*FINAL* Voice From the Darkness | Golden #7

This piece is named “golden” as it’s the piece that officially both ends and begins my suicidality story. Ends, because it took 7 tries of writing before I got to this finished product and begins because it begins a conversation, of sorts. 🙂

This is the piece that will be featured all over, so please do, if you feel like it, spread it all around. I don’t know what the official title of it will be, but when it’s up I shall mention it within this post and a new post.

Thank you ALL for reading and being patient with this series. I hope and plan to include more details and information and experiences throughout this month about how I made it through my suicidal times and what I remember from it (good and bad).

Thank you for being there for me, peeps. ❤ ❤ ❤ Love you, guys.

And of course, TRIGGER WARNING. Explicit mention of suicide within this post and the series.

Written 8/31 & 9/1

I tried to kill myself.

Wait for it.

I tried to kill myself.

There, that’s more accurate.
I was listening to “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran when I wrote my suicide note poem titled “May Our Souls Rest Tonight” back in May 2015.
I’ve attempted suicide twice and yet I don’t consider myself a suicide attempt survivor. I would have to have made a “serious” attempt on my life in order to be considered that term. I’m talking multiple broken bones and permanent side effects kind of suicide attempt survivor stuff.

Even though when I look up close to things my eyes move back and forth rapidly and THAT’s because of a suicide attempt, I guess, it just doesn’t “count.”

Not in my brain.
Let me formally introduce myself to you–hi, hello, welcome, over in the far right corner is OCD, behind them is secondary depression and self-harm obsessions/thoughts and suicide obsessions/thoughts line all the bloody walls in this place. Now, that’s an introduction!

I don’t want this piece to be about the recovery side of things–I’ve already written and write daily about that before. No, instead, I just want this to be a talkative piece. Where I share with you my darkest days, where suicidal ideation ran rampant and I was convinced I was going to die by suicide.

I just want that story to be told–because it hasn’t been, not yet. And it’s time I stepped away from the shadows and found my voice, and used it.

So, let’s begin, shall we?
As someone dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on self-harm and suicide obsessions–by the textbook I never should have acted them. Yet, even when I was “just” dealing with OCD, I was acting on the obsessions. I thought, maybe if I did what the OCD said, it would go away.

So I sat on a ledge. So I jabbed myself with car keys. So I scratched myself. So I took one pill of an old prescribed painkiller.

But still, the OCD came back. In fact, it came back tenfold worse after I had acted on the thoughts.

I wasn’t trying to hurt myself (except when I was); I was just trying to find freedom. Everything in my world had turned upside down, I didn’t know what was right or what was wrong anymore and the doubt was getting on my nerves. I was tired of the emotional whirlwinds–spiraling from anxiety to depression to anger to apathy. I just wanted it all to end, to pause for even the simplest of moments. But I didn’t have the “guts” to kill myself.

And, let me be clear here: Suicide doesn’t take “guts”; suicide isn’t a “brave” or “cowardly” act. Suicide just is. That’s why I’ve used the quotations here, because even with quotations those accusations are just such utter bullshit. And, it’s about time someone called them out for what they are and not prance around pretending like it’s anything other than bullshit.

Secondary depression set in during the time my therapist “Steve” was away, during the winter break. On the night before New Year’s Eve, I felt depression speak up from the shadows. It told me that suicide was my only way out of the hell that was OCD. It told me that there was nothing I could do to make my emotional pain stop. I had tried every possible positive coping strategy for four hours that evening, just so I could get some blissful, sweet sleep.

Yet the sleep never came.

No matter what I did, nothing was working. Nothing would ever work; there was nothing I could do to make the pain stop, and all I wanted was the pain to stop, right?

For six days, I planned my suicide. That was all I thought about: suicide, suicide, suicide, suicide. Details from what I’d wear to where I would do it, to who I could tell to stop myself, to not believing at all that I would even follow through with it. I dreamt of suicide as my release, my freedom. It was my fantasy of releasing me from the hell that I was stuck in. How sweet, no, how beautiful suicide would be to me. I yearned for it even as I read articles upon articles about suicide prevention, trying to convey their warning signs into my daily life.

I wanted my freedom and I wanted it desperately.

I thought, because of the nature of the OCD that I was dealing with, that if I told someone about the thoughts that I was having on suicide, the fixation of it, that they wouldn’t believe me to be a danger to myself. I thought they might just think I was talking about the OCD again and that they’d respond with thoughts are just thoughts.

I thought that I had to prove I was a danger to myself. And the only way I could prove that, my brain said, was to act on my suicidal thoughts. The only way I would prove I was serious about dying from suicide, was if I died by suicide.

I remember the discussion between my brain and myself. I remember it taunting me, telling me if I didn’t ingest the pills, what I was dealing with was “just” OCD. But, if I ingested the pills, then it was something else. So, was it “just” OCD or was it something else?

I remember my own self-awareness that I knew my true self would recognize that ten pills, twenty pills would be a genuine threat to me, and therefore I would step in to prevent myself from acting on my suicidal thoughts. So, I had to trick myself. I had to get myself to ingest some smaller amount.

Suicide had to be better than the hell that I was struggling to breathe in. Breathing was exhausting, moving was exhausting, everything had just become exhausting.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, and I couldn’t open my damn mouth to let somebody know–anybody! The secondary depression stole my voice, the OCD my will to live. There had to be a way out of that life and the only alternative that was always on my mind, playing like a charred weapon throwing out bullets, was suicide.

However, first I had to convince myself to let go of life. Before I could act on my suicidal thoughts, I had to ask myself permission to kill myself.

I knew the first hour of the OCD telling me to kill myself would be met with a firm no. But after the three hundredth time, then, then I would waver. And then a little more time after that and I’d be considering and I’d finally, finally give myself that sweet, glistening allowance: Okay, I’ll do what you say.

All in the disillusionment that the OCD would give me reprieve if I just did what it said.

This led up to the first time I tried to kill myself on Tuesday, January 6th 2015, when I ingested five pills of that same painkiller from earlier. I walked into 2015 with the promise to myself that I wouldn’t see the end of the year, because I’d be dead.

But, I lacked conviction.

In sharing my story for this piece, someone told me that I couldn’t prove death. That I couldn’t possibly prove I was serious about suicide if I died by suicide and stayed dead. If I stayed dead by suicide I wouldn’t be able to live my life another day, and some part of me wanted to live life another day. Death doesn’t work that way, though.

And, I think that’s the worst part.

