I tried to kill myself and I don’t regret it
You are not alone
When the time comes, its too late.
When the pills, razor blade, gun, or belt are in your hand, its too late. You’ve already made the decision to die. You believe it is your only option…and, to you, it is.
You feel as though you are a burden to others. You have not lived up to your full potential. You are alone. Afraid. Dead.
You are drained both physically and emotionally. You can’t ask for help because you’re terrified. Terrified of what people will think of you. Terrified to be vulnerable and open. Terrified of further rejection.
The stigmatization of mental illness has allowed for a very blurry line to have been drawn. A line that makes people feel as though their problems are not valid because only the person whose parents just went through a divorce or the girl whose father just died or the person struggling with their identity can be depressed.
Which is not true in the slightest. Everyone can struggle with depression and other mental illnesses. No matter your struggle, no matter what you have been through, every emotion and reaction you are feeling is valid. The smallest, most minute thing can trigger depressive emotions and anxiety and they are all valid.
I spoke to one of my great friends, Catherine Reynolds, about her struggles with bipolar disorder and my struggles with depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide and here is what we want you to know about mental illness:
Yes, we were in a state of isolation, depression, and angst and yes we tried to harm ourselves and I tried to end my life, but we are not ashamed. Most importantly, we do not have any regrets.
We are still here for a reason. We survived and it is our responsibility to validate your struggles, no matter how small they may be. I am here to tell you that suicide is not selfish, though popular media begs to differ.
Lastly, we are here to tell you that you’ll find yourself. We did. You will.
We both want you—the kid who’s been rejected one too many times, the young man who gets made fun of for being gay, the young woman who has been called a slut time and time again, and the person who is upset that someone didn’t laugh at their joke—to know that you are not alone. You never were.
That girl that rejected your promposal, that guy that knocked you around for being gay, that other girl that thinks your sexual life is her business, and that sibling that did not laugh at your joke, guess what? They are struggling too. Life is hard. It really is. We all have our qualms, yet we all deal with them differently.
You most definitely think that this is your only option. That harming yourself or even killing yourself is the only solution. We did. And that’s ok! We also realized that it was not. As much as you think that it is, it is not. There are things—people, places, organizations—out there that are here to help you. You.
Your university probably has some great organization to help you through your struggles. Catherine and I attend the University of Alabama and here, Catherine and a group of other students have created an organization called Alabama Cares Together.
This is the video they made to get it all started. Find an organization like this or, even better, start an organization like this.
These organizations are not your only option either. People. People are your best option. Talk to your friends because it is very likely that they are going through similar pains. Catherine and I both discussed how talking to others helps us and makes us feel better. Through our struggles we became grateful. Grateful for the lives, chances, and “redoes” we have been given. We are living with what we did. We are ok with it. Again, we do not regret it. We are happy. Happy it happened and happy that we survived.
There are also places you can go to in order to seek the help you need. Here at the University of Alabama, like most schools, we have a counseling center that helps students cope with whatever it is they are going through, no matter the scale. Also, if you are a female or a member of the LGBTQ community there is a separate sector of the counseling center called the Women’s and Gender Resource Center. That is where I sought help and my counselor was amazing and so helpful. Your university likely has centers like these. If you have tried counseling and did not like it because of the counselor, that is ok! However, do not give up. Try again. It takes time to find the right person you feel comfortable talking to, but it is important that you find this person.
Catherine wrote an amazing little entry about healing that is incredibly important:
“We are also here to tell you that healing takes time. You most likely won’t wake up one day and suddenly be okay or feel happy or normal. Rebuilding yourself is not easy, you take it a day at a time and it’s made up of small victories that should be celebrated. Getting out of bed in the morning might not seem like a big deal to others but to us, it’s a victory. One day, a few months, or years down the road, you’ll realize how far you have come and all the little moments and support got you where you are today.”
Whatever it is that you are going through, it is a part of you. You wouldn’t be the same person you are without it and you are stronger in the long run because of it.
Use this. Use this to benefit others and use it to make people understand. Understand that we just want them to listen. Understand that this is a disease—an epidemic. We want them to hear our plea. To not look down on our struggles. To not be mad when we tell them we tried to kill ourselves. At least we tried. Tried to do something about it in the way that we thought of as least harmful to others.
We’re here, living with our depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. We have our ups and downs still, but we’re here and we, like many others, want the stigmas about mental illness to end.