Subtitles prepared by human
- So I don't talk about this very often to many people. But I feel like it's kind of time to share a bit more about this experience in my life because I feel that there is so much room for growth when we're faced with adversity and this was one of the biggest experiences of adversity in my life. And so today, I'm going to be sharing with you all more a bit about the time that I almost succeeded in taking my own life, the day I almost died. Okay, so I guess it's important to provide a bit of backstory leading up to that day. And so I had been struggling with depression and kind of the deterioration of my mental health, since around the time I was in high school. And I was kind of struggling with it, it was always just kind of this presence in my life, until I got quite bad when I moved to Ontario, to start my Bachelor of Social Work degree there in 2013.
So I was 22 at the time, and it had gotten to the point where I was thinking almost constantly about taking my own life. And so I decided that something needed to change, something needed to be done. And so I reached out for help to counseling services at my university. And from there, I was connected to a counselor, as well as he connected me with a doctor who connected me with a psychiatrist. And they were all a really wonderful team of really, really supportive people who really fought hard to advocate for me and my health. But on paper, there wasn't anything that I could point to, that would be a reason as to why I was feeling the level of despair that I was feeling. I had a long term boyfriend who I trusted and leaned on a lot for support
and who was generally a positive presence in my life. I had friends both back home in Alberta and friends in Ontario, I didn't have the strongest relationship with my family and with my parents, but I found parental figures who really helped support me through these difficult times too in Ontario. And so there wasn't really anything that I could point to as being a cause of what I was feeling, the level of despair and the level of hopelessness and the level of just extreme sadness that I had been feeling. And there was no reason really, that made sense as to why I wanted to end my life so badly. But I just knew that I was experiencing unbearable amounts of pain through this time, and when the depression gets really bad, I not only experienced this pain psychologically and emotionally, but I feel it in my body as well, everything down to my fingertips hurt,
and it just feels like there is no way out of that other than to end my life. And so despite having all these supports in my life, and despite having this wonderful medical team who was trying to pull me out of this depression, things got bad and I decided to make an attempt on my life in January of 2013. And that was the first time that I had ever done something like that. And I won't get too much into that one, because it, I want to talk about the second time that I attempted but it was a really hard thing to go through, waking up after having seizures in the hospital, from the medications that I had taken in an attempt to overdose was really, really hard, because I had wanted to escape this pain, and I woke up, and the pain was still there and nothing really had changed but now I had this overwhelming shame of what I had just done. And so the next year was really kind of grappling
with that and trying to figure out how to manage life with these feelings and these thoughts and this overwhelming despair. And so that year was a really big struggle. And a year after that attempt, February 2014, I decided that it was time again to try to take my own life. And this time, I was a little smarter about it because I had tried and failed a year before and so I knew a bit better what needed to happen in order to be successful. I know that's not a term that I should use with suicide, because it's not a success if you die by suicide, but that was my mentality, I wanted to succeed in ending my life. And so, I was smarter about doing my research in terms of what medications I needed to save up in order to take them all at one time
to effectively kill myself. And I hope, I really, really hope that if you're watching this, you can't relate to the level of pain that I was experiencing when I made that decision. And so if you can relate, I'm so sorry and I'm sending you a really big hug, and hope that it will get better. But if you can't relate, it was just such an overwhelming feeling of, what is the point? Hopelessness, despair, just despondency at the mundaneness and the burden of having to live. And so when I made the decision that I was going to end my life or going to try to end my life again, it was almost like a relief came over me, because I was like, "Okay, it'll be over soon. You don't have to suffer through this much longer." And so I, for about a week,
I was in that kind of state where I was feeling like, okay, there is an end in sight. We will get through this, I guess I will get through this, and then have an out. And so I think that my counselor kind of picked up on that a little bit. He knew that I was fairly chronically suicidal and so to notice the shift was probably worrisome for him. And I think I missed an appointment. I don't know that either the morning before or the morning that I was going to take them off with the morning that I was going to overdose, and so he got really worried and he decided to just make the decision to call the police, the local police to do a wellness check on me. And I didn't know this. So that morning, I took the medication. And I was feeling okay about that decision. I was feeling still feeling that bit of relief. And then about a half hour, 40 minutes
after taking the medication, there was a knock at my door. And I ignored it because I didn't know who it was and I had other things going on. And so they kept knocking. And then they started calling my name. So I was like, "Oh, great. Okay, I need to go see who this is and send them away." So I went downstairs and opened the door and it was a police officer. And by this time, I thought that I could just tell him, "Oh I'm fine, you can go." But I was kind of like obviously drugged at that point and he noticed. And so he was explaining that my counselor had contacted them, because he was worried about my wellbeing and he wanted them to come in, make sure that I was doing okay. And so I tried to be like, "Yeah, I'm doing fine," but he could clearly see that I was not fine and I had taken something. And so he questioned me further.
And I ended up admitting that I had just taken a lot of medications that I shouldn't have. And so he said, he was actually really quite great about it. He was supportive and gentle and kind and so I really appreciate that that was the kind of police officer who showed up in the situation and so he said he was going to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital. And so at that point, I was kind of losing consciousness and so I was just like, "Whatever, okay sure, whatever." And he kind of picked up on this fact that I was not able to wait the time it would take for a ambulance to get there and so he made the quick decision to tell me to just get in his police car and he would drive me to the hospital because I was quickly quickly losing consciousness. And I think I lost consciousness before even getting to the hospital.
