I am going to kill myself
I want you to know you are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these thoughts and pains. So even when you feel all alone and hurt, there are people who are probably very close to you that have depression, and they may experience the same things you are. Depression is a scary thing, and while there are times it feels like things will never get better, they will. I know that’s pretty cheesy and you’ve heard it before, but things really DO get better. It won’t happen in a day, week, or even in a month, but I promise you, that first day when you truly feel happy is worth every ounce of pain you’ve felt in the past.
When I was little, I always had worries. I didn’t know if I was a good child, and if I was being too mean to my sister, stuff like that. It wasn’t until 8th grade when my depression fully hit. I didn’t feel like I was worth anything. It got better during high school, until my junior year. Sadly, my depression was triggered by a boy, and well, it all went downhill pretty quickly. I won’t go into details, but he really learned how to trigger my depression. I wouldn’t eat, and I got pretty skinny. I never felt like getting out of bed. I remember talking to a therapist, saying with a monotone voice that I didn’t feel the need to live anymore, and her mouth dropped. I remember going to school, and coming home to sleep, because that was the only way I could escape this scary thing called depression. One night in November, I decided I wanted to run away. My parents are pretty strict and this was the same time I went through a pretty rebellious phase. They caught me at the doorway, and I pushed my mother. I overheard them say they wanted to take me to the hospital, so I went upstairs to say goodbye to my sister. My parents heard this, and automatically thought that I was going to kill myself on the spot, which wasn’t the case. I didn’t have a plan to kill myself, I just wanted to run away from my problems. I got to the hospital, and they put me in these ugly green scrubs. I remember laughing at the socks because they had those little rubber bottoms, so you didn’t slip. Then a nurse came in. The guy was so accusing, when I told him I had never cut myself, he made me stick out my arms. He was surprised when there were no scars. I hated it. Thankfully I left that night, but I knew I didn’t ever want to go back.
Then winter hit, and I was feeling worse. My friend and I talked about killing ourselves. I don’t know if I ever wanted to go through with it. That same week, one of my best friend’s mother died of cancer, and it hit me: life is precious. I wanted to take away something that my friend’s mother didn’t have the choice. I wanted to die, while she was fighting to live. Something changed me, and I knew I had to fight through this. My friend didn’t need the pain of losing another loved one, and I shouldn’t kill myself when I still haven’t seen the amazing things to see, such as the Eiffel tower, or hopefully getting married one day. I think I will die when my body is ready to let go, and after I have seen and done everything on me bucket list.
Let me talk about my best friend Lauren. She lives in Arizona, and I live in Minnesota, so it was hard to talk to her every day. Her depression was really bad my sophomore year, and I was getting sick of her texting me almost every day about how sad she was. It was exhausting trying to comfort her and make her feel better when all I could do is try to help her with words. I wish I was able to be there physically, and give her the hugs and love she needed. Then I noticed she didn’t text me for a week. I wrote on her Facebook wall asking her to text me. What I got was a message from her mother: she had tried to kill herself, and her mom, not knowing what to do, sent her to the hospital for a week. I went to school the next day, shocked. I remember I had to take a test in math, and right after, I kept thinking about it. My next period was homeroom, and I cried through it. A girl said I was overreacting, and I wanted to slap her so badly. My BEST FRIEND was hurting, and I almost lost her to such an awful thing. Of course, I blamed it on myself, thinking I was the reason she was in there. When I finally got the phone call from her, she was so happy. And I realized that it was good for her to be there. She came out a stronger person. She said it was scary, but she realized that she did matter. And she mattered a whole lot to me. I don’t know what I would do without her, and I’m so glad her mom got to her before she had passed away. Lauren means the world to me, and I love her. She’s like a sister to me. Whenever she’s down, I always try to remind her that I’m here for her, and I couldn’t imagine life without her, and I won’t. Because she makes me laugh so hard I cry, and that’s the best thing I could ask for.
