Surviving Suicide

by Teresa Landreth 12 months ago in depression

I attempted suicide at 14 years old, and failed...

Surviving Suicide
Part 1.


It's something that has affected the majority of people on this planet in one form or another.

For those who attempt and survive the experience, the life you knew before doesn't ever quite feel the same way it did before the experience.

Hello, my name is Teresa. I am 27 years old and today I would like to share my story with you. My hope is to shed light on my life before, during and after I attempted suicide in 2006. Not many know what happened... It was a new medication I was prescribed called Effexor XR and the "rare" but serious side effects that it had on my nervous system that three weeks into using it destroyed every piece of the Teresa before the medication. A medicine that should have improved my life had side effects that almost took it instead. I began using Effexor for depression and about three weeks into taking it, suddenly the weight of every event in my life became so heavy I could hardly keep my composure long enough to get from the bus stop after school to my bedroom where day after day, with or without a reason, I would lock myself behind my bedroom door and sob silently.

I started out such a happy young female. I began freshman year in honors classes, I had a large group of friends and lived an active, healthy life compared to most. I was living a life set for a good career and had trust in my ability to grow in all ways. My cousin who had legal custody of me at the time thought I had some potential for depression, mostly because of recent events, like my sister and I being separated two years prior; my mother as well as father and I were not in contact, so I lived with my cousin who was 19 and pregnant. One day as we were talking, the suggestion arose that I might benefit from therapy, and due to the circumstances, if needed, temporary medication to help until therapy could take effect. After being prescribed an anti-depressant at a low dosage for two weeks, the doctor raised the dosage because I was showing positive results with the previous amount. The relative who I lived with felt it would be alright to allow me to keep the prescription with me as well as take it as directed. I had a low risk of abusing or behaving irresponsibly so no one saw the harm.. although those drugs are required to be monitored by the guardian/parent unless the patient is above the age of 18 years old to prevent the risk of negative response to the medicine.

It wasn't two weeks before the medication took a turn on me. I honestly was not able to connect the dots at the time as well; I felt so much emotional pain and instability that I didn't tell anyone that I was experiencing anything, which made it so much worse. I couldn't find the words and I felt insecure and embarrassed by the dreadful feeling I was carrying. I thought to say something was wrong and would expose my imperfection... and reveal to those so close to me that I was a burden... Flawed... Dramatic... Dead weight. I couldn't find the courage to try to tell those people how broken I actually felt inside. The medication twisted every part of my beliefs, the chemistry of my brain was causing my emotions to shift so rapidly, and my security and peace were now lost to the painful chaos... Adolescent hormones and the melodrama of high school created no room for my rest or calm. I was suffering in a way that I would not wish on anyone. Unimaginable pain lead to extreme guilt, I wanted the pain in my chest to stop so bad, I felt so angry at my self for not being OK. That was the first day I cut myself. Alone, angry and desperate, I felt like the only way to excuse my inability to cope was to harm myself. So I did. In private while hiding the evidence from friends and family. Every day for three weeks. It was not enough to justify my being complete hopelessness I decided that I was not strong enough to be able to go back to the me I was, the me I felt I was failing to be still. I felt like nothing could make this better, and as the number of wounds added up on my wrist, the shame of my secret despair became too heavy to hold. I planned my suicide that night. Starting with five handwritten letters to the five I loved the most...

To be continued in Part 2.

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Teresa Landreth
Teresa Landreth
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