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Side Effects

(Trigger warning: in this post I talk about suicide. If you are in a hard place please be careful if you choose to read it. To those of you contemplating suicide- please get help, do whatever you have to do in order to get help. I care about you and want you to live.)


I used to want nothing more than to die. I’d lie awake at night imagining ways I could commit suicide, just wishing that it would happen. I didn’t realize that I was falling down a dark hole, and I hid it so well that almost no one noticed. I am in a much better place now, but my view on death has been forever changed.

I have always had a natural sense of hope that things will get better, but a side effect of an anxiety medication took that away. I became extremely depressed at the beginning of 10th grade to the point of being suicidal (but you probably already figured that out). Without my sense of hope, life seemed pointless. I saw a never ending uphill battle, and I barely had the energy to just survive, let alone fight. I felt like a burden, dragging my family down. They were all able to laugh and have hope, so I put on a mask. I tried so hard to keep the mask airtight, but small cracks always appeared. Once I fixed one crack, there was another one somewhere else.

I felt like my family would be better off without me. On the days where I couldn’t quite hide my gloomy mood I made their days less happy and I hated myself for it. They deserve all of the happiness in the world and I was taking it away. Naturally, I worked harder on my mask, and the mask became a part of me. Things continued to go downhill, but my mask kept getting more elaborate to hide it.

I became obsessed with finding the “perfect” way to die (yes, this is definitely Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)). I couldn’t commit suicide unless I did it perfectly. So, my mind was always spinning, trying to find the perfect way to die. I had decided on drowning, but I had to make sure that it was executed flawlessly, which is where I hit a roadblock. I would have to spend a ton of time learning how to pull it off without error. My philosophy was that dealing with my hopelessness and continuing with life was better than a failed suicide attempt. I still had to find a bridge with water that was deep enough, figure out how much weight was needed to keep me underwater, figure out what material the weight would be, figure out how to tie a knot around my ankle that wouldn’t come out, and write the perfect goodbye letters. However, because my OCD about school is so bad I had little time to figure this stuff out, but I was slowly getting there.

Thankfully my life was saved by my best friend Grace. She saw through the mask when no one else did (I still have no clue how she did it). She didn’t brush it off as me just having a bad day or joking, she called it out and asked me more. When I told her about what I was feeling she went and told my mom, knowing that I could have been very upset with her for doing so. I got off the medication, and my hope slowly came back.

I am so lucky that I have such an amazing friend, someone who can tell when something isn’t right. I probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her, which is kind of a scary thought. Despite everything I struggle with, I like living, and I am eternally grateful to her for all she has done for me.

Before all of this death seemed like a bad thing to me, something that is cruel and scary. Now I view death as a final peace, the rest after a life of fighting. I have hope that things will get better, and I look forward to death after living a full life. However, I do not want to die now. I have so much more to do, things to learn, a life to take back from OCD. I have so much potential, and I want to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. I respect death and look forward to finally achieving peace, but not before living my life to the best of my ability.

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