National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 6 – Sept. 12, bringing awareness and reminding those who are battling not to give up, you are not alone, and that you matter. Photo by Dan Meyers, Unsplash
By Melany Ruiz, Staff Writer
I can feel my mind telling myself to calm down as a tear rolls off my cheek and into my mouth. I sat in a dim corner. An empty chair right beside me, a wooden desk two feet apart from where I was seated.
“I’m fine… I know I’m fine,” I rambled.
“It’s okay sweetie, I am here to help you now,” a petite woman with black hair peppered with gray streaks reassured me. Her name was Dr. Norma Quintero.
She was my therapist.
This was the woman who diagnosed me with mild depression and anxiety as an 18-year-old sophomore in college.
It had been an unbearable year. I just thought it was “normal” to think these thoughts, feel these emotions. Every day I followed the same cycle: sleeping in and ditching class rather than do homework or fulfill my responsibilities, staying up all night, allowing the darkness to consume me as it lingered in my mind and devoured my thoughts
I hated being alive and I didn’t feel like I belonged in this world. I hated my job. I hated school. I hated that I had lost someone so close to me. I hated myself. I constantly glared at the black door labeled “Psychological Services”, as it reflected my deteriorating image back at me.
“I’m fine,” I anxiously thought. “Every college student goes through this…” I kept thinking.
My childhood friend died. I dreaded work and my irritating boss that came with the job.
I came home from school with this throbbing headache I couldn’t handle, probably from not getting enough sleep. I went to my family’s medicine cabinet to take some painkillers to alleviate some of the pain.
I found myself looking at the types of medications that we owned when a set of sleeping pills my grandma takes for insomnia stood out to me. As soon as I realized what I was thinking, I shut the medicine cabinet and laid down on my bed. I genuinely began to think that if I were to act out on what I was thinking no one would know.
“It could be a Saturday morning,” I thought. “I wake up late anyway, they would just think I’m sleeping… I’ll lock my door.” I began to draft my suicide letter in my head, “It won’t be painful, I’ll just fall asleep.”
I was so close to doing this
, I, however, wanted to have one last shot at this thing called “Life.” My 18th birthday was coming up, and I wanted to enjoy that last day with my family. I wanted to do everything I was afraid to do that day. I wanted to tell someone what I was going to do, so someone would know why.
I finally confronted that scary black reflective door labeled “Psychological Services.” Which brought me to where I was sitting in that dim-lit corner of the room facing my therapist.
I stared at myself in the mirror, into my sunken dark eyes, my chapped lips, non-washed for 6-day-old tangled hair, ghostly pale skin, and I said: “I am not going to let you die.”
I washed my hair that night and
I slept for hours. I felt the radiant sun rays that beamed through my window on my face. I woke up.
Now I could continue on about how therapy helped me, and ultimately saved my life, but I am here to simply tell you that I made it.
I found life in the lifeless body I once had; Someone I wouldn’t have been able to see if I didn’t choose to wake up that morning.
I found Melany Ruiz.
For any mental health emergencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273- 8255 or 911.
CSUDH Mental Health Emergency & After-Crisis and Additional Resources: https://www.csudh.edu/sps/mental-health-emergency-after-hours-crisis/
CSUDH Student Health Services: https://www.csudh.edu/shs/, (310) 243-3629
CSUDH Psychological Services https://www.csudh.edu/sps/, (310) 243-3818