By Amanda Mathis, a local college student
As I open my eyes from the darkness of night, I see light that shines through my curtain. Each day presents itself with beams of warmth and illumination. I get out of bed and get ready for a new day filled with experiences and sensation. I walk to the kitchen and am greeted with kind smiles and eyes. To know others care for me and love me in ways I will never understand is something I am thankful for everyday. As I head into the world I will be met with many sounds, thoughts, smells, tastes, and feel tons of different textures. Although simple, recognizing what you have in this life is crucial.
Remembering how loved I am, how much I have accomplished, and how much more I will accomplish leaves me full of appreciation. Each day is a new and fresh start. We often take for granted how amazing it is to just breathe and know we are here for a reason. I remind myself of this each morning when the light floods into my eyes and shows me that the darkness is temporary. After experiencing pain for many years, I know it will subside. This life has so much to offer, and I am blessed to be able to wake up each morning and know that I am here for a purpose. We all have a purpose. Many of us will face pain and darkness in our lives, but overcoming them will provide you so much happiness in the end. Today I am able to understand the amount of love, happiness, and kindness we have to look forward to. This is something I never thought I would have.
It was my junior year in high school when I found myself in the emergency room because I made an attempt to end my life. So many people told me that high school was going to be the best time of my life, and that I would remember these years forever. However, as time has progressed, this ideology rarely holds the same positive connotation. Who would have thought that something as seemingly small as a sports injury could have sent me into a world of struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts?
During my sophomore year of playing high school softball I tore my ACL, which is a very important part of one’s knee. As a 16 year old I went through a major knee surgery that left me bedridden and on severe medication. I could no longer see my friends at school or play softball. I was confined to the downstairs couch where I took pills that made me extremely sick and unmotivated. This is where my depression first began.
Not being able to communicate with anyone for months left me feeling isolated and unimportant, thus, I no longer found pleasure in anything. When I was able to begin walking again it seemed like nothing was ever going to be easy. As time progressed and my knee healed, I found myself going through life numb. I was not able to look forward to playing softball anymore, I missed a year of school, and I had lost my identity.
I was completely engulfed by depression. Soon dark thoughts began to intrude my mind, and I turned to self harm in order to deal with the emotions I was experiencing. During this time I also developed anxiety and was almost always stressed out. One day, I had reached my limit of what I could handle. I grabbed a razor blade, locked myself in the bathroom, and hysterically called my grandma to tell her I was going to kill myself. An hour after this I was on the way to the emergency room for attempting to end my life, as well as suffering a panic attack that had me scratching my legs raw.
I spent the night laying on a gurney while my mom fought for services to not take me into a facility. Never have I been so scared in my life. Somehow my mother convinced them to allow me to come back home and get the proper help I needed. To this day, my mother is the only person who knows how close I was to being taken away.
My connection to suicide has immensely impacted the person I am today. I would not be who I am today without experiencing all that I did. By getting through certain obstacles, I have learned valuable lessons such as that things always get better. That day was simply one moment in my life.
If I would have ended my life at that moment I would have never found my soulmate; I would have never found my purpose in life; I would have never been able to make some amazing memories.
For individuals who struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and so forth, please do not be afraid to ask for help. You are valued in this world, and there will be incredible opportunities for you to experience. It may seem like right now things will not get better, but I promise you they will.
Today I stand, pursuing my career goal to become a high school guidance counselor, achieving academic excellence, and navigating my way through life with a person I love. Who would have thought that something as small as a sports injury would have impacted and shaped me into who I am today?
Every person deals with challenges and hardships in their life at some point, whether it may be struggling to get through school, dealing with issues in a relationship, or having to grieve through unforeseen tragedies. No matter how big or small a problem may seem, it has value and should be taken seriously. Individuals will experience different variations of obstacles that will rock their world and leave them feeling helpless and lost. As a society, we need to look out for one another other and show kindness. So no matter what the circumstances may be, choose to live another day.