I Tried to End My Life and It Didn’t Work
“I’m here because I tried to end my life and it didn’t work.”
The words flew out of my mouth before I felt the weight of their meaning, and I fought back tears once it came.
I am here for so many reasons, but my life restarted the day after I tried to end it — the day I decided it was maybe worth living. The day I realized that ending my life would mean leaving her behind.
The day I got sober was, quite possibly, the scariest day of my life; mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what would happen if I attempted to walk through the fires I’d been blazing between myself and the pain. I didn’t even know if it would ever work or lesson the intensity of noise in my mind, body, and soul.
I didn’t know what I’d find if I really stopped to take a look at what was causing my angst, and I feared I might not be able to handle any of it. I didn’t know I’d have incredible women in my life to pull me through and hold me up. I couldn’t have understood that some day their mere presence in my life would mean I could be okay when I wasn’t and keep moving forward when it was the last thing I ever wanted to do.
This life — the one that I live today — was a fairytale I’d never have or even deserve. I had no idea the possibilities.
Today I live and breathe, not only because my attempt to die was unsuccessful, but because someone was there – the moment I awoke – to take my hand.
The bravery was ours; as both sides took risks on the other. I am here today both because and in spite of those risks. Because someone took the time to see me — to listen — not just to my words but to feel the weight of their meaning.
I get to be that person today; trusted with inconceivable truths. To wade in silence within the darkness of their walls — to be the light that shines upon the beauty that has always been inside, but couldn’t breathe. I am the woman I have always wished I could be, because, “I tried to end my life, and it didn’t work.” The weight of those words is lighter today, because there exists a happy ending.
Sometimes I think of all the things that wouldn’t be if I hadn’t survived. Every conversation, every hug, my little boys, the amazing relationships and all the experiences I could have missed and didn’t. I once thought a permanent solution might fix my temporary problem, because I couldn’t see the whole picture. I wanted to stop hurting everyone, and I wasn’t thinking of myself as a loss in their lives. I couldn’t see that one day I would have all that I need and be more than I could have imagined. My daughter needed me then, she still needs me, and I am here.
It may be dark where you are, but there is always hope for you (more about that here). Please give yourself another day to work it through and allow someone to help you. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Please keep walking.
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
CLICK HERE to connect to someone who can help.
Julie Maida lives in Massachusetts with her amazing husband and three children. She has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000.
Julie is eternally grateful for all the gifts of recovery and fiercely determined to advocate for, and connect ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me.