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City Burlington
Region Massachusetts - MA
Country United States - US
ZIP 01803
Latitude 42.4958
Longitude -71.1935
Timezone America/New_York

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Title Fitness Life And Cupcakes
Description Mental health continues to be such a big issue in our country. Although the stigma behind it is decreasing, there is still not enough awareness and resources for help. So why am I bringing this up in October when National Suicide Awareness month is September? Well… because this needs to be on our minds daily, not just one month out of the year. Why else am I talking about this? Maybe it was divine intervention or just pure luck, but my attempt to end my journey here on Earth failed.                 While most people in my senior class were preparing for life outside of high school and getting ready for prom and graduation, I was working 2 jobs after school and weekends to make enough money for the gas in my car, the one meal I could afford to eat, and to help pay for the beds I crashed on. I didn’t go to prom, I worked. My family situation was far from desirable which left me in the position to either stay in a home that I was afraid of or leave. I left. I felt like I had no one. I felt too scared to go to the family of the man that hurt me, and the rest of my family was an ocean away. The people who I considered friends showed their true colors, leaving me no one to confide in. For months I pushed through the lack of sleep, and the fear of what would happen the next day. Graduation time finally came around. I hadn’t spoken to my mom in 5 months at this point, but I sent her one message asking her to be at my ceremony, to watch her only child graduate.               The night came, and I looked around our little high school cafeteria seeing friends and families of graduates parading around waiting. As the ceremony commenced and names were called out, you could tell where each family was sitting based off the cheers. I looked up in the crowd as I got my diploma and couldn’t tell if anyone was there for me. As we all walked out of the gymnasium I looked around to see tears of joy and hugs between families and graduates, snapping photos to capture this milestone moment. It hit me at that moment that my mother didn’t come. My world crashed. I felt like she chose a man over her own flesh and blood. I’ve never felt so worthless and defeated in my life. I was truly alone, and it hurt. I left the school without flowers or photos, without congratulatory remarks or any happy memories, got into my car and drove to the nearest store.               I got to my coworker’s house (they let me crash for a while), immediately walked into the backyard by the unlit firepit, sat down, and until I couldn’t remember anything, I took a swig of vodka with each aspirin pill… one by one. With every sip I could remember the thoughts of misery drifting further away, with my face becoming number, no longer feeling the tears roll down my cheeks. The next thing I remember, I was under bright lights, with lots of people around, pumping my stomach and shoving charcoal down my throat. “Fuck”… the first thought that came to my mind when I finally realized I wasn’t dreaming. I was still stuck here, having to live with all the pain.               The next few days came and went with multiple doctors judging me and my choices, not caring to listen to my story. My dignity felt ripped away with a continuous monitor and having someone watching me do anything and everything. There was one nurse though… one person… who changed everything for me. She took the time to listen, to just sit and offer tissues as I cried. She treated me like a human being. She offered her ears and I took every opportunity to talk to her. After a week in the hospital and multiple conversations with her, I realized I had a purpose here. If you haven’t read my Thank you letter post, it was directed to her.               Over the years I’ve constantly replayed this situation in my head. I wish it didn’t take a near-death experience for me to realize how precious life was. I wish I had someone there for me in my darkest hour. I wish I felt like anyone cared about me during that time. I wish someone would have stopped and asked me what was wrong. Maybe it could have prevented everything that ensued after my graduation night. I’ll never know. I just wish someone offered to listen. Looking back, I’m happy I didn’t die. I’m happy I was able to have my stomach pumped. I’m happy one person chose to sit and listen to me for as long as I needed. My nurse introduced me to the idea of the military, which led me to meeting the most incredible man that I’m now lucky enough to call my husband. I got my nutrition degree, my nursing degree, a roof over my head, and five dogs who never cease to entertain me. I have people who look up to me, that look to me for guidance and help. It took me going to the deepest and lowest part of my life to realize what I actually had and what I was capable of doing and having. What I wish is that I had someone there for me to listen before it came to that point.               So here’s the point I’m getting at (finally). It takes a few seconds to look at someone and ask how they are doing (and mean it). An act of kindness carries more weight than being a dick. Take a few minutes away from your phone to sit and talk with people; maybe it’s someone you work with but don’t know well, maybe it’s a friend whose demeanor changed, just take the opportunity to sit and make yourself available. I promise you Facebook and Instagram will still be around once you’re done. If you’re someone struggling with depression or having thoughts of hurting yourself, please talk to someone; anyone. Did you know that you can dial 9-1-1 and they will connect you with someone who will just talk and listen? Did you know that every hospital has staff present that can help talk you through your thoughts and feelings? You’re not alone, and there are so many people out in this world waiting to help you.               Please don’t ever for a second think your life is not worth living. Even in the darkest of times, when all hope seems to be lost, YOU DO HAVE A PURPOSE. I hope that in my lifetime, I can at least help even one person in the way my nurse helped me. I hope anyone reading this will join me to help prevent just 1 suicide.               A person’s life can be transformed starting with just a smile and “hello”. Here are a list of resources for anyone who needs assistance: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273- TALK (8255) Crisis text line: 741-741 The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: photocredit: shutterstock

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