Of a Life Lost

2006 wasn’t good to me.
I turned 18 that year and I graduated from high school, but after that it was pretty downhill. I struggled through my senior year, having been diagnosed as bipolar the year before, being subsequently overloaded on meds and frequently hospitalized. The trend continued after graduation and I went away to college. I was only there a week, when the campus psychiatrist said I had to take leave and enter an eating disorder treatment facility. I convinced my parents to keep me out of treatment, but in return I had to leave their house. I was on my own.

Very on my own.

More hospitalizations, more and more meds. Then the headaches started. In january of 2007, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Not cancer, but still horrifying. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

My world had ended.
I was an 18 year old unemployed college dropout, living on disability, and very sick. I had no family, mine having long abandoned me. I had no friends, having alienated everyone around me. I spent all of february psychotically depressed. Perpetual panic attacks and mocking voices punctuated the time, eventually culminating in my february 27th suicide attempt. Everything I had was lost, including my future.

That night, I turned off my phone and swallowed over 200 pills. Thousands and thousands of milligrams of psychotropics and narcotics. I took handfuls of pills, puked, passed out, repeated. I cut my arms, took more pills. I kept going and going until I couldn’t bring my hand to my mouth any longer, and then I laid down.

Hours passed.

On february 28th, I was found. I was taken to the emergency room, then transported to a larger one. I spent the next few days floating in and out of consciousness, some section of myself continuously pulling me out of the coma.

Something in me wanted to live. Something in me begged my heart to beat, my eyes to open. On march 2nd I woke up. I saw my arm, the cuts held tight with steri strips, bruises from multiple needle pokes, and an IV site, I followed the line up, then noticed an EKG lead, followed it up to the monitor. To the right of the monitor – my father. He sat there and he smiled through tear-soaked eyes.

I knew then that I was loved.

After recovering in the hospital, I returned home and started again. My suicide had been successful, that girl died that night. Three years later, I’m a new person. No meds, in school, a new mother. I don’t regret my actions. Death gave me life, new perspective. Everyday I’m grateful for being given a second chance, and I make the most of every minute. I’m actively involved in my medical care – now knowing I’m neither schizophrenic nor bipolar. My future was not taken away from me – It was given back.

New life, Indeed.

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