So I don't remember a lot about what happened. My next brief memory is of coming to a little bit in the emergency room, and not really being sure about what was going on. And there was nurses questioning me about what I had taken, and then I kind of slipped back away. And after that, my next memory is, a few days later, when I woke up in the ICU, I woke up and my first thought was, Wow, my throat really hurts because I had been intubated. And wow, I'm connected to a lot of machinery because I had been in a medically induced coma on life support. And then the next thought was just, "Fuck, it didn't work again." And that was probably like the hardest point of that whole experience because I had to continue facing all of the pain that I had been experiencing up to that point that I had told myself
and thought that I could get through or get away from by ending my life. And so when I woke up, and realized what had happened, realized where I was, realized the severity of what had just happened, and saw my boyfriend sitting by my bed, looking just wrecked and having to come to terms with that was really hard, because like I talked about with the first one, there was shame around, having resorted to taking my own life, because that felt, that felt weak and that's something that people don't talk about very much. So there was a lot of shame wrapped up in that. And so to have tried and failed for a second time, felt even more shameful, and felt even worse. This was a moment in a really long, a long struggle with my mental health and with suicide and depression, and trying to figure out all of that stuff. But I think the most important day of this story happened
four years later, I had moved back to Alberta by that point. I had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, I had ended my relationship with my boyfriend of seven and a half years, I was working a job that I didn't really love. I felt like I could be contributing more to the world than what I was contributing there. But I was sitting at work one day, and all of a sudden, was just flooded with the realization that I was really happy I was alive. And I think I was mad at my counselor for a long time for intervening, because I would have been dead if he hadn't have intervened. And if he hadn't have sent the police to do a wellness check, I would, no doubt have died. And so I resented that fact a little bit for a long time. But that day, four years later,
when I was sitting at work, I don't know what clicked but something just clicked and I was grateful. I was grateful that he had taken that step to intervene and to give me the chance to keep on living. And so I think that's really what I want to convey through this video is that if you can relate to the state that I was in, or that I shared through this video, if you can relate, first of all, I'm so sorry. It's not easy. I know that. I have been there. I know that it's very hard, but I want to share that It's not always going to be that way. And I really despise those it gets better campaigns where people who have overcome depression and overcome those things are kind of taking a preachy stance to people who are in the midst of it by being like, "Oh, it gets better just hang in there,
because there's no end point to dealing with mental health and to dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts and stuff. I think it's always going to be this ebb and flow journey. And I particularly wanted to talk about this right now, because I currently am in the midst of a kind of dark down point in terms of my mental health. And so while I can't promise you that these dark points are not going to happen anymore, I can let you know that it is possible to look at them and feel about them differently because it was not an easy road, there was a lot of work around self acceptance that needed to take place, there was a lot of work around, understanding myself better, understanding life better. And there was also
a lot of medication involved and work with medical teams to balance out my brain chemistry and that kind of thing. But I am at a point now where I can be okay, within that dark point. I am currently having suicidal thoughts, but I have the mindset now, where I don't just immediately think that that is the only option and then that is what I need to do. I can understand now that this is not the way it's always going to be for me, I have experienced tremendous amounts of joy, love and happiness and I know that that is within my capacity as well as these dark points. And so I owe it to myself to push through these dark points to get to those periods of joy and happiness and love too because they are worth it, I am worth it, I am still me even when I'm in these dark periods, and I still deserve to experience life.
And so I'm not going to promise you that it gets better because sometimes for some people, maybe it doesn't. But I am going to promise you that there is the chance of thinking about these dark experiences in a different way, and in a way that offers yourself more compassion and that gives yourself the understanding that you deserve a shot at living a full life. And so these periods of darkness, and these periods of having suicidal thoughts are just kind of part of my life course. And I've come to a point where I can accept that. And I've come to a point where I have the understanding that I can work through those dark periods. And so if you're in a dark period, hang in there and keep doing the work. It's really hard.
And that I can't give you a timeline as to when it's going to click but it clicked for me and I hope very hard that it can click for you too. Okay, so I just want to wrap up this video by saying that if you are in distress or if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or thoughts of harming yourself in any way, or if you just need a little extra support to get through a difficult time, please, please reach out for support. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, go to your nearest emergency room, they will be able to keep you safe there. If not help you through it, they will at least be able to keep you safe until you are in a better place. Reach out to your doctor, your therapist if you have one, call a crisis support line in your area. There are a lot of ways that you can help keep yourself safe through those difficult times. The people who offered support to me in my life, were not able to fix my mental health problems or to fix the despair
that I was going through. But they were instrumental in keeping me alive in order to get to a place where I could make that shift and I could heal myself and so there is no shame in reaching out for help. Talk to friends, talk to family, talk to trusted people in your life, mentors, whatever, whoever you feel comfortable reaching out to, reach out to them. Reach out to medical professionals, reach out to hospital staff. Just keep yourself safe and give yourself the best chance you can to find that moment of when things click for you.
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