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Real Story

Remember the stars

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Photo by: Spencer Finnley

The stars are always there. Just like hope will always be there for us.

My name is Mike. I’m 20 years old, and I come from a small town in Indiana. On the morning of November 18, 2007, I walked into my school and through to the back door, exited, walked home and attempted suicide.  I come from a farming town of about 450 people and went to a school with about 600 kids.

So, all in all, my entire town was small. If you did something Friday night, Saturday morning everyone would know. In our town, you kept your head down and your mouth shut and worked. So, imagine coming home from the hospital and not speaking about the situation but just being told to go bale hay or go pick potatoes. I was alone before I attempted suicide, and I was definitely alone after coming home. No one knew what I went through every day, hiding who I was; it was hard. I became very withdrawn, didn’t talk to my friends or family.  It became clear that I needed help. I needed just that one person who knew what was going on inside my mind.

So I started looking things up on the internet. I got connected to people who had gone through the same things I was going through. And yes, it helped, but I needed something more concrete. Unfortunately, I was queer-bashed a few months after my suicide attempt, even though I wasn’t out. And a few months after that, I attempted suicide again. I can remember lying in the hospital, and person after person would ask “Are you ok?”  My answer was always “Yes”, but I wasn’t. I was so screwed up in my head, but I didn’t want anyone to think I was crazy. One day, a volunteer brought me my lunch, and she sat in a chair and just watched me eat. When I was done she said “You know, I lost my daughter to suicide ten years ago.” I don’t know what it was, but I just started crying. She hugged me, and I told her everything that was going on. After I had made a complete fool out of myself, she looked at me and said “You’re a fighter. You’ll get through this; I can tell.”

There’s a theory that we all have a security blanket. That volunteer was the beginning of my security blanket. She gave me the sense of hope, the sense that no matter what, I could get through the dark times, and it would get better.  I still have those days when I feel down.  But, whenever I feel like that, I go outside at night and look at the stars; for the stars are always there, whether we see them or not. Just like hope is always there, whether we see it or not.

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  • avatar2

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    Anthony Velez

    Tears streaming down my face.. Thank you! And I love the hope/stars analogy. Brilliant.

  • avatar2

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    TocatchtheuncatchableII

    Thank you! This made me almost cry!

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