It was a tremendously hard year back when I was 16. Life seemed like such a soul sucking thing and I was growing tired of it. My best friend of a million years had taken his own life in March and now it was the cold, dark days of winter in small town Manitoba. There was a guilt pent up inside me for not being able to save my friend and a stomach churning feeling of worthlessness and dread of the future. I had become quite adept at hiding this from the oblivious world around me; very much like my friend who abandoned me. There was deep resentment in my heart and a longing to meet up and tell him that. Alas, that wasn’t possible and it tore my heart apart. Hope was not in my vocabulary in those days; more like desperation and maybe survival. That’s what I was doing; I was surviving and barely at that. It was hard to leave my room and harder to smile. Living like that has its limits and boy did I hit it.
One dark night I made up my mind. Something was going to change and that change was to end my life. I wrote notes to my girlfriend at the time and my best friend and planned to end the pain the next afternoon after school. I felt free. After the future recipients of my notes left for the day from school, I slipped the notes into their lockers and skipped home knowing that soon the torture would be over. I won’t go into detail on the how, but something wanted me to live that day and my belt broke just as my parents walked in the door. I see that as one of many turning points in my life and the love and support I received after it was inevitably discovered that I wanted to die really shifted my perception to one of distant, but real hope.
It’s been years and years since I attempted to end my life and it hasn’t been easy, but I’ve soldiered on, gotten help when I’ve needed it, fallen down when I haven’t, and gotten back up after. I guess the moral to this story is that there is always hope even when the darkness is surrounding you. I’ve lived it and I’ve survived it and now I can live life. Don’t give up.