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In the year 2000, approximately one million people worldwide died by suicide: a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.

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Story 89

My life seemed to be going fine. I was in high school, and I was having fun with friends. Unfortunately I began using drugs. At first I had no problems, but then I started taking a benzodiazepine. It made me feel like I had no worries at all.

One night when I was 19, I got off work about midnight. I did the usual when I got home late, watched a movie and passed out. I woke up not long after I passed out and decided to take some benzodiazepine pills to help me rest. I felt that unusual sensation of no worries, then I started taking a couple more but with alcohol. I am a hunter so I had many guns in the house. Somehow the pills and alcohol affected me in such a way that I got into a deep depressed state. Benzodiazepine pills can make you forget an entire night, and so unfortunately I cannot remember everything. I remember going and getting a 12 gauge shotgun and just playing around with it. I also remember how depressed I felt, because I had let my family and myself down by screwing up my first semester of college.

The next thing I remembered is that I was lying on my dad’s bed in a pool of blood. I didn’t know what happened, but knew something wasn’t right. The story is much more in depth but I do not have enough space to tell it all. I shot myself in the face with the shotgun. After a very long and painful month in the hospital I went home to recover. It was hard to believe how a pill could amplify my depressed feeling so bad that I tried to kill myself.

After a few months of recovery, I began to feel better physically and mentally. I travelled across state to see my ex-step sister to get my mind off of things. I unfortunately took benzodiazepine pills with me. Once again the pills just amplified my feelings of guilt and depression, which were much worse at this point. So I cut my wrist. My sister came home and found me in the tub and took me to the hospital where they bandaged my arm. I then spent a week in a psych ward. It was hard to believe at what I had done once again. 

When I got back home, I tried to stay away from drugs, but I had an addictive personality. So once again I took benzodiazepines, which brought the amplified guilt and depression back. I then tried to overdose on many different medicines. I locked myself in my house and just waited for it all to end. The SWAT team broke down the door and tried to ask what I had taken. At this point I was in a confused state and was beginning to die. I remember an EMT staring at me in the ambulance, very sadly, saying I was going into cardiac arrest. I figured that that was it for me. Somehow I survived again, and was sent to an intensive psych ward for a few days. I voluntarily agreed to transfer to a rehab facility for 30days. I learned a lot there, about addiction and how it can affect one’s mind. It was a miracle that I survived all of that.

I am now almost 23. I’m about done with surgeries for the gunshot wound. It has taken three attempts to make me realize how precious life is. I cannot describe how traumatizing it all was, not just for me, but all of my family and friends. I know now what triggers those bad feelings I had. I was less than 2 minutes from death not only once but twice. That old cliché, you don’t know what you've got until it's gone, really hits home with me. I might not have died, but I felt and saw the destruction suicide can cause. Life is full of so many beautiful things and sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us. I feel hope, joy, and love. Not a day goes by that I don’t see myself in the mirror and see what I did. I used to get down about it, but there is nothing down but the ground. I now keep my head up and live my life to the fullest. Death may seem like an escape, but it is just an end. Why end your life, no matter what the circumstance, when there is so much to live for? Everyday I think of something to be grateful for, and that helps a lot. And I never run out of things to be grateful for, there are so many!

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