I read a heartbreaking story today. I honestly don’t know where I even “found” it. My computer found dit, because all of a sudden, there was this story in a new window, and it caught my eye before I closed the tab. Read it here: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12833146/instagram-account-university-pennsylvania-runner-showed-only-part-story
Okay, now let me tell you something…I might seem all timid and gentle, but there have been times in my life where I have done things that scared me. Not like, made me uncomfortable scary. No, like made my heart race and give me a panic attack kind of scary. A few years ago, I was in a really bad place. I was turning a year older, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So on my birthday, I made a plan. I’m not sure where exactly it came from, and I haven’t shared this story very openly before, so if you are reading it, that means I finally decided to open up my ugly brain and spew this memory out into the universe. I’m not sharing this to shock anyone, or impress readers. I’m sharing it because it’s my story to share, and I have want to.
Without digging into my journals, I want to say this was when I was 19. I hadn’t met my best friend, and husband yet. I was starving and walking to work each day. I was exhausted. On my birthday, I was walking home from work, and a bird pooped on my head. Then other things happened that just made my mood go from bad to worse. My plan was to go to work, go to dinner at Subway and buy myself a meal deal, and then go to the park by the river. The night before, I was feeling really upset. I didn’t sleep well, and I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday at all. Another year had gone by, and I was going nowhere. I was all alone (or at least I felt like it) and I didn’t see much value in my life, if any. So, on my birthday, I snapped at my parents when they asked what I wanted to do to make my day special. It’s a sort of tradition to let the birthday person choose a meal they would like, and have their choice of cake before present opening. My grandma also asked what my plan was. I just said I was planning on going to work and treating myself to Subway.
My mom, ever my voice of reason, said “why don’t you let us join you?” I just mumbled “maybe” and got ready for work. Right before I left, I said “if you guys really want to join me for dinner, can you pick me up around 5:30?” my mom smiled and said yes. She doesn’t know what she did for me with that one word. She saved my life. How? Well, let me tell you. She saved my life by being there for me, and making me feel like I mattered. She also performed an intervention. Because she didn’t know it, but the night before, I had woken up and decided, with a rapidly beating heart, that I wouldn’t be coming home from work on my birthday. My plan was to go to Dairy Queen after Subway, and buy the largest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard they could make me. I would take that Blizzard to the park by the river, and let the cold ice cream slide down my throat, as bits of peanut butter cup got caught in my teeth. I would savor that last luxury, something I had not eaten since before I got sick. And then (and I really hadn’t planned this part out, but I was going to do it anyway) I would probably fill my pockets with some heavy rocks, and walk into the river á la Virginia Woolf. I cried, thinking about it. How pathetic. But that was my plan. I’ll admit that it felt romantic and dark to be planning this “way out”. Finally, people would see. See how hurt and sad I was.
And now this post will come full circle, and hopefully you will see my point. No one would have suspected this from me. Keep your eyes and hearts open, people. And one more thing? The book “Reconstructing Amelia”? I’m not sure if it was implied to have assisted in this girl’s suicide, but let me tell you…books, to me? They are a healing balm to my soul. Thirteen Reasons Why (if you haven’t read it, do me a favor…read it.) was a book that I read right before I made my decision. It didn’t make me feel hopeless. It didn’t give me any ideas. It made me realize what I would be doing to those I would be leaving behind, it gave me a guilty conscience…but it didn’t sway my opinion. I would like to think that Madison did not use “Reconstructing Amelia” as a game plan for her suicide, but rather a way of comforting herself before the fact. She knew what she would be doing, and found an understanding friend in the most unlikeliest place. She saw no way out. She didn’t get the convenient diversion I did. She jumped. She became free. What if my mom hadn’t pushed me like she did that day? Sure, I didn’t have a plan in place that was solid and leak proof, but I was determined to do something. I am so thankful that my mother was there for me that day. No one really wants to get to the point that Madison did, but sometimes there aren’t answers. Depression is a horrible, black beast that tempts you and tells you that death is superior to life. Though it takes determination and courage to take a life, I think sometimes it takes more courage and determination to keep on living.