Suicidal thoughts started for me in the 6th grade. My mom is immature and takes things very personally, so on a family trip in London, she was excluding me from secret conversations she was having with my sister, pointing at me and whispering, and just being mean to me in general. At one point I locked myself in the bathroom of the cottage we were staying in, and I was in there, crying… My little sister knocked on the door and asked me what was wrong, and I let her in and told her that mom was being mean to me. My mom overheard me and came in and slapped me, and accused me of trying to turn my sister "against" her.
I remember looking outside of the apartment window in London--where we were staying the next day, and wanting to jump out and kill myself. The apartment was so high up that you could hardly see the ground when you looked out the window. I was afraid of pain. I imagined floating down with an umbrella, somehow magically dying with grace, without pain... I felt so left out, cold, lonely... I wanted to escape from my life but I was too afraid.
In middle school I became pre-occupied with lame things like make-up, boys, looking good, shopping... The most profound thing in my life was my group of friends. But basically, my lifestyle didn't allow me to think about who I was as a person. I lived my life in school and outside of school—doing these things and fighting with my mom. I was not at all self-aware...I didn't realize what I realize now: That I am in control of my life, and if I don't like something about my life or who I am, I can change it, and if I can't change it, I can learn to accept it and focus on what I CAN improve. I have a purpose in life and I am in charge of my life now. But I'll talk about that soon, back to my story (This story isn't as emotionally charged as my experiences were. It's hard for me to connect with those experiences. You may think they would be real and vivid in my mind, but they're not...they're murky, lost...a part of my old life, a part of my old self.)
I ended up getting in a huge fight with my friends from middle school and I changed schools as a freshman. I had grown up with my friends and I was incredibly shy around people who I didn't know. Looking back on it, it was because I didn't know who I was as a person, nor did I believe in myself. I went through the motions of life... My life wasn't in my own hands. How could you be in control of your life if you don’t even believe in your own powers? I didn't know that I could have the power to be in control of my own life, to take it and go on adventures, to dream and to realize my dreams, to laugh, to sing, to dance, to run, to connect, to let bad things wash away, to let good things be born inside of me, to see all of the beautiful things in life, to be part of it all...
I was a loner in high school. I had one friend there. I also had a major mental problem: I would get completely obsessed with a guy, who didn't care about me at all, and I would have these delusions about the potential of him falling in love with me. Looking back on it, I was trying to find a guy to fill my void of loneliness, despair, my need for love, the empty cave inside of me that throbbed, that made me cry myself to sleep at night…
The pattern would go like this: I would get completely obsessed with a guy, he would get scared of me being obsessed with him, and I would dwell and dwell and dwell on him not liking me. My stability depended on him. Either I was worthy of being loved or I wasn’t: he would decide.
People who knew me wouldn’t expect that I was suicidal. They might think of me as moody sometimes. They would probably think of me as just a normal teenage girl. I was on tennis team, I did well in school, I laughed often… I wasn’t pretending to be someone else, I just coped with my feelings by subconsciously pretending they weren’t there. If I was truly aware of their existence, I would have tried to do something about them. By “aware,” I mean: separating yourself from your feelings and seeing them as an entity in themselves, instead of just being part of them. When I was going through all the pain though, I didn’t realize that this didn’t have to be part of my life. I became helpless. I would lock myself in my dark bathroom or closet and cry. I would shake. My teeth would chatter. I would start to sob… Sometimes I felt like there was a force pulling my heart out of my chest, and I would just lay there and convulse as I felt it suck my soul out of me. I felt like my chest was being ripped in half and that I was going to die because the pain was so clawing, so stinging…
Other times I was just numb. I wasn’t productive in life. Not realizing that I have the power to be in control of my own life, I just did what was expected of me: went to school, got good grades, and played tennis. In my free time, I would mope, waste time, or fall into one of my pain-spells. The signs were there, but my family was completely oblivious, given that they have never been through anything like that. I avoided my mom at all costs, never spoke to my sister because she was always with my mom (my mom drove her around a lot to different extracurricular activities), and I hardly spoke to my dad, who worked most of the time. I remember crying around him a few times, for absolutely no apparent reason, cursing about how ugly I was at one point, and him just giving me a weirded-out look and saying, “What the hell is wrong with you?” I didn’t realize that I had a problem, and nobody around me did either.
