What No One Tells You after a Suicide Attempt

When the school counselor calls the police to escort you off the premises to be Baker Acted for a suicide attempt the night before and asks you, before they come, if you hate her, be honest. Don’t let fear strip you of your humanity just yet because months later, when you’re out, you’ll see that she was just doing her job—caring about the students she encountered—and you’ll have no regrets of telling her you hated her because you didn’t, though you could’ve and that would have been justified, but you don’t hate her. Could never hate her. You’re better than that.

When the cold fire of metal handcuffs encircle your wrists, even loosely, you’ll believe, for a second, that you are a criminal. You are not safe. You’re a danger to yourself and these metal rings around your wrists prove it.

When they stip you of your personhood, you have no right to fight back. No strength to wrestle them for it. No one is expecting you to act like a human being because once you’re with them, inside their hospital, or “mental care facility,” (a fancy phrase for “psych ward”) you’re not human anymore.

You will cry your first day/night there. No exceptions. Don’t try to be brave or emotionless. Just cry because you can’t get out until they say you’re free to go.

You will see things and meet people you will never forget. Some things you wish you could never remember, some people you wish you could laugh with one last time.

There’s nothing more satisfying than that first day out and the sun beams down on you, claiming you like a lost child. Smile and bask in its warmth.

When you return to your “normal” life as a college student, you will have a hell of a time trying to adjust back to life as you knew it.

When your alarm goes off, alerting you that you have class, and you panic because you think you’re late for group therapy in the psych ward, only to remember that they discharged you two days prior, don’t freak out. You’re not crazy, you’re just adjusting to a new schedule.

Sometimes, you’ll regret not jumping off the roof. When moments like those come—and they will come—remind yourself what’s important, beautiful, and meaningful. You’ll find your way back home.

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