I Tried To Kill Myself Twice — Through Self-Acceptance, I Found Healing

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I Tried To Kill Myself Twice — Through Self-Acceptance, I Found Healing
Contributor
Self

I tried to kill myself twice.

Once, I took 150 sleeping pills. As unbelievable as it sounds, I just slept and felt out of it for a few days.

A week or so later, in the same depths of emotional pain, I took 30 of my ADHD capsules and 20 or so antidepressants. I ended up hallucinating. I lost control of my body. I had no strength. I was hearing things, my heart was racing, and my blood pressure was near stroke level. I had to go to the hospital for treatment for an overdose. But I survived.

I couldn’t work. My parents threatened to disown me. Some of the people closest to me betrayed me and judged me harshly when I was so far down. The love of my life even stole from me while I was in the hospital. I was so lost — at rock bottom.

I felt that God would understand. I even accepted it as a must-be fate. But God didn’t let me die when, by all physical law, it seems I should have.

But a very big part of me did die. During the week following my attempts, the most frequent sentence running through my head was “Nyla has left the building.”

It’s actually extremely scary for me to share that with anyone that I have attempted suicide. But it feels important. It is a reality of the deep, dark depths of depression. It was never something I had seen as a possibility in my life; in fact, it was something I had talked others out of a number of times.

Looking back, I can see some of the reasons for my attempts.

I had suddenly stopped taking my antidepressants. This is extremely dangerous. I remember my doctor saying, “You didn’t have a chance.”

My self-confidence was so low, it was hard to believe I could make any lasting changes for myself. I was looking for some kind of guide and support that would help me find my way out of the muck.

The more severe the depression, the more difficult it is to take the steps necessary to get out of it. 

I have learned that I can become too beaten down and unable to get up. I'm someone you see and wonder what happened to make them so miserable. But there is also a warrior deep inside me, one who slowly woke up and said, “I will make something beautiful from all of this. Believe in me, and I will overcome.”

Stigma is not just about what others think of me. It can be about something that matters so much more: what I think of myself. Stigma kept me from accepting that I needed help and support.

That denial kept me in depression, in the belief that I alone should be able to think or pray my way out of it. I have tried hard to overcome my mental health issues without the help of professionals but in the end, found such help necessary. I’ve admitted to myself that I need that help, that depression is a disease that, untreated, can cause death.

Therapists and medication have many times carried me out of dark places that I found myself stuck in. I was not able to do it on my own — which is okay.

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Loving yourself is what is best for you and everyone around you. But first, you have to know yourself. Only then can you provide yourself with the true love and acceptance that will lead you to peace of mind.

Over the years, while I have continued to struggle off and on with my mental health, improvements have been significant. Periods of depression and confusion don't last as long. Because I tend to view things from a spiritual standpoint, I think of these down periods as temporary dark nights. Nights always lead to new awakenings that feel worth whatever I had to endure to reach their expansiveness, peace, and joy.

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One thing I have realized through the years is that it is much easier to add in new, positive habits than it is to remove bad habits. I try not to spend too much time stressing over my bad habits and flaws, and my thoughts are certainly habitual. Thinking negative thoughts that predisposed me to depression was not a habit I was able to quit all at once. Through the purposeful addition of new thoughts and self-loving statements, I found the depressive thoughts dissipating naturally.

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Suicide no longer crosses my mind as an option or desire, because I have cultivated inner trust. No matter how bad I feel, my feelings will pass, and I will experience peace and happiness again.

Healing is a process that moves at various speeds.

We are all works in progress. No matter where you are right now or what you are feeling, it is okay to fully accept and love yourself. It is okay to have complete compassion for yourself and your circumstances. When you give this to yourself, when you allow it, change and growth become inevitable.

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Nyla V., who writes under a pen name, is an author of poetry, essays, and memoirs on the struggles of the human condition and the mystery of existence. Nyla holds a master’s degree in human services with a concentration in school counseling from Capella University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from City University of Seattle, and she is a Nationally Certified Counselor and member of NAMI.