The worst part is not in all the action that I did manage–sticking a pen in an electrical outlet, how I tried slitting my wrist on the toilet paper dispenser after I placed a bag over my head for ten seconds, how I skipped class because I was trying to hang myself in the bathroom about ten feet away from the classroom.

The worst part is certainly not lying within the three hospitalizations I had from the end of January 2015 to June 2015.

The worst part is that no matter what I act on it is still not considered “serious”, not really.

I’m still seen as someone who didn’t really want to die–and you know, yeah, that’s true. Wanting freedom and wanting death are two different things, but when they seemingly align to mean the same thing, you’ve got some serious problems going down.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t lack such conviction. Some days I wake up and think to myself, “Damn it, you should have killed yourself when you had the chance.”

These are no easy things to admit. But I’m being honest about my experiences, because there are not enough voices out there who are sharing these words, words others can relate to and feel less alone because of them. Because talking about suicide is important, especially when it comes to preventing another suicide from happening.

More days I’m glad to have survived my suicidal crises. I may not completely, or even partially, consider myself a suicide attempt survivor, because of the low doses of painkillers I ingested, but I acted on it. I followed through with suicide plans. And by mental health professionals’ standards, that IS serious.

Sure, that’s not what the OCD tells me, but the OCD also tells me to go kill myself so really I shouldn’t be listening to its bullshit anyhow.

I can say though, with certainty, that I hate it when people suggest my suicide attempts weren’t “that bad”, or “I wasn’t really trying to kill myself” or “it was a cry for help.”

Way to kick me when I’m down, bro!

I hate it because it fuels the OCD, because in my brain it’s confirmation that it was right all along. But I don’t want to die to prove that point!

And worse, no one wants me to go acting on that either. What they say is intended to make me think of the part of myself that wants to live and recover and be happy. But I interpret it as “Oh, you weren’t really serious otherwise you’d be dead.”

And, that sucks.

When it came to my second suicide attempt I immediately felt regret. I was filled to the brim of the thoughts: “Oh shit, what did I do? What if I die? I don’t want to die.”

That fear was palpable when I thought I might die, and I found out that the OCD, the depression, everything in my brain had LIED to me.

Suicide wasn’t freedom. Suicide wasn’t relief. Suicide was painful. Suicide was shit. Suicide meant releasing pain onto others and taking away any chance of the future possibilities of life getting better. Suicide meant never seeing some god damn rock formations in the future, not getting to smile again, to laugh, to listen to music, to just feel and be and breathe. Suicide was painful and sickening and meant ending my life just when I realized how much I had to live for.

For six months I had been lied to, and I had believed those lies. And when I found this out, when I found the truth, I was beyond pissed off. I was also disappointed, because now the one thing I had believed in so much wasn’t true, and there was a loss in that.

That loss has brought me back to the present moment. I haven’t acted on thoughts regarding scratching myself, self-harm in general or suicidality in at least a month, but many more for other aspects of that list (i.e. scratching myself and the suicidality).

While I haven’t acted on them, I have wanted to. Oh, how I have wanted to. But I don’t, because in losing suicide as a fantasy, the reality of suicide has hit me square in the face.

There was something that I told myself when I was suffering through my suicidal crises that I’ll share with you now:

“Some people make it through their suicidality, and some people don’t. We lose some people to suicide, and that sucks. They likely felt some inkling of what I feel right now and that may have been the last thing they ever experienced. So am I going to be someone who makes it to recovery or someone who doesn’t?”

For me, these were sobering words. They allowed me to see the reality of the situation, there was no foolery or bullshit, just blatant fact.

There are times, today, where I think to myself that my voice and my story matter more when I’m alive than when I’m gone. And likely, with society as it is today, if I were to die by suicide? I can’t imagine anyone would be told it was that because suicide is just not spoken about, and that’s bullshit at its finest.
It’s at this point in the story where I elude to the fact that there isn’t an ending. Where I elude to the fact that I am an ongoing story (loose leaf pages, by the way) and I thank you for reading and spending some time visiting this old noggin of mine. Expect OCD to take a swing at you on your way out, and depression to yell at you some unfortunate words. Don’t worry; they do that every time I have a guest over.

And, finally, if you are someone struggling with suicidality, I encourage you to choose to live another day. The future days may not always be rainbows and sunshine, yet they may be days’ worth sticking around for. Of course, the choice is up to you.

Stay safe.

 

Eclipsed by Mental Illness

I don’t often use the term “mental illness” but when I do, you know it’s got something to do with my brain mucking around in two parts of OCD and secondary depression.

Saturday morning I woke up energized by all that is life and being alive and breathing and having a heartbeat.

Saturday evening I wrestled to sleep with thoughts of suicide, scratching myself and how “good” (read: glorified) those two actions would be.

It’s been a long, long evening, to say the least.

I had all sorts of dreams about suicidality, most of which I can’t recall now. It took me a while to calm my brain down and sleep, and that didn’t help much either.

I woke up at 7am, then fell back asleep.

And at 8am when I awoke again, I went to the “haven” of my iPod—-and then proceeded to “hang out with” the OCD for 35 minutes.

To say I feel drained, still overwhelmed and generally unwell is an understatement.

I feel quite eclipsed by my mental health issues, right now. They’re blocking out the light–artificial light, the sunlight, the hope, the motivation. Part of me dearly wants to act on scratching myself and I’m wrestling with that heavily right now.

I feel tired. And hungry, hence why I’m out of my room for breakfast already.

I do have some hours with the dogs today at doggy playtime so that should help quite a lot. We’re going out to see family later on too, so hopefully I am feeling a bit better by then, if not, I can bring some stuff with me that will help. I could potentially make a few positive messages too, to give to peeps today. I will try and work on that.

I also brought down my laptop to do this post right now at the breakfast table because I need some form of distraction, some problem solving techniques and all.

I’ve been musing about how I’ve been able to deal with many emotions when it comes to being conflicted with the OCD, but stress, stress is a whole other dimension to begin with. When I get overwhelmed I feel trapped and I feel that I want to kill or hurt myself. It’s still a reaction from my darkest days. And when that happens, I also go up to 50% of suicide jokes that I will utter aloud. Half-joking, half-serious deal, if you know what I mean.

On the good side of things, I found someone willing to become the Treasurer of Photography Club. On the odd side of things that’s also what stressed me out, they have a lot of great ideas but it was a bit overwhelming and they asked how I was only taking 3 classes which led my brain to wonder if it was that obvious and should I be taking more but if I took more I really WOULD go jump off a building and yeah, you can see where that led me to the aforementioned issues.

