It was November 7, a Thursday. I was just 15 years old. I sat in my room and felt the world on my shoulders; it was heavy, back breaking. The air felt thick, my body felt hot, but oddly my mind was clear as a spring day. It was 7pm when I told my father goodnight, for what I thought would be the last time I hugged him. Then, I went into my bedroom and swallowed an entire bottle of pills. I thought I was ending my life. But then, I woke up. I was in a bright room, a crisp cold sheet over me and a steady beeping I could faintly hear in the background. I opened my eyes and saw the clock. It said 2am. A nurse walked in and asked me, “Why did you try to kill yourself?”
That’s certainly a way to start a blog, isn’t it? Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time and I’m here to be real with you about that. I’m here to start a conversation about suicide. I didn’t used to talk about it much, this attempt I took. I was ashamed, I felt guilty for the pain and anger I caused my friends and family. It felt like an event that happened that I needed to keep locked away, but then slowly, but surely, my views changed. I grew older, and as I grew older, my pain healed. I learned how to cope with the pressure I was under and I used my voice to help others who I knew were suffering in silence like I once was. I’m hoping my voice can help you here too.
I was diagnosed with VEDS when I was just four years old, what seems like a lifetime ago. Suicide was a thought that often sat at the back of my brain, making cobwebs that I never bothered to sweep away. Having a life-shortening and life-threatening genetic condition will do that to you, it will make things seem dark sometimes and you know what, THAT’S OKAY.
Suicidal thoughts and its friends, depression and anxiety, often appear at times we least expect them. One of the best ways to help alleviate those thoughts and feelings is to be open and honest about them, speak them out loud to a trusted friend or support group. Speaking them out loud and addressing them will take a weight off your shoulders you might not realize you have been carrying.
These thoughts are okay to have, especially when you have a chronic medical condition. But they aren’t something you want to ignore. Seeking help or like-minded people isn’t something to feel ashamed of, but something to be proud of; you’ll find you truly are not alone. Sometimes, that first step can feel petrifying, but that’s your first step towards healing.
For now, pondering this question and answering (whether it be to yourself or sharing here, however you are comfortable) is a good place to start: How many times has suicide crossed your mind, even if just fleeting in nature.
And that’s where we can start the next part of our series.
If you find yourself in an immediate crisis, please go to your local emergency room or contact the National Suicide prevention Hotline or The Crisis Line for help.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Crisis Line: TEXT “Home” to 741741
This is the first in a series of blog posts by Destiny that covers suicidal thoughts. Future posts will address steps to take when you have these thoughts, reducing the stigma, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.