Trigger Warning: discussions about suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm

A few years ago, one of my friends from university took her own life. I remember learning about her suicide and immediately going numb. It didn’t make any sense to me. She was such an incredibly caring and considerate person, but the thing I remember most was what a happy person she was. She brought joy into the lives of every person she met. Some of us can coax a smile out of the people around us once in a while, but she got a smile out of you every time – partially because of her incredible kindness, but mostly because she seemed to enjoy life like few others do. I don’t know the circumstances around her suicide, but what I do know is that this world lost one of the most amazing people to ever grace it with their presence. In retrospect, it’s confusing to me why I was so surprised because I think people would say the same thing about me. 

My life has been a battle with depression, an ugly beast that chases me no matter how hard I try to run away. The beast almost caught me in my 2nd year of university. At that time I was in an unhappy relationship. I felt directionless and I had severe mental health issues that had not yet been diagnosed. All these factors put a heavy strain on my brain, causing me to become severely depressed to a point where I started struggling with destructive thoughts. These thoughts originally started as a sudden obsession with hurting myself, which provided a way of escaping the pain. I started cutting my arms with a broken piece of mirror. When people started asking about the cuts I would deflect and the topic dropped. I felt more worthless than I had in my entire life. I felt like I was letting everyone around me down. I started thinking about what the world would be like without me here. The thoughts started slowly but became a pulsating headache over time. My brain felt like it was on fire and the water of suicide seemed like the only way to put it out. I was getting closer and closer to accepting that I didn’t want to be on this earth any longer.

I had been dealing with depression for at least half a decade at that point, and it felt like every day of university made it that much worse. One day, I was sitting on the floor of my dorm room, and I felt absolutely defeated and incredibly sad. I took the scissors from my desk, and started tracing along the cuts in my wrists that I had been making for a few weeks at that point. I pushed deeper with every trace, hoping I would find the courage to trace deep enough to make that perfect cut (perfect meaning fatal in this case). The tracing went on for a few minutes, but I couldn’t find the courage to make that final cut. I decided that I needed a solution that was a little bit less painful. I didn’t want to Google anything – I was fairly certain that would get flagged on my university’s warning list, and I didn’t want to deal with that (in case I made it). I decided to do it by taking painkillers. That was the right combination of deadly but not painful (at least initially). I don’t know exactly how many pills I took, but I finished the rest of the bottle. In the moments after taking the pills, I felt eerily peaceful about the choice I had just made. I was ready to say goodbye to this world.

Very luckily, one of my roommates checked in with me at that point, saw the empty bottle of pills, and immediately called emergency services. I snapped out of what felt like a death trance, and went to the parking lot to wait for the ambulance. It came a few minutes later, and I was as cooperative as could be. I realized the gravity of what I had done, and decided I wasn’t ready to die afterall. When I got to the hospital, I dealt with multiple (wonderful) healthcare professionals. They did some tests, trying to figure out the gravity of what I’d done. It turned out that I hadn’t taken enough pills to kill myself, but they told me that if I had, I would’ve had a very painful death. I listened to the doctors while feeling extremely surreal.

Even though I was given the okay by doctors to go back to my normal life, I was not okay. I had somehow escaped this first attempt but these thoughts would continue to haunt me for the next decade. I continued to struggle with suicidal ideation, especially in my most depressed times. I would think about jumping off my balcony or off a bridge for weeks at a time, trying to figure out the most painless way of ending it. I thought about the impact it would have on my loved ones and that only made me feel guiltier and more suicidal. 

It’s difficult to admit that there’s a twisted pleasure in thinking about others mourning you. For me, so many of the depressive and suicidal thoughts I had were fueled by loneliness. As I’ve written about before, I could be surrounded by people who love me and still feel lonely. Thinking about those people missing me and remembering me made me feel simultaneously less lonely and happier but also more committed to the idea of potentially taking my life. This is a strange aside I know, but it’s important to show the tricks that disorders and suicide can play on your brain without you recognizing what’s happening. I was dreaming of people remembering me when I was gone, forgetting that they loved me when I was right in front of them. 

The pandemic created some of my worst times. I was in such a bad state of mind that late at night I would sit on the floor crying endlessly because I didn’t know what to do anymore. I was filled with so much pain and shame that I would find myself on my balcony, looking down and trying to figure out how long of a jump it would be to the ground floor, and how much pain I would feel. I literally had weeks and months of this. Chelsea (my partner) would be right there with me, unsure of what to do. I had so much pain and hurt that I would alternate between the endless sobbing and an uncontrollable anger directed at her, because she was the only one physically there (ironically, to help me). I was feeling pain and inflicting pain. Things got so bad that one day I made it halfway over the railing of the balcony and Chelsea had to use all of her strength to pull me back to safety and into the apartment, barricading the door. This was just one of the more recent times. 

