Real Talk: I Was Suicidal

Real Talk: I Was Suicidal

My story, in color.
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The urge to write this article has been there for quite some time now. I wanted to write this, I just could not shake the feeling of "what will they say? How will people look at me?" But then I realized that this is my story, and screw whatever others were going to say. I am not going to get into the details of why I was suicidal, or what led to my depressive demise, but I want to tell this story to somehow help people who may be going through the same or similar things.

The first time I faced extreme depression was during my eighth grade year of junior high. Junior high was rough for everyone, but add that to constant bullying, taunts, and an event that literally changed my life, and it was rough. From Halloween until about April, I thought of harming myself every night. While I never physically harmed myself, it was something that always plagued my thoughts, like a to do list that had to get done. The weight of these thoughts started to show, too. My friends and family were basically nonexistent, not because they chose to be, but because I pushed them away from me. I masked my thoughts with overwhelming exuberance and spirit, somehow showing the world the positive me.

These thoughts led into my freshman year of high school. There, I felt like I gave off the "too positive" vibe, so I tried to mask my depression and suicidal thoughts with spirit. My school saw me as someone totally different than I saw myself. Even when people made fun of me, I still masked my dark side with a happy go lucky spirit. My life changed in the halls of Slidell High, and eventually it did get better. I had a lovely high school experience, and the troubles I faced then kept me going when life got too much to handle.

Leaving Slidell High, however, brought me back to my dark place. It was hard to leave a place that I loved so much for the unknown. Freshman year, I had a letter written to me that was so nasty, I wrote a suicide letter. I had a plan to execute, and once it was set, I thought that had to do it. I thought that I was nothing more than a debt to people’s existence. The only thing that I really had was myself, and myself only, to mend my aching heart. When I actually read my suicide letter, however, things changed. I realized that my existence was something that was worth fighting for. My life was not what other people had made it seem like it was. My life was valuable, and it took seeing it on paper and reading it out loud made me realize how much the world needed me.

I wanted to share my story to let those who may be afraid to get the help they need to do it. I am here today because of selfless individuals on the suicide and crisis hotlines. Some people, however, are not as lucky. Some venture to a place so dark that they cannot pull themselves away from it. People die every day from suicide, and while I consider myself a lucky person for making it out on the other side, there are countless people who don’t. If people who were in my similar situation ever feel like they need help, reach out to people who maybe aren’t in your family. For me, that was the crisis hotline and my friends.

I know how shocking it must be for those people, especially those close to me, to read my admission of suicidal thoughts. I know that many of you are wondering how or why I didn’t come to you. Some of you may even be wondering how I managed to mask it for all of those years. For me, it was not wanting to be seen as a charity or basket case. I wanted to appear strong and positive, even though on the inside I had the weight of the world on me. When I finally found what my escape was, however, it both changed and saved my life.

When I got really down and to the point where I was wishing to be taken from the earth, I turned to reading and writing. Escaping to the far off lands of Revolutionary France in Les Miserables or even to civil rights era Jackson in The Help allowed me to cope with my own troubles. Writing my own stories helped me even more. Writing out my troubles helped even more. Creating strong characters to put my troubles into made me feel like I had control of my own life. I always say that writing saved me, but I realize now that it truly did change my life.

People always ask me, “how did you keep going when times got rough?” The answer to that question is that I thought about my family and friends, and I thought about how they would deal with my death. I thought about the tears that people would shed. I thought about my RA and residence life having to come in and see my dead body. Knowing that my life was something to someone out there helped me to keep going.

I can’t control my depression, and I can’t control what path it leads me on. What I can do, however, is share my story to hopefully inspire others. I have been through pain that can be put into words. Hopefully, I can utilize my experiences with my own suicidal thoughts and use them to help others who are in the same or similar boats. I know how hard life can sometimes be, but the people that make my world colorful made me into the woman that I am today.

There are a few things I want people to know about my situation, but one of them is to know that I am okay. I made it out, and while my mental illness is something that I still continue to struggle with, I will let the people close to me know when I need help. I may not have asked before, but I know where to turn when the road gets rough.

If you know someone that needs help, or find that you need help, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Cover Image Credit: HuffPost

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An Open Letter From The Plus-Size Girl

It's OK not to be perfect. Life is more fun that way.

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To whoever is reading this,

My entire life has been a juggling match between my weight and the world. Since I was a young girl every single doctor my family took me to, told me I needed to lose weight. The searing pain of those words still stabs me in the side to this day. I have walked past stores like Hollister and American Eagle since I was 13.

Being plus-size means watching girls the same age as you or older walk into a store that sells the cutest, in style clothing and you having to walk into a store that sells clothes that are very out of style for a young girl. Being plus-size means being picked last in gym class, even if you love sports.

Being plus-size means feeling like you have to suck it in in pictures so you don't look as big next to your friends. Being plus-size means constantly thinking people are staring at you, even if they aren't.

The number on the scale haunts me. Every single time I think about the number I cringe.

Can I just say how going shopping is an absolute nightmare? If you haven't noticed, in almost every store (that even has plus sizes to begin with) plus-size clothing is closed off and secluded from the rest of the store. For example, Forever 21, There are walls around every side of the plus "department."

Macy's plus department is in the basement, all the way in the back corner. We get it that we are not what society wants us to look like but throwing us in a corner isn't going to change the statistics in America today. That being that 67% of American women are plus-size.

My life is a double-digit number being carved into my jiggly arms and thunder thighs. It is me constantly wanting to dress cute but turning to running shorts and a gigantic sweatshirt instead so that people don't judge me on my size.

It is time that the American society stops making plus size look like a curse. It will never be a curse. If every person was the same size, what would be the point of uniqueness? I will never despise who I am because while I was growing up multiple people told me that I needed to be a size 6 in order for a guy to fall in love with me. I will never hate myself for getting dressed up and being confident.

To all the girls reading this who may be plus-size,

It's OK! You're beautiful and lovable. If you want to buy that crop top, buy it. Life is too short to hide behind a baggy T-shirt. We are just as gorgeous as the girls that we envy. Be the one to change the opinion of the world. Fat rolls don't need to be embarrassing. Your stretch marks are beautiful. Don't ever let the world tell you not to eat that cheeseburger either.

In the end, this earthly life is temporary. We are on this earth for a blink of an eye. Don't let anything stand in your way. Wear the bikini, the crop top, and the short shorts. Post the sassy selfie you've had on your phone for 6 months and you won't post because you have a double chin or your head looks "too big." Who cares. BE YOU and love yourself while you're at it.

I'll start.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Hockmeyer

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Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

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*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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