Now, I have to say I’m so so so so sorry. People always tell me “oh, depression can’t be that bad, just snap out of it” or, “Everyone gets sad”. I’m sorry if people have tried to tell you these things. I think the worst thing someone told me is “I know where you are coming from”. Um, no, I don’t think so. I wish that I could show people the pain I feel, or what other people feel to from this. But at the same time, I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. I remember reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath my senior year of high school. Sylvia Plath was a poet who suffered from depression, and The Bell Jar was an autobiography she wrote. All of my classmates said the book was so sad, and depressing, and I looked at a friend who also has depression, and we exchanged glances. The book was written just like how we thought, and how it feels to have depression. It was kind of weird to realize that not everyone thinks like I do.
Alright, this letter has been pretty sad. So let’s make it happy. Depression is something extra you have, but it doesn’t define you. I made the mistake of blaming everything because of my depression. Why didn’t I shower? It’s because I have depression. Why can’t I concentrate? I have depression. I should be sad, because, you guessed it, I have depression. But I’m also kind of lazy, so I might have not showered because I wanted to watch another TV show instead, and I also am diagnosed with ADHD, so sometimes I have trouble concentrating. But you just need to remember, you don’t have to be sad all the time because you have depression. Not even half the time. When I realized this, I felt a whole lot better. I can go weeks, even months, without a panic attack or feeling very, very sad. I never thought it would get better, but somehow, it did. It just takes time. My depression is not gone, and I don’t know if it ever will be. But I try to make the best of each day, and I do need to remind myself that it is okay to be sad sometimes, and that it’s not me, it’s the depression speaking.
I want to give you some advice I found thoughtful. Workout when you feel sad. Working out gives you lots of endorphins, and that boosts your mood. I recently ran a marathon, and I am so proud. I was happy when I was running, and I did something only 0.01% of the world has done. How cool is that? My friends will tease me, as I ran it super slow (5 hours and 28 minutes, but I had a foot injury), but I just laugh back because they haven’t finished a marathon. Who cares about time when I ran 26.2 miles?! They didn’t get up at 6 AM on Sundays to run. I sacrificed my Saturday nights, which is pretty hard to do as a college kid. But I’m so glad I did it, because I did something worthwhile with my life. And I met my awesome boyfriend from the marathon, who makes me laugh so hard I cry, and when I do cry from sadness, he’s always there to pick me up, literally, I’m a tiny 5’3’’, and he’s 6’1’’. We look pretty silly next to each other, sometimes I have trouble holding his hand because he is so tall.
My mom is a child psychologist, so I even get advice without leaving my room. It gets annoying, but I’m happy to have it too. One thing my mom taught me is you just have to be stronger than your depression. Anytime you have a sad thought, or a thought that is unrealistic, you have to tell your brain to shut up. Because it’s you that works your brain, not your brain and thoughts that control you. I know that’s hard and weird to think about, but it’s true. If that doesn’t work, take your sadness and anger out on something else, like art. Write a story, paint a picture, and create something amazing out of what you were given.
But, enough about me.You DO matter in this world. I don’t know you but I would be devastated if you weren’t here. Your family would too, and your friends at school. People you don’t know well would be impacted. That kid that sits in the back of your class, the one you talked to once in your life, would think about you. A lot. He would wonder if he could have helped, if he could have made you laugh, one more time, if he could have made you seem like you mattered. Because, you DO. Someonce cares, and that’s worth fighting this stupid thing called depression. I want you to message me privately so we can talk. Because Depression is in your head, and I am someone who is real. Who can listen to those dumb things your brain makes you think. I can tell you it is okay, even when you think it’s not. And so I can your family. Because you matter to your family and to me. I’m a complete stranger, but your life matters to me. And it always will. I know you will have an amazing life, and when you have those sad days, that’s okay. Just pull out this letter, or write one to me. Whatever makes you feel better.
I know this is getting pretty lengthy, but I wanted to reach out to you. I call myself a depression survivor, because it is something you have to fight against. People who suffer or suffered from depression are some of the strongest people I know. And I want to show you that I can live a happy life with it, and so can you. There are so many people who live with this, but are successful as well. Take my mother for instance. She has her PHD is child psychology, as a smart husband who is a CTO, two daughters who are smart, and a wonderful home to live in. If she can make it in this world, so can we. If you ever need someone to talk to, don’t ever hesitate to come to me. I’ll always be here.