When I was a freshman in college, I went through an extremely difficult and dark time in my life.
I was in a new place with new people. I missed my family and my home. My new group of friends didn't treat me well at all and often ignored me. I got caught up in social media drama that ended up cutting me off from every single friend I had made during my high school years. I felt so alone, upset, afraid and worthless.
One night, I shut off my phone, sat in the dark and typed out a suicide letter. I wrote this three-page letter addressing everybody in my life and basically apologizing for being alive. I felt like a waste of space, the butt of every joke, the lowest of the low. "Nobody respects me anymore, why should I respect myself?" I thought.
That letter had been sitting in a folder on my laptop for two years. I went through a lot of ups and downs. I would read the letter every so often and cry over it. I don't think anybody ever knew I even wrote it. But over those two years, a lot happened to me.
I made a solid group of friends and forgot about the terrible ones who bullied me into tears online. I got a good paying job at a local hospital. I walked out of every semester with a good GPA and my name on the Dean's List. I got hired at Odyssey and worked my way up to EIC. I finally went to a psychiatrist and started taking medicine for my depression and anxiety. I developed a better relationship with my family, especially my sister.
I taught myself confidence. I taught myself strength. But most of all, I taught myself that my life is the most irreplaceable and worthy thing I own.
A few weeks ago, I deleted my suicide letter.
For the first time in what seems like forever, not one part of me wants to stop living. To be honest, I don't think I ever really did. I just wanted to stop being in pain. I wanted good friends, no money worries, good grades and just to be a happy person.
As I'm sitting here writing this, I'm in the process of leasing a brand new car all by myself. I'm applying to summer internships at some of the biggest public relations firms in the country. I'm getting ready for a holiday trip to Chicago with my wonderful boyfriend. I'm wrapping gifts for my family.
My attitude did a 180 when I realized that my life can have so much more meaning if I live it than the statement I once wanted to make by ending it.
I wanted people to know I was in pain and make them regret treating me poorly. I wanted to stop crying myself to sleep and feeling sad, anxious and hopeless. But mostly, I just wanted to be the happy person I know I am inside. So I did.
Not everyone will always understand how I felt, nor would I want anybody to. Some people will read this and think, "Wow, she's weak, she wanted the easy way out." But when I look in the mirror every morning, only I know the strength it took to still be standing in front of it and I thank God every day for that. Wanting to end your suffering doesn't make you weak.
Wanting to end it yet still trudging on until you're happy is the strongest thing you could ever do.