The Library Saved My Life

Suicide has always been a topic no one likes to talk about.

According to save.org, every day about 105 Americans die by suicide, that makes it nearly 800,000 a year, roughly one death every 40 seconds.

We have to ask ourselves why we do not talk about it.

Our favorite artists have died by suicide, our favorite cooks, performers and actors. Not only that, but we all know someone in our personal lives who has died of suicide.

Yet, we still do not talk about it.

I was in 7th grade and I was in love. I was more in love with the idea of being in love. Being 13 years old, everything seemed escalated, if something went wrong it felt as if the whole world was falling apart. I felt unnoticed, I had a horrible sense of body image and I was failing math. To make matters worse the boy I was “in love with” would poke me in my fat and chuckle with his best friend behind me in class.

Everyday I felt worse and sad, I wanted it to end it all.

One night, I went home, grabbed the bottle of Advil and took 5 pills. Yes, my 7th grade self thought that was going to kill me. I remember laying in my bed and thinking that was it.

To my surprise I woke up the next day and nothing happened. I went to school.

I remember that day like it was a film, I came to school with my hair wet.  I felt sad to the point that I started sobbing and ran to the first friend that I could find, which was my friend Mario. He had just purchased some sour straws or chocolate from the corner candy store. I told him that I tried killing myself and he just hugged me and said I was going to be OK. To think back now, I probably scared the hell out of him, poor kid.

That same day I was pulled into the office while I was in 4th period history.  I knew Mario had told someone, and I was actually ok about it. I needed the help, and I knew it,  I didn’t want to feel that way.

We sat in a tiny room near a window where I can see students walking back and forth. The bells rang to go to the next period and there I was in a small room with the school psychologist who started asking me questions.

“I heard that you wanted to hurt yourself?”

“What are the reasons you have for feeling that way?”

“Why are you scared that you are failing math?”

“Are you having issues at home?”

I told her the way I felt. I was failing math. I felt useless. Everything. Well, everything except for the 5 Advil that I took the night before.

She said I needed to distract myself, I needed to get involved with the right people. She took me to the library where there was a group of about 5-6 of us. The first week she would have me meet her in the office and then we would both walk into the library where I would spend about 1-2 hours there with this group.  I don’t remember much about my time there except that I continued to go every single day after school, that is until basketball practice started.

That feeling of wanting to end my life left, I never felt it anymore.

I continued to seek comfort in libraries all the way up to my senior year of college. I spent hours at the library feeling safe. In high school I would spend 3-4 hours after school in the library, in college I would look forward to 24 hour days during finals.

I came here to talk about my experience with suicide. Now, it seems so long ago and I cannot even remember how I felt at the time. The point is, I told someone and the person I confided in saved my life by telling someone that could help.

If I would have gone through and ended my life,  I would have never experienced all the wonderful moments in my life. I would have never met my best friend from college and experienced Cold Stone Thursdays with her. I would have never seen my Godson be born and watched him grow into a wonderful young man. I would have never experienced true love with my husband and would have never experienced marriage. I would have never dipped my feet in the waters of Hawaii.

If you know anyone who is considering taking their life, please refer them to suicide prevention hotlines.  If you yourself are considering taking your life, find your library, find your place where you feel comfort, seek help and be open to accepting the help you deserve.

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