on this #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free.

Sylvia Plath, Ariel

TW: I understand that suicide is a delicate subject for many people. Some people reading this may have attempted it; some people reading this may know some one who attempted it; some people reading this may have lost someone. And I want to walk this tightrope delicately, respecting everybody, while also talking about a topic that is important to me. I’m doing the best I can.

I could have killed myself two weeks ago. I had both plan and intent. I used the last little bit of energy I had to reach out to my therapist instead.

That’s not a pat-on-the-back, good-job-Kaleigh sentence. It’s a truth that so many people can’t tell.

It’s a truth that I have to find my peace with. Two weeks later, and I wonder if I made the right choice.

I was suicidal before I even knew what it was.

I was five years old the first time I attempted suicide. I’ve attempted it two times since. There was exactly one note, zero 9-1-1 calls, zero time missed at school or work because of them.

Those also aren’t pat-on-the-back, glad-I-survived sentences. It’s a truth that so many people can’t tell. It’s a truth I wonder why I can. But since I can, they are stories I need to tell.

Five.

The how is not important. Mostly because I can’t remember the how. I remember bits and pieces, but the thing about trauma is that sometime your brain chooses to forget. Although sometimes I’m convinced that deep down I remember when I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, unable to breathe.

Sixteen.

The how was Advil. Apparently it takes more than seven to kill you. This time, there was a note. I had a while to write one, as I laid in bed waiting for the pain to be gone. A voice whispered in my ear, You’ll be ok. I was.

Twenty-Four.

The how doesn’t matter. There was a lot of blood involved. There was no note because I didn’t want to write one, didn’t want to prolong the pain any longer. I survived. I’m still not sure how. Or why.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please call 1-800-273-8255, or text HELLO to 741741.

There’s a contact in my phone titled “Hotline.” It’s the number listed above. I’ve used it so many times in the last few months.

Even though I know logically suicide is not the answer, there’s nothing logical about hurting so much you want to die. Sometimes the trick is to reach out before total darkness sets in.

Pineapple.

I have a code word. My support group knows it. I’ve used it twice: once over text when I was having a flashback. Once at work when I needed to be taken to the ER. Now, you know it too.

Have a code word. It can be terrifying to let people know how you are feeling. Let a word do it for you.

This is not the post I wanted to write.

I wanted it to be smooth and flowing, but I’m tired. I’m tired of using metaphors and analogies to describe what’s going on inside my head. There’s no flowy, beautiful language inside your head when everything inside of you is telling you that you’re better off dead.

It’s just blunt. Matter of fact. To the point. Period.

Twenty-five.

Two weeks ago, I sent a text to my therapist: If five is the worst, then suicidal ideation is a five. I have a plan and intent.

It’s amazing how the medicine that’s keeping me alive is also the same way I wanted to die. Maybe it’s a little ironic, too?

It’s amazing how fast holding a bag of frozen peas can distract your brain from wanting to die.

Somedays I’d rather be empty than feel the pain I feel.

But I’m working on that, too. I’m learning how to feel emotions I haven’t felt in so long. Opening myself back up, allowing myself to get hurt again because hurt is a part of life. But trusting those I let in to not hurt me. And I’m terrified.

Life is terrifying and hard and oh so beautiful. Have you seen a sunset?

I need you to know you’re not alone.

I will answer any message I get: text, phone call, Facebook message, Instagram, Twitter, comment on this post. I will answer. Nobody should feel like they have to go through life alone.

I’m not going to say it gets better because right now, I don’t know if it does. But I do know this: some days are better than others. Live for those days.

To those who may be struggling, have struggled, have lost someone along the way: I hope you find your peace.


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