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I Was Dying on the Inside and Didn't Realize It

Kyleigh Leist
WhiteFlag Marketing Manager
I never thought I’d be typing these words again. I thought I got past this. I thought I buried my first suicide attempt deep inside me. I guess it never went away. I have spent so long building myself back up since my last attempt, I couldn’t even fathom that I’d attempt to end my life again. But I did. I did it again.

There it was: another suicide attempt.

Even though I saw all of this coming, I so desperately wish my depression came with a warning label like it does on my medication. Hell, even a terms and conditions that I had to read over.

Accept or decline.

I would’ve respectfully declined and never looked back.

I had everything. Everything was going well for me. I have been thriving at my job, I have a small circle of friends that are fiercely loyal, loving, understanding, and accept me: flaws and all, my mom is my best friend, and my brother is my protector, I am financially stable, hell, I live 5 minutes away from the ocean. Everything on paper showed, “this girl finally has it figured out”.

Life was good.

Life is good.

That’s why I get so sorrowful when it comes to my depression. I can’t justify it. I can’t make sense of it. Why is this happening… again? Am I in the twilight zone?

Have you ever been so exerted with your emotions? So absorbed with agony? So lost in your own dialog that putting sentences together to make it make sense seemed nearly impossible to do?

Has your mind ever felt hot, or like your head was going to explode with an overwhelmingly and overpowering brain full of thoughts, or where your stomach feels like it’s being punched, flipped upside down, and then punched again; on repeat? Or if you’re like me, you might feel all of those things all at the same time and also obsessively focus on one moment, one situation, one conversation, one life altering nightmare.

That was me. February 19th, 2023. I was so engulfed in all of these emotions, all at once–hitting me like an NFL linebacker. I couldn’t channel them. I couldn’t stop fixating on how one simple change of a situation could’ve changed my life.

That night, after a Sunday not-so-funday, my depression was barging through the door. I knew it was here, stronger than ever. I knew it was coming with vengeance. It was rushing in like a tornado and leaving everything in its path, destroyed.

I’ve been here before. I’ve faced these same emotions, time and time again. This wasn’t anything new to me. Choosing to end my life wasn’t something I’ve never done before. I wasn’t fearful of death.

This time, though, like in 2011, the depression got past me again. Bulldozing everything in its sight. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get the thoughts out of my head. I couldn’t break the barrier of what was real and what was a nightmare. I couldn’t shut off the depression switches, or decline those terms and conditions that the night endured; those damn depression and anxiety switches almost cost me my life–again.

When my depression came in that night, it arrived quickly. Within a blink of an eye. Even though I knew it was arriving, there was nothing I could do about it, until it was almost too late. It slipped through the cracks and decided it was going to take over my life that night. Or, unfortunately, try to take my life that night. Next thing I knew, there I was, laying on my bathroom floor, with a vice grip on my pill bottles.

I could sit here and try to blame everything and anything on that night. An argument I had, my childhood trauma, my medication inconsistency, stressors at work, relationships, anything. I could try to justify my actions that night. Try to make sense of it. I could try to wrap my head around what really happened, but I can’t wallow in pity or put blame on anyone. Not even my depression.

No one else is to blame for this. I was the one that flipped my life upside down that night. That night, I made the decision: The decision to intentionally overdose on my prescription anti-depressant medication. I chose to go down the exact same path as the one I did on September 26th, 2011–the same exact way.

I saw all the signs. Like I said: I’ve been down this road before. Yet, I was the one that allowed myself to let the depression creep up on me. I let myself bask in it. I recognized it was slowly making its way into my mind. Into my thoughts. Into my actions. Only I allowed it to consume me.

Like in 2011, the thoughts were overbearing. They were negatively constructing everything around me. Everyone around me. This time, though, they were more intense. More consuming. More devastating. The thoughts were more harmful.

Sitting on that cold, empty, bathroom floor, I felt like I was drowning. I felt like my lungs were filling with water at a fast rate and no one would be able to hear me scream.

That’s how I constantly feel with my depression, drowning, trying to keep my head afloat only to be plummeted with a wave of depression. That dreadful Sunday night, though, just felt different. I felt like a mouse running on a wheel with no end in sight. I felt like I was running with a bungee cord attached to me, only to be shot back even further than when I started. I was in constant distress. Constant pain. Constant faking. Constant true disparity.

I was dying on the inside for so long without even realizing that, that I wanted to now die on the outside. I didn’t think I knew when the last time I felt truly alive was. I had to make the thoughts go away. I just had to.

I was tired. Tired of putting on a face and acting like I’m ok all the time. The reality of all of this, though, was the mask was about to finally come off. Finally to show others that I really was suffering. I couldn’t put on the smile anymore. I couldn’t do it through all the pain that I really was feeling. I couldn’t distract myself from the life that I so badly wanted to hide from.

There we are with those damn terms and conditions again.

Depression makes me feel like I’m on a deserted island. The depression is the fire. I rely on it. I need it. I crave it. Why? Because that’s all I know. That’s all that has been faithful in my life. The only thing that I know that will show up for me each and every day–even if it is negative.

Depression is lonely as hell. There is no one-size- fits-all when it comes to symptoms. I can’t read the warning label, sign the terms and conditions, or know when or how it’s going to creep up on me again.

All I can do is face it.

There is blessing in the breaking; and man, did I break.

This comeback after this last suicide attempt is personal, and I owe it to myself. I can’t be insecure about my depression anymore.

I am more than my depression
I am a survivor
I am still fragile
I am going to get through this
I am in charge of my life
I am healing
I am hopeful
I am accepting of myself
I am worthy of beating this
I am in charge of my own joy
I am valued
I am enough
I am my own superhero
And I am going to live each day to the fullest.
I am.


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