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Eighty per cent of people thinking about suicide send out a warning, and about 80 per cent of lethal suicides follow an earlier attempt. There are about 20-40 suicide attempts for every completed suicide. A suicide attempt is the strongest predictor of future death by suicide.

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Story 168

I am not a great writer (I have dyslexia). I did attempt suicide once, when I was 13. I don’t really remember my thought process, but I remember thinking, this hurts too much, not again. I was sexually abused by both parents, which I blocked from my consciousness until adulthood. I’m sure that’s a huge reason.

I want to use this to “process”, this is what I do, almost every time with someone. But I just can’t, so I’m writing it. I have bipolar, so it's still a struggle, at times, the depression is emotionally and physically debilitating. I’m going to write, to remind myself, the reasons, not to do it. Because, even though I think it, I seriously consider it, if I was “just me” I’m sure, I would have by now but… I do not want to die. The biggest reason, that I would not attempt, is my daughter. I had a car accident and had to learn to walk and talk again. She went without her mother for a long time. I could never, let her go thru that pain again. So, no matter the feeling I have, no matter the pain I feel, no matter how hopeless I feel, no matter how I feel and think, “what’s the use”, I will think about how my life is not my own in some important ways.

I had very severe post-partum depression, but I took care of my daughter, not myself really, but her...I did. I was told by a psychiatrist that he didn't know how I did it. Most people couldn’t have, being that severely depressed. But the maternal instinct is very strong in me. In that car accident my aorta was partially torn. They gave me a 15 percent chance to live and because of the head injury even less to come back from it. But I did, with a lot of hard work. I was told by more than one loved one...it was my daughter that brought me back. And during rehab...I told my “big sister" when I want to give up, remind me...it's not for me. It’s for my daughter...she needs me. You can’t know the physical and mental pain it was. But you forget, kind of like child birth. No one would have kids if they really remember the pain. Her father is not involved. She’s never met him. I’m it. So who am I, to make that judgment call? She’s 16 now. I have thought, maybe when she leaves home...but for better or worse... I’m her mother. If a parent commits suicide, their children are much more likely to do it. I guess...heaven will have to wait. If at times I have no reason for myself, I have my courageous, intelligent, witty, artistic, daughter. So at times that’s the ONLY reason I stick around.

Hey, I almost died. Really 85 percent I should have. But as selfish and unreasonable as it is, this thought has been rolling around my head. God knew what he was doing when he gave her to me. Don’t get me wrong...it's still very hard with the chemical depression; after all, I am very very very bi-polar. But... I love my daughter, more than life itself.

There’s an article I read, where a man, dove into the ocean to wrestle a child out of a sharks mouth. Then he went back for the child’s leg. The boy, unfortunately, died, but I always say, that would me. I’d probably die… but I’d die trying! And I have an intense fear of sharks. So...this might not be, what you’re looking for, but thank you for giving me the opportunity to process. So there it is… mistakes and all.

Oh...my daughter’s name means “Gods gracious gift.” Best name I could have given her. But there are times, I really want to give up and die and kill myself but… then…. there’s… her.

Story 169
(submitted the next day)

I don’t know if this is allowed, or even wanted, but I just couldn’t let my story have that ending, because, it’s not. I wanted to write a follow up letter to my first one, the true ending. The beginning is story 168. If you read that one it will make much more sense.
It’s a day later. I wrote the first in the throes of deep depression. I have persevered again. And the world has colors now. Hope has been renewed. It happens this way. Unfortunately, I can’t see out of the box when the chemical depression and seasonal affective disorder has set in (this disorder means I need more light than most people. Light affects me very strongly and dim winter months are very hard). But now, my outlook is much different. Yes, I have money problems, car problems, bipolar and many others.

It’s a little unbelievable, but I will tell you the whole truth. The man who raped me, when I was 6 months pregnant, held me for 6 hours, choked me until I passed out and threatened my life, along with my unborn child, has just recently been released from prison. Life is so unfair. Why should that monster, be able to be set free when doing so opens deep psychological wounds.. I have PTSD (spelled out is…Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) from it. Which means that at times I can feel like it’s happening, all over again. Or things can trigger flashbacks, for me it is the sense of smell mostly. I have been to therapy and worked through a lot of it. I have coping skills, I learned in therapy to deal with this and it continues to get better. And usually it only happens on the anniversary date. But… him getting out of prison has triggered my PTSD. So… life takes on shades of dark gray or charcoal black. At these times I cling very tightly to my strongest reason to live…my daughter. But on the other side…I see through clear glass, instead of fragmented crystal.

I have many other reasons to live. I have many things yet to do. Especially, if I can help just one person gain hope when dealing with some of these strong tragedies, it would be…well, I won’t say worth it, no one should have to go through these things. But, if I can use it to help….

This hope of mine brings a sense of reason to horrific circumstances. But healing takes time, my outlook didn’t change overnight, not for a long time. The only thing I could do for a long time,  was stretch my hand, not even my whole arm, out into the darkness. I guess, I want to say, if you reach out for help, even if all you can do is write about it, it does get better, it has for me anyways. And every time (well, over a period of time) I do get help, especially things like…therapy or/and a support group or/and at trusted website and surround myself, with people who can relate and don’t get preachy with me.

Even if you can’t see how it will ever get better, you feel the agony is so intense, you can’t bear it for another second, you need to reach out for help. Sometimes all I could do was cry. Sometimes not even that. That’s why we need people: to lean on them and their hope and strength when our tank is bone dry. When my hope was shattered into many different pieces and I didn’t think I would ever be able to be whole again, I learned to get help. It is not a sign of weakness in my book, but strength. It’s very hard to reach for help, when you feel like there’s no guarantee it will help. I’m not preaching, I talk from personal experience. And people keep telling me, the world is a better place with me in it. I’m not trying to be arrogant…but you never know how or when you can be of help.
 
For me it’s just waiting. Waiting… until that intense sense of being shattered lifts a little. I continue to reach out. So… don’t make that final decision. You just can’t know what you’ll find. If you’re in the throes of feeling hopeless, like sometimes I was, I took that agonizing step to reach out. It was worth it.

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