September is Suicide Prevention Month. As an a person who has been affected by it, and as an Only Human Advocate, I want to say I’m here for anyone who is going through the feeling of confusion, fear, hopelessness or pain. I will listen and support you in anyway that I can!

I have lost a few friends to suicide and I almost lost a family member, but these are not my stories to tell. I can’t tell you what they were experiencing or feeling and I can’t tell you why they they felt unable to stay and continue on. However, I can tell you my story and why I decided to stay.

I had anxiety as a child, I was undiagnosed at the time.  I couldn’t handle talking to people that I didn’t know, public speaking (even in a small setting), or the feeling of not being good enough. I had panic attacks and often times envisioned my own death as a child, not taking life, but a wish for something to happen so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain that comes with anxiety.

I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, a place that’s stuck in the past, in many ways. In middle school I started to see, for the first time, people being bullied for being different. I tried my hardest to fit in, to be “normal” and it worked for the most part. I felt guilty for not standing up for myself, for others, and for what is right. 

At the start of high school, I was the new kid in a new town. It helped that everybody was a stranger, in a way, because by that age I didn’t care what strangers thought. I began to struggle with my identity though. I came out halfway (as I like to put it). I told some people that I was Bi-Sexual. Wrecked with anxiety, I immediately laughed and left the room. Shortly after, I started dating a boy. I kept him around for a few years, never allowing it to become serious. This was obviously very bad for me, my depression really kicked in during this time and I had briefly self-harmed. It was my way of controlling my feelings. I experienced the same guilt and shame of not being true to myself and being open to helping others like me. My hope was still there though, I could go to a college far away and start new. Do it right this time. 

In college when I met my first girlfriend I felt forced out- as a lesbian. A certain family member basically told me I was going to hell and that I need mental help just for being gay. I was hurt and left alone to deal. I failed out of college, moved away from my family, without any help from them. I basically threw all caution to the wind, as I wrapped my entire identity around being with my girlfriend. I was secluded from all family and friends. I only had her and only needed her, or so I thought.

It was great for the first year, but then it turned bad and I made so many bad decisions because of my infatuated with her. I thought I was making good decisions at the time (like buying a house in my name for us). Come to find out she was a cheater and an abuser. I suffered severe mental and emotional abuse, but none of it matter as long as she didn’t leave me. I didn’t want to be alone, but with her I felt alone, abandoned even… because no one came to save me. I felt like I was good enough to save. I began to self-harm again after years of the abuse. No one knew about it, not during this time period or the last. This time was different, I couldn’t handle it anymore, I wanted to die, I wanted the pain to end. I couldn’t see how anything could get better. Day in, and day out I was constantly crying, and beating myself up, literally and metaphorically speaking.

But one day when my girlfriend was telling me about how badly I needed help to become a better girlfriend, it clicked. I did need help! This gave me the courage to kick her out and stop all communication with her. I regularly saw a therapist, who got me started on meds. I became me again, I regained some old friends and have been able to make new ones. I’m close to my family again, which feels so good. I have made a lot of the same mistakes, because I’m not perfect now by any means. I let someone use me again, to my defense, I recognized it sooner this time and handled it better.

I still struggle financially from my first relationship. And I still struggle with depression and mild anxiety. I cope with lots of alone time and to balance myself out I make sure the time I spend with others is spent well. I will no longer tolerate negativity in my life. I have too much respect for myself to let someone abuse and control me like that again. I have control over my life now, my identity crisis, my depression, my anxiety don’t control me anymore. I decided to stay. I know that when I am down, that I can get back up because the only person that can save you, is you. I know one day I will be truly happy again.

As I said at the beginning please know, I am here for anyone who is going through the same feeling of confusion, fear, hopelessness and pain. I will listen, I will try to help, I will try to get you to have hope, and I will try to get you to stay; your story is not over! I truly have a love for everyone and want to help bc I believe everyone has a purpose. I wouldn’t be where I am now if not for my difficult past, and dealing with people who weren’t good to me.

I decided to stay; and I’m proud of myself for that.