A Little Bit of Hope

In May 2012, I planned to kill myself. But at the last minute, I didn’t. You hear about these moments of clarity that seem so fictitious and ridiculous and too good to be true, but they actually exist.

On paper, nothing was “wrong” with my life. In fact, my life was pretty ideal to an outsider looking in. But my head? My head was in a dark, dark place, a place that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Depression is a silent killer. It eats away at your soul, bit-by-bit, until there’s nothing left except for the shell of what you used to be. It hurts. Some days, it’s a physical pain. Others, it’s the pain of simply knowing that you’re still stuck in the world, making the lives of those around you miserable. That day in May was one of the latter.

I’m not writing this post for pity, because I know that’s what some may be thinking. I know others may be rolling their eyes because they think posts like this are attention-seeking. That’s okay. I used to think the same thing about those who “suffered” from depression.

(By the way, I used quotation marks because once upon a time, I didn’t even believe depression was a legit thing. Funny how the universe sets us straight, huh?)

I’m not writing this to brag or seek attention, and I most definitely don’t want pity. In fact, I hesitated to publish this because I know some people will never look at me the same way again. I posted this for three reasons.

1)      Awareness for the ones who believe suicide victims are “selfish.” I can see the logic behind that statement. Those left behind after someone takes his/her own life are left with the questions, the grief, the suffering. But from an insider’s point-of-view, I can tell you this: The person who took their life likely suffered with grief every day up until their last moment.

2)      To let others know that they’re not alone. Up until I was diagnosed with clinical depression, I’d known that something wasn’t quite right. What I didn’t know was that, despite what I constantly told myself, I was not alone. There were others out there who didn’t believe anyone would care about what they were going through. There were others who thought the “light at the end of the tunnel” was a crock. To those people, please hear me loud and clear:

Your brain is lying to you.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are people who care. There are people who want to listen.

The Trevor Project

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

To Write Love on Her Arms

JK Rowling said, “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” The accuracy of that quote has me in tears. It also brings me to number three.

3)      To let others know that there’s a reason for your rock bottom. Because if you don’t go through the valleys, you’ll never truly understand the beauty at the top of the mountain.

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16 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Hope

  1. Heidi says:

    What an incredibly brave post – so glad you are still here. What you’re doing by sharing your story is SO IMPORTANT. Thanks for doing your part to dissolve the stigma.

  2. Heidi O. says:

    What an incredibly brave post – so glad you are still here. Thank you so much for using your voice to raise awareness and shatter the stigma. It’s so important. xo

  3. Jamie Dement (LadyJai) says:

    I want to let you know that this is an brilliant post. As someone who loves someone with depression, it’s so very hard to deal with. I’m so glad you got through it and didn’t end your life as my husband has as well. I hope to goodness that it remains that way for both. I always fear that those thoughts will come back and we will have to go through it all over again. But in the mean time, I enjoy the up side even thought he voice in the back of my head nags me, wondering if it’s still just a front. I don’t know how to get passed that fear.

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks so much, Jamie. Depression is such a tricky disease, and you’re right – the ups and downs are so unpredictable. It’s almost like a waiting game, always anticipating that downward spiral. All we can do is enjoy the good days we have, and keep fighting through the bad.

  4. jamie Ayres says:

    Tears!!! Thank you for sharing. You hit on a HUGE theme in 18 Things. My proudest moment was when a reader emailed me who said my book stopped them for committing suicide. I tried to take my own life twice as a teen. The Lord’s grace is the only thing that stopped by, which is why I can’t help but cry my eyes out every time I hear “Amazing Grace.” From the ages of 11-17,I couldn’t even begin to think of a good life. I didn’t think anyone understood or accepted me. I felt like I had nobody to help me cope with the spiral of sadness and despair I felt. And it was all a complete lie. The mind is a battlefield. I had to gather every bit of strength I had to get me through each coming day little by little until I knew graduation was coming and I could see hope again b/c soon I’d be out of the toxic environment I’d been living in. At the time, I thought I’d gone through all of that for nothing, but now I know the truth 🙂

  5. jamieayres says:

    Tears! Thank you for sharing your story! This message is a HUGE part of 18 Things. My proudest moment as an author was when a reader emailed me to thank me for my book b/c it stopped her from committing suicide. I tried to commit suicide twice as a teen and I remember that feeling of despair, thinking there was no way out. You are absolutely right when you say it’s all a lie. Our mind is a battlefield. I also truly believe we go through things for a reason . . . what a powerful testimony you are to others now. ~HUGS!

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