This is basically a moment of not quite having my “recovery to wellness shit together”, as my favorite pop tart would say 😉 And most importantly, how that is a’okay. ❤ ❤ ❤

I got some BADASS stationary the other day though, and I am going to work on the (re)framing Friday post today before I leave in the afternoon. Probably gonna do some reading, writing maybe drawing today too. Tomorrow and Tuesday I can continue to blog and stuff more.

For now, I think this is where I’ll leave this post. This helped a lot to keep my attention focused elsewhere, so, maybe indirectly, but, thank you. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

I’ll see you all later on. Stay safe!! ❤ ❤ xxxxx

Today’s Prompt 0 Eclipse

Summer Sanity | Article

This is my second article for the first issue of the Mass Media coming out within the first few days of this new fall semester. I’m pre-scheduling a bunch of these articles for the beginning of the semester as they relate in some way or another to suicide prevention awareness month and more posts will be featured this month about it, too. 🙂

You will be able to find these articles through my Navigation system down below and in the title as I will have them say ‘Article’, as well.

I have 8 from the spring 2016 semester, if you’re interested in seeing where we started out from.

Enjoy!!! (Also, let me just preface this by saying ALL of your friendship, follows, likes, comments and support has been MASSIVE and so wonderful over the time I’ve been blogging for. Keep that in mind when you guys see that awfully short sentence shouting you out, because really, it’s a BIG hot air balloon in actuality. Sending you guys hugs!!!!)

By Raquel Lyons

As daunting as a blank page is to fill with words, summer and winter breaks from school when dealing with a mental health issue can be intimidating. It’s a common theme in the mental health world that unstructured time is the enemy. And when facing three months of that unstructured time for a summer break, well, that can get stressful pretty quickly.

The reason why unstructured time is the enemy is because it is unstructured. Large expanses of blank time not set aside for some task absolutely volunteers mental health issues to spring up like daises. Instead of productively writing a Mass Media article in a set block of time, I might wind up wandering through the bookshelves of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder library and spending my time at a metaphorical tea party than doing tasks I’d much rather be doing.

I know for myself, back at the end of May 2016, I was ready to just get into the summer (preferably skipping over finals, but alas, that couldn’t be done). So when I wasn’t studying for my finals, I was searching endlessly for a summer job. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite find one that matched my interests and my utterly blank space of availability. I began to get agitated and annoyed, particularly from facing multiple prospects of uploading my resume only to re-fill out the information contained in that resume into the provided text boxes.

With a heated sigh, I had had enough. It was a Friday and I was feeling particularly spontaneous after searching for some type of writing centered job. I had experience writing for the Mass Media in that semester, and I had experience with being involved in mental health awareness both professionally and personally and I was aggravated that I couldn’t seem to find a job that would allow me to utilize such experiences. Eventually, I came across a website that spoke about mental health blogging, and I was quite interested. The process for applying was a bit tedious, however, and in the bubble of my spontaneity I decided then and there that I would create my own blog.

So, storming off to WordPress I went, and within minutes I had a blog. I didn’t know it then but this would become the absolute key to my summer sanity.

It may not be my job but I do love blogging. And for the summer, it was a necessary and crucial step in maintaining my recovery gains. I was able to spend and dedicate so much time to blogging that I wasn’t making time for the OCD. No longer was I brushed aside to pamper the OCD, rather I was getting the pampering and the OCD was slowly losing power over me in the corners of my mind.

Through my blog I write about mental health and my experiences with it, as I typically do in these articles. I also write for the daily prompts, share my artwork, create some hashtags (shameless self-promotion here: #RecoveryHome), create gift art for my other blogger friends and do book reviews. Some other topics I blog about include teachable moments, alliteration days such as (re)Framing Friday, and general life updates.

(Re)Framing Friday is all about collecting some positive quote images from Google and sharing them in a post, as well as my music and video recommendations of the week, a thoughtful quote and some glimpses into artwork I was up to that week. And teachable moments are about me returning to some of my art therapy assignments or notes from groups from my inpatient days and discussing them with the perspective of then and now.

The book reviews are an added bonus, as I think it helps me and my readers to break away from such heavy themes like mental health and suicide prevention awareness with some lighter topics. Adding book reviews onto my schedule was especially great as my New Year’s Resolution this year was to read ten books. I’ve surpassed that goal since and completely fallen in love with reading once again. I haven’t read as much or gotten out eight books from the library since I was a small child. The thought of unlocking a new book provides me with great exhilaration.

But before I could chronologically obtain the benefits and sanity of my summer, I had a bit of a bump and a roll in my recovery first.

At the end of May, I relapsed exponentially with self-harm–a term I’m using as a blanket term, scratching myself and with the OCD. I wrote a blog post about it actually, titled “Relapse Blvd.” It was there that I began to think of additional street names for my recovery journey–names like Hope Avenue, Lapse Circle, and Kill Yourself Road–a contribution from the OCD of course–which is a dead end by the way. I began to imagine what my Recovery Home would look like–what would be the scenery, where would it be located, what would be in the town surrounding it. I discovered that I liked the concept of my Recovery Home being a large home, think like a mansion, on the top of a hill where there is a town down below. There’s a rainbow lighthouse on the property and a gazebo, as well as some other details I have yet to uncover. There’s a stationary room inside the home because I absolutely love and adore stationary. I jokingly admit that it’s become a reason for me to live. Especially the deals at the Target dollar spot or at Michael’s Arts and Crafts store. But, I digress.

Watering these creative explorations aided me in spending more time thinking about the details of my Recovery Home, to what I wanted to blog about that day, to writing out my book review quotes in my blogging journal.

It effectively made the summer pass by, for which I am grateful.

My first step in response to my relapse was to speak with my therapist about returning to the OCD-Institute for a partial hospitalization to “reboot” myself. I filled out the paperwork and begun the wait, but until then my parents were urging me to stay busy through either work or school. Granted, they said work and school, but I took it as an either/or option.

I wound up enrolling in the psychology statistics course for the second half of the summer. I also kept myself busy every Sunday for two to three hours visiting a local doggy daycare business open to the public for playdates. In those few hours I could get my weekly hold over of petting dogs until I could come by the following Sunday to do the same.

