Trigger warning: Suicide
It’s been 10 years since my suicide attempt and I’m so glad I didn’t succeed!
Somehow I missed my 10 year anniversary of the worst day of my life. I suppose that’s a good thing that I’m so involved with the good bits of life now that I almost forgot that this wasn’t always the case.
Ten years ago I threw my legs out a 6th floor window at college, intending to hit the earth below me. I was in the thick of some really terrible times then. I was 19, heartbroken, homesick, lost, and very confused. I remember the sharp air that rushed in the room when I opened the window that very cold and snowy February night. It felt like little needles on my skin; a stark contrast to the hot, salty tears streaming down my face. I was in trouble for drinking on campus…again. However, the drinking wasn’t just purely fun and games. I was using it to cope with a lot of uncertainty and hopelessness. My on again off again boyfriend told me he was dating someone else. He lived with my best guy friend at the time so a lot of “sides” were taken in the whole mess. And somewhere along the way my roommate moved out. I was alone.
I spent the remainder of the week at the hospital under psychiatric care. The days I spent there blur together now. I was in such a haze of numbness.
My entire life was uprooted. I got kicked out of college and I had to start over somewhere new. The next several years were spent kicking my ass into gear to show myself and the friends who abandoned me that they didn’t get the best of me. I pushed and pushed myself. I started looking forward and not backward. I learned to love myself again. Slowly. Very slowly.
I graduated from a new (and better) college with honors two years later. I took a chance and bought a one way ticket to NYC and began living the life I used to only be able to dream about.
10 years later, I am living proof that things get better. Depression and anxiety are challenges I still deal with occasionally, but now I know how to handle it.
Right now I’m sitting in the house I just bought all by myself. I’m reminiscing about the years I spent living and working in Manhattan, where I had an incredible job and amazing friends. Most days, my life felt like a happy movie. I recently decided to re-locate, slow things down and enjoy the present. Now I’m in the process of renovating my house from the inside out. I volunteer with an organization that raises funds for underprivileged women and children. I carve out time for my hobbies, friends, and loved ones. I’ve truly become a better person. I can now enjoy a glass or two of wine without overdoing it just to cope. I can take a deep breath, a small sip, and appreciate how far I’ve come.
I still have a long way to go. I’m still a work in progress. I haven’t found love yet but I look forward to the day I do. In the meantime, you can catch me cultivating my new herb garden and reading a good book or two.
If you’re going through what I went through 10 years ago, my best advice is to hang on, know it does get better (and no this isn’t something that people just say. It’s true). You’re not alone. You’re loved. And you’re stronger than you think.
Take a deep breath, be thankful that you are able to do so, and repeat until you truly believe better days are around the corner.