I Need You To Know You Survived For A Reason

Trigger warning: this article contains sensitive content involving suicide.
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Milada Vigerova / Unsplash

Summer of 2017 was the worst summer of my life. I came off of my anti-depressants that have been treating my depression since I was 18 years old and I spiraled into a depressive episode that I was sure would kill me.

FYI: Don’t listen to any person or even a doctor who says anti-depressants don’t cause withdrawal symptoms, because they do.

Coming off too quickly or drastically ( literally cold-turkey) like what happened to me, can cause crazy side-effects.

I won’t get into the details, but it is a given that any drug put into your body that you have become accustomed to has to be monitored.

In addition to what I experienced, I experienced suicidal thoughts because the depression came back and with a vengeance.

Medication was helping me to function and to suppress the depression, something my young self was too naive to realize at the time. I wasn’t taking my medication as prescribed and I was unfortunately setting myself up for a future relapse.

Mind you, I was well for a good four years before this occurred and I never thought I would get sick again, but I did and when I tell you suicidal thoughts had me, they had me.

I was suicidal all the time and thoughts of ways to take my life were always passing through my head. I just could not take the pain of depression anymore and I wanted it to end.

Essentially, I wanted my life to end

This all happened right before my fourth year of university and I struggled all through that summer in therapy and with depressive thoughts while I was notified of the engagements of friends, graduations and all the other happenings that the world of social media has to offer.

I sat back and watched as I suffered and thought to myself: God doesn’t care about me, nor does he have a plan for me. He couldn’t. Not with all I have been through. I felt forgotten about and I was angry because the one thing I needed to get through life with, my brain, wasn’t working the way it was supposed to and I was sad, angry, and bitter. 

For anyone who has ever suffered with depression or suicidal thoughts knows the toll it takes on your life. It is a burden that just makes its way down right onto your territory and destroys everything in it’s sight. Your visions and dreams for life, your esteem, everything.

This was fairly recent, so I am still coping and recovering and trying to get my life back on track, but the remnants of the storm still linger and sometimes I ask God, why did you let me survive? 

Life is hard already and in addition to the stigma and the hopelessness that comes along with depression , it can all be so overwhelming and with the extent of my illness, I didn’t expect to live and I thought that dying would relieve me of the pain and hurt I have experienced.

I look at my journey sometimes and I get so confused. I am like God, do you care about me at all? Do you have a plan for me? What is it that you want from me because this pain can’t be my portion. 

But nonetheless, I survived and I’m here.

I remember hearing about the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington in the summer in the midst of my illness and I thought I was next.

I had my funeral planned out in my head. What people’s faces would look like when they saw me in my coffin, how my family would react.

I was mourning my death already because in my head, I was not meant to survive.

Depression is extremely scary and can really take a toll to the point where you ask yourself if you will make it.

Among teens, Black teens in particular, the suicide rates are soaring. According to statistics, there has been an increase spanning from 2006 to 2016.

And with the issues going on in schools these days, especially in the states with mass shootings, it’s safe to say that mental health should be considered a top priority and conversation starter in schools.

The battle to get through depression is extremely tough and can be ruthless. I hate taking medication and I hate the impact depression has had on my life in the first place but I have to live my life knowing that even when tragedy strikes, we are still here for a reason.

You may be struggling with suicidal thoughts and have been for a while and are beginning to lose hope but you have to understand that what you have been through is not bigger than your purpose. What came, may have come to destroy you, but here you are.

You may have not have had the most pleasant life experiences and fight every day to get through, but keep fighting because if what came to kill you was meant to kill it would have, but it didn’t.

Where there is life, there is hope. No matter how it looks. Please hold on to that. TC mark

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