I Deleted My Suicide Letter And It's The Strongest Thing I've Ever Done

I Deleted My Suicide Letter And It's The Strongest Thing I've Ever Done

Nothing has ever felt as good as proving to myself that I am worthy to be here.

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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.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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