365 days ago, I was sitting on the counter in my bathroom while the shower was running, sobbing and repeating to myself “no, this is crazy, I don’t wait to die, I don’t want to kill myself” The problem that I was facing wasn’t as simple as it would seem to an outsider. I sat on the bathroom counter for 45 minutes scared that if I got off my bathroom counter I would have given into the voices in my head, and I was just one step closer to killing myself in the shower. Getting off that counter meant that I was caving, and I have to follow through with the plan my brain has to clearly laid out in front of me.
The only thing that got me off the counter was the knock on the bathroom door that my roommate did, followed by the everyday question, “Hey, can I take a quick pee while you’re showering? I can’t hold it and someone’s using the other washroom”
I turned off the shower and wrapped my shaking body in a towel. I was embarrassed, and frankly quite angry at myself for even considering making a mess for someone else to clean up. After all, I was the only one who consistently cleaned up the house, so they would probably never get around to bleaching the blood out of the old bathtub.
365 days ago I was being held by my best friend while I laid on the kitchen floor, absolutely terrified of killing myself, screaming into her chest that I didn’t want to die. That I wanted to live, and I wanted to grow old and have 20 grandchildren.
It wasn’t a forced phone call to the suicide hotline that saved my life, it was a reply from my mother when I called at 10:30 at night asking if she could drive me over a cigarette because I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. It was my mother and my best friend sitting on the floor of my 3 bedroom house, listening to me explain that I wanted to live, and I didn’t want to die, but I couldn’t keep quiet, the voices in my head that were telling me it’d be “easier if I just killed myself in the shower.”
365 days ago I decided that it was best for me to seek actual professional help, for me to sit down with someone who went to school to help people like me, deal with being alive. I went to the emergency psychiatric ward that evening and slept there for 2 more nights. I spent every day with my mother doing crosswords from the gift shop and going for a smoke every two hours but never spending more than 20 minutes out of the ward.
365 days ago I took the scariest steps a person like me can take in life, and I told someone “I think I’m sick, and I’d really like it if you could help me manage my illness.”
A year ago today, I took my own life, into my own hands. Every day, I find one more reason to be in love with myself and one more reason to be grateful to be alive.
Today I get to share my own story and hopefully help someone else take that first step into the terrifying world of falling in love with yourself for the first time, and that’s why I am grateful to be alive today.