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Grow: moving on from attempted suicide

Oct. 9, 2017
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CW: attempted suicide 

The day I tried to kill myself was the day I decided to get better.

I had overdosed on my sleeping medication, and I sat there for a minute before the shock really set in. I don’t remember a whole lot from that night, but what will always stay with me was that there was not a single sound that could have broken that silence. My world had stopped, literally and figuratively. My mind was completely clear, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt peace. I felt serenity. I felt carefree. In those moments, I realized that I wanted to feel those things again, but in another way.

Panic ensued, and I tried to get up and do something about it. But I was stuck. There was stillness in the house. It was around 11:40 PM and my parents were asleep. I didn’t want to wake them, so I called one of my best friends. She didn’t respond to what I told her until a few seconds after. For that brief period of time, I thought that she would turn me away, that she wouldn’t help me. 

I was wrong. She was completely calm while talking to me, and she told me that I needed to find the will to get up and tell my parents what I had done, that I needed to go to the hospital and get help, that I didn’t just need to survive, but that I needed to live. My reaction was simply a deep breath. 

The next split-second, I was struck dumb, astounded into silence by a clarity that I will never feel again. I was completely speechless. I knew, in this instant, that my life—the decision to live or die—was entirely up to me. And this decision was perhaps the easiest one I have ever made. 

I stumbled to stand, I took a step, and I walked towards recovery. 

It has been a long road since then. I was hospitalized and put on daily medications. Every few months the medications have to be adjusted, but overall they help me function.  On the one-year anniversary of my attempt, I bought myself a smiley face balloon and some chocolate. I was ecstatic to have lived another year. 

I still work at being positive and following my own advice and practicing important self-care habits and using healthy coping mechanisms. I have set goals for myself. For example, I want to have my own solo art show before I go off to college in the fall of 2018.  Every day, I accept myself a little more, and I have made myself a new motto: “to build a home in myself.”  I have come a very long way in the last two years. I plan on growing and thriving and blooming more as time goes by.

Life is a dash—you must propel yourself into it. It is hard work, it is mystifying, and it is not meant to be ended by you. Never end it. Be whoever you want to be: more than anything, embrace yourself, and grow.