What Kate Spade And I Have In Common...

My suicide story

June 6, 2018

Fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide is on every news feed. Although every suicide is tragic, most do not make headlines. On average there are over 120 suicides per day in the US. Here is my suicide story…  

 

Growing up I seemed like a happy, well adjusted kid. I made straight A’s, never got in trouble and always got along with my parents. But I was fighting everyday to stay alive. I had my first suicidal thought at 4 years old. I wrote more suicide notes then I can count and always had a stash of enough Tylenol or whatever I could get my hands on just in case I needed them. Although I never actually attempted suicide as a child or talk about it with my parents, had someone been looking, the signs were there. I would get very angry for no reason, I spent a lot of time alone in my room, I would either sleep a ton or hardly at all and I did mention wanting to take my own life with my friends. By the time I was finishing up my freshman year of college I realized I no longer wanted to live everyday wanting to die. That first week of summer I was about to sit my parents down to ask for help. My Mom was a nurse and my Dad was a Dentist and I thought they would be the perfect people to go to. That Wednesday morning I got the phone called that my Dad had killed himself.

 

My Father was a well-established and respected dentist and an upstanding member of the community. Just like me, on the outside you would not know he was struggling.  However, my Dad was diagnosed bipolar and had also battled addiction throughout his life. Even with his mental illness, his death was shocking.

 

Needless to say I didn’t handle this very well. Not six months after the loss of my Father I took over 30 prescription pain pills in an attempt to end it all. Fortunately I was not successful. I remember thinking that next morning. Well I guess I’m not supposed to die that way and would never try it again. That also meant that I had to get help so that I wouldn’t want to try it again. That was 12 years ago now. I can’t say it has been an easy battle. There were years I slept more then I was awake and the suicidal thoughts didn’t go away overnight. However, with the help of a psychiatrist diagnosing my depression, figuring out the right antidepressants for me and talking to a therapist I have come a long way. I know suicide is no longer an option and figuring that out has been very freeing for me.

 

Sadly my personal experience with suicide did not end there. A little over three years ago one of my brothers took his own life as well. He was 30 years old. Like my Father, he was also bipolar and an addict.

 

It was then that I realized that having to deal with the loss of my Father and Brother and my own suicidal thoughts had to be for a bigger reason. I knew that I had to share my story. If I can keep even one person or one family from going through what I’ve been through, it’s worth it.

 

If you are personally struggling, please get help. I am proof that it can and will get better.  

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Clinic

 

For everyone else, I encourage you to educate themselves on suicide prevention and awareness.

Here are some websites that can be helpful:

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

Know The Signs

National Institution of Mental Health

 

I also encourage those of you that have stories of suicide share them. The more we talk openly about mental illness, the less people will feel the need to be ashamed or hide it and be more willing to get help.

- Emily Raines