Mental Health

What Being A Suicide Survivor Means To Me

Today is International Suicide Prevention Day so I thought it would make sense to acknowledge that part of me.

I believe that everyone has a million different parts of themselves. I also believe we can add to them but we can never remove one. These “parts of us”, past or present, shape us into who we are today.

I am a suicide survivor.

I’ve never attempted suicide but there have been times where I’ve come so close. One more step and that would’ve been it. I’ve been to the hospital three times for suicidal ideation. To read about those trips to the hospital, click here.

I’m not doing to write about those days again. Instead I’m going to write about how I survived and what it means to me today.

The last time I went to the hospital was July 2015. I came to a realization that I couldn’t leave this world.

Actually, no, I came to a realization that I couldn’t leave my best friend.

This was a start. I had SOMETHING to live for, which was actually a pretty big thing.

But I soon realized, I needed more reasons. This was tough. I was smart but still depressed. When you’re really depressed, you can’t see the light, you can’t see the purpose for living. Even acknowledging you can’t leave someone who loves you is a big thing.

My depression comes and goes. I have bad periods and good periods.

During my next “good period”, I found my purpose, which was to be a mental health advocate, and ran with it. I started doing more and reaching out to more people.

It’s weird because I had been a mental health advocate for about two years prior already, but I never saw it as a reason to keep living, which is kind of ironic if you think about it.

So, now I had two reasons to live, my best friend and my advocacy, which is great. Those have helped me get to where I am today.

I’ve gotten so much stronger, leaning on those reasons, that I have found more reasons.

So, with that being said, I am a suicide survivor. I am even proud of it.

That means I have survived the deepest, darkest days of my life.

It makes me feel strong and like I can handle anything because I have experienced one of the hardest things a person could deal with.

It gives me a chance to save lives or to help someone. The reason I talk about it, every chance I get, is because I got better. I talk about it to show people that it CAN get better.

I have had so many amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t here.

I got to meet my friend’s baby the day after he was born. Sometimes when I hold him or even just see him, I think “I almost missed this.”

Staying alive gave me a future to look forward to. Maybe I will have a baby of my own someday. I will be around to speak at my best friend’s wedding someday.

If you need help, please reach out to your friends, family, professionals, or even me. I am now certified to provide suicide intervention.

If you are in immediate crisis, please dial 911 or call a local crisis centre.

Lastly, find your reason to stay alive. Even if you start small and build your way up. If you want, you can even leave them in the comments. I would love to read them.

P.S. Just a quick note, I’m not discounting treatment. I have been and still am on medication, and I still see my counsellor of 7 years. Medication and therapy has played a big role in helping me get to where I am today.

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

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