Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why I'm Still Alive


I know I don't talk about myself very often online but this is something that I've been wanting to get off my chest for a while now. More after the jump.

Yesterday, Andrew Parker, a film blogger I follow on Twitter, posted a suicide note on his blog. Thankfully because of the concern of many other people that follow him on Twitter, he didn't go through with his plan. I added my two cents to the situation:

My mind was racing afterwards because I understand what Andrew was going through. For some time, I've been wondering what's the damn point of living. I thought I was an insignificant nobody amid billions of people, and no one would care that I was gone. But several things over the last few years made my frame of thinking change drastically.

As some of you may know, my father died suddenly two years ago. For some time afterwards, I didn't know how he met his fate but my mother told me a few months after the memorial service. She told me that my father had Hepatitis C (something I didn't know of before then) and then she told me how he died.

He killed himself.

At first I was shocked that my father would do such a thing. And then I began to resent him for doing such a cowardly act. Why would he do that rather than go through treatment? To this day, I still don't know why he did nor how he did it. (It still feels like an inappropriate thing to ask my mother out of the blue.)

It was also because of my father's death that I realized suicide wasn't the answer. Seeing firsthand how my mother grieved at the loss of her husband of thirty years, I knew my mother would have had a similar reaction should her second child die the same way as her children's father.

For about a year after my father's death, I kept quiet about my depression and suicidal thoughts. I tried to think as to why I should stay around. I flunked out of college after one year, my siblings were thriving in their own lives, and I was living at home unemployed. Then I started thinking about the things I haven't done yet: the books I haven't read, the films I haven't seen, the people I haven't met...these are what convinced me to stick around.

Fast forward to the evening of August 11, 2014, three days after what would have been my father's fifty-eighth birthday. I was on Twitter when I found out of Robin Williams' suicide. As with many people, the shock of what had happened shook me to the core. It was also because of this that I realized that I should seek professional help. (I began seeing a psychologist the following month.)

Now after six months of seeing a psychologist and taking anti-depressants, I can say that I feel different emotionally than I did this time last year. But even then, I still feel like I'm not important. However, I've met some really lovely people on Twitter and I thank them for being so nice for me.

Thank you so much.


  1. I almost don't know how to respond to this, but I want to try my best. First, I commend your bravery in even posting this. So often we hide our feelings from others because we are either ashamed or feel like they won't care, but all too often our demons are not that different from other's, and so opening our mouths and actually voicing our own concerns or issues can, and do, save others who are in that same situation.

    I am so sorry for the pain that you have gone through, the feelings of low self worth and the pain of loss. It's a shame that it overtakes so many of us. My wife has suffered from depression for years, and seeing her feel so worthless when it's so obvious she has so much to live for and so many people who love and value her is so hard to do.

    I'm very glad that you got help and that you are in a better state, even if you still struggle. I'm glad that you can accept your own advice too, because it puts you in a great position to help others, and you no doubt already have, even if you don't know it.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Andrew. There are some days where I feel like I can't do anything but the encouragement I get from others (whether online or in real life) convince me otherwise. I still have a way to go before I feel like I'm truly happy but I'm willing to stick around for that day.

  2. Thank you for sharing, Anna. Important to get the thoughts out in the light of day. And like Andrew, to realize there are people out in the ether who care about you and yours, even if they've not met you in person. Take care, to you both.

  3. I'm sure whatever I say will sound wrong and stupid, but thank you for sharing this. Depression is a serious thing, and so many people hide it. I'm glad you got help and are feeling better. Good luck with everything! <3

  4. I'm very happy that your friend got the support that he needed in time, although clearly it's he's going to need to make some changes to deal with things in the long term.

    As to you - it's great that you decided to get some help. Honestly, even wanting to get better and making the effort to improve your situation and manage your feelings is as important as actually doing it. Cheers to you.

    For my own part, I struggled for a long time, and eventually found solutions within myself. But that doesn't work for everyone, and I probably would have resolved my struggles a lot more quickly if I had turned to someone else to help me deal with what I was going through. It would have saved me time and pain.

    It is a big comfort to hear about, in essence, the opposite of an internet bullying scenario. It does my heart good. Thanks for posting this...


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