“Unused Suicide Note” – A Look Back on The Night I Almost Took My Life

Trigger warning: this post discusses suicide.

 


“Unused Suicide Note”

By Morgan Stabile


10:32

Pitch black to any outsider, but I, the sole permanent resident, know where everything is. I don’t have to wait for my eyes to adjust. The day went by like all the other. Routine. Routine. Routine. Stick to the Routine. Today felt different though. Heavier. Duller. The numbers swirling around my head making it impossible to sleep. How many calories is in one apple slice? That piece of gum I swallowed by accident?

10:40
Technique One: Make lists.

Favorite technique. Ease mind, making lists, of happy things, happy things, things I’ll do when I’m pretty. Pretty. Skinny. But it’s harder to do tonight. After staring at the mirrored doors of my closet in the in the dark for an hour, hoping to see some change, any sign of change. Every night my hopes swallowed up by the every growing blob starting back at me. Thick thunder thighs, wide linebacker shoulders, chicken wings flapping under my arms, obese outstretched pouch holding my large intestines. I wish I could reach in and rip them out. I’m not using them anyway and it might take off a few inches. I used to almost see her, that beautiful, skinny, girl inside of me. The emptiness inside will be gone once I see her in that mirror, that day seems like it will never come and at night laying here in bed again that void eating away.

Creative Pieces dear hope

“Confession Through Photograph” A Powerful Series on Depression, Death & Spirituality

“Confessions Through Photograph” is a powerful photography series that details Matthew Malin’s mental health journey through depression, death, and spirituality. Below you’ll read what Malin has to say about the project, along with the photos that will allow you step foot on the path he has walked on this journey of self acceptance.

I was born and raised in a Pastor’s home. Forced to wear a mask from the day I breathed my first breath, I felt like I didn’t have a choice in who I could become. As I grew up and embraced this mask of righteousness, I came upon my first heartbreak. The shattered glass represents my coming to grips with the reality that life, that myself, is broken. This brokenness pushed me into depression and isolation. In the Fall of 2012 I found myself battling demons and almost succumbing to the thoughts of death. I thought death to be a better option than life.

By God’s grace He brought me back to life and face to face with this mask, my inner demons. I had a choice: Would I conform again or fight the devil inside? I’ve spent the last few years running, falling, screaming, and crying for salvation. Ultimately I’m coming face to face with my mask on a daily basis and having to choose to kill it. In these pictures I tear the mask and accept the victory that came through Jesus’ blood.

This entire project serves as a symbolic notion towards the emotional turmoil my heart has endured but the freedom that Jesus can bring to a broken life.

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Many thanks to Matthew Malin for his amazing project. Find more of his photos and writing on his blog “Confessions. Always remember you are not alone. You are loved. 

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Let’s Talk About Death: An Alternative Approach to Mental Health

This community is growing rapidly, and I think the most beautiful aspect of having an eclectic group of folks together in one place is that we all have different stories to tell. Parts of all of our journeys inevitably intertwine in the continuums of triumph and struggle, but we all have our own lens to share. The idiosyncratic blend of colors we each bring to the world is something that ought to be more celebrated in spaces outside of Dear Hope, but until the world takes a turn in a more loving direction, we will always have this space to share those bonds.

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Friendship, Storytelling, and Mental Health – What I Learned After My Friends Recent Passing

I had a close friend with mental illness who passed away recently.  She always talked about wanting to share her story, but never really had the opportunity to do so.  So I’m hoping to share at least part of her story for her, and in part the story of our friendship.  I met Unique when she was 15, as one of her camp counselors.  Somehow a friendly e-mail after camp turned into 14 years, thousands of hours on the phone, and a long-distance friendship that had more an impact on my life than anything I ever could have imagined.

When I first got to know Unique she was living at home in a very difficult situation and dealing with depression.  In the few years that followed, I watched her deal with worsening depression, her first suicide attempt, multiple psych hospitalizations, and moving into foster care, then a nursing home, and then eventually the first of many group home placements.  For the rest of her life after that, Unique moved into a series of group home placements all over the state.  Because she had a physical disability but didn’t have any cognitive disability, those placements meant that she was usually living with people who were much older than her, and much lower functioning than her, which brought along its own set of challenges.

For the first few years Unique was pretty stable.  She had her ups and downs, but she did the best she could to make a life for herself and make the best of the situation.  Eventually things started to go downhill – the suicidal feelings came back, she had her first psych hospitalization in years, and that started a whole new period of her life.  For the next few years it was a constant cycle of hospitalizations, dozens of them.  At one point she stopped making sense, which turned out to be her first episode of psychosis.  It lasted for a few months, and once she got through it and was more back to “herself” again, she had started to hear voices – constant, incessant voices that were shouting at her all the reasons she needed to kill herself and what a horrible person she was.  She was living in a very rural area at the time, and didn’t really have access to the supports she needed – the staff had no idea how to support her, and the hospitalizations just kept continuing.

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Hiding Visible Scars: Why I’m Glad Someone Asked Me The Difficult Questions

I first experienced loss my senior year of high school. While family members had passed away in my childhood, this was the first time I was able to fully process what had happened. My former stepbrother, the son of my mom’s ex-fiancé, died suddenly from a seizure. While he and I had continued to be friendly when we saw each other after our parents’ split, the discomfort between our families resulted in ours not being able to attend the wake or funeral.

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Poetry: Nervosa by Evan

Nervosa
by Evan 

Look at me, we are dual TV screens,
Look at me, the new me,
It’s been years…. a few years.
Sometimes people lose touch, break tree branches,
Bark turns into pieces- it’s slow.
Careful now, don’t touch,
Side step the crackling leaves.
I’ve lost touch, some things are obsessive,
Behavior can border on nervous,

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

Poetry: “Doubt: Sarah’s Poem”

This piece, our second installment of the night on creative works on eating disorders comes from Kate Chandler, titled “Doubt: Sarah’s Poem.”

I remember when we were younger
we would play outside your house
riding on your huge dog like a pony we would mount.
It’s funny, that dog used to mean the world to me
yet somehow I can no longer remember his name.

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

He Called Me The “T” Word.

Our first submission piece in Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes from Morgan, titled “He Called Me The ‘T’ Word.”

Throwback Thursday, time to choose a tacky photo to make a thoughtful post about good times from years before:

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 5.00.20 PM“#tbt to freshman year homecoming- miss yah girly”

Steady stream of likes flow in, slowing to a trickle as the day goes on.

3 hours after posting, there was a dink of a notification:

“Looking really thin Morgan, *thumbs up emoji*”

Looking really thin Morgan.

Looking really thin Morgan?

Creative Pieces dear hope Uncategorized

“A Day Without Love: How My Depression Made Me Who I Am” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 16

In our latest submission in the Coping series, we have the story of Brian:

Depression came to me before I was aware of it. The first time I felt out of place was in kindergarten when I waited for my mother to pick me up from school. I lived right across the street from my school, and my grandmother would meet up with me to walk across the street.  Things started to change when I was told that my Mother would pick me up. At the time, this was important to me because my relationship with my Mother was distant. My Mother didn’t really do much for me, and treated me like I did not exist.  When I found out that she was going to pick me up from school, it meant the world to me, even though I was not aware that this would be the beginning of feeling like an outsider. My mother suffers from cerebral palsy and has a walking impediment. As you would guess, this was a challenge due to the public perception of disability in 1992.

Coping: This Is Who We Are dear hope