One Year Gone: How I lived since my suicide attempt

By Lindsey Tess Medwin
Contributing Writer

You’d like to say that it was an immediate wake-up call. That things immediately took an upward turn because you realized how “valuable” your life was and “how lucky” you were to be alive. But that isn’t true. In fact, life got a hell of a lot worse after. Intensive therapy almost everyday for hours. Labeled with conditions you barely understand and prescribed a cocktail of medications you can hardly pronounce the names of. Learning coping skills and mindfulness and all these other therapeutic ways to deal with your problems and past.

You try to kill yourself and all the sudden the world expects you to devote every second of everyday to wanting to live when just a week earlier you made a clear decision to die.

The transition back to reality is far from easy. You expect so much out of yourself and, mindlessly, expect a lot of those around you. Especially those who are closest.

But for some reason- you do it. You drag yourself out of bed and swallow your morning meds. You ignore the voices in your head telling you to give up and that there’s no point. You fight through the crippling anxiety that stopped you from going to work, seeing your friends and even leaving house most days. You just go.

And at first you don’t do it for yourself. You can’t even really explain why you’re doing it. Maybe it’s for your friends or for the loved ones around you because you don’t want to let them down again. Maybe it’s to pass the time since you can’t work or go to school. Maybe it’s because you have nothing left to lose.

It’s never easy and it’s definitely never something you’re prepared for. Talking about the darkest parts of your soul and memories for the first time in your entire life and opening up about things you’ve pushed down for years. That’s never easy.

And yet, you start to find some type of comfort in it. Despite sitting at a table surrounded by strangers, opening up seems safe. There truly is a lack of judgement and a universal upstanding for the pain and suffering you all share. And for the first time in your entire life, you stop feeling so alone.

As the weeks and months go by, you start to develop a sense of self again. And though you are miles away from where you want to be, the fact that you want to be anywhere and have some sort of drive again gives you so much relief. You want to be a better you. A healthier, happier, successful you. You want to be alive.

The journey isn’t over though.

The transition back to reality is far from easy. You expect so much out of yourself and, mindlessly, expect a lot of those around you. Especially those who are closest. You develop an unhealthy dependency and attachment and it makes you question where your happiness is really derived from. You are so caught up in the idea of having hope again and the eagerness for things to go back to normal, that you overlook the toxicity still surrounding you.

Eventually you realize it’s this remaining element of darkness that is holding you both back from true happiness and prosperity.

And while you do your best to prepare as the survivor you are, no one could ever be ready for the person you loved to leave you.

But by that point you’ve come too far. So, with the comfort, care and concern of those around you, who immediately come through, you let go of the shock and sadness and begin working to overcome this.

And it’s during this time of desperation and vulnerability that you realize who’s there for you when you really need it.

And you accept that you always be grateful to this heartbreaking loss, for it gifted you the greatest friend you’ll ever know.

And soon after, you take a chance on an opportunity that gifts you stability. And while that’s all it was initially, this opportunity also surrounds you with an incredible group of people you never expected to love so deeply.

And from there, you really start to grow.

You are no longer consumed with your anxiety or depression or post-traumatic-stress-disorder. You are no longer fixated on survival. You are no longer seeking approval from partners or from your past.

You’re finally at peace.

And while there is so much more for you to learn, that’s all you could really ask for.

And suddenly, it’s been a year since your suicide attempt. And you can honestly say you have never been happier.

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