TW: Suicidal thoughts / alcohol dependency

 

**This post contains my personal struggles with suicidal thoughts and depression. It is dedicated to bring awareness to National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week (September 8th – 14th), and is meant to start open and honest discussions about suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Resources are listed down below.

**I am participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness fundraiser walk to help bring awareness to suicide prevention. If you’d like to make a small donation to my donor drive, please click the link below. 

Donate to my AFSP Out of the Darkness donor drive


For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled with depression. The worst it has ever been, however, was during the end of October 2016. 

In the summer of 2015, I moved 3,000 miles away from home, from New Jersey to California. I made this move in large part to be with my boyfriend at the time, who moved to California a few months prior. Another big reason for the move was because I desperately needed to escape the unhealthy and abusive relationships that plagued my family.

I moved in with my boyfriend in August of 2015, and we spent one year together in a very tumultuous relationship. 

In October 2016, my boyfriend and I woke up one morning, made plans to go grocery shopping together after work, and then go to the movies. Later that night, I came home from work to an empty apartment. It was completely cleared out, save for a letter on the counter from my now ex-boyfriend, and some money for groceries. Out of the blue, my relationship had ended, and I had an extremely difficult time processing the situation I found myself in.

This was the beginning of a really bad drinking phase for me. I spent night after night in my empty apartment drinking, crying, and drinking again. I was alone, so far away from home and desperately trying to figure out how I would keep the electricity on, let alone pay the rent by myself.

The excessive drinking did not help my very fragile mental state. There were days I would hide in the bathroom at work, crying for what seemed like hours. There were many nights I’ve grappled with suicidal thoughts and ideas. 

I’ve struggled terribly with drinking and suicidal thoughts until 2017, when I enrolled in a local community college. During this time, I found a new passion for learning and writing. I even found myself deciding on a new, exciting career path – something I’d never thought I’d be able to do. I threw myself into school. I’ve connected with great professors who have helped me personally through my struggles in depression. I’ve started to attend individual and group therapy sessions, which helped me learn positive ways in dealing with my depression and how to combat suicidal thoughts. I was also able to make new friends, and learned to better adapt to living on my own in this big, beautiful state that was now my new home.

Although I currently do not often have suicidal thoughts, I still struggle greatly with depression and its effects. There are many apps I use, such as Refectly and Moodpath, that help me document and keep track of how I feel and what I accomplish throughout the week. I also am looking into new counseling options that better suit my mental health needs. 

There are plenty of other resources (listed below) that are available for individuals that struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health illnesses. If you or anyone you know are struggling, please, reach out for help. I hope my story helps open the conversation everyone must have about mental health struggles, depression, and how to support others in need.

Much love, 

Leah Reeve

 

Resources:

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Crisis Text Line: text NAMI to 741741

NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 

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