"I was 15 when I first thought about killing myself. I felt like a burden to those around me -- that I didn't bring anything special to the world. I blamed myself for being bullied during most of my childhood. For never fitting in. For the challenges in my family.
There were happy moments too, but as soon as they were over I fell quickly back into a familiar emptiness. I started seeing a therapist who was no help -- I regularly skipped appointments because she would forget my name or mix me up with her other clients. "I don't even matter to the person who's being paid to help me." I was deeply depressed, yet could never bring myself to the point of suicide. I remember berating myself for this: "You can't even kill yourself right."
Shortly after that period of my life, I found a razor blade in my brother's bathroom. It didn't really register in my mind as anything important -- I figured he used it for shaving. It wasn't until I got a call saying, "Your brother told his friend that he was going to kill himself tonight" that it took on a new meaning. I hated myself for living next door to someone so important to me and not seeing the cuts on his arms. For interpreting his sadness and isolation as simply "teen angst."
Thankfully, my brother overcame that time in his life. Now, he's hilarious and kind and happy. A leader. Getting a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. As for me, I experience unbelievable joy on a daily basis. The same sensitivity that once exacerbated my depression is now what helps me experience deep beauty and love in the world everyday. Same me. Different mindset.
If you can relate, then I want you to know that it gets better. That there are numerous resources that are here to help you. One of those is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255. I want you to know that people deeply love you, even if it doesn’t feel that way. That I love you. And that if you let them, your greatest struggles could become the source of your deepest gratitude. Promise. ♥️