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My Attempted Suicide and What I Learned From It

This article includes triggers for suicide and mental health and does not necessarily reflect the views of Her Campus

I remember that night my Freshman year of college like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday evening, and I had gone home to see my parents just like every other weekend that year. I remember getting in a huge fight with them, I don’t exactly remember what about or why, but I remember feeling absolutely worthless after it. This hadn’t been the first time that any of this had happened, but I was to the point in my life where I felt like everyone hated me or had something negative to say about me — including my parents.

I remember saying “Well, I guess this is goodbye, then,” and making the brash decision that I was finally going to do what I had been telling myself that I was going to do for the past year. I remember running upstairs and grabbing a small rope from my parents closet and then running downstairs to our basement where there was a pole. I remember hearing my parents screaming at me after I closed the door to the basement, asking me what I was planning on doing with that rope. I remember every feeling that I had that day, the feeling of tying my neck to that pole and choking myself until I couldn’t breathe, hanging it from our ceiling, anything — just so I wouldn’t have that pain anymore.

I remember being stopped before I could do anything to hurt myself. I remember myself crying until my stomach hurt, asking myself why I let them stop me, why I was angry at myself more than them. Why had this happened to me? I had never been that girl before that night. But everything blurred in my mind after those 30 minutes. Over the next year, I wouldn’t remember that night as an attempt on my life, but as just another night that I got upset.  

But, here I am. I’m a junior in college and I know now that who I was the night is not who I am now. I was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder my senior year of High School and was attending therapy sessions once a week, hoping to improve how I felt about myself. Coming into college, those thoughts continued and led up to that night. However, over the next two years, I would heal from those wounds. I would continue to take medication and educate myself and others about what I was experiencing. I would continue to grow into the woman who knows how to handle situations and breathe through the pain of the thoughts that I would have about myself. My recovery from that night has not been easy, but it has shown me that bravery in these situations is possible and productive. That night has taught me so much about what it means to live with my anxiety disorder and depression. 

Through this night, I learned how to handle situations and handle my anxiety disorder. I can handle my panic attacks through breathing, and kind thoughts and know that I am not the only one who feels that way. Now, as a junior in college, I hold many leadership positions on my campus, something I never thought I would be able to do with my disorder. This summer, I’ve even accepted my dream internship because I know now that I can handle it. 

I learned how to value my life and what I put into to it. Growing up, I didn’t value my life in the way that I value it now.  Our lives are so precious and this night taught me how I can love my life, even when it’s not perfect. I have some of the greatest friends here at my university because I value the times I spend with them. I learned from that night that I need to care about others for them to care about me. 

I learned how to be proud of my accomplishments. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel that I am an incredible human being with large capabilities to impact the world. That night I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that, but because of this night, I was able to become confident in myself through my long recovery. 

And most importantly, I learned that this night was not an accident or a mistake, it was a blessing from God to teach me how much I was worth and what it truly means to value life.  

Yet, just as I’m sitting here, many attempts are not foiled. Every day another student, friend, family member or acquaintance commits suicide for the same reasons that I thought I needed to. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and all types of mental illnesses are just as real as an injury. I want to share my story in hopes of someone else realizing that this act is not the right answer. There is always someone out there that loves you, that has overcome this illness, there is always help and hope.

If you or somebody you know suffers from any mental disorders and is in distress please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1(800) 273-8255.          

Shelby is a senior here at KU. As well as being the Admin Director for Her Campus KU and a Chapter Advisor, she is involved in Student Senate and Alpha Delta Pi. Her obsession with Chipotle is never ending and she can make a mean chocolate chip cookie. Follow her on Twitter @shelsncheese and Instagram @shelbyostrom_
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