By Kimberly Zapata
You may not know me — and I may not know you — but I see you. I get you. I understand you.
I know exactly what you are thinking and how you feel.
Of course, I know that may not mean much. My virtual compassion does not make you feel any happier or any better. I cannot do anything to take away your pain. But I care. I promise you I care, as do others. So please, if you’ve got a minute stick around, hear me out.
You see, I am a wife, a mother, a mental health advocate and a consumer. I have bipolar disorder, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. I have survived suicide. Twice. As such, I’ve been exactly where you are. I’ve contemplated suicide, both as a person and as a parent.
The last time I considered taking my life, I was a mom.
And while I had everything to “live for” — a loving daughter, a loving partner, a great job and good home — when I was suicidal, none of that mattered.
It wasn’t enough.
Why? Because I felt empty. I felt isolated. I felt numb and alone, and my guess is you know those feelings to.
You want to runaway. To hide. To disappear.
You want to fade into nothingness and never return. But my greatest struggle wasn’t the void (as I call it); it was the feelings of shame and guilt. I believed I was a burden to my family, like I was pulling everyone around me down with me. And I thought, “They’ll be better off without me.”
I believed — genuinely believed — my death was the best thing I could do to protect those I loved.
But that is not true. I promise you that is not true. And I also promise you this: What you are going through right now in this very moment is temporary. The veil will lift. The darkness will pass. You just have to hang on.
For another minute.