There are many moments in my life that I reflect back on where I have come from and the decisions I have had to make to get me to the wonderful life that I have now. National Suicide Prevention week is this week and it is a moment and time for many of us including myself to reflect back upon making the decision to stay alive.
Growing up I suffered from severe depression and to this day the thoughts are still haunting. I wish I could say that it all goes away as time goes by, but the reality is that depression is real and doesn’t just disappear as the years go on. We simply get better at combating our demons and finding new remedies to get us through the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. Some days are truly easier than others.
On the days that I feel weak, or like giving in I find it really easy to slip back into my old train of thoughts. I begin to let myself get trapped in the things that I had once told myself over and over again, statements like “You cannot do this…you will fail…they don’t actually like you – they are simply being nice…you’re not good enough…you’re not worthwhile…Laura, you might as well give up…” These statements always lead me back to the daunting thoughts of suicide.
There were many days that I had contemplated suicide, but on March 12th, 2008 those thoughts had become action. I had already experience more turmoil than someone does in their whole life time. I had suffered through emotional, mental and sexual abuse, and I was only 17. The last thing I wanted to do was continue to live my life. I believed that no one would understand the things that I had been through and I truly thought the only solution to my loneliness and anguish was to end my life.
Looking back, I know that popping all 30 of those pills would not have been my solution. I was thankfully arrested before I could follow through with my suicidal ideation and my secrets were out. It’s been over 7 years since I was arrested, and though I have considered suicide many times since then, it has simply been a thought and nothing more than that. To this day I still struggle with depression, but like I did then, I have a choice to make. I can either choose to let my thoughts consume me and lead me down a dark path or I can chose to fight against those thoughts, and talk to someone…anyone.
The biggest mistake that I have made in my life is merely not talking about the things that I struggled with. If I had just told someone that I had been abused…if I had just told someone that I was contemplating suicide…I would have known that I was not alone…I would have known that someone was there to help me. Reflecting back this week, I do not regret choosing to stay alive. If I had chosen to end my life on March 12th, 2008, I would have never graduated high school…college, I would have never met the man of my dreams…gotten married, nor would I have had the opportunity to be here for you and with you. Those things are worth living for.
So you have a choice to make. You can continue to let depression, suicide, self-image, loneliness or whatever it may be, consume your every thought, or you can take a stand and start fighting against those thoughts. I fought and am still fighting and I promise you that you are not alone in this fight. It all starts with speaking to someone…anyone…it saved my life and it can save yours. If you feel that someone is us, please don’t hesitate.
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