I am 32 years old.
I am raising 4 children, one of which I will soon be adopting.
I have a great job, family and friends.
I have a lovely little house with a beautiful yard, a 7-year old dog and 3 cats.
I travel as much and as often as I can - Peru, India, Haiti, South Africa, and all over the US
I recently took my 3 girls to watch the sun go black in Kentucky for a solid 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Even with all of this and so many moments of happiness, laughter and love, I still struggle.
For almost 17 years now, I have struggled with depression, anxiety, rapidly changing mood swings, eating disorders, and self injury.
A constant feeling that I should have never been, self destructive desires, overwhelming feelings of elated happiness, inpulsiveness, unstable relationships and suicidal thoughts that never leave.
My cousin hung himself in the Dane County jail after stealing 13 dollars worth of gas when he was 19.
My sister attempted to OD in high school.
My dad OD'd 7 years ago and came very close to succeeding when he went unresponsive in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
I myself have tried and failed 3 times.
I know what it's like to lose someone. I know what it feels like when suicide goes from a fleeting thought to being the only logical and rational option. Because suicidal thinking changes your thoughts, your mind, your feelings. It only allows you to see and think one thing. It shuts off your hope for a tomorrow and tells you that there is nothing worth living for.
Your family, children, friends and even pets cant anchor your sanity. Your judgment is clouded and the irrational has become your reality.
But I can attest to the simple idea and fact that there is hope.
Suicide is never the answer. Even if your thoughts and feelings tell you there is no other way, it is a lie.
There will always be a tomorrow.
Make a list of reasons to stay.
Make a list of all of the things you've wanted to do, see, and experience.
The world truly is a place of wonderment and a vast array of beauty.
You are loved. People DO care.
I still struggle almost every day fighting these thoughts, lies, and desires to self harm. But I know whatI feel is nothing compared to the heartache and grief my death would leave upon others.
So I keep living. Dreaming. Breathing.
In 10 years, there's going to be a solar eclipse in Egypt that I am going to take my kids to go see.
I am going to see the Taj Mahal and a sunset over Mt. Kilamanjaro with my little girl.
I'm going to see my little girl through school and take her prom dress shopping.
I have survived and still survive each day. You are not alone in this. There is help and there is ALWAYS hope.
After all, tomorrow is another day.