Dwayne Larson
Winnipeg Photographer

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Stronger than your deepest scar

 Documentation of a suicide attempt

My late teens and early twenties were riddled with learning the hard truths of life; addiction, abuse, suicide and the dark side of it all.  In the midst of these lessons and traumas I also suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness.  I searched for answers and went to multiple professionals and institutes, no answer was ever to be found.  I pondered the idea of suicide, lost and confused in my own head.  Personally knowing the pain suicide caused I was against even the idea of such a notion, but I was losing a battle I was too exhausted to fight.  I started gathering pills and researching their overdose. Few weeks later with a bottle of cream soda I made my choice to leave this cruel world.  I swallowed around 90 pills, which I believed would put me to sleep and shut down my heart.  I was found unresponsive 17 hours later, I still remember the fear of trying to stop what I just did but only making it to my doorway.  Two days later I woke in a ICU unit surrounded by my whole family, I saw their faces and then I went back to sleep for another day.  When I fully woke up I felt surprisingly well, possibly all the drugs in my system, the three day nap, or perhaps my guardian angels were giving me a boost in my dire state.   I woke up with a second chance, and the painful realization that I had to face my friends and family.  Thankfully I was finally set up with the right doctor and counselor following this ordeal.  The scars are caused by seizures I had while I laid on my bedroom floor, I had a large pressure wound on my tailbone and it had contracted MRSA, which made a hole almost two inches deep by 13 inches long. From my tailbone to my hip, luckily it avoided organs and bone, but it was 6 months of hospital checks.  This month marks five years since that day, I decided I am ready to fully accept and let go of the pain these scars have on me and hopefully also shine some light or touch someone else who is struggling.  I was not impressed with the lack of mental health help I could find, I was discouraged with the lack of communication I received each time I went in asking for help, I just got observed.  I could appear completely well on the outside but I was fighting a battle within my head that they couldn’t simply see.  I was very honest each doctor visit, and yet no one would give me an answer.  Maybe it’s different today or perhaps staff does still need more training on “seeing” what’s really going on, it took seven years and a suicide attempt to get me in contact with the right support team, I still see them to this day.  Don’t get me wrong I was to blame for the seven years as well, maybe I didn’t seek out the right doctors, maybe I didn’t listen, there were lack of effort on both sides.  Today I owe my life to that exact system, I’m not who I was five years ago, and I love who I am today.  Overcoming obstacles is possible, just have faith within yourself and don’t stop trying and asking for help.  I believe every struggle makes you who you are, and I wouldn’t change myself for the world.  I’m not perfect and that’s just fine, I am who I am and I will do the best at being me as I can.  Life is too short to think about the past, letting go of things I cannot change was a hard lesson I gratefully accepted over the last five years.  No matter the person, life will always have its struggles.  I have chosen to accept struggles and embrace my future with positivity and gratefulness.

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