In high school, prom was one of the biggest events of the year, with planning starting months in advance. Going dress shopping, scheduling hair appointments, making dinner reservations; the list went on and on to ensure the night would be perfect for the flock of hormonal teenagers.
As senior prom approached, the excitement was contagious. I had everything set for the most amazing night. My date asked me out in the sweetest way, my dress was beautiful, and all the night’s details had been planned seamlessly. On the outside, it appeared as if it couldn’t get any better.
But on the inside, I was falling apart. Depression had it’s grip on me, and I struggled with suicidal thoughts almost daily. I tried with every ounce of my being to hold it in, focusing on my friends and classes, refusing to acknowledge depression’s looming presence.
Prom day approached quickly. We spent the morning getting ready and preparing for an evening of eating, dancing and partying. As the night went on, depression’s voice became louder and louder. I began to withdraw from my friends. My thoughts became darker, the fun of prom fading into a fog. By the end of the night, I had convinced myself the only escape was to end my own life.
I just wanted to die.
I didn’t say a word to my date on the way home, my only focus was on how I was going to end living in this world. I had reassured myself there would be no hiccups in the process, as my parents would surely be sleeping this early in the morning.
But, as I opened the door to my house, my parents were not sleeping. They were wide awake, waiting for me at the top of the stairs.
I found out a few of my friends had called my parents that evening, voicing their concern for my well being. At first I was angry, they put a hard stop to my plan, but later became ever so grateful for their intervention that saved my life.
It can be hard for those struggling with mental illness to voice their struggle. It can be difficult for someone to even acknowledge to themselves they are struggling, much like the position I found myself in at prom.
Mental illness is nothing to ignore. Be there for those in need. Send a text, write a note, check in.
It could save someone’s life.
A phone call saved mine.