By July I was realizing that the reboot I was searching for was unlikely to occur, especially with taking a summer course over the second part of the summer, which is when the partial would happen. So I let that ship sail and kept telling myself that once I got through X and Y appointments, I could then go inpatient. Then, when those appointments would come and go, I would tell myself once again that the next set would be what I would wait for and then I would go inpatient.

And so, a pattern of coping formed and I wound up making it through the summer without ever getting that additional help.

There were a few other bumps in the road of my recovery process thereafter, but I did my best to maintain my wellness and I think I did a pretty good job of that.

In August, I began my year-long planner that includes the start of the day at six AM until eleven PM. It is a goal oriented planner and so far, I have been enjoying it greatly–even if I miss a few days here and there.

Also in the month of August, I reached my milestone of one hundred followers on my blog. And while I was taking statistics, I barely had any of the OCD getting in my way.

And now, with the coming fall semester I feel quite accomplished for what I got done and got through over the summer break. I have ideas for last minute photography projects and artwork, and of course catching up on writing for my fan fiction story and blogging in general.

I would say for a time of emptiness I managed well in keeping myself together and sane. The next obstacle is to remain level headed through the fall semester. But, I have a lot of plans and ideas for myself, so I am quite excited.

I hope you are also excited for the new semester! Above all, stay safe.
And if you happen to be curious, my blog is recoverytowellness.wordpress.com

Voice From the Darkness | Attempt 6

This is attempt #6 in the four part series of trying to tell my suicidality story for the website, Art is Survival, as well as this blog, and the Mass Media and my DA account. This is for the theme of self-harm/suicide awareness month and is a story I haven’t often told, although now have about 4 times. XD

Attempt 6 is familiar and similar to the previous attempts, but my goal is to show that the unedited, raw, flawed renditions of a piece before it became what it did, finally, nearly a week later.

TRIGGER WARNING This post and series contains EXPLICIT mention of suicidality. Proceed with caution, please.

This part was written on 8/28

I would also like to thank my friend, PoetsHand, for helping me to choose between this piece and piece #7. ❤

I tried to kill myself.

Wait for it.

I tried to kill myself.

There, that’s more accurate.

As someone dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on self-harm and suicide obsessions–by the textbook I never should have acted them.

But, I did.

Even when I was “just” dealing with OCD, I was acting on the obsessions. I thought, maybe if I did what the OCD said, it would go away.

So I sat on a ledge. So I jabbed myself with car keys. So I scratched myself. So I took one pill of an old prescribed painkiller.

But still, the OCD came back. In fact, it came back tenfold worse after I had acted on the thoughts.

I wasn’t trying to hurt myself; I was just trying to find freedom. Everything in my world had turned upside down, I didn’t know what was right or what was wrong anymore and the doubt was getting on my nerves. I was tired of the emotional whirlwinds–spiraling from anxiety to depression to anger to apathy. I just wanted it all to end, to pause for even the simplest of moments. But I didn’t have the “guts” to kill myself.

Until that is, I did.

Secondary depression set in during the time my therapist “Steve” was away, during the winter break. On the night before New Year’s Eve, I felt depression speak up from the shadows. It told me that suicide was my only way out of the hell that was OCD. It told me that there was nothing I could do to make my emotional pain stop. I had tried every possible positive coping strategy for four hours that evening, just so I could get some blissful, sweet sleep.

Yet the sleep never came.

No matter what I did, nothing was working. Nothing would ever work; there was nothing I could do to make the pain stop, and all I wanted was the pain to stop, right?

For six days, I planned my suicide. That was all I thought about: suicide, suicide, suicide, suicide. Details from what I’d wear to where I would do it, to who I could tell to stop myself, to not believing at all that I would even follow through with it. I dreamt of suicide as my release, my freedom. It was my fantasy of releasing me from the hell that I was stuck in. How sweet, no, how beautiful suicide would be to me. I yearned for it even as I read articles upon articles about suicide prevention, trying to convey their warning signs into my daily life.

I wanted my freedom and I wanted it desperately.

I thought, because of the nature of the OCD that I was dealing with, that if I told someone about the thoughts that I was having on suicide, the fixation of it, that they wouldn’t believe me to be a danger to myself. I thought they might just think I was talking about the OCD again and that they’d respond with thoughts are just thoughts.

I thought that I had to prove I was a danger to myself. And the only way I could prove that, my brain said, was to act on my suicidal thoughts. The only way I would prove I was serious about dying from suicide, was if I died by suicide.

I remember the discussion between my brain and myself. I remember it taunting me, telling me if I didn’t ingest the pills, what I was dealing with was “just” OCD. But, if I ingested the pills, then it was something else. So, was it “just” OCD or was it something else?

I remember my own self-awareness that I knew my true self would recognize that ten pills, twenty pills would be a genuine threat to me, and therefore I would step in to prevent myself from acting on my suicidal thoughts. So, I had to trick myself. I had to get myself to ingest some smaller amount.

Suicide had to be better than the hell that I was struggling to breathe in. Breathing was exhausting, moving was exhausting, everything had just become exhausting.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, and I couldn’t open my damn mouth to let somebody know–anybody! The secondary depression stole my voice, the OCD my will to live. There had to be a way out of that life and the only alternative that was always on my mind, playing like a charred weapon throwing out bullets, was suicide.

However, first I had to convince myself to let go of life. Before I could act on my suicidal thoughts, I had to ask myself permission to kill myself.

I knew the first hour of the OCD telling me to kill myself would be met with a firm no. But after the three hundredth time, then, then I would waver. And then a little more time after that and I’d be considering and I’d finally, finally give myself that sweet, glistening allowance: Okay, I’ll do what you say.

All in the disillusionment that the OCD would give me reprieve if I just did what it said.

This led up to the first time I tried to kill myself on Tuesday, January 6th 2015, when I ingested five pills of that same painkiller from earlier. I walked into 2015 with the promise to myself that I wouldn’t see the end of the year, because I’d be dead.

But, I lacked conviction.

The anxiety about killing myself was still there, so I had to teach myself how to properly dispose of myself. I realized that the more I scratched myself the more my pain increased, so I purposely scratched more to spur on more of the possibility that I would then proceed in killing myself.

But, I never did.

In sharing my story for this piece, someone told me that I couldn’t prove death. That I couldn’t possibly prove I was serious about suicide if I died by suicide and stayed dead. If I stayed dead by suicide I wouldn’t be able to live my life another day. Life just doesn’t work that way.

And, I think that’s the worst part.