My life was this hell since even before that first suicide attempt and it continued relentlessly. I did not seek professional help or go to a hospital during this time, meaning that I was struggling just to stay afloat. This was partially because my struggles were so deep and so consistent, I wasn’t always aware that what I was going through was unique – it was business as usual for me. The other reason is that I felt a certain amount of stigma around mental health, and going to the hospital meant accepting something that was unacceptable to me. It’s not that every day of my life was filled with suicidal thoughts, it’s that they would leave just to come back a few days or weeks or months later, gnawing away at me until I was completely defeated. 

Last year I found myself severely depressed and suicidal. It was the worst I had felt since my attempted suicide. It got to the point that I found myself on the balcony several times, contemplating jumping off. Finally, through the support of Chelsea and my brother, I checked into the psych ward at a fantastic Toronto hospital to truly deal with these struggles. I was there for a month, working with a support team that included a phenomenal psychiatrist to better understand what was causing these issues. I got the medication I needed, I made changes in my life, and I worked hard to be able to deal with the worst of my depression and suicidal ideation. 

It’s fitting that my entry to the hospital was almost exactly 10 years after my first attempt because that truly encapsulates how difficult it is to get the help you need for your mental health. That hospital stay changed my life and I came out very different from how I went in. The last year has been the first one since I was a teenager when I did not have suicidal ideation. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve struggled with my depression in some of the worst ways possible, especially as a result of some physical problems. Despite that, I no longer think about a world without me in it. I’m truly blessed because even though it was a difficult journey, I was able to come out on the other side.

It’s bittersweet because as happy as I am for myself, the number of people in my situation who will not get the help they need honestly makes me lose a little bit of hope. Suicide and suicidal ideation are all-consuming and all-destructive, leaving the person experiencing those thoughts an exhausted and hopeless wreck.

I wrote this post partly for my own catharsis, but more importantly, because I want those who are severely depressed and suicidal to know that they’re not alone. Each of our experiences are unique but there are shared threads and I understand your struggle as much as anyone can. I don’t have all the answers, but I can say that I’m glad I failed to take my life, I continued to reach out for support, and I eventually got the help I needed. If you have it in you, open up to a friend or a family member, call a suicide hotline, or join a suicide prevention chat where you can connect with someone immediately. It will not get better right away, but if you can find enough hope to get you through today and then enough to get you through tomorrow and so on, you may just find that things are changing a little bit at a time. 

For those of you who have not dealt with depression or suicidal ideation, I ask that when people open up to you, you keep an open mind. It’s often easier to hide how you’re feeling than to talk to someone about your struggles. People had no idea about my depression, let alone my suicidal ideation because I was very good at hiding it and lots of people around you are probably the same. I’m not asking you to solve an epidemic, I’m asking that you always listen and support to the best of your abilities. 

I have some resources below that I hope you will check out and share. The only way we can come out better is by supporting each other. When I look back at how I was able to get through difficult times, it’s because of one simple reason: love. Love is the most powerful force in the world in my opinion. It is not a panacea – it’s not a replacement for medication or getting psychiatric/psychological help. Those things must be done. Having said that, love gave me the strength I needed in my lowest and scariest times. Love as much as you can and as openly as you can. Be vulnerable and invite vulnerability. It saddens me that my friend from university isn’t here with us anymore. The best homage I can give her is giving love to everyone I can.

Resources for Suicide Prevention

Resources for All Countries:

  • World Health Organization (WHO) – Suicide Prevention:
  • International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP):
  • Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE):


  1. Crisis Services Canada:
  2. Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP):
  3. Kids Help Phone:

United States:

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
  2. Crisis Text Line:
  3. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP):

United Kingdom:

  1. Samaritans:
    • Website: Samaritans
    • Helpline: 116 123 (available 24/7)
  2. Mind:
    • Website: Mind
    • Helpline: 0300 123 3393 (available Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)
  3. Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide):
    • Website: Papyrus
    • Helpline: 0800 068 4141 (available Mon-Fri, 9am-10pm; weekends and holidays, 2pm-10pm)


  1. Vandrevala Foundation:
  2. Roshni Helpline:
    • Website: Roshni
    • Helpline: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 (available 24/7)
  3. iCall Helpline:
    • Website: iCall
    • Helpline: 022-25521111 (available Mon-Sat, 8am-10pm)

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