My innocence was taken from me when I was fifteen. My first love abused me and broke my heart. He tore me to pieces. I expected my next boyfriend, my best friend, to save me, but he didn’t believe the stories. I had been sexually, physically, and emotionally tattered, and the one person I really trusted turned away.
I sunk into a deep depression, losing my worth, losing my sanity. I didn’t see value in myself. I thought of myself as no one, nothing. I thought I was insignificant. I spent days in bed sleeping or keeping my nose in a book. I lived through the novels I read. I pushed my family away, yelling at them and blaming them for what was happening to me. I once kicked a hole in the wall and screamed bloody murder. This was my downfall. I crumbled and fell apart.
I lost who I was. I was no longer the outgoing, sweet, friendly and funny girl I had once been. The girl I used to be withered and sunk to the bottom of the pit. It felt like she was gone. I didn’t see her. All I saw were tears, loneliness, sadness, darkness, and death.
When I was sixteen, I planned my suicide attempt. I told myself I would just be gone and the pain would leave me. I thought no one would miss me anyway. I didn’t feel like there was anything to live for. I saw no value in whom I was as a person and believed the world would have been a better place without me. What did I have to offer the world?
I waited until the middle of the night to go down to the kitchen to grab a knife. I snuck up the stairs, locked my bedroom and bathroom doors, and started filling my bathtub. As the minutes passed, I thought to myself, This is it, this is what you’ve been waiting for. All of this will be over. You can finally let this life go. I took a deep breath in and dipped my feet into the water. I sunk in with the knife in my right hand. I grazed the blade with my fingertips, wondering what it would feel like. I wondered if it would hurt, but then I realized I didn’t care. After being bullied, abused, and manically depressed, I wanted relief. I wanted to make the world a better place. I thought I was a waste of oxygen, food, and shelter. If I didn’t want to live, why was I given the chance to live while others weren’t so lucky? I didn’t want my life and so many people would have killed for it. I didn’t appreciate what I had and I thought to myself, I deserve to die.
I pressed the knife taut to my left wrist and took a deep breath. My heart raced and pumped through my chest. But I sat still. I stared at the knife’s glare for a minute or two. Then in my disgust, I threw it across the tile floor. I hugged my knees and bowed my head as I cried like I never had before. I sat in the bathtub for a while, just crying, breathing, realizing what I had done.
After my suicide attempt, I prayed and prayed so hard to be saved. I wanted to be redeemed. I wanted to look death in the eyes and say, “I’m not worthless.” Although the days to come were rough, having been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, depression, and an anxiety disorder, I felt relieved that my feelings weren’t out of the blue and all in my head. For the past four years, I’ve been medicated on a high dose of Prozac, despite the dangers of its side effects.
I tried to get off of my medications a few different times. I was ashamed of feeling like the drug was my crutch. I thought if I could be off my medication, I would feel normal like everyone else. But that didn’t happen. And slowly I realized that I wasn’t ever going to be “normal.” I always felt different and now I knew why.
Some days I feel out of control. Some days I sit and cry for a long time. Some days I feel great and I’m happier than ever. There are many times when I don’t know if I’ll get through the day without hurting myself.
But I know that I have to fight. It’s not all about me anymore. I know now that my family would miss me. They would fall to pieces. My friends would feel a gaping hole from my passing. My boyfriend would have the space next to him in his bed never filled by me again. I wouldn’t exist anymore, only to be remembered as “that girl who killed herself.”
No, I have to fight because I don’t want anyone to feel as alone as I felt. I don’t want anyone to feel so alienated by a mental disorder like I was. The stigma attached to mental illness needs to be annihilated. It’s time for it to end. I’m here because I can see the real beauty in life through my friends and family. Because of my journey, my biggest goal in life is to inspire other people to stay strong. Being strong doesn’t have to mean never having bad days. Those days happen all the time.
Real strength is fighting back by living and breathing. Sharing stories. Inspiring people. And because of my inner strength and those that I love, I’m still fighting today. Whether you’re a suicide survivor, a cancer survivor, or a survivor of the struggles of everyday life, you can always find true hope and fight.