Recovering the Desire to Live
“Though my last suicide attempt was 20 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the eve of my 18th birthday. I left the hospital bewildered, scared, and unsure of what would happen next.
At the time, I didn’t have much of a support system. I remember sitting on a ratty couch with my knees hugged up to my chest, trying to decide whether or not to keep on living. In those moments, something inexplicable inside of me shifted, and the part of me that wanted to live gained just the slightest advantage over the part that wanted to die.
I reached out to my family and begged them to let me come home. I began to complete my high school education. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had something to hold on to, just a hint of solid ground beneath my feet.
Recovering the desire to live has been a long and uneven process since then. If recovery seems like an impossible concept to you as you read this, I understand. I had to take baby steps. I had to swallow my shame and ask for a lot of help. I had to find something, anything, to believe in, no matter how small. I had to work very hard, every day, to keep the part of me that wanted to live stronger than the part that wanted to die. I’ve found relief through cultivating a group of dedicated and supportive friends.
Don’t be ashamed or afraid to tell the truth of what you have known. By doing so, you break down the walls of silence and shame that surround suicide. You can use your own survival story, no matter how messy or uneven or imperfect it may be, to help someone else strengthen the part inside that wants to live. In this way, we can each make this world a safer place to fall apart, and to find ourselves again, in the healing space of supportive community.”