Below is a courageous guest post by a young woman, Michaela Hull, who has worked extremely hard this year to better herself. Navigating high school can be an extremely difficult and confusing time. Many young women struggle with depression, anxiety and at times suicidal thoughts. I know teenage suicide is a difficult topic and I hope her story will encourage others to seek help when they are struggling. Sharing your story with others is empowering and can help alleviate the stress of carrying it all inside.
I never thought that I would want to end my life.
My story starts in the beginning of my junior year. About a month into the semester, my parents informed my siblings and I that they would be separating. I was the only child to choose to stay with my dad and looking back, that probably wasn't the best choice.
Being the most mature child in my family, I was almost immediately thrown into the middle of every fight that my parents had. I was expected to communicate how my parents felt about each back and forth, deliver messages from them, and at times, take complete care of my two younger siblings. For the time being, I was able to push it out of my mind and keep it separate from my own life. However, it eventually became very overwhelming and my senior year is when I had a breakdown.
I started thinking about suicide around September. It was a fleeting thought and only occurred when I was feeling overwhelmed with school and the pressures at home. The thoughts left my mind for about three months and came back around Christmas time. Originally, when the suicidal thoughts entered my mind, they wouldn't escalate beyond a passing thought. However, shortly after Christmas the thoughts consumed me and took over my life. At times, I have low self esteem and that became fuel for the suicidal thoughts. I started to believe that nobody would miss me, no one would even care, and I would be at peace. I became obsessed with finding the perfect plan. I would look up suicide stories, easiest ways to do, least painful ways to take my life, and what to include in a suicide note. I would literally come home from school and for about 3-4 hours just search on the internet for anything I could find.
This went on for about two weeks until my teacher, Ms. Taubman asked me what was wrong. I informed her that I was having these thoughts, but did not tell her to what degree I had taken it. About a week later, after careful consideration, I entered a psychiatric hospital and was placed on suicide watch. There was nothing worse than hearing my mom cry and repeatedly ask me if it was her fault. The first night that I was there, I was required to sleep in a padded room and all I can remember thinking is "I never thought this would be me." I was in this hospital for 4 days before being released with no diagnoses and instructions to go to a counselor.
About 3 weeks later, I relapsed and became the closest to taking my life. I had an extremely bad day and was an emotional wreck. I poured a glass of Vodka and counted out pills to take. Luckily, my mind came to its senses and I was able to get through that day alive.
Shortly after, I started seeing a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with depression and prescribed me anti-depressants. I also started seeing a new counselor who has helped tremendously.
I can't sit here and tell you that I am completely better. This is a long, emotional process. Yes, I still have my bad days and yes, occasionally think about suicide, but never has it been to the degree that it was before.
My biggest piece of advice is to seek help. Tell somebody. You don't necessarily have to go into a hospital for treatment, but it is so important to tell someone: a teacher, a parent, the school counselor, anyone. I can't honestly say that I would be here right now if Stacy Taubman hadn't asked me what was going on.
I know a post like this can stir up many different emotions. I hope this serves as a conversation starter and encourages more people to reach out. I would love to hear you thoughts?