight demons on the daily that others can't and will never see. I struggle to get out of bed some mornings. I struggle to complete normal daily tasks. I struggle with my own depression, even 5 years after my diagnosis. I struggle. My cousin struggles. My aunt struggled.

Because of my depression and my inability to cope, I almost failed out of my university. But I bet you wouldn't guess that looking at me now.

Depression isn't selective in who it chooses to prey on. Depression doesn't care where you're from, how old you are, what your ethnicity is, what kind of family you come from, how much money your parents make, what your college major is, what extra-curricular activities you're involved in, none of it. Depression doesn't care. Unfortunately, depression is for everyone.

As people, it's time we destigmatize depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and so many other mental health issues.
It's time to start checking in with your friends and family.
It's time to start listening to people's experiences.
It's time to stop invalidating people when they open up and talk about their depression.

It's time to stop bringing up the apparent successes in peoples lives when they mention their internal problems.

It's time to stop saying that depression is all in someone's head.

It's time to stop saying that depression isn't real.

Because in the case of Kate Spade, Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Lee Thompson Young, Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway and so many others, success and money mean absolutely nothing when depression and other mental illnesses are breathing down your neck.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.instagram.com/dontcallmepretty_/?hl=tl

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