Part 3: Still Alive

Content warning: suicide

 

Writer’s note

This piece was written in celebration of the end of my chronic suicidal intent; it has been one year full year since my fifth and last attempt. One year of growth and healing. This piece is my way of validating my past pains and letting go of the person I used to be. It is an emotional piece. Please take care of yourself.

 

 

 

If you got this far, thank you. I hope you're okay.

 

The thing about suicide is that the failed attempts become traumatic memories themselves. 2.5 years after my first attempt and almost 2 years with my counselor, I have finally started trauma processing work around my suicide attempts.

 

I'm learning to let go of the belief that I can't keep myself safe. I'm learning that as crazy as it sounds, the suicide attempts were my attempt at keeping myself safe the best way I knew how. I didn't know I had a choice. I didn't see a future for myself. I didn't know I could reach out for more help. I didn't know that my loved ones would stay throughout it all. And I tried to see. I tried my fucking best but I just couldn't see it at the time.

 

So now, I'm starting to look back at 19 year old Ji Youn with empathy instead of shame. I never wanted to die. I just wanted rest and I couldn't see it happening while I was alive. I was exhausted from carrying so much guilt and shame for a decade.

 

I am incredibly proud to say that I've gone a full year without any suicide attempts. How I got out of a year and a half-long period of chronic suicidal intent? Hope. Hope that I could create something of myself, or my story, into a possible, fulfilling career. And that's this - The Tipping Point.

 

So to every single person reading this, to every single person I've met and encountered in my professional realm, to all of my mentors, friends, and loved ones - thank you. Thank you for listening to my story, for being a part of The Tipping Point community, and for keeping me alive. For helping me realize that I can keep moving forward, that I'm not just a mentally ill college dropout. And thank you to the police officers who kept me alive. Looking back, I now realize that they must have been scared too. They didn't know what else to do. And that's okay. It's taken me 2.5 years to realize how they could've helped me better myself.

 

When I first left school, I was too ashamed to say the word: suicide. But now I'm embracing it as a part of my story. I am not my story, I am not my past. I am who I choose to be, who I choose to create myself into.

 

Suicide is happening whether or not we talk about it. 25% of Canadian deaths between the ages of 15-24 die by suicide. And many suicide attempt survivors carry so much shame. So let's talk about it.

 

If you are a suicide attempt survivor or have lost a loved one to suicide, please message us through The Tipping Point. We would love to share your story with our community.

 

With love,

Ji Youn

Founder of The Tipping Point