Content Warning: suicide
August 19th, 2008. The day I tried to take my own life. Roughly 11:00AM. It was a Tuesday. And every August since then, I’ve mourned. I’ve had anxiety attacks. Memories of that day play over and over in my head. It was a traumatic day. My mother, who found me, would try to help me see all the good things that have happened since then, all the amazing things in life. I still struggled with anxiety and a rollercoaster of emotions surrounding the event.
But this past August was different.
I didn’t mourn. I didn’t have anxiety attacks. I didn’t ride a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. Remembering all the ugly things about that day didn’t bring me pain. Instead, I celebrated. It sounds morbid and twisted from the outside, but it’s not the fact that I attempt that I celebrated. No, I celebrated living. I celebrated being alive. I even baked a cake. I made it through the entire month of August without a single anxiety attack from my memories.
I started this tradition last year, in 2016. August hit, and I was struggling. A therapist suggested I try to change the way I see August by doing something positive. I jokingly posted on Facebook that I was celebrating hitting 8 years, I should make a cake with sprinkles. A very good friend did just that; he brought a small cake with confetti sprinkles to work. We dubbed August 19th my “rebirth day” and had a mini party in the break room.
So this year, 2017, has been the very first year that I haven’t mourned my memories. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in 9 years, still battle my bipolar disorder. I’ll be doing my third Out of the Darkness walk for suicide prevention in October.
I hope to bring hope to others.
If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/.