Before I left my therapists office two weeks ago she gave me an assignment while she was on vacation and she said to me, “if you could give the 17 year old girl who was about to attempt suicide any words of encouragement what would you say before it was too late” whew. That one almost took me out because as open as I aim to be about my struggle with suicidal thoughts its still hard to transport myself back to one of the hardest points in my life. But because I aim to please here goes nothing:
Tonight is the night you will do something drastic, something a little out of character, something rash and you will regret it BUT you will grow from it. The pain will be so great that you will feel as if you do not deserve to experience any of the good in the world so you will attempt to take your life. You will fail. And that failure will be beautiful because you will develop a strength you never knew you had. You will fall in love all over again, with yourself first and foremost. You will learn to write through the pain and experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows but you will learn that reaching out and asking for help will save your life more times than you can count but above all you will learn that digging deep and finding the power and strength within yourself will help you appreciate the highs and lows as just a part of life. – Your 28 year old self.
Sometimes I sit back and reread this note to myself in all its imperfections and remind myself how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go. I’ve learned to appreciate the bad days and look forward to the good ones. I no longer get caught up in the bad days as a sign of “my life sucks” and realize all of these experiences are truly a part of a life worth living. I’m not cured and the suicidal thoughts don’t leave BUT I’m strong enough to work through them and come out on top. I am not my depression and it does not define me instead it adds to my character – it reminds me how much strength I have inside because everyday I courageously choose to keep living. That is my strength.