The worst part is not in all the action that I did manage–sticking a pen in an electrical outlet, how I tried slitting my wrist on the toilet paper dispenser after I placed a bag over my head for ten seconds, how I skipped class because I was trying to hang myself in the bathroom about ten feet away from the classroom.

The worst part is certainly not lying within the three hospitalizations I had from the end of January 2015 to June 2015.

The worst part is that no matter what I act on it is still not considered “serious”, not really.

Or, maybe more accurately my interpretation of other people’s concerns are twisted and faulted to a significant degree.

Because I don’t feel warm and fuzzy inside when someone tells me that ‘No, you wouldn’t really kill yourself’ or ‘You didn’t really want to die’.

I may not have wanted to die, but I did want the pain to end. And, that really should be enough.

People don’t mean it to be insulting, but it is how I interpret it. They are trying to let me see the potential within me to live, the desire of my true self to live, but in doing so, it feels they disregard the depth of my emotional pain. It feels as though they disregard the depth of what I’m willing to lose to prove that I am serious in my efforts.

Maybe this is why I do not consider myself a suicide attempt survivor. Part of me believes that if I had really been ‘serious’ I would have properly killed myself. It’s as if my two small overdoses don’t even count for anything. The fact that I tried to kill myself, officially twice, but acted on more than that, doesn’t matter.

All of these feelings burn within me a desire to prove myself, to prove the depth of my pain so that it cannot be brushed aside, but to do that I would have to compromise my values, and for what end?

Instead, my price to pay is to live alongside these thoughts with my lack of conviction that allows me to live another day. Instead, I choose life with its possibilities and brighter futures than the damnation of regret that a death by suicide would extend to me.

Because with my second suicide attempt I immediately felt regret. I was filled to the brim of the thoughts: “Oh shit, what did I do? What if I die? I don’t want to die.”

That fear was palpable when I thought I might die, and I found out that the OCD, the depression, everything in my brain had LIED to me.

Suicide wasn’t freedom. Suicide wasn’t relief. Suicide was painful. Suicide was shit. Suicide meant releasing pain onto others and taking away any chance of the future possibilities of life getting better. Suicide meant never seeing some god damn rock formations in the future, not getting to smile again, to laugh, to listen to music, to just feel and be and breathe. Suicide was painful and sickening and meant ending my life just when I realized how much I had to live for.

For six months I had been lied to, and I had believed those lies. And when I found this out, when I found the truth, I was beyond pissed off. I was also disappointed, because now the one thing I had believed in so much wasn’t true, and there was a loss in that.

Awareness Nail Art

At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be!!

My Mom said she couldn’t really read what my left hand said, and since I wrote the same thing on my right hand with my LEFT hand, well, it’s probably unintelligible. Ah well! Maybe if people ask about it I can proclaim:

 

It’s for suicide prevention awareness month! :B

I didn’t have the colors for the ribbons, so I made do with a mix of gold and blue. :3

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And, although I wanted to wait until next Wednesday, here is a photo of that awareness shirt I got! 😀

IMG_00003045

Oh, and I forgot to tell you guys, I got a haircut, too! This is from when I got out of the shower and then when it got straightened 🙂

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I’m going all out this month, you guys. Can’t wait until it’s OCD Awareness WEEK! (In October). I’ll have to think up some fanciness for that, too! YIPPEE!

 

Preparing you guys another reframing Friday! ^^

Hope you’re all doing SNAZZY!

xxxxx ❤ ❤ ❤

(re)Framing Friday | Week #4

I think it’s the fourth week at least XD

Again, a late upload. I thought on and off about not doing this week’s today, (end of August that is) but it’s on my mind so much that I just will. 🙂 I can’t quite remember all that I wanted to share though. Oops.


Music Share of the Week:

 


Video share of the Week:

I’ve watched this several times over and I just love it. It had me laughing so much the first time I watched it XD


Positive Google Images SUPERHERO GOOGLE IMAGES EDITION:

MCU xx 5

It’s actually quite difficult to find an appropriate Loki quote for this blog. But, I found something! 🙂

MCU -- 5

I like this quote above too, because I think it can be applicable for every being in life. 🙂

MCU 5

Don’t know if this is actually a superhero quote, but we’ll roll with it 😉 I may even use it in a scrapbook page! New idea, woot woot!

MCU Quote 5


Posts to Expect within September:

  • Suicide prevention related drawings (I have a couple backed up that I can use)
  • Book reviews (I’ve read 3 books in 3 days; and still have 4 more to go!)
  • Pre-scheduled posts
  • Some potential type of blogging schedule – with school I won’t be able to blog on Friday’s and I have TuTh’s off, mostly, so those can be blog days and yeah. Gotta figure something out
  • Daily prompts
  • Teachable moments
  • Suicide prevention related posts (warning signs, quotes, etc.)

I can’t think of anything else to include in this post, so I’ll be scheduling it for noon to come out! Thanks for reading everybody!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Voice From the Darkness | Attempt 5

In this piece, I am sharing my fifth attempt at writing what would later become my seventh attempt at sharing my suicidality story for the Art is Survival website in honor of September being featured as self-harm and suicide month.

Again, there will be familiar elements to this piece if you’ve seen the first attempt at writing it.

My aim for this short series is to show how sometimes the work we do takes a few flawed editions before we come into our golden pieces. Also, there’s a bit of different perspectives and information in each attempt, and some of them give more depth and insight into my story that I haven’t often told regarding suicidality for you guys to learn about.

Of course, TRIGGER WARNING explicit mentions of suicide are contained in this piece.

I wrote this part 8/26 as well.

As my fifth time writing this piece, I think I just want to talk.

I think I just want to share with you the time in my life where I wasn’t okay. The period of time where I thought being dead was a part of my destiny and the only way for me to be free from the damnation that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I sit here, typing this, with twenty different directions of thoughts on how to tell this part of my story. It’s difficult to admit there is no wrong or right way. I don’t often talk about this part of my story, due to time limits and censorship issues.

I feel nauseous just thinking about it, as I’ve been writing and re-writing and detailing and deleting my words for hours now. What is the right way to tell my story? What is the right thing to say?

Maybe it’s time that I admit that there is no right or wrong way. That my story just is. That suicide just is.

To share my story, I feel that I have to open up the vault. The vault that separates myself of the present moment to myself that struggled in all-encompassing whiteouts of desperation. To open the vault is to be vulnerable. To open the vault is to face emotions locked away.

Why did I take the pills? Why didn’t I take more?

