Letter to Brian: July 3, 2021

Dear Brian,

Sooooooo…. the dress I’m wearing in this picture is the very same dress I was wearing 3 years ago tonight. It’s what I was wearing the night I attempted suicide on July 3, 2018. It feels so surreal… because I’m astounded that somehow I’ve managed to come this far.

When I didn’t succeed that night, I spent the next few days planning out my next attempt and came dangerously close to carrying it out several times since then. You’d be surprised at the skills you can learn on YouTube. In fact, if you were to go to the closet next to my front door at this very moment you’d still find the rope I tied into a noose on July 4th after watching many tutorials in an attempt to perfect my next try at leaving this excruciating earthly existence on my own terms.

I wish I could say that I had some incredible words of wisdom to explain why I’m still here… but I don’t. Honestly, it’s been nothing but day after day after day of telling myself to wait “just one more day”… and now I suddenly find myself miraculously 3 years older. I don’t use the term “miraculously” lightly… I whole-heartedly consider it a profoundly confusing miracle that I’ve managed to battle against a mind that has been doing it’s very best to destroy me each and every day. It often feels like I’m just treading water in a tumultuous sea in the dark of night… unable to see more than a few inches in front of my face… not knowing what waits out in the darkness… and feeling quite certain that I’ll never be rescued.

Last night I wore this dress again to make a new memory in it. A happy memory with the company of a good friend, delicious wine, beautiful scenery, music, incredible food and laughter. This dress has been hanging in my my closet just begging for a new experience; one to take away that horrific night of tears, profuse sweating and the nauseating stench of exhaust from my Subaru Outback.

I recently started therapy again and the plan is to resume antidepressant medication in the near future. It’s oddly hopeful of me to try this again after so many failed attempts. But I am learning to accept the two conflicting halves of me that somehow manage to coexist– the one half that still finds the strength to reach out towards a rope that’s offered to her as a lifeline and the other half that can’t seem to bring herself to throw away that other rope…. the one tied into a noose in her closet. I don’t know that I’ll ever truly get better… but here, in this moment, I’m choosing to consider the possibility.

I spent all day today on a boat on the river with my Aunt and my Uncle… fresh air, great music and even better company.  And this evening was spent with my chosen family/friends watching fireworks.  It’s not lost on me that these experiences are more than reason enough to keep trying. As I was watching the fireworks, I realized how much better it was to be surrounded by people I love looking up at the sky… when I think back to 3 years ago at that very moment, I was staring up at the ceiling of my garage thinking I’d never wake up again and that would be the very last thing I ever saw.

I have a lot of healing to do but days like today remind me that it just might be worth the effort.

I’ll do better at writing more often, I’ve really missed it.

Missing you and Moomie today and always,

Laura

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lhabedank

I lost my brother Brian, my only sibling, to suicide on October 13, 2010. I write about dealing with the loss as well as my own life-long struggle with depression and suicidal ideation.