“I did something really bad.”
Those words coming from my older sister still often find their way into my nightmares. Those are the words that came out of my sister’s mouth just before she told me she had attempted to overdose. I remember thinking it was a sick joke at first, I even remember forcing a laugh and telling her that she wasn’t being in the slightest bit funny. I couldn’t even make myself believe her until she repeated herself the third time, telling me to not cry. Because we were home alone at the time, I had to call 9-1-1. Although she didn’t die, I still cannot think of a worse moment in my life.
Once my sister was released from the hospital, she was taken to a local facility in my town where she had to spend one week for treatment and individualized care. Every day that I visited brought me a feeling of hurt-I could have done something to prevent this. In fact, everybody she knew could have. I started researching the warning signs of suicide; she had almost all of them. I felt angry, sad, and frustrated at the whole situation. I had overlooked what could have kept all of this from happening.
When my sister was being released, we had a “family counseling” session. The therapist who spoke told us the importance of communication within the family, telling us all that the situation was nobody’s fault and that a victim of depression needs to speak out in order to be heard. Hearing that helped me cope with all of my negative emotions. After knowing that, I realized I can take my experience and use it in order to prevent others from walking down the same path my sister did that day. Or, even worse, succeeding. (Also, I found ways to cope by using all the creative outlets I could come up with. I started a diary, picked up instruments, and art. This introduced me to many great influences in my life, such as my piano teacher.)
After being on the other end of the situation, I can honestly tell any suicidal person he/she matters to somebody; every person is of significance. I can’t even tell you what I would have done if my sister had succeeded that day. You matter to somebody as much as my sister matters to me. You have impacted a person’s life somehow. You are important and somebody wants to see you get all the good things you deserve in life and you can’t do that if you’re gone.
If you are reading this and are contemplating suicide right now, I ask you on behalf of yourself and those who care about you, to please use one of the many resources provided to help you. Expand your resources. Life will get better but you have to be alive for that to happen.