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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 98

I was done with life. Nothing ever went right. I hated my job at a fast food joint, I was failing every class in college, I didn't have a car, my mother was being a tyrant, my boyfriend was in prison serving a year sentence, and all my friends lived in Toledo. Why be a bother to anyone? Why deal with all this crap anymore? Why take drugs for depression if they aren't working? Fine. I'll make them work.

That night, I took almost two weeks’ worth of my antidepressant and mood stabilizer. I washed it down with a mini bottle of vodka I had snuck from my mom. I lay in bed, waiting. I was oddly relaxed, almost like I was really ready to be done with this world. I fell asleep.

I woke up to my sister telling me dinner was ready. I told her I would be right down. I laid there for a minute and realized that I needed to go to the bathroom and I was thirsty. I tried to stand up, but I hit the floor and started throwing up. I couldn't stop myself. It was the worst feeling. I heard my mom come into the room, saw me and started screaming and yelling. "What have you done?! What have you done to yourself?!"

I only remember bits and pieces after that. I remember my mom calling 911. I remember her boyfriend trying to drag me into the bathroom (because I was still next to my bed on the floor doubled over). I shrugged him off. I remember my mom changing me into clean clothes. I remember the firemen carrying my downstairs and out through the garage. And I remember being awake briefly in the ambulance. "You have to stay awake Karen. You have to keep your eyes open." Needless to say, I didn't.

From what they told me, I was in a coma for five hours. They tell me it was my brains’ way of resetting itself. I woke up hours later connected to a million different cords, beepers, and stickers.

I still don't remember a lot. Just flashes. I was sent to a psychiatric hospital on a three day hold. At first I was angry that they wouldn't just let me die. It wasn't until I got to the psychiatric hospital that I figured out that I was okay with living again. A lady in the psych hospital told me something I'll never forget:

"It's the ones outside of these walls who are crazy. They are the ones who need the most help. They all think they are fine. We're the sane ones because we're getting the help we need."

All of this happened in early 2008. I'm now going on my second year of living after my nearly lethal suicide attempt. I've moved out of my mother's house, I'm no longer on medication, and while I may have a slight case of bi-polar disorder (which is hereditary), I'm enjoying my life.

Since the night of the overdose, I've always been a positive thinker. I don't know what exactly clicked in my head, but I think it's the beauty of it all. Driving home from the psychiatric hospital, the blue sky was gorgeous. The trees were magnificent. The wind was fantastic. The sound of my boyfriend’s voice was the sweetest thing in the world. And it wasn't until after I attempted suicide that I realized how precious this life is. Many of us don't realize how short life is, and how much there is to do and experience. Those who have lived through a suicide attempt often do, but some still struggle.

My reason to keep living is now me. I'm not going to let anyone else influence my passion for MY life. It's mine, and it's what I make of it. Don't stop yourself, and never let go.


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