Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Suicide

When I was a junior in high school, 17 years old to be exact, I attempted to end my life. January 30th, 1985, was supposed to be the last day of my life. I had a plan. I carried out my plan, step by step, over the course of several weeks preceding January 30th. I was serious. But I lived.

Here I am, 34 years later, remembering those moments, that day, that moment. I was not the person one would have expected to attempt suicide. I was still a straight A student and athlete, but the depression which began at age 15 had worn me down. I no longer felt I could fight. So I made a plan and carried it out.

Fortunately, I failed. Life hasn't always been easy, but it's been good. I've had many, many wonderful experiences, seen many beautiful things, and interacted with many lovely people. But don't worry, this isn't an anti-suicide-smile-and-your-world-will-be-blissful speech. Of all people, I know that's not the case.

Sometimes life sucks. I know. My life hasn't been blissful for long stretches of time. In the last 18 years, since my depression returned, my life has intermittently been far from easy, or pretty, or hopeful. My severe depression episodes usually incite a return of significant suicidal thoughts. I'm not immune.

In fact, since I've attempted suicide in the past, research indicates I'm more likely to make another attempt and to die by suicide. According to The World Health Organization, "by far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt." I know that. It scares me sometimes.

So I get it. But as I look back on this day 34 years ago, I can honestly say I'm glad I failed. I'm glad I didn't put my mom, brothers or friends through the pain my suicide would have caused. I'm glad I lived to experience all the learning, running, travel, relationships, and even pets I wouldn't have experienced had my life ended that day. January 30th, 1985 was a very bleak, desperate day, but I'm grateful it wasn't my last.

One day at a time, my friends. If life feels overwhelming, desperate or bleak, just make it through today. If you are feeling suicidal, and especially if you have a plan, please get help now. Keep fighting. Please. 1-800-273-8255

1 comment:

Paul Ferguson said...

Really liked this, I've watched some really similar topics via Ted Talks



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