In 11th grade, I really went off the deep end. That was when my only friend in high school, and our periphery circle of friends, cut me off because they just couldn’t handle my angry rants about my mom and my sullen moodiness. One of my obsessions (I only had a few), was actually a boyfriend of mine, and he broke up with me (for good reasons, in retrospect: obviously he couldn’t go out with someone with the mental obsession problem I had). When my best friend in high school started to slowly cut me off, I just couldn’t handle it anymore… I remember being alone in the big, empty house after school and running around screaming, “I’M SO LONELY, I’M SO LONELY, I’M SO FUCKING LONELY!!!!!!!!!” I went to this guy Josh’s dorm room, a UCSD student and friend of mine (my only other friend), and telling him how I felt. He and I went running around the field at UCSD to “calm me down” as we talked about it, and he asked me if I needed to go to the emergency room. I think I was having a panic attack. He took me out later to an on-campus coffee place and the guy gave me my drink for free, seeing how I was at the time. Josh was scared of me from then on. He sort of cut me off after that. I don’t blame him: he just didn’t understand what I was going through so he couldn’t relate to me, and it was too intense for him to handle, and it wasn’t fun to be around.
I graduated alone. I had no friends. I was very distant from my family. I went to college and met a boy and fell in love with him the first two months of my freshman year. He left me. I spent the rest of my year desperately thinking about why he left me, what he was doing, and him—in general. I moved to the state he was living in and switched collages to be near him (it was a small enough school). I also switched schools because I didn’t like the college I was at and I wanted a very different environment, and the school I was transferring to fit that environment. Yet it was still wrong of me to go. When I made the choice, I felt like my life depended on it. Like this boy and I were soul-mates and my life would be ruined without him. Like he would be my savior…
When I got to the new college, I went out with that guy for a week before he got scared of me (realizing my mental obsession problem), and he dumped me. I spent the rest of the semester feeling hopeless and unworthy of love. I got very close to hanging myself. I remember sobbing in my dorm room, with my belt around my neck, wanting to die because I didn’t think that my life had any meaning. I thought I was worthless. I didn’t do it though... I was too afraid of the pain.
I ended up coming back to my home-town and going to a community college after that semester because I felt so depressed. My parents made me stay in town because they thought I was too unstable, and they made me transfer to UCSD. My first few months in town, I felt numb and out-of-touch with anything real. However, my sister is a very loving, open person, and everyday when she would come home from school, she would share with me her stories, dreams, thoughts, funny moments… My life started to have something that mattered in it. Something that was REAL: not just some illusion of some “soul mate” guy who I barely knew.
My life BECAME my sister. I spent hours making her school lunches, creating comic books and letters to put in her lunch boxes, driving around looking at views and appreciating their beauty as I thought about my sister and appreciated her—a real person who actually cared about me, who I cared about too.
Living at home was hard. I had no friends in town and I was still on terrible terms with my parents. To make it even worse, they didn’t understand that I was going through depression, nor did they understand what depression was. They were extremely disappointed in me for not being able to handle the new college I had switched too. They treated me like a loser and a failure. If I ever told them I felt bad, they would tell me that some people don’t have arms or legs and they have it a lot worse and I should be grateful and stop wallowing in self-pity. My parents completely disrespected me. I was disgusting to them. (Now that I’ve gotten better through and my life is improving, they respect me, and they pity me sometimes--pity isn't a good thing but it's better than disgust).
But anyway…back to the story: SO, I ended up moving out within a few months because the fights I was having with my mom were horrendous. She would accuse me of being a loser and a failure in life, and I would get so defensive and angry that I would SCREAM at her. One time I ran out of the house, slammed the door, and sped off in my car. I started to do this everytime I felt trapped by my mom. I would scream and just drive away until I could get a grip and calm down again… Escape.
I got a boyfriend who goes to UCSD who is a dorky, quiet, but very understanding, kind person. He would listen to me rant. He listened to me. I needed that. And I had my sister. I had two real people in my life who loved me, who I loved… I started to control my moods more by realizing that screaming at my parents doesn’t solve anything—I would feel the anger hit me and I would realize it and I would just let it go—just like I was grabbing hold of it, feeling it rush through me, and gripping it with my hand and throwing it away. I didn’t ignore the feeling. You can't bottle up shit inside of you. I let the anger pierce me. But I let it go. I just started to let go of my anger. This was my first semester back.
