The death of my grandfather ultimately changed my life for the worst.
I was 12 years old. Naturally, I was different from many girls my age. I expressed myself in ways that others in my middle school didn't, and I really didn't abide by the fashion that others did.
I was depressed at this time, but not enough to set me off the edge. I did feel isolated, I felt kind of numb, but I overall was pretty ok.
August 15, 2012, my grandfather paid my mother and my stepfather a visit. We hadn't seen him in a really long time, probably not since Christmas. He was always away from us because of his wife, so him visiting and coming to see us was spectacular.
He sat down at the dinner table with his old cigar smell, his cowboy hat, and boots, and explained to my mom that his wife had left him.
He didn't seem that distraught. He didn't show any warning signs like the internet says. There was no speaking of death, no speaking of where his belongings would go, he had a smile on his face as he smoked and drank his beer.
The night after, we received a phone call saying that he had committed suicide.
I didn't know how to feel, at least at the moment. Whenever people spoke about suicide and depression, there were obvious signs, I imagined. My family and I didn't even get a warning.
This spiraled me into the darkest time in my life.
I was upset. Enraged. I felt so upset. I loved my grandfather, memories of us would repeat in my head. My mother never slept. My stepmother cried and screamed. My grandmother was heartbroken.
I went to the viewing, but I couldn't bear to go to the funeral.
I began to self-harm in order to cope with my anger, my frustration with the world. It made me feel alive in a sense, it took away the numbness I experienced for at least a few minutes due to the initial shock of pain.
It helped. For a little. Then it didn't help at all.
I wasn't really that good at hiding them, and Google didn't exactly help in giving tips. Two years later, after his death, my family saw cuts on my arm.
They took me out of public school and ultimately sent me to therapy.
At first, I didn't know how to speak to someone about my problems. I didn't want to bring up the bad in my life, I just wanted to pretend everything was going according to plan. My grandfather had died. I experienced my brother being burned in a grease fire. I wanted to pretend these things had strengthened me instead of breaking me.
I learned then that I suffered from depression and anxiety, which is hereditary on both sides of my family.
After therapy, I went through a phase where I was ok. I still had triggers where I wanted to cut, but I knew how to stop them. I found out how to cope with my terrible thoughts. I was ok, overall.
At school, I had been going through some things. My grades were slipping, I didn't really have any friends and was bullied. I was the weird kid in everything, and I wanted so bad to fit in and do something right.
I felt lost in my life. I didn't have any motivation. I didn't have any drive to do anything. I rarely slept. I tried to put up a mask, and I tried to interact with my family and what I had left as friends in order to look like I was okay.
May of 2016, near the end of my sophomore year, I decided I was going to try to end it all. I didn't want to hurt anyone like my grandfather did, but I felt as if I didn't have a way out. I didn't think that anyone cared. I thought everyone would be happier without me here.
I took a lot of pills. A mix of muscle relaxers, a mix of pain pills. I don't really remember what happened that day. I went to school in the midst of trying to overdose.
I felt terrible at lunch time, I remember because I called my stepmom telling her I was feeling terrible. I don't really remember much afterward besides my friend carrying me and the nurse checking my vitals. I went home, fell asleep, and puked. Everywhere.
My stepmom and dad were furious. They were ultimately hurt that I had taken the pills because they didn't want to lose me.
They changed my point of view on life. They showed me that people actually did want me here. I realized I had a purpose in life.
At the time of writing this article, I am 18 years old. I am 22 days away from graduating high school. It's very odd knowing that a few years ago, I thought that I would be dead before this moment. That I would have gone and committed suicide.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone. I overall didn't want to talk to someone because I was terrified of judgment, however, I wish I would have instead of trying to end it all.
Talk to your parents, a trusted friend, a teacher, a school counselor, or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-799-4889 if you are hard of hearing or deaf. Getting help now can stop you from ending your life permanently.
Signs of suicide can be subtle. According to the Suicide Prevention Hotline, family history of suicide, loss of relationships, lack of support, and isolation can all be factors to why someone would like to commit suicide.
Get help. If your friend or family member is showing warning signs, help them. Suicide can be prevented.