by Tammie Ozolins
It remember it so clearly. It was during my college years and I had been out drinking with my friends, a weekend routine back then. I ended up feeling very depressed. I had been on an antidepressant but I still drank and my boyfriend and I got into a fight that night.
I cannot remember what it was about but I remember feeling like I had had enough. I didn’t like myself back then. In my eyes, nothing was right–not my hair, my body or my intelligence. In my eyes I had to be perfect!
I just felt like my life was not getting better
It was, in fact, getting worse.
That night I came home all upset with tears streaming down my face, make-up running down my face, just like you see in the movies. I was a hot mess and I decided I was disappointing everyone–my family, friends, boyfriend, and myself. I was done!
So I went into my parent’s cabinet and looked for any medication I could find and took a handful and swallowed them all. And then I sat on the kitchen floor and cried again. At the same time, I had a sense of peace, because I knew my life was going to be over and the pain would be gone!
I had hidden all these dark feelings from my family and friends. This was not the first time I had had thoughts of taking my own life. While I was in that moment of intense emotional pain thinking of suicide, I actually thought it would be OK to end my life because I had saved some money for my own funeral. I thought if I took that financial stress off my family then maybe they would not miss me as much.
On this particular night, I had followed through with it. After talking the pills, I went to my bedroom, changed into my PJs and I remember the room was spinning and I had to lay on the bed. I laid on my back and I was looking up at the ceiling and I was thinking to myself, yes I am going to be dead. Then I felt sick to my stomach and then all of a sudden…boom, the room went black and I was out.
Suicide is not a solution
I’m not sure how much time passed but I woke up and had one of the worst hangovers ever. The first thing I thought was, “I am too dumb to even kill myself!” But then I thought, “Wow, I tried to take my own life last night.”
Then it really sunk in and all these emotions came over me.
I started to cry because I was upset. It was actually a cry of relief because I did not die. I was alive! It was weird but it also scared the crap out of me. How could I do that? I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted to end the pain.
After that attempt, I knew I needed more professional help, so I went and sought counseling and spent 5 days in the hospital. This is where I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder.
This attempt actually put things in perspective for me although I would not suggest this as a way to “find yourself.” There are healthier ways. I actually had feelings of guilt as well–like how could I have done this to my family and friends? How could I have kept this as a secret for so long?
I know now that it is OK to ask for help and I know when to seek it. I also realize I would have missed out on so much and I appreciate life. I am not alone in this.
I grew as a person, realized suicide was not a solution and grew stronger. I cherish my family and friends more than ever before. Because that’s what matters most. I have been able to make more memories with them which would be impossible if I were not here. And I actually started to enjoy life more.
None of this happened overnight
It has taken years to get to this point and I started by taking baby steps.
Mental Illness is not an easy thing to deal with, but please remember you are never alone in this. I used to hate when people would say, “It will be OK. It will pass, just hang on.” But you know what ? I have finally realized that they’re right. And as corny as it may seem, there is truly a rainbow at the end.
I am so glad and so grateful I have been able to embrace change and be productive in my life. Because I now know my life has meaning.