During my first semester back, my parents also asked me what I was going to do with my life and I realized that I wanted to be an elementary teacher…that I love kids and I love working with kids (I had been a camp counselor for a couple of summers before). I wanted to work at an alternative school where kids are treated with respect, where the learning environment is free and creative. Having this goal in mind made me realize that I’m responsible for getting there—that I need to take control of my life. My life was a mess. I would spend too much time feeling sad and not DOING anything. I realized that life has meaning, and that the meaning of life is LOVE. I learned that from my sister.
Unfortunately, I broke up with my “psychologist” of a boyfriend because he was a bit on the quiet side, and after the summer I went out with an abusive guy who only cared about his dick and his the power over me that fueled his own ego. I let him treat me like shit. This was during my second semester back in town. One night, I was hanging out with him and my sister, and I pulled my sister aside and told her how he was treating me. She told me he was abusing me. I told her that I was thinking of breaking up with him, and she told me that I should, that he was trying to control me for his own selfish powers. It was hard for me to do this, cuz I was so lonely, and sometimes my boyfriend would be very kind and loving to me, and he was fun to hangout with cuz he was a bit on the crazy side.
After I broke up with him, I realized that I didn’t break up with him sooner cuz I was afraid of being alone. I realized that being in San Diego, I’m going to have to be alone, but it’s only temporary until I meet more people… And in the mean-time, I should improve myself so that I’ll be a better person FOR love. I realized that if I grow, I’ll have more to give back. I realized that life has another meaning: self-strength and self-growth. If you’re not strong, if you’re not growing in life—how can someone who you love depend on you, how can you share yourself with someone if your life is empty, if you’re not growing? I realized that I have to start living for myself too.
I took up the hobby of art. It took my mind off my moods that brought my mind/thoughts so low, and I would become completely focused on what I was doing and I would love it. I got a job at an elementary school five days a week. I still don’t really know that many people here, but my job allows me to have a good chunk of socializing each day with my kids and co-workers and it’s something I love to do. I feel passionate about it. I started to read good novels. I started to go on nature walks when I felt an emptiness coming on. I would burn off the negative energy. I used to binge eat sometimes, but walking would release the energy cooped up inside of me too. I don’t get lonely anymore. I don’t really need that many friends. I have become independent. I depend on myself for happiness, even though I appreciate friendship and value it above anything else.
I realize now that I my stability comes from myself and I need that strength to live, and I am constantly growing stronger each day as I realize this each day. I have opened myself up to the beautiful flower of life. Life is filled with so many beautiful moments… like my kids flying paper airplanes in the rain today, the way the concrete smelled, the drizzle on my face, the smell of the rain, the joy and rush in the kid’s faces, in their voices, in their eyes, my co-worker laughing with me at it all…. Life is so beautiful. I want to inspire kids. I want to love. But I am patient. I realize that self-growth takes time, especially coming from a destructed state. I realized that love takes time. I'll have to wait. I can be alone, it's only temporary. And when I do love, that too will take time. Everything is a process.
Each day I am becoming more confident as I rely on myself more. I am done with my obsession problem—I realize what real love is, that it depends on a real person who you actually get to know in a process over time, and that my life should be focused on my own personal growth because that is truly the foundation for love, so that you can give to people what grows inside of you and so you can be a strong person so that you can rely on yourself and built a life for yourself, so that other people can rely on you, and so that you can know thyself and learn who you are everyday…so that you can discover how you want to live your life and where you want to go with it…
life is a beautiful, amazing journey. I want to open my heart to it all. LIFE IS FUCKING AMAZING. I used to hate myself. I used to be broken. I used to cry all the time. I used to not know anything about myself. I used to waste all my time. I used to be unloved. I used to be alone. I used to have no direction in life. Now that I’m happier with myself, people talk to me more because they gravitate towards my positive energy. I don’t care as much though—I’m so focused on the process of life itself and my own personal growth. things will happen naturally if you just go with the flow and you take control of the tides.
Life changes. So can you. Whatever hell you’re going through: you can make it through. I believe in you. Believe me: this too shall pass, this shit will change, your future will be different, if only you look within yourself… i was depressed for most of my life: from 6th grade, on and off, until last year. i'm happy now. my life has a meaning, my life has a purpose, i've changed.
And you know what? All this pain is NOT in vain. It will only make you a person who is open to the other force in life that makes life what it is. Life is so interconnected…all of these people… it’s all changing all the time…it’s all energy…it’s made of these opposing forces: pleasure and pain, and each of these forces is made of a million different experiences.
I am glad that I used to be suicidal. It is a part of me. It makes me understand a certain element in the world. It has made me more empathetic, idealistic… I used to be broken, but I’m becoming whole now.