Suicide Prevention Month: Love Letters to Myself

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This post is part of a Suicide Prevention Month blog series. Read the other blogs here.

love-letter-e1393478060868Walking back to my apartment one night, I passed by the fluorescent lighting of the local hospital. The combination of the sight of the emergency room and the sour, medicinal smell made me remember my suicide attempt in a way that was so visceral, I started shaking, feeling my lungs tighten around my ribcage and wondering when the tears would start.

I will spare the details of my attempt because for some time I hated anyone who knew what happened that night. I hated my friends for calling the EMTs. I hated my college’s crisis counselor for holding my hand in the ambulance. I hated the nurse who gave me crackers when I woke up the next morning in a hospital bed, embarrassed and terrified they would force me to leave school for the rest of the semester.

I wanted to hate myself, too, but they told me not to do that anymore.

I was able to leave the hospital the next morning and go back to school, but not without the pain of being abandoned by friends who believed I was too dramatic. This resulted in my habit of pretending nothing happened at all. The rest of the semester was shaky, filled with constant uncertainty and regular reminders that the word “survivor” now applied to my life.

But I slowly started to learn what it meant to be a person, to be alive. I began to journal. “Dear Self,” the first entry started. “You have been pissing me off a lot lately. No, really. I try to coddle you and make you feel comfortable, and you repay me in panic attacks, suicide attempts, and an inability to leave bed. This letter is your final written warning that I will not put up with your bullshit anymore.”

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Stress Less Week: Living With Panic Attacks

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My name is Sam, and I have an anxiety disorder and OCD.

That simple statement was almost impossible for me to utter to anyone other than my family and close friends until about a year ago. I was afraid to talk to others about my problems and issues for fear of being judged.

Then, about a year ago, I threw all that aside and decided to embark on one of the scariest journeys of my life.

I created a YouTube series about mental illness.

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