Pain. To open the vault is to be close again with pain. A pain I fear that I will act on again.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t want to, I never did before and I was still able to act on my suicidal thoughts.

I remember the OCD telling me to kill myself, for hours on end. I remember my brain’s suggestions on ways to hurt myself: so many options, so many choices.

I remember the discussion between my brain and myself. I remember it taunting me, telling me if I didn’t ingest the pills, what I was dealing with was “just” OCD. But, if I ingested the pills, then it was something else. So, was it “just” OCD or was it something else?

I remember my own self-awareness that I knew my true self would recognize that ten pills, twenty pills would be a genuine threat to me, and therefore I would step in to prevent myself from acting on my suicidal thoughts. So, I had to trick myself. I had to get myself to ingest some smaller amount because… I had to “prove” to myself that I was a genuine danger to myself.

It was the only way. The only way to prove that I was serious about suicide was to follow through and be dead. Any action taken that didn’t result in my being dead therefore was not serious. Suicide was the only way to end my emotional pain.

Suicide meant being free. Suicide had to be better than the hell that I was struggling to breathe in. Breathing was exhausting, moving was exhausting, everything had just become exhausting.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, and I couldn’t open my damn mouth to let somebody know–anybody! The secondary depression stole my voice, the OCD my sanity. There had to be a way out of that life and the only alternative that was always on my mind, playing like a charred weapon throwing out bullets, was suicide.

Death would be a relief.

But first I had to convince myself to let go of life. Before I could act on my suicidal thoughts, I had to ask myself permission to kill myself.

I knew the first hour of the OCD telling me to kill myself would be met with a firm no. But after the three hundredth time, then, then I would waver. And then a little more time after that and I’d be considering and I’d finally, finally give myself that sweet, glistening allowance: Okay, I’ll do what you say.

All in the disillusionment that the OCD would give me reprieve if I just did what it said.

So I tricked myself, and on Tuesday January 6th 2015 I took five pills of an old prescribed painkiller.

It was “only” five pills, I reasoned. It was no big deal. It wasn’t even a suicide attempt, not really. And because I didn’t die, it definitely wasn’t serious.

But I had caved during my attempt. I told a friend. And that friend confirmed my fears that I had just attempted to take my own life. It was an action that as someone dealing with OCD on self-harm and suicide obsessions–by the textbook would never have acted on.

But desperation is a powerful force, especially when it became all that I knew.

I’m still struggling to get the words out. I can tell you all about the suicide rehearsals that I did–the times of which I acted on my suicidal thoughts but not in an intention of killing myself right then and there, more of just….testing out the waters.

I could tell you about how my second plan to kill myself involved drowning in the pond in the center of my town. I had already scoped out the area, been there physically, even had the opportunity of dying on that thin ice one late evening.

I could tell you about the time I brought two methods to my therapy appointment on campus, and considered half an hour before my appointment to kill myself right then and there. How I tried slitting my wrist on the toilet paper dispenser after I placed the bag over my head for ten seconds.

I could tell you about the time I skipped class because I was trying to hang myself in the bathroom about ten feet away from the classroom. Or the times I waited in bathroom stalls for everyone to leave so I could scratch myself and sob.

But what I’d really like you to know, beyond all of that, is that to this day, I still don’t think I consider myself a suicide attempt survivor. Maybe it’s all of my brain bullshit sneaking up on me again; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

But it doesn’t feel like my attempts were real (alternatively, read ‘real’ as ‘serious’). Not even the second suicide attempt I made at the end of June 2015 when I overdosed on some other medication.

My second suicide attempt was more impactful than my first, however. Because with my second suicide attempt I immediately felt regret. I was filled to the brim of the thoughts: “Oh shit, what did I do? What if I die? I don’t want to die.” And I had broken my promise to myself: I attempted suicide at my home.

That fear was palpable when I thought I might die, and I found out that the OCD, the depression, everything in my brain had LIED to me.

Suicide wasn’t freedom. Suicide wasn’t relief. Suicide was painful. Suicide was shit. Suicide meant releasing pain onto others and taking away any chance of the future possibilities of life getting better. Suicide meant never seeing some god damn rock formations in the future, not getting to smile again, to laugh, to listen to music, to just feel and be and breathe. Suicide was painful and sickening and meant ending my life just when I realized how much I had to live for.

For six months I had been lied to, and I had believed those lies. And when I found this out, when I found the truth, I was beyond pissed off. I was also disappointed, because now the one thing I had believed in so much wasn’t true, and there was a loss in that.

Motherfucking A

HELLLLLLLLS YEAH!

 

First, let’s just admire that title, shall we? *admires fondly*

Second, guess who got an A in her stats class? 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 MEEEEEEEEE! Lmao.

 

Third: Finished my THIRD book in the last three days, woot woot! You guys are gonna get blasted with book reviews this month, as I’ll probably be behind them, and already am, in a way D:

But yeah.

I’m getting a massage tomorrow, yay! And school starts Sept 7th! FINALLY. I’ve been so bored lately, gwah! Not knowing what to do without my course D:

Anywho, I will say I have scheduled posts up until Monday. So, expect me to me talking, even if it was talking from today set up for days ahead. ^^

Well, I guess I’ll go read or eat or something.

Shortest update, ever. MARGH!

So many books to read, so little time. Son of a bitch it’s September! I need to update my planner D:

GASP! I have to make my fancy class schedule thing. I MUST PREPARE FOR LE SCHOOL. I should scrapbook. Oh hot damn. So much to do.

I’m excited. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

Staying Alive Through a Crisis | Edited, Article

This post was originally titled “I’m Still Breathing” which you can find through a search bar on my page.

I edited this blog post into a Mass Media article which will be appearing in the first issue of the semester. I plan on converting a few other blog posts into articles, as well as my suicidality story which you will have seen the final product of on Sunday September 4th.

Thank you for reading.

