Because it’s Mental Health Month and because I feel very strongly about this subject, I thought I’d share a story. If you yourself are going through depression and/or are having ideations of suicide, you may want to avoid this post as it may trigger something. Or, maybe you could read it to see how the story ends? It’s up to your discretion.
Last week, on the way home from work, I was almost T-boned by a car running the red light. This was a pretty stale red light at this point as I had waited to go through the intersection. The car came barreling down the intersection towards me and thankfully I was able to brake in time before he passed in front of me. I’m certain that if I hadn’t both waited to go and reacted in time, I would’ve been hit. Naturally, this was a very scary moment for me. However, it wasn’t until I got home that night that I realized something else.
Had this moment happened three years ago–when I was going through the hardest year of my life struggling with depression and a shitty job–I would’ve welcomed getting hit by that car. In fact, I had those thoughts often when driving through intersections. I always hoped that someone would hit me so that it’d either kill me or put me in the hospital where I could finally get away from my daily life. And I wanted to get killed this way because I didn’t myself want to actually go through with committing suicide. At least this way, I was the victim; I wasn’t the selfish coward taking the easy way out (disclaimer: I don’t actually feel this way about suicide victims but sadly this is the thought process of some people).
But, in that moment last week, I didn’t feel that way. I was honest to god scared that I would get hit. I didn’t want to get hit. I had so much that I had worked towards these past three years and so many people that I loved and have come to love that I didn’t want to lose. And being able to say “I don’t want to get hit by this car” is such a relief compared to the thoughts I had in 2012. Being able to say “I have something worth living for” feels like the biggest accomplishment I’ve achieved since graduating college. New jobs, raises, awards are nothing compared to that feeling knowing that I’ve left that part of my life behind.
I’m sure many people in my life had no idea I was having these thoughts. They were completely unaware of how much I wanted and yearned for something tragic and final to happen to me. But I’ve made it this far and I don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon. And I plan to help as many people make it with me to the other side of this dark and consuming mental illness.
Thanks for making it this far. Remember that anyone around you could be suffering in silence. Let them know you love them and that they are worth something.