Personal Stories

If you or someone you love is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or text NAMI to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Turning Corners

My story is not that dissimilar to others that have been shared on this site. My mental illness is complex. Some say I have Borderline Personality Disorder – others think it is Bipolar II with Depression. It really matters very little which it is or even if it is both. The diagnosis changes little about how I experience my mental illness on a daily basis and how it affects my ability to get through each day.

Every day, my mental illness challenges me. It tries to keep me in bed. I curse the moment each day I wake up alive. The notion of getting out of bed each day is exhausting before I have even moved a muscle and the thought of having to deal with other people in the world makes me anxious. It tries to make me late for appointments. I know I should go to group and go to see my therapist, but my brain is determined to convince itself that those appointments are useless anyway as there is no fixing me. It tries to make me not eat. After all, what is the point of eating when I am not hungry anyways? It tries to make me not take my medications. Because it isn’t really helping me anyways, right? It tries to make me hurt myself. If I can hurt on the outside, then I will hurt less on the inside. Too often it tries to kill me. Because I am absolutely certain the world would be better off without me here.

The combination of my depression, the self-harm I do and my chronic suicidality makes me difficult to be around sometimes and at other times, I am funny, quick witted and an asset to others.  Sometimes my friends pull away from me because they don’t know how to handle my outburst of emotions and often times I push and shove my friends away because if they get to close and see too much of me at my worst, they might abandon me and that would destroy me.

890 days ago, I tried to end my life. I was absolutely certain that was the best thing for me and everyone else around me. I felt as if my mental illness had gotten so bad that everyone would be much better off without me. I was so convinced of it in fact, that when I woke up in the hospital later, there was no sense of joy at being alive. No relief that I had been found. Just a profound sense of anger and resentment that I was still alive. I wanted nothing more than to have been successful in my attempt to rid not only everyone else from the burden I had become, but more importantly, I wanted to rid myself of that burden. And I only knew one way to do that and it had been interrupted by a lifesaving intervention to the hospital and after, a mental hospital.

I am in a DBT group now and though I was certain at first that there was no possibility that it could work, I have to admit that to my surprise, it is slowly working. It is not easy…I would never claim that, however, I once thought of myself as “unfixable” and now I am less convinced of that being an absolute truth. It is not all cupcakes and picnics. There are still miserable days that I go through, but now I have help that I didn’t have before. I have skills now that can help me out in the worst of times and I am very fortunate to have some very dedicated friends on my side that includes my facilitators at my DBT group.

And through all this, sometimes I find hope in the strangest places. A friend who checks in on me just at the right time. A day where I spend more time laughing than being afraid of what might be my future.  Or maybe just my own head remembering that there are many people out there who care about me.

I won’t venture so far to say that I am positive that I have absolutely turned the corner if you will and am on a path of “making a life worth living” but I do know I am closer to being on that path then I was 890 days ago.


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