More cheating will occur in this post. May is a hard month for me. It marks my most serious suicide attempt. And no matter how far I get past it, I always get caught in nostalgia the beginning of May. In recent years, it's been a good time to assess where I currently see myself. This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to the Philly Girls in 2004, on my 10 year anniversary. I think it is applicable to all of my friends, old and new, because it is because of you that I function.
"Essentially, I just wanted to tell you all how much I love you. This coming May is a pretty big deal for me for several reasons. Mostly, it would seem for my long awaited graduation from college. But, it's actually alot bigger than that. May 3rd will mark 10 years since my last suicide attempt. 10 years....it seems like a movie ago. This May also marks 10 years since I was supposed to have graduated from college. I like that it is such an even anniversary.
Anyway, I know that you all know that I have been doing really well. But, for those of you that want to play along at home, it's now been four years* since I have had a suicidal thought. That pretty much marks the longest I can ever remember going. In addition, I feel different inside. I feel ultimately calm at my center. I may have brushes with depression again, but I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop. Previously, when I was "good", I knew in my heart that it was only a matter of time. But now, it is totally different. And, I've tested it. Moving to Portland and then adding school has left me at my wit's ends on many days...but it hasn't left me devastated. It leaves me very hopeful for the future.
So, my upcoming graduation is even more special because I feel like it is the last remnant to be cleaned up from my depression. It has haunted me for years that if not for my conspiratorial brain, I would have graduated like everyone else. It felt like an even larger stigma and it was a constant reminder of where I once was in my life. And while I learned many things from my depressive periods, I'm certainly ready to get past them...they may contribute to who I am, but they no longer define me. I'm so excited, it's like paying off an abused credit card that reminds you of foolish choices.
Which brings me to all of you. I just need you to know that I am not sure I would have been able to do all this if not for your endless support and love. I know it has been less than easy at times, but you all stuck it out with me, constantly challenging and showing me alternatives. And while I may have seemed a stubborn bitch at times, I did absorb your lessons, your words of advice. Mostly however, I was constantly awed by your love. I don't honestly know why the chemicals in my brain decided to leave me alone, but I can't help think that it was in part to my fighting them with the knowledge that I was loved by my friends and that must be important (yes, I'm crying now).
I am reminded almost daily that what we have with one another and with our other friends is not common. It is admirable and wonderful and about as miraculous as anything we're ever going to get. so, I just want to thank you for being you. I'm looking forward to the new roads we will go down together. hopefully, it won't take me another ten years to get through a grad program!
I love you!"
*6 years and counting