I stood at the edge of the Lawrence subway platform, watching the trains come into the station and trying to figure out where the best place for me to jump would be.
It would have to kill me, but not mangle me so much that my mom couldn’t do an open casket at my funeral.
Or maybe it was better that she didn’t have to look at me, feel the sadness and shame that came from my suicide.
I moved further down the platform, closer to the entrance of the tunnel because that’s where the train was faster and would hit harder.
I was just a burden on them- a pain in the ass who’d always argue, didn’t have a lot of friends, was bullied since grade 4, was somewhat spoiled and wanted her own way and, clearly, based upon the fact that I’d been sent to shrinks for “my problem” since I was 12 years old (even though the doctors felt that it wasn’t me, but someone else who was the central issue of my behaviour), it would be better if I just went away.
Talking to my parents was met with blame – I had to change, I had to modify my behaviour, they loved me because I was their child, but they really didn’t ‘like’ me because of my attitude.
I had no friends to turn to, I didn’t trust any of the doctors because they were adults who were probably like my parents and would just tell me that I was ‘bad’, forget the teachers at school because they, as well, were adults, but, having been picked on by some of them, I was worried as to who they would tell if I even made an attempt to confide in them, so I kept it to myself – I couldn’t take any more crap from my classmates.
I became an angry person. A person that let others walk all over me and treat me like garbage because I wanted to be liked, I wanted to fit in, but then I’d get angry at the way that they were treating me (the way I’d let them treat me), which would bring on the feelings of depression and sadness and suicide.
One day, after scoping out the subway platform for the umpteenth time, I decided that today wouldn’t be the day and got on the bus to go back home.
It was an overcast, dull day in the Fall; the trees were bare and the sky was grey. As I rode up the street on the virtually empty bus, I stared out the window and something that I can only describe as miraculous happened; the sun shot right out from behind the clouds and illuminated everything that I laid eyes on.
The beautiful glimmer of the sunlight on the tree branches, the vast sky and the warm feeling that came over me made me change my mind completely. With an enormous smile on my face, I announced (to the surprise of those on the bus), “I’m happy to be alive!”
Since that day, I have never really entertained the idea of offing myself.
When I’ve been sad or feeling low, I’ve been able to transport myself back to that moment on the bus where the light shone upon me and I received what felt like a new kick of life.
Find your happy place and visit it as often as you need to.
Every year we lose 762 young Canadians to suicide and it’s the #1 cause of non-accidental death among our nation’s youth.
When I was younger, we didn’t have the resources that are available now to help battle the desire for death, but today, fantastic resources such as Kids Help Phone and Partners For Mental Health’s Right By You exist to help.
“There is no shame in reaching out to get help if it’s needed. There are people across the country ready to help you, many of whom have been in circumstances like yours and can personally relate.” says Jeff Moat, President of Partners for Mental Health.
You are important. You do contribute and you do make a difference in this world.
If you’re feeling low, please reach out. It’s free, it’s confidential and it can make the biggest difference.
I’m now in my 30’s, have a fantastic partner who loves and appreciates me and a gorgeous daughter that makes me smile every single day.
I’ve discussed the issues of my youth with my parents and we’ve come to a mature understanding and have a great mutual respect between us now.
If I’d taken that leap from the subway platform, I wouldn’t have been able to experience this wonderful life that I now lead.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything is always changing and what’s happening to you right at this moment has the potential to change in an instant…if you want it to.
Love yourself enough to want to continue to be loved by others.
Featured image courtesy of criminalatt/freedigitalphotos.net