I was Suicidal. I Wish I Could Tell My Past Self This.

I was suicidal. I know because I’m told.

More precisely, I received an email from my past self detailing all the dark thoughts I had a year ago. It was definitely my rough patch. I was alone without family; I hated my job; I dated the wrong people; I had traumatising break-ups; I experienced the worst panic attack; then, I had to put myself in therapy and pressed a hard reset on everything I was doing — it was challenging, to say the least.

Most of all, I was scared I had no future.

Here’s my email from September 29th, 2019, which I have entirely forgotten ever writing:

“My dear,

I hope this year is better than the last one.

2019 has been really difficult. I feel really lonely and depressed and struggle to focus. We’re 25 now, and we don’t really know what to do.

All our past experiences have really messed us up. We’ll never be the same again — I know that. The girl we’re right now and the girl we were at the beginning of the year are very different. Our spirit is heavier, our eyes are darker. It’s hard for me now even to make me happy. I’m worried I’ve lost myself a little. I need to find us again.

I’m really tired of all these negative feelings. Why can’t we be happy for once? Why can’t things happen for us for once? It’s so tough. Everything is so heavy. I can’t. I don’t know. It’s so hard to keep on going. I don’t know what’s the point of everything. Everything is grey. I don’t know who can help us now. We’ve been in this state for so long, you know. Maybe for the last 2, 3 years now. Things seem to be better but, at the same time, they aren’t. I’m so confused. I’m just so disappointed. I don’t know if we’re making the right judgment anymore.

What are we doing, really? I know I need to work hard. I need to focus on something, but right now, I don’t know what. I don’t even know how to help us relax. I’m just not happy with anything in our life right now. I just want to sleep and disappear.

This is so heavy. We don’t have anything. We don’t have money, don’t have a relationship, don’t have anything to look forward to. The future is so unclear. If at 30 it’s still like this, I really don’t see the point.

It’s such a bad thought. But, really, I can’t keep prolonging this. I’m scared. It’s really freaking me out. What are we gonna do now? We really don’t have anything. Why would anyone want us? I’m scared. I’m sorry for such a depressing letter. But I need to tell you this. I’m losing hope.”

I know 2019 was terrible, but I forgot I’d felt this terrible at one point. Reading that email was gut-wrenching as I recognised the same language I’d seen in a suicide note reported in the news last January. I remember having felt the same way as that young woman who heartbreakingly took her life. I didn’t do the same, but I know, while writing the email, I was seriously hurting. I’d been hurting for a long time — the pain was just silent.

When I read to the end of that email, I wish I could hit “reply” to tell my past self everything I know now.

Well, I can’t, so I’m going to do it here for myself and all the people who feel lost and depressed and are losing hope like I was.

“Every minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

Dear my past self, I want to thank you for not giving up on me.

Thank you for holding it all together. Thank you for not doing anything I would regret. Thank you for believing in me.

I want to give you the great news that everything has changed since you wrote that email, and it’s only possible because you kept moving forward even when it hurt.

Where do I begin?

It’s true that you’re never the same again, but it’s only for the better.

Thanks to your experiences and learning, I’m becoming the woman you always wanted me to be — self-assured and enlightened. Because you kept showing up at the therapist’s office, the gym, and your various classes, I’m now calm, stable, and secure.

You felt disappointed and tired, but I see you never stopped putting in the effort. You wrote to me, you wrote to your readers, you created a space for others to express themselves. You pushed yourself to do better, be positive, and create value, even when you saw nothing ahead.

Thanks to your resilience and courage, a year later, I have a book publishedarticles featured on international websites, a podcast series, countless thank-you messages, and four-figure writing paychecks. If I had told you then, you wouldn’t believe it. If you had quit then, none would have happened.

You said we didn’t have anything. Yes, we did. We had you. And because we had you, today, we have everything we need.

Not long after you wrote that email, you met a kind-hearted man who made you laugh every day. You and he are in a serious relationship now. You’ve created beautiful plans together, and there are so many things to look forward to. You wouldn’t believe it, would you?

Your future is no longer unclear. Your future is a beautiful and exciting place. Your days are no longer heavy and dark. Your days are meaningful and wholesome and light.

You asked why anyone would want us. Today, I know exactly why — with pride and confidence.

You wished you could be someone else. Today, I wouldn’t trade anything for being us.

The world I’m living in isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Well, it’s the opposite. There has been a pandemic — scary, I know. But, fortunately, life has worked out well for us. All our core strengths and interests have proved to be useful in this extreme circumstance. We have more time to do what we love; we have support from our partner, family, and friends; we’re healthy and happy. We thrive. We make good judgments.

Most importantly, we’re not alone. When we feel anxious and depressed, we have others to lean on. We’re well taken care of. We’re reminded that we’re loved and important. Our pain no longer has to be ours only — we share it, and we feel better.

You said you were losing hope, but you never lost faith in yourself. During your most hopeless days, you kept working towards a future that, deep down, you believed was possible for you.

Your gut was right. It didn’t take you till 30 to find meaning and purpose. I’m only 26, and I’m the living proof that anything can happen.

I keep saying this because it’s true: “Every minute is another chance to turn it all around.” Do you see how our life has turned around in such a short time? It’s extraordinary.

So, again, thank you. I will remember this for the times when life tests us. I will not give up on me, and I will keep moving forward, no matter what happens.

If you could do it, I can do it too.

Anyone can do it.

If you’re feeling like you want to die, it’s important to tell someone.

Help and support is available.

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