I Should Have

Editor’s Note: The following is written by an incredible and determined girl describing her experiences trying to make sense of everything after returning home following a suicide attempt. The detail is important and lifelike. She wants to make sure nobody has to feel alone and to send a message about what people need who are recovering from a suicide attempt, dealing with mental illness. Due to the intense description of depression at times, this piece may not be appropriate for everybody.

 

 

Author’s Note: This essay was written for me, but I don’t think that’s all who it was meant for. It voices something that I at the time could not. Following a suicide attempt and a mental illness facility stay, I came home in a daze – perhaps it was shock? I can’t quite remember. No one knew how to react, how to “welcome me back”. But all I wanted was a hug. All I wanted was that gesture of love and care. But I think that’s the issue with the mental illness stigma.


 

Image result for feeling loved

 

I Should Not Have Survived

It doesn’t make any sense.

 

I looked down at my sweating palms and my skirt, which had a subtle tear in the hem. The room was filled with a sad aroma of pain and confusion. My breathing was slow and composed.

 

I should not have survived.

It doesn’t make any sense.

 

That is what the doctors said. That is what my parents said. That is what I said. It was odd to go out in public – so many people who do not know that I should be twelve feet underground. It is quite lonely. Very lonely. Secrets are lonely little devils. They bang at the door of your heart, mind, and soul until they take over your whole body. Little devils.

 

I should not have survived.

It doesn’t make any sense.

 

I do not remember much but I can recall flashes of memory. An ambulance. A loose-fitting hospital gown. A subtle feeling of guilt and shame. I do remember “the after.” The stay. The children. The suffering. The feeling of being not alone. I remember that.

 

 

I Should Not Have Survived

It doesn’t make any sense.

 

When I came home, I felt numb. I felt empty. Everyone was expecting me to be okay, but I wasn’t okay. I survived but a part of me did not. It was not a specific part that was gone. It was just something. I dealt with it; though, not well. I had to find things that would make me feel normal. That is what my mother said.

 

My siblings did not understand, at least not the younger ones. The older ones pretended as nothing happened. They didn’t say one thing. I wish they would have. Maybe a “We missed you” or even an “I’m glad you’re okay.” None of that. Just a hug and subtle glances that reminded me of what happened. Still, they do not mention it. It might be for the best. It might not. I never really thought of this before today. It must not be that important.

 

 

I Should Not Have Survived

It doesn’t make any sense.

 

It might be for the best, but I have a lot of trouble remembering how I actually felt at the time. I know it was a mixture of pain, suffering, emptiness, anger, depression, and a bucketload of being done with everything- but I cannot place the exact feeling. I know it was bad. Really really bad. So bad that I needed to be gone.

 

Wanting to be dead and wanting to be gone mean different things. I am not entirely sure how to describe the difference. I think it is because it is not an actual difference in meaning, but rather a difference in feeling. The two feel different. Wanting to be dead is driven by anger, resentment, and frustration, while wanting to be gone is a manifestation of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. I know that I felt the “gone” emotions more than the “dead.”

 

 

I Should Not Have Survived

It doesn’t make any sense – but that is not true.

 

I should have and I did. I deserve to live a long vibrant life full of sadness and happiness. I deserve to be alive. I deserve to be an adult. I deserve to be old. I deserve it. I deserve it.

 

I survived and it makes sense. That is something I could not have known until now. I rose from painful ashes to me, a girl, that knows that she wants to be, and deserves to be, alive.

 

 

 

Please click here to read other pieces pertaining to suicide

MAKE YOUR  DIFFERENCE: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A PIECE TO OUR BLOG

 

Latest posts by Rachel Pollack (see all)

2 Comments on “I Should Have

  1. What a moving and insightful article. Thank you so much for sharing this. I especially appreciated your expression of how you wished people would say something, anything to you after you were discharged from the hospital. It is so easy for us to say nothing at all from fear of saying the wrong thing, but your point how that could be worse than saying the wrong thing is so powerful.

  2. Thanks for sharing. It was very insightful to read and I hope others struggling will get understanding and strength from it, to realize, they aren’t alone.

Share your thoughts