how far we've come

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide

Last Saturday, I was sitting in a cafe, waiting for a friend, when a group of police officers walked in. One of them looked oddly familiar, and I just stared at her. She noticed. “Excuse me, sorry to interupt. I’m sure you’ve dealt with a lot of suicide attempts but I think I recognize you from one of mine.” She asked me if I was the one on the Lion’s Gate Bridge. I said yes.

I walked over and sat next to her. I asked for a hug. I thanked her for that summer night, and told her that I’m doing really well now. That I started a mental health advocacy movement at UBC. My eyes started tearing. She expressed her joy of the news, and told me that she also felt bad leaving the hospital that night, because she knew that I really didn’t want to be there.

I went to my first counselling session in 2 months later that day and I cried. My last and fifth suicide attempt was only 4 months ago and it was the closest that I had come to succeeding. I sat on the ledge of the fence on the Lions Gate Bridge with my legs dangling off the edge. And I debated, sobbing. There was a 50/50 chance of jumping off. Until a police officer bear-hugged me from behind without my notice which led to the worst night of my life - but that’s for another time.

I struggled with suicidal ideation for over a year. It’s called chronic intent. My attempts became more calculative, and closer to success. But it’s been 4 months since my last one, and wow. Look how far we’ve come.

During counseling, I realized that the worst part of this roller coaster ride is over. The past 2 years have been hell. I’ve been struggling to survive with a mind that wants me to kill myself. And I’ve been struggling to not listen to those thoughts while the rest of society told me that I was a failure: for dropping out of school, for getting fired from jobs, for moving back with my parents, for having people walk away from my life because they couldn’t handle my illness.

But things are finally better now. I have finally reached mental stability to start figuring out my life and I am healing. Yes, I am still sick. Yes, I have my bad days. But I have healed so much and I want to live. I am so grateful to be alive.

Thank you to the police constable, Natalie, the VPD, and my friends for saving my life.