Keep Trying Until Something Sticks

By S. HowardFebruary 5, 2024

Note: This piece talks about suicide ideation. Please use your discretion.

Nobody knows. Who can I tell? If I express fear about taking my own life, will they lock me up and throw away the key? I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, cousin, the list goes on. But, what can I do to stop the pain? 

The thought slowly materialized as I stared at myself in the mirror. I’d had suicidal thoughts before, but this time my heart was racing. This time I had a plan I knew I was capable of carrying out.

With a combination of severe depression, PTSD, Anxiety, ADD, and severe digestive issues that have required four surgeries in the last two years, I feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. Thinking of a plan at all—much less a plan that I could carry out—feels next to impossible. However, this time was different. A light bulb went off and illuminated the escape plan in a glow that made everything so clear.

My mind was encouraging of it, too, telling me that my husband is young enough to get married again and start over with someone better, someone who’s not sick. Perhaps give my son the mom he deserves. I thought of my dad and his partial relief, not being able to recall a time when he didn’t wish I was someone else or at least someone better. My later mom, and the struggles she faced with depression and ADD before she died from cancer—our similarities felt now more than ever; I desperately miss her. And my Nana, who died six months after my mom… She was the first person to truly love me unconditionally.

Everything was telling me to let go, it would be better for everyone. I stood there and started sobbing, so tired from what’s been the hardest chapter of my mental health thus far. I was at the lowest point and this time, I was genuinely scared.

Something I hate is needing and asking for help; it feels impossible. And in this moment, I was terrified of being sent away or abandoned if I even did find the courage to ask for help. So instead, I made an appointment with my psychiatrist and told her the medication I was on needed to be adjusted. Which wasn’t the whole truth, but it was part of it. I only gave details that I felt safe to share—like that my depression was getting worse and I was concerned (never mentioning how close to the edge I actually was). I’ll be honest, I think this method of being honest in a way that felt comfortable and safe without disclosing the full picture, saved my life. 

Sometimes, to keep yourself here, you need to figure out ways to change the immediate narrative being voiced in your head. Even changing it for a brief stretch can allow enough clarity for you to move in the right direction. It can ignite the tiniest spark of hope.

Knowing that medication works for me, I asked to add another one to my regimen, hoping it would be enough to get me to a better place or at least moving in a better direction.

For now, this new medication has kept the darkest parts at bay. And with that defense, the shadows have ebbed to make space for me to see things more clearly.

If you feel like you’re throwing anything at the wall, hoping it sticks… you probably are. Keep throwing. Eventually, something will stick, and it will change everything. At least for today.

Whatever you are facing, there is always hope. And we will hold on to hope until you’re able to grasp it yourself. If you’re thinking about suicide, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

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Comments (2)

  1. Rosemarie

    I love you, Sarah. Thank you for telling your truth. ♥️

    Reply  |  
  2. anonymous

    Loved this article. Thanks for sharing. I’m also a wife, mom, Gammi my 2 kids have been thru so much. They have lost their uncle, then grandpa, then grandma, and 6 months ago their dad to suicide. I worry day in/day out about my son and daughter being next. Thanks for sharing and please keep hanging on! Someone out there needs YOU!

    Reply  |  
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