Worth Living Ambassador Beca Wilson
Hi, I know it’s been a while. I have missed you all deeply. With this post I go a little deeper. I dig a little further and I share the story of my suicide attempt. I haven’t told many people the “full truth”, other than my Mental Health Counsellor and my Psychiatrist. However, I figured if I want to spark a conversation and make a difference, I may as well start with my own story. With that being said, I hope you can take a little piece of something from this, if not for yourself, maybe for someone you love.
Caution: Beca discusses her thoughts and actions taken on the topic of suicide.
Dear Future Beca,
You need, NEED, to remember to be gentle with yourself. You are human and it is okay to admit that sometimes things are just too much; too overwhelming. You are allowed to reach out and ask for help. Plus, so many people are inspired by your story. They are inspired by your truth. So, you go girl! You speak that truth. There is no shame. Attempting suicide does not make you weak. It does not make you a bad person. The fact that you are still here is a true blessing. You keep doing you!
All of my love, Present Beca
The day that I tried to end my life is one of the worst days of my life, actually probably the worst for sure. I was at a very low point in my life. I was in a bad place. It was a mixture of feeling overwhelmed in my personal life as well as in my intimate life. I don’t want to go into details but my boyfriend and I were fighting about some relationships he had in his life, that didn’t seem to include me. Needless to say, it didn’t help at all with my state of mind.
After about half an hour of my crying profusely and his trying to understand what was going on; I decided I wanted, no needed, to go for a walk. I begin to walk. I should mention, our house is about 4 blocks from our river bank. It is really beautiful at the end of June. I decided to call one of my best friends and just chat. I tell her that Kode and I had a fight. I tell her about what. I tell her that I am feeling betrayed. I tell her that I am just so confused and I don’t know what to do. We talk for about half an hour. She says she needs to go and I say goodbye.
I kept walking for about 15 minutes and I reach this bench facing the river. It was a bench, coincidently, that was in memory of a young woman whose life was taken by a drunk driver a few years ago. I sat there for a few minutes. I don’t know where the first thought came from but I began to contemplate my life. I began to think that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, would be so much better off without me. I decided that Kode would be better off without me and he could move to British Columbia like he wanted. I figured my friends would be better off because I am a loon! I decided my family wouldn’t miss me because there are soooooo many of us. What is one less?
So, imagine this: I am sitting on this bench. I am facing the beautiful, rushing, river. I am crying my eyes out and people are staring at me as they walk past me. I felt like the worst human being in the world. I felt like a piece of shit. I hated myself in those moments. I hated my life. I hated who I was. I hated EVERYTHING! That is when this tiny spark ignites in my mind – Jump.
This is where it gets ugly. I am having an inner battle with myself about ending my life. I was fighting with the thought of ending my life and with the thoughts knowing that it was not at all what I want. The crying became a little louder, more like sobbing. I grasped the bench for dear life because I knew that if I let go, I would walk to the edge of the river bank and I would jump.
I sat like this for a while, I always say 30 minutes, but in reality it could have been 2 minutes for all I know. Those moments seemed to pass like grains of sand in an hourglass. One at a time and very slowly. Finally, I thought I would be okay to get off the bench. I jumped up, turned around, and bee lined for the road. I turned my back on that river and I didn’t look back.
As I started my journey home, I got to a cross walk by the school just down the back alley from my house. I can almost see my house. I push the crosswalk button to get a walking man when I notice a car approaching on my left. It is travelling at a great amount of speed. I decide that if I take a single step forward, I would be in front of the car and at the rate it was going I would die. I wouldn’t walk away from this.
I took that step forward. I took that step that I hoped would end my life. But, I was too late. As that car sped past, I noticed a little girl sitting in the passenger seat with a giant smile on her face. I like to imagine her singing along to the radio. Or maybe she was telling the driver a silly little girl joke, regardless she was happy. I saw an innocent little one whose life would be ruined if I had been just two seconds faster. I saw a little girl who would have faced ghosts and demons for probably the rest of her life. She would probably have nightmares for years. She would have to see a counsellor. She would never be the same. She would have the life from which I was so desperately trying to get away.
At that point, I was at my lowest point. I didn’t know I could get any lower. Yet, I went and proved myself wrong. I make it home. I walk into the house and my babies greet me with love and kisses. Kode is on his phone. He looks up at me and I say to him, very casually, very nonchalantly and matter of fact, “I tried to kill myself”.
I don’t think I will ever forget the look on his face. I will never forget the sound of his sobbing and apologizing. I will never forget watching the man who has always held me up, crumble to the floor crying. I don’t remember if I slept that night. If I did, I didn’t dream at all. I don’t know how I went about getting ready for the day and thinking going to work the day after I tried to kill myself was a good idea.
I remember opening my desk drawer that morning and seeing my Ibuprofen box, I did the math in my head of how many grams it would be. I figured out the likelihood of me actually overdosing and dying. I looked at my scissors in my rotating desk organizer and wondered what I could do with those. I went into my boss’ office just before noon that day and I told her my truth. I told her I wanted to die and that I didn’t feel safe with myself. I didn’t trust myself to get through the day safely. When I was done spilling my beans to her, she called my doctor’s office. She told the office that I needed to be seen NOW and “no “ was not an option.
That afternoon I did see a doctor, not my own, but one that was there. They talked with me for a bit. They asked me how I was feeling now. Did I want to kill myself now. I remember being mad because I thought, OF COURSE I WANT TO KILL MYSELF THAT IS WHY I AM HERE. Of course, looking back I know that it is their job to ask me those questions.
Regardless she instantly referred me to a psychiatrist, for whom I am now very thankful. I had to call Kode to come and get me from the doctor’s office because they couldn’t let me be alone since I was now on “suicide watch”. I remember the car ride up to my psychiatrist’s office. I remember telling Kode I was so sorry that he had to miss work for this. That I was so embarrassed by this. That I can’t believe it has come to this. THIS being suicide, of course. THIS being the giant elephant in the room that makes most people uncomfortable. THIS being what my life had become.
We sat in the waiting room for over two hours before I was seen. I witnessed many people come in and out of the office. I looked at some and thought, “It could be worse”, and I looked at others and wondered what their invisible war was. I admit now that that is not how it should be. That is not the frame of mind that was needed in that situation. It is never smart to compare one’s journey with someone else’s. The point is that we are each here. We are walking and living our truths and we should be proud of ourselves. We should be encouraging each other to keep going.
That day, now 6 months ago, seems like a whole lifetime ago. I am a completely different person. I have since been re-diagnosed and re-diagnosed again. I am getting the help I need. I am on 4 different medications that sometimes seem they should be cancelling each other out. I will tell you one thing though, do they ever help. They have given me my life back. A life I didn’t even know I was missing out on.
So, to anyone out there who is new to this Mental Health community, you are not alone. To anyone who is a veteran but still struggles at times, stay strong. You are an inspiration to many people. To anyone who is sometimes still trying to find their way and themselves, keep on going. The journey may seem far but the adventures along the way make it so worth it (even the not so good ones). You are enough and you belong on this Earth telling your story.
NOTE: If you , a family member, friend, or colleague is experiencing thoughts of suicide or distress, call 911 now.
Other resources :
Canada- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention Suicide Prevention
USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
United Kingdom NHS