In my grade 12 creative writing class I wrote a poem about the time I almost hung myself – it was at that very moment that I realized the frailty of life and the series of events I have to thank for me being alive right now. I’ve tried to find that poem, and post it, but it has disappeared into the ether that is most of my high school memories. So, instead, I’ve decided to describe the events that the poem covered here, to shed light on my own journey with suicide and to further help remove the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health.
At a very young age I had given up. I lost almost all of the friends I had, people would, literally, stand outside of my house just to yell rude things at me through my bedroom window. I truly was the movie stereotype, last person to be picked in gym class, ate lunch in the bathroom, middle school kid. Besides all of that, I was also dealing with some mental issues that I could not grapple or cope with (and didn’t truly understand until a couple of years ago) which ultimately lead to self harm. I remember telling the friends I had left about hurting myself, it was my way of asking for help and for understanding, but it was instead met with rejection and laughs.
I then started giving away my things, silly things like rare Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards and empty notebooks, the first (and only) novel I ever wrote. On my last day I reached out to the only person I had left, I called, said goodbye to her, hung the phone up downstairs and proceeded into my top floor bedroom closet. Everything was ready – my room was clean, a note, left on my bed, telling my mom I loved her and that none of this was her fault, and the means of my escape looped neatly on a closet pole. I turned off the light and began to close the door, I don’t remember crying.
Then the phone rang – my mom picked up and yelled my name, panicked, from downstairs. I can’t put into words exactly how I felt in that moment… conflicted about leaving my mom and sister alone, defeated by the thoughts of having to go back to school, elated that someone cared enough to say something… then, finally, came the tears.
I flung my belt up on to a shelf I couldn’t reach in my closet, ran to my bed, crumpled my note, throwing it in the garbage before my mom got in to my room.
What saved me, in that moment, was knowing I was worth saving to one person. I have that one interaction to thank for my entire life and everything I’ve done in the 14 years since then.
I still deal with suicidal thoughts – they plague me from time to time, tell me that the world would be better off if I were no longer part of it, but there’s a difference between thoughts and beliefs. Just because I think it, doesn’t mean I have to believe it – instead I choose to believe in all of the steps I’ve taken to get where I am now and the choice I made to tell someone, even if it was at the very last minute.
There is no shame in feeling depressed or suicidal – you deserve to live, just as much as your friends, your family… even if it doesn’t feel that way now. There is so much life waiting for you outside of the walls you’ve built around yourself, and there are people willing to help you climb out. Please, give yourself the chance to prove you are strong enough, to ask for help and to receive it, and I doubt you will be disappointed.
Here are some links and numbers for anyone seeking help: