Contact Us | Home

Additional Info

At least three times as many men die by suicide than women, while women are more likely to attempt suicide than are men.

View all

Stories

Story 150

I graduated as a nurse from Seneca College in 1983. I was an honour graduate. It wasn’t long before stress on the job sent me into a tailspin. I became depressed. Over the next 20 years I was in and out of hospitals many times and was nearly successful in my desire to kill myself. Words and talking didn’t seem to work for me. I felt flat and dead inside. I didn't know what my opinions were on anything. I had no hopes for a career, a partner or family or things. I didn't want anything. One day after supper I took an entire bottle of prescription pills, then rode away on my bike. They found me late that night unconscious in a downtown park. My heart threatened to stop in the ICU. A nurse friend of mine was working and when I woke up she said she was glad I was still alive, that they nearly lost me. They had called a code and used paddles to get my heart going again.

I was angry and I didn’t thank her. I didn’t thank anyone for saving my life. I spent a total of 9 years hospitalized because I was a serious risk to myself. All the meds and shock treatments didn’t give me any hope or decrease my desire to die. I felt empty and at times very anxious.

I finally found a person who was able to connect with me and help me climb out of the pit I was in. I asked her if anyone as sick as me could get better, and she said, “Yes”, she had seen it happen. Those were the words I had been waiting to hear! I quickly became very motivated to get better. I felt heard and like I had just found a big sister, a guide to help me figure out how to live in the world. This person was a nurse who worked as a trauma therapist.

I got to meet with her often, and I talked a lot. I emailed her whenever I wanted to and I called almost every day for quite a while. It felt like she had become my lifeline to a better place outside of hospitals and as long as I knew someone was there for me, I didn’t have to die. I told her I was abused when I was very little and when I was older too. I told her I believed my parents really wanted a boy instead of me. I told her I had felt alone even with 3 brothers and a sister and parents and a large extended family. I told her I felt like a burden to others in this world. I cried in her arms, my sadness filled everywhere. She taught me how to begin regulating how I felt so that I didn’t need to cut myself anymore. I created artwork and wrote journals full of my thoughts and my recovery adventure. She believed enough in me that I started to believe in myself and I found hope for the future. I signed up for school and started working on a degree.
It is now 6 years since I met that nurse and I have grown exponentially. I found someone who cared about me and worked outside of the box when it was necessary. She taught me a lot about nursing, about trauma, about the importance of early attachment and attachment injury, and so many other things I just wasn’t taught growing up in a big family with busy parents.

After being on provincial disability support for over 20 years I now earn my own money. I am a nurse. I am applying to a graduate program. I work on a university research team and I work with homeless people. I love connecting with them and helping them find hope. I love teaching them how to soothe and comfort themselves, to give themselves what they might not have received growing up. I have a lot of hope.

< Return to Stories