By Dharma Gilley

  Life is a dash—you must propel yourself into it. It is hard work, it is mystifying, it is not meant to be ended by you. Be whoever you want to be; more than anything, embrace yourself.
   The day I attempted suicide was the day I decided to get better.

   I had overdosed on my sleeping medication, and sat there for a minute before the shock really set in. I don’t remember a whole lot from that night, but what will always stay with me was that there was not a single sound that could have broken that silence. My world had stopped, literally and figuratively. My mind was completely clear, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt peace. I felt serenity. I felt carefree. In those moments, I realized that I wanted to feel those things again, but in another way.

   Panic ensued, and I tried to get up and do something about it. But I was stuck. There was stillness in the house. It was around 11:40 PM and my parents were asleep. I didn’t want to wake them; so, I called one of my best friends. She didn’t respond to what I told her until a few seconds after. For that brief period of time, I thought that she would turn me away, that she wouldn’t help me.

   I was wrong. She was completely calm while talking to me, and she told me that I must find the will to get up and tell my parents what I had done, that I needed to go to the hospital and get help, that I needed to not just survive, but I needed to live. My reaction was simply a deep breath.

   The next second, I felt astounded in a way that I will never understand again. I was completely speechless. I knew in this instant that my life—the decision to live or die—was entirely up to me. My conclusion was perhaps the easiest one I have ever made.

   I struggled to stand, I took a step, and I walked towards recovery.

   It has been a long road since then. I was hospitalized and put on daily medications. Every few months, the medications have to be adjusted. Overall, they help me function.  On the one-year anniversary of my attempt, I bought myself a smiley face balloon and some chocolate. I was ecstatic to have lived another year.

I still work at being positive and following my own advice and practicing good self-care habits. I have come a very long way in the last two years. I plan on growing and thriving and blooming more as time goes by.

   Life is a dash—you must pay attention to it. It is important, it is precious, it is not to be wasted. Never waste it. Be whomever you want to be; and more than anything, grow.

1 comment

  1. Provoking. Though some sentences are a bit choppy - which leads to a lack of good flow - I definitely think the message was communicated well, and giving this personal story to the world is admirable.