If you are reading this and thinking about suicide, this letter is not meant to guilt you. I won’t paint an image of your brother/mother/uncle/cousin/grandma etc. coming into your room to find your life-less body.
That’s not the point.
I’ve seen those statuses. I’ve seen the tweets saying people who commit suicide are “selfish.” I’ve seen and read all the anti-suicide propaganda set up to stop people from committing suicide. But the truth is; people contemplating suicide are already feeling awful.
I know you. I’ve been you. More than once.
You feel empty, depressed, guilty, ashamed, etc. The list goes on and on. The bottom line is you are in a dark, dark place.
A place where there seems to be no end in sight. You’re drowning in a sea of emotions. You feel lost and broken.
You lay in bed, put some headphones in and play “Remember Everything” by Five Finger Death Punch or “Adam’s Song” by Blink 182 on repeat while you cry and think to yourself how awful things are and how much better they will be if you just end it.
You list the various reasons people close to you will feel much better. You think of all your enemies. All the people that have made it clear they don’t care about you, and how happy they will be if you just end it. If you just disappear. No one will have to deal with any of your bullshit anymore.
But you know what?
IT GETS BETTER.
I know what you’re thinking. “No it won’t. It hasn’t for (insert # of days/weeks/months/years here.). How do you know?”
I know because I have been here so many times before in my life. Now, before you go and call me a “pussy” or “attention-seeker” for not going through with it. I want to tell you something.
From the age of 13 on I have dealt with depression. Sometimes so severe that I’ve felt so empty and numb that I was essentially emotionless. Not wanting to eat, sleep, or even talk to those closest to me. I’ve shut so many people out. I’ve pushed so many people away.
I’ve felt like the darkness would never end. That I was drowning in a sea of my own emotions. I’ve felt lost and broken. ALONE. I’ve thought about all of the people that would be better off without me.
I’ve played those songs over and over again. I’ve had entire playlists dedicated to the emptiness inside of me. The songs that talked about suicide and depression. The songs that confessed how broken and useless I felt.
Along with the many, many times (at least two dozen) in the past 13 years that I’ve thought of suicide, I’ve had two major attempts.
The first one was at the age of 15 when my mom told me I couldn’t date the older guy anymore. I took a bunch (50 maybe?) of Ibuprofen. (Though I ended up spitting most of them out because it tasted gross.) I was placed on a 72-hour hold in the Longmont United Hospital. I basically got to roam free around the little area. I remember the two people there, a guy that seemed worse off than myself and a middle aged mother plagued by self-harm and drugs. I received minimal counseling and was released with no issues. Turns out that boyfriend also attempted to commit suicide because I did. He wasn’t there for me. And we broke up for good. I moved on with my life and met a new boy.
Two years later at the age of 17, I was feeling lonely. While I was on Zoloft for my depression, it wasn’t helping. I put all of my energy into my relationship but my depression was eating away at me and after a small fight, I had taken all 20 Zoloft pills at once. I called and let him know. He came back to my house, where I was alone, and picked me up. I remember him calling my mom while she was at work and her freaking out. (Of course.) Things felt so desperately dark for me this time.
“I feel funny.” I remember saying to him on the way to Medical Center of The Rockies.
We got to the ER and they gave me charcoal to drink. I drank it and ultimately was physically okay. They then sent me to Mountain Crest Behavioral Health, a mental health hospital about 20 minutes away. After my 72 hours were up, I thought they were going to release me like the last place. I ended up staying 7 more days. I had actual counseling sessions, learned some coping skills, had family counseling meetings, and was released with a new combination of drugs.
Two months later, I found out I was pregnant with Brodey.
I know you’re thinking “Ashley, what’s the point?”
Well, my point is IT DOES GET BETTER.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
YOU ARE WORTH IT.
YOU ARE WORTHY OF FRIENDSHIP.
YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE.
YOU DO DESERVE THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER.
IT GETS BETTER.
You don’t have to end your life. Don’t do it. Things will turn around. I’ve contemplated suicide enough times to know that if you wait, things will get better.
I’ve been recently learning about self-acceptance and self-love. And I’ve felt so much better about myself.
I want you to know, that you don’t have to do it. Please think about all the amazing things life has to offer that you will miss out on. Think long and hard about how suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem.
Had I successfully done it the first time, I would have never met the boy who gave me my son. I would have never went to the 5 proms I attended. I would have never learned the amazing facts I learned in school. I would have never had the fun experiences I had.
Had I successfully done it the second time, I would have never had Brodey. I would have never met my husband. I would have never had the experiences I did at the alternative school I went to. I would have never went on to truly learn about myself. I would have never had Hailey. I would have never been sitting here hopefully helping someone else not go through with it.
You are not what they say you are. You are worth so much more. The light is just around the corner, you just have to know that it will get better. That no matter what life throws at you or how dark you are, things will get better.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”-Bernard M Baruch
Please message me if you need to talk. I’m a great listener.