Life can get the better of us sometimes, and it often takes a pretty extreme situation to help us realize it's time to make a change.
Humans are creatures of habit; we sometimes need a different perspective or major situation to help us see our lives how they really are.
*Content Warning: this article contains mentions of suicide, substance use, and abuse*
Reddit user u/oddsalamander asked:
I was in a really bad spot in life, beginning to wonder what the point of it all was but realizing my thinking was getting a bit dangerous. I went through my text messages to find someone to try to talk things through with and realized I didn't have a single person I could reach out to for help anymore. All of my text messages for the three years I had my new phone had been work related. It made me realize that I wasn't doing anyone any favors killing myself with a job. You have to learn to balance things or you'll lose everything that makes life worth living in the first place.
After the mother of my child cheated on me and left me with full custody I was not about to let her feel like she got the better deal by leaving. So I got on anti depressants and made such intense lifestyle changes that I was among the most toned and appropriately muscular people I knew. Along with that I finished my undergrad and now am nearly finished the equivalent of a masters degree, all while raising our kid without her. It all comes from that point of thinking "I want you to regret robbing my child of a mother". Revenge bod is good but I went full revenge life on her.
First time: When I woke up naked, in a backyard koi pond, in a neighborhood I had never been in, without any belongings.
Shortly after the koi pond incident: Woke up in the middle of the woods. Luckily found my cell phone nearby. Friend figured out where I was and came to get me. Both times I ended up in a place without my car. Finding it was tough.
I quit doing drugs and stopped drinking after that and got help for my CPTSD. I tell people that I was lucky that I didn't end up dead in a ditch somewhere. They think I'm joking...but I'm not. Childhood trauma will try and kill you as an adult.
The day my now ex-husband and I started a verbal argument and I saw that each of my three kids had picked up something to use as a weapon to defend me, in case he got rough with me. That broke my heart and I knew it was time for a change.
I was working in a restaurant and they were rolling out this fancy new menu so for 2 weeks they had us all come in every evening to try the food with wine pairings. I'm not sure how it happened exactly but we ended up taking the excuse to all go out together after. So for 2 weeks we had our tastings and then went and partied together.
Before then my whole world was the guy I was dating and the friends we shared. These two weeks messed my head up real bad. People were nice to me, they wanted me around, they wanted me to participate. They laughed at jokes and sincerely listened if the chats got serious.
They were essentially strangers and they treated me better than anyone in my life ever had. And my god... I was happy. Do you have any idea what it feels like to realize what happiness truly feels like? When you haven't felt it in years?
2 weeks later I left my bf at the time. My "friends" decided that made me a bad person. So I cut them out too. I cut out my family as well, cause screw being their scapegoat.
I didn't just jump to the new friends either. I'm now married to one, and another I call my "music mom" but I didn't jump right in to it. I had finally realized I hated myself and that was wrong. I went all on hermit for a bit and got therapy and got my life together.
Then I rebuilt, and even though you can't escape struggles or the the mental illnesses I have my life is infinitely better. It's not even worth comparing.
I woke up naked in a bathtub. Not knowing how I got home, how I got naked, or why the shower was running and pleading with myself. "I dont want to be my parents."
I called the suicide hotline, told them. I am not suicidal but I cannot control my own thoughts. They gave me a list of resources for help in my area and the next morning I called every one. One of them was a non profit and wouldnt cost me much since it was sliding scale fee. I had to get an evaluation done, but in the past I always lied or hid information. I told myself, "not this time." I told them everything.
All the abuse I suffered as a child, physical, mental. The failed murder of myself by my biological grandfather on my mom's side. And more. Spared no details. An hour evaluation turned into 3.5 hours. I was Diagnosised with PTSD and that therapy changed my life. Sure I screwed up a bunch of stuff. But I am much happier now and still mess up. Just not as badly.
At a Denny's.
Late at night I was there with a girl I was pursuing and her friends. One of which sent back a bagel several times for not being toasted enough then being too toasted then being white bread then being not white bread.
The group was about 7 including myself. While the girl I was pursuing was amazing herself her friends were obnoxious but I had typically chalked that up to being youthful, it takes all types, various other excuses, but that bagel situation made the scales from my eyes fall away.
I was suddenly aware of just how loud our group was, how the servers avoided us, how rude the group was openly and loudly complaining of "such bad service." I started evaluating what it was I was doing and if this was a path I wanted to go down.
I gradually faded out of the girls life, I didn't want to be confrontational and don't think it's right to use ultimatums of "your friends or me" at that time.
There was another more personal experience that happened a bit later that only further confirmed my decision was the right one.
I had to crawl literally crawl over a mountain of trash and clothes the same size as my bed, if not bigger to go to sleep. Half of my king size bed was full of trash. Roaches started showing up. For weeks, I let them crawl on me. I was so depressed and immobilized, I couldn't even care about roaches crawling all over my body. Remembering that time makes me want to throw up. I'm glad to say I'm somewhere else now doing much, much better.
For perspective, during this low, low time I was an attractive, fit commercial model. My nails and hair were always done. I didn't smell. I did not look like who someone would imagine slept in roaches. Mental illness does not discriminate, nor does it have a look. Sometimes it doesn't even change your appearance. We really have no idea what others are going through.
When I met a transgender woman in Colorado who was confident, happy and successful, and realised that I couldn't be any of those things if I was lying to myself about who I was.
Two days later she helped me come out of the closet.
So yeah that was how I started this month.
When I stopped my bike in the middle of the freeway at midnight coming off of a brutally hard shift at a job I hate and contemplated whether or not I wanted to die right there and then.
Also known as yesterday...
It's really scary to suddenly contemplate suicide when you're in a bad place both mentally and physically. I didn't realise how messed up I've been feeling for the past three years until I looked at the darkness and felt that I didn't want to see the light anymore.
I'm handing in my two-weeks-notice on Friday.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Transgender people can get help through the Trans Lifeline at https://www.translifeline.org/ or call US: 877-565-8860 Canada: 877-330-6366
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/