Edited 8.24 (to fit 1,500 word limit)

Forgive the crappy spacing in this piece, I fixed it before but it won’t follow through. My apologies D:

By Raquel Lyons
There are times where I listen to Sia’s song “Alive” and appreciate that I have survived my darkest days regarding mental health issues. There are times where I listen to her song and smile at the strength I’ve used to get through those difficult times, and marvel at how I managed to make it through them, when I was so convinced I never would.
Recovery is a process in which I include my dark days. The days where I wasn’t sure I wanted to recover or get better or see the next day. That’s where the beginning of my recovery started–in the abyss, the vortex, the black hole, the white out. In the nothingness, still, there was something. There was me. And I made it through.
Now, there are still days where I wish I hadn’t. I call those moments Resentful Raquel. However, I also have days of Recovery Raquel, in which I’m proud to have survived and to be here, on the better side of days, where I can still achieve my dreams and my hopes and my wishes. Where I can still listen to awesome music and interact with awesome, amazing people; where I can expand my sense of self and who I wish to love. It’s exciting, really, and I think sometimes it can be easy to forget that.
It’s especially easy to forget that when you have a dark cloud of mental illness shrouding you.
So, you may ask, how did I make it through my crises?
A combination of tactics is my best answer.
First, medication was necessary in my case. I was reluctant to go on medications; I can likely attribute that to the controversy and stigma surrounding medications to treat mental health issues. However, I was in my first hospitalization at the end of January 2015 when I was convinced by a nurse on the unit to try out medications. The worst was already upon me, and not being on medications wasn’t helping my scenario (as I was in the hospital), and if it could help, why would I not try them? That’s the best of what I can remember her telling me. It had enough of an impact, regardless if I can’t remember her exact words, for me to drop my reluctance and go on medications, and for me to tell you about it now.
So I tried meds. And they didn’t help for a while, they may have made things worse actually, but I don’t know for sure. So I tried another brand of meds. And those helped. And then there were a few other trials, but eventually I got on the two medications I’m on today.
And, what I’ve been told repeatedly through the mental health community of professionals is that medications are an aid to help me do the work I need to do with psychotherapy. Without medications, I’d continue to be emotionally dysregulated and going through several crises–which isn’t a cohesive environment for me to make gains in recovery. So, again, for me, medications played an important role.

What else helped?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it again: Finding something to hold onto. Whether it was physical (a stuffed animal) or metaphorical (my dreams for the future), I found things to hold on to. I found reasons to live another day.
My suggestion would be to come up with reasons to live for yourself. They can be ANYthing–I had listed food and activities and friendships and more. In another article, I will even share my own.
Also, writing positive things about your day in a journal can be helpful, too. Bonus points if you come up with different things each day, so it gets your brain thinking and you notice all the little stuff that makes you happy, even when life’s…well, difficult to say the least.
Doing IOS (ink on skin) helped me a LOT, too. Drawing or writing on myself with pen really, really helped to get my attention focused back in the present moment, to distract me, to feel the touch and smell of the ink, to create something beautiful rather than something destructive or painful.
Remember that getting better requires time to pass. It sucks, I know, and for a good few months I didn’t notice change in my outlook on life, but it was brewing, through the small steps. My dark days lasted for 3 months definitively and 6 months overall (including those first 3 months). But Recovery was brewing in my system from March 2015 on. That’s why I think and say my dark days were encompassed by my Recovery. They fit inside each other like those Russian doll sets. Each moment I could use to try one other positive coping mechanism rather than scratching myself was a victory. Each moment I could get through alive meant another day under my belt of survival.
And again, I didn’t think I’d actually make it through alive. I got through those first dark 3 months with the complete belief that I was going to kill myself at any moment in time. I was always planning my suicide and looking for “opportunities”. And the snow days killed me more inside as I kept missing therapy appointments–which I didn’t completely mind since it gave me more of a chance to die.
And while I may have been scratching myself during those three months, and while I did get two hospitalizations out of that time, I wasn’t always acting on my suicidal thoughts. Mainly because I felt there were problems with my plans or chances I’d be interrupted.
My point is, while I didn’t think I’d make it out alive, time continued to pass, and as it did my crises would too.
You see, a crisis is time limited. The more time you can buy yourself within that crisis, the better the chance you’ll make it through it unharmed (or at least, not dead). Another way to think about it is: Feelings are temporary.
When I couldn’t stand the thought of making it alive through another week, I thought about it as getting by the next hour, the next minute, and the next few seconds. And working with seconds, that’s pretty good because seconds go by quick, and if I could hold on for a few seconds, I could make it to a few minutes, hours, days. It was a way of breaking down the complexity in a simpler fashion to something I could genuinely handle and cope with.
Hospitalizations were also very helpful for me. I’d go through a good range of emotions beforehand but I’m grateful to myself that I used the time in the hospital as best as I could, regardless if I was annoyed or depressed through it. I kept myself going to groups and asking for help, and a lot of that experience I now use to write these articles.
My crises began tapering off by the summer of 2015, and one time when I texted my friend and my Mom that I was having a hard time and was going to take a bath, they freaked out because they thought I was going to kill myself–when in my mind, I was only going to take a bath and had NO thoughts about killing myself. It wasn’t even on my radar, AT ALL.
Another time, I went out of the house to the store to meet up with that same friend. My Mom was concerned that I’d crash my car and die, and again, I was like, “What? No. I’m just going to the store. I hadn’t even thought about that.”
These were signs that I was moving away from the identity I had crafted about myself being a suicidal blob.
Implementing positive coping strategies and proper self-expression through art aided me in the process of my recovery. Particularly, implementing positive coping strategies when I was feeling WELL was of HUGE importance. I was told in my third hospitalization that the key to using positive coping alternatives is to use them when I was doing well, so that when I feel bad, I’m more likely to think of the positive coping alternatives I do when I’m well and turn to them. This is because many of us know when we’re feeling bad, we have a harder time of thinking clearly and doing what may be more beneficial to us rather than getting a quick, temporary ‘fix’.
The most important thing to remember is that you can and will make it out alive through your crises. And if you EVER have ANY doubt, reach out to someone. You are loved. You are cared for–more deeply than you realize. I care about you, and I believe that you, too, will get better.
Stay safe.

Voice From the Darkness | Attempt 1

I wanted to share my story with suicidality for the Art is Survival month of September which is self-harm and suicide awareness month (on their website). I’d encourage you to do the same too, and you can be international, too. Plus you get a painting out of it, that’s awesome!!

Any who, it took me nearly 1 whole week before I have finally submitted my story, seven tries later.

As such, I have a ton of attempts before that golden 7th one (from what I kept) so I’m going to be sharing them with you all here. For this one, it is attempt #1.

I don’t know what the official title for Number 7 will be on their website, but for now I am calling this the series of “Voice from the Darkness”.

I hope it gives another look into my experiences, as I know I’ve talked about some of this before, I think, but also not at all. Only briefly mentioned.

Also, of course, TRIGGER WARNING: This piece and series deals with explicit mention of suicidality and self-harm. Proceed with caution, my friends.

