Pulled From Darkness
A suicide survival story.
Imagine yourself for just a moment being pulled into a darkness. A darkness that is so strong it resonates so deep you see no way out. Your mind begins to race. Your palms become sweaty. Your body beings to tremble. You feel afraid. The negative thoughts begin to creep into your mind like a train speeding down the track. The feeling grows ever more intense. You feel there is nothing you can do about it. Or is there? This is one girls story.
As I sit here writing this story. The memories those so many years ago, are awakened. The feeling of being afraid and alone. Fighting a monster that I nearly lost a battle with. Those memories will forever be imprinted in my brain. I had a choice to let the darkness win or overcome the negative thoughts that were rushing in my head. I had a choice to fight or let it consume me. I chose to fight. Let me take you back 21 years ago, when it all began.
Lilly McGuire is a 14-year-old young girl living in the country. One of her greatest joys was feeding the animals around the farm and going horseback riding. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and an athletic build. She was a straight A student and played on the towns softball team. To her family and friends Lilly appeared to be a happy young girl. Even though Lilly had suffered tragedy after tragedy. She still walked around with a smile on her face and had a heart to help everyone she could. Lilly lost her father at the age of five to suicide. In fact, Lilly, had lost several family members to suicide. This was something that would haunt Lilly for years to come. She thought for years this was an incredibly selfish act. But soon would learn herself this is not true at all. Lilly was also raped at the age of eight by her neighbour. She kept this secret for 3 years as the offender told her if she said anything her family would be harmed. Yet, Lilly somehow managed to put on a smile on her face every day.
For three years Lilly was the catcher for the counties softball team the Rocklands. She always enjoyed playing on the team and handing out with her friends. Although something felt different this year. She did not feel the same way about playing and asked her mom Sasha if she could take a break. Which her mother allowed. Sasha always believed in her daughter and they had a close relationship. So, she did not think too much of it when her daughter asked to take a year off. Lilly started to become a recluse more with each passing day. She would stay in her room most of the time either journaling, sleeping or watching television. Lilly’s mother Sasha was a Nurse. So, she was not home often as she was working hard to support them both. Since the loss of Lilly’s father Jasper her mother had to pick up extra shifts to make ends meet. Even though Lilly missed her mother dearly she knew she was just doing the best she could for them.
Every night before Lilly would go to bed she would make a new journal entry. For the most part this seemed to calm the part of her brain that allowed the negative thoughts to enter. Lilly’s journal entry that night read as follows:
“January 15, 1996. It feels like another dark and lonely night. I can’t stop these negative thoughts from entering my mind or at least it feels that way. It started out slowly and now seems to be growing more and more. I don’t know how to stop it. I feel like the walls are closing in. I am prisoner in my own mind. I can’t tell anyone because they just won’t understand. They will think I am being selfish and that I am doing this for attention. I just wish I could stop it. I can’t remember the last night that I had a happy thought. That I felt happy. Truly happy and wanted to do the things I used to love. I don’t want to hurt myself. But the thoughts just keep rushing into my mind. Kill yourself. Kill yourself. KILL YOURSELF! But I can’t. I don’t want to do this. What about my mom. What about my friends. I can’t do this to them. Why won’t this feeling stop.” She fell asleep with that being her last thought.
You see when the darkness and negative thoughts start creeping into your mind. You lose all sense of self and the feeling that anyone will understand you are truly care what you want to say. Your fear is that they will tell you just to get over it. This is just a phase. You will be fine. This is truly the last things you want to say to someone that is having suicidal thoughts and struggling to deal with depression. I know when I was struggling with this that just pushed me to believe the negative thoughts more than the person that loved me. The one thing you want the most is for someone to say, “I don’t understand what you are going through. But I am here to help you and stand beside you every step of the way. We are going to fight this together!” Now let’s get back to Lilly’s story.
That morning Lilly awoke with the last thought she had the night prior. To hurt herself. And that she did. She went downstairs and took a carving knife from the kitchen. She slid the knife beneath her shirt so incase her mother woke she would not see it. She quietly reentered her room and took out the knife. She got into bed and pulled the blankets over her head. She took the knife out from under her shirt and stared at it for what felt like an eternity. She fought with herself, “Why am I doing this?” Just then all the negative thoughts she has that have haunted her for years returned. She grabbed the knife and placed it against her skin. Just as she went to slid the knife over her skin she heard a knock at her bedroom door. Little did her mom Sasha know at the time she was entering her daughters room just in time. Lilly slid the knife under her pillow and jumped out of bed and gave her mother a hug and a kiss and told her how much she missed her. Lilly was safe for one more day.
