August 2, 2011. My mom’s birthday. A day that is supposed to be celebrated and full of happy, joyous moments. It started off like any other day that summer. But that summer was far from ordinary for me.
I was only 17, but I was grieving with what I thought was a world ending break-up with a girlfriend of a year and half (ahh, teenage love). It wasn’t this event alone that sent me into a downward spiral on the path of depression and self-destruction. It had brought out many self-confidence issues that I have struggled with my whole life, and it brought on a world of anxiety. Dragging myself out of bed was a constant everyday battle that won more times than not. When I did manage to get myself out of bed, I was lethargic and just going through the motions. The cold grasp of depression eventually pushed me to self-medicate with alcohol, which was the worse thing I could do.
But one morning, the battle with depression nearly won the battle for good at the cost of my life. This was the morning of my mom’s birthday.
I was supposed to go to soccer practice, but I didn’t. It was yet another morning that I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Then I get on twitter and see a few of my teammates (who were my best friends) discussing me in a negative manner on Twitter (gotta love social networking). I wished I could un-see and un-read those words, but I couldn’t. This was my breaking point. And I snapped.
I went into a rage. The kind you would expect of someone who was belligerent drunk. I slammed things. I punched walls. I kicked doors. I screamed. Tears were streaming down my face. They were supposed to be the ones who understood me, the ones who were there for me, not the ones bashing me. Then I calmed down. The kind of calm a storm is after it has destroyed a town.
I made my way back to my parent’s room and found my dad’s bottle of sleeping pills. I sat down at the kitchen table with a pen and paper and sloppily wrote out my apologies to my friends and family. I counted out the pills. One, two, three. Three lines with ten pills in each. I took the first line, then I took the second immediately after. I pondered whether or not I really wanted to take the third, I wasn’t completely sure if it was really worth it. But even after hesitation, I still took it. I sat back and waited for my body to fall victim to the pills while trying not to throw them up.
The pills hit me like a ton of bricks, and the next several hours after that were a blur. In my medicated state, I had texted one of my friends who became worried and had someone come and check on me, who eventually took me to the hospital. I don’t recall getting to the hospital, but I do recall waking up. When I woke up, my whole family was there; mom, dad, aunt and uncle, granny and papaw. And I had a realization hit me as hard as the pills did.
“Mom I’m so sorry, it’s your birthday. I could have ruined this day forever for everyone. I’m so sorry. So sorry…” I cried out while choking. I realized in that moment with my family that I was more than loved. I realized that I would have been missed. I realized that if I had succeeded, I would’ve tainted what is supposed to be a day full of joy and happiness, with the remembrance of my selfish act.
Suicide is never the answer. I know it’s cliché, but it does get better. Suicide doesn’t end the chances of things getting worse; it eliminates all chances of things ever getting better. It’s not worth it. I don’t have a strong base in any kind of faith, but I do believe that I didn’t die on that day for a reason. It wasn’t my time yet. And although I still have my days with doubt of why I’m here, I know I have a purpose. And so do you. Don’t ever forget that.