Also, random update, I totally finished reading another book and will have some book reviews coming later next week. Also, this is part of what I’ll be doing for the month of September for suicide prevention awareness.

As for the first attempt writing this part of my story, I was struggling to come up with an objective for the story, and got very detailed in this first attempt. I begrudgingly had to realize I wouldn’t complete the story in one-go, and in fact, it would take many tries later.

Also, it should be known that I kept a good amount of the information from attempt 5 and 6 and just reworded and re-stylized the piece around them. Anywho, without further ado.

ATTEMPT #1:

I’ve tried to kill myself.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

I’ve tried to kill myself.

There, that’s a bit more accurate.

I don’t often talk about my suicide attempts.

When I do my NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations, there’s just not enough time to squish them in. On my blog it’s mentioned in my about section, but I haven’t often talked about it in other posts.

I’ve spoken out about the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I live with that focuses on self-harm and suicide obsessions. I’ve spoken about the genuine suicidal thoughts, how bad things got for me, and about the things that I did (i.e. acting on the suicidal thoughts and scratching myself). I’ve talked about my three hospitalizations. I’ve talked about the secondary depression–hell, I’ve even talked about suicide prevention.

But I don’t often talk about the suicide attempts, themselves.

They’re pretty damn important though, so I don’t know why it is I don’t mention them.

But I’ll mention them here. And this piece will be about them. And maybe, maybe that will help just a little bit. Because it’s an important topic, one society should be engaging with more than it is.

~*~*~

I first tried to kill myself on Tuesday, January 6th 2015. I overdosed on a three year old painkiller that I had been prescribed from my latest spinal fusion surgery. I took five of the pills. I put them in a plastic zip-lock bag and stored them in my school backpack. This was four days before I tried to kill myself.

On the day of my essay to be due, I went to school without said essay in hand but with the pills instead. I considered, in my procrastinated state of mind that I could still try and work on the paper and pass it in, or that I could kill myself and then not have to worry about the paper at all.

That’s right; I attempted suicide on my college campus. This is because my rule of thumb was not to kill myself at home, as I didn’t want my parents to find me.

I had been dealing with the OCD for three months since it flared up after I was diagnosed in fall 2014. But it was within that winter break when the secondary depression set in. And it was that night before New Year’s Eve where for four hours I tried every possible positive coping strategy I could think of just so I could finally, finally get to blissful sleep–but none of it worked.

And so my brain told me nothing would ever work, that there was nothing that I could do. And in that moment, the light switch went off again, click! And I knew then that killing myself was the answer. The only answer. Nothing else would stop the OCD, and for that moment of time, frozen in space, I knew what I had to do–even though I didn’t want to act on it at all.

All of a sudden suicide turned into this fantastic idea and I hadn’t had a clue how I never thought of it before then.

So, six days later, I ingested the pills.

“Only” five.

I overdosed with a small amount, because I knew my true self would recognize a larger amount of pills as a genuine threat to myself, and therefore prevent me from acting on my suicidal thoughts. So, I had to trick myself. I had to get myself to ingest some amount because… I had to “prove” to myself that I was a genuine danger to myself.

My brain told me that if I didn’t ingest the pills, what I was dealing with was “just” OCD. But, if I ingested the pills, then it was something else. So, was it “just” OCD or was it something else?

I knew that if I gave myself access to the pills that I would ingest them impulsively. So I planned for it. I kept a select few in my possession and I waited until I’d be at school, out of the house, to kill myself.

It would be so easy, my brain told me. It was what I was meant to do. It meant freedom from the OCD.

I just couldn’t tell anyone, my brain said, because they wouldn’t understand and they would try to stop me. And I didn’t want them to stop me, did I? Not when I was so close… so close to proving that I was a danger to myself. I had known it all along. I was a danger to myself and I needed to prove it. The only way I could communicate how serious things had gotten for me was if I killed myself.

And only in death would that suicide be considered serious. Because if any action leading up to that suicide didn’t result in death, it wasn’t serious, my brain said.

I forced myself to remember how I had felt those six days prior. I played and replayed the emotions, the thoughts, and the sickening degree of distaste about the state of my life crumbling in my mouth.

And that’s when I opened the bag and ingested a pill. I struggled to get it down, but I managed. And I took another three. I waited on the last one, but eventually, after about half an hour, ingested that one, too.

And no one knew.

In that third floor hallway, separate from the main hallway of the science building, in a hall between the door to the stairwell, I sat.

And no one knew where I was, or what I had done, and they wouldn’t know until it was too late.

And the white snow fell from the sky and I knew I wasn’t going to get my essay written. So with an hour into my attempt, I giddily called the office where I’d have to pass in my essay and made up some excuse, that I couldn’t bring it in and to reach me at X number.

And again, I was alone.

But I didn’t want to be.

So I told a friend that I was high–just leaving out the part where I was intending to die. The world tilted and my footfalls fell unevenly. And I decided it was time to move to another building. So I trekked from the science building to the administration building. I tried not to laugh too much as my brain felt like it was getting a tingly massage, as I was wary someone might notice me.

I kept moving so I wouldn’t appear suspicious, trying to mask my wobbly stance. My mind was quiet and peaceful, for the first time in ages, there was no OCD in my brain. It was gone, as it should have always been, and it was a relief.

I felt nauseous when I tried to eat something, so I wandered to the bathroom, thinking I was going to puke. I sat in the last stall closest to the door, maybe thirty feet away from the counseling center on my campus. Even less feet away from the medical health services.

I still felt awfully lonesome as I sat on that small tiled floor. I couldn’t bear the silence any longer, so I set a round of texts to a list of friends. I didn’t say I had attempted suicide, but instead that I was feeling unwell and wanted someone to talk to.

Nobody was able to answer.

So I texted another friend of mine, and I kept up the casual façade for about two texts before my fingers began typing and typing up what had happened, what I had done.

She called me immediately. My cell phone service is shit, so I told her I’d call her back.

I proceeded to stand outside in the January snowfall, speaking with my friend on speaker phone. Anybody could hear me talking about suicide. I wasn’t being shy about it, I was filling in my friend on what had transpired, a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a year.

Only one person who walked by and heard me say ‘suicide’ on that phone call, stopped, turned around and looked in my direction. Then, they moved on.

I remember telling my friend that I had intended to die, and with a pause I asked, “Do you think this is considered a suicide attempt?” And just as I did, she knew the answer was yes.

Written 8/26/16