“My depression has a voice. It tells me things, and I instinctively believed them. I’ve carried these thoughts with me since early childhood. Some days, I’m so use to this inner dialogue that I don’t realize it may not be based in reality. Some days I realize they are distorted thoughts, and yet I’m too exhausted to counter them with something positive…”

These are the thoughts of a suicide survival. The journey may not be easy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

“We ask ourselves how can it be the only choice or how can it even be a rational choice. It’s an issue with perception, will power and an inability to continue.”

It’s crazy how strong our own perceptions can be. And in those fleeting moments, they can cloud our judgement beyond reason. Sometimes we may not be able to focus clearly on other steps that are achievable.

 “When I was standing on that bridge. My perception was so collapsed that I felt like jumping was the only thing I could do. Looking back, I wonder why I thought that way, but that’s the funny thing about depression. It bears a weight that can’t reasonably be understood.”

“People try to understand the mindset of suicidal individuals. I think it because we always try to rationalize their side. We feel uncomfortable in not understanding. Perceptions are created and continually enforced by many factors like biology, psychology and society. But 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness. They may just need help from someone who can help give proper perspective.”

Medication and psychotherapy are treatments that work. We need to look for the signs of mental illness and speak up in an informed way to help make a difference.

“For those of you who may be thinking about suicide today- go beyond the thoughts. Start taking action by talking about what you’re going through. Reach out to people who can help and try to change your perception. From where you’re standing, it may seem like your only choice. But trust me, it’s not. You only need help understanding and associating a different perception. Your issue right now is that you think that suicide’s you’re only hope when it’s not. But if you don’t take action and talk about what you’re going through, then you’ll have missed a very important step towards recovering. No one will think you’re crazy, only that you need help. Trust me, I’ve been there and gone through it. I regretted my suicide attempt as soon as I took that one and only step off the bridge and landed in the freezing cold water. My perception changed as my life flashed before my eyes… I thought about my children, my family, my coworkers…… I could only focus, at that time, on what they saw. Since then, my life has turned around. It’s still not the easiest thing to work through, but it can be done.”

…And you’re not crazy. No one is immune to this intense depression. Suicide remains the least discussed and least understood public health crises in America. But if we don’t take the correct steps, then stepping off that bridge may eventually happen when it doesn’t need to. Take action– don’t live with the sadness, but take action the right way.

“There’s hope- somewhere deep inside. Keep that hope alive.”

If you or someone you know is battling depression and needs to speak with a professional, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.