Sept. 4, 2018 - Two years ago, I survived a suicide attempt.
I was in therapy, receiving both conventional treatment through medication, as well as through electroconvulsive therapy – a drastic measure to try and relieve my symptoms from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD and an eating disorder.
The trial and error of finding the right therapy or medication for mental illness is one that can’t be avoided, unfortunately. My doctor and I hadn’t landed yet on the right combination.
It was a warm June day. I couldn’t see clearly, and was desperate for a way out. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way my family could possibly love someone as broken and as messed up as I was. I felt like a burden, which I now realize is one of the common warning signs for suicide. I felt like a failure as a person, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend. I felt so lost. I felt like all I did was care for everyone else, yet I still believed my love wasn’t enough for everyone.
I skipped my son’s baseball game. Instead, I went for a drive. I texted my best friend and told her I was done -- that I couldn’t do life anymore. I remember crying in the car, begging God to let people know I was truly sorry and that I didn’t want them to hurt because of me.
I don’t remember much: firetrucks and good Samaritans trying to help, and then waking up in the trauma unit of the ER, with a doctor standing over me, telling me he had no idea how I was alive.
I remember crying to him about how sorry I was, asking him to tell my family the same.
Here are a few things I’d like to share about my suicide attempt:
- I wasn’t running from my problems. I was desperately searching for a way to conquer them.
- It wasn’t about dying. It was about escaping the horrendous pain.
- My attempt was not a cry for attention.
- I feel as though suicide nearly stole my life.
- I know I am blessed to have survived, but I still struggle, and continue to manage my mental health conditions.
I still pass that section of the highway all the time. I stand tall today, affected by my experience, but still alive.
My depression didn’t end after my attempt. I’m still in therapy and receive ECT. But I am better. New medications and other therapies have allowed me to find a balance that I can sustain.
I still cry. I still feel guilty for what I put my family through. (Though I’m told that I shouldn’t.)
I feel lucky that my family rallied around me to love me and care for me after my attempt, instead of shoving me aside.
I share my story because I want others to know they are not alone and that there is hope after a suicide attempt.