With each passing day, it grew harder and harder for Lilly to fight the urge to cut herself.
The feelings grew stronger and she felt she could no longer fight the urge. She sat nearly every day in the corner of her bedroom holding the knife she had grabbed from the kitchen months ago, slicing her arms and legs until she could see her red warm blood rushing through her open wounds. This action seemed to calm Lilly. Or at least that is what you would think, right? This could not be further from the truth. This is not something Lilly enjoyed or that she even wanted to do. She was so consumed by the darkness and by darkness I am referring to depression that she felt she could not stop. I mean this was going on for months, nearly daily. How could she stop? She couldn’t tell her mom. She couldn’t tell her friends. What was she to do? She sat and thought about these very questions herself. Coming up with nothing. She went to the bathroom and cleaned up her arms and legs and stopped the blood from coming. After she was successful in doing so she went to sleep and slept for nearly twelve hours.
Lilly’s mom arrived home to find her daughter still in bed. Sasha had started to realise about two months ago, that something was not the same with her daughter. She noticed she was no longer enjoying activities like she used to, no longer was spending time with her or her friends, her grades started on a downward spiral and she was sleeping most of the day. She tried on many occasions to try to talk to her daughter to find out what she could do to help her. Lilly would simply reply that she was fine and she just needed a break, but things would get back to normal soon. Although Sasha did not necessarily believe her daughter she wanted to give her the space and time she needed without pushing her away further. She did however decide she was going to take some time away from work to be there for her daughter.
Lilly apricated that her mother was taking time off to spend with her, she just couldn’t remember how to show her. She continued her routine of waking up, cutting herself, crying and going back to sleep. She felt so helpless. So down. That very day Lilly wanted to die. She no longer cared if it would hurt. Who she upset. Who would miss her. She just wanted to die. But that very day things would change.
Just as Lilly was lifting the knife to pierce her skin one final time the door opened. It was Lilly’s mom. In total shock and embarrassment Lilly dropped the knife. Sasha ran to her daughter and hugged her and stopped the bleeding on her arms and legs. They sat and cried together for what seemed like an hour. Sasha did not speak. She simply held her daughter until her breathing laboured and she was a little calmer. Lilly stared into her mother’s eyes. A look Sasha had never seen before. A look crying for help saying, “I need you! I am afraid!” With that everything changed. For the better.
The next day Sasha could get her daughter into a counseling program that changed and saved Lilly’s life. It took a good month or two, but Lilly started to open herself up to release the memories that haunted her for years and what dragged her into a depression she could not fight on her own. She told the counselor and her mother of how she felt about her fathering committing suicide. How that devastated her and how she felt he was selfish and did not love her. How she felt about getting raped. How she had to keep it a secret for all these years so the man responsible could no longer hurt her or her family. How she did not know how to deal with these things on her own and how they just took over her thoughts. That was all she could think about. How she wanted to die to get rid of these memories and to stop suffering. Throughout the next couple of months Lilly continued counselling with her mother by her side. The best thing Sasha told her daughter was, “I do not understand what you are going through because I am not in your shoes. But what I can promise you is that you will not fight this alone. I will be right beside you every step of the way and we together will overcome this.” And she did. Lilly overcame those haunting memories. With the help of her family, friends and counsellor. She is now working as an advocate to help those who are going through similar situations. And wants you to know you too can overcome this.
You see depression is not something that is a phase or that anyone will truly understand unless you yourself are going through it. The best thing you can do for someone going through this is to be there for them. Right next to them no matter how hard they fight you or how hard it gets. Because at the end of the day they need you. They need their family. They need their friends. They deserve to have their life. They want help. They are just too afraid to ask for it or see it at that moment. They feel they have nobody to turn to. Nobody that will help them or to understand them. But the truth is so may are turned away by family and friends when they are going through depression. Because they do not truly see that person for what is going on. There is a deep rooted issued that needs to be addressed. Don’t push your loved one’s away further just because you do not understand what they are going through. Be their support system. Because at the end of the day you are all they want to pull them from the darkness.