If you don’t have family to turn to, or if you feel like you can’t turn to your family, friends are just as good. If you have both, then you are lucky. Not only did my family stand at my side through the rough times and through recovery, but I also had wonderful friends. One friend stood at my side during a very rough spell.
I met Cheryl while living with an old roommate. Cheryl transferred from another Giant Eagle to the one where I was and now am working. While living with my roommate and dating a guy, I fell into a depression. When I went to live with my boyfriend, I hit rock bottom. He became controlling and abusive, pushing me deeper into my inner hell. I started injuring and contemplating suicide.
With each put down, I found myself slipping away. I broke down into emotional episodes. My ex handled them by holding me down, and when I got worse, he called Cheryl. Cheryl talked to me, sometimes for hours, until I calmed down. Her gentle voice and persistence to get me to laugh calmed the fire within me.
The hole of depression seemed more hopeless at nighttime. I’d sit in the dark with a knife in my hand, planning my death. I dialed Cheryl’s phone number and she answered. It didn’t matter what time of night it was; she answered. She’d tell me how important I was to friends and family. She helped me see how special I was and how much I’d be missed if I were gone. She stayed on the phone with me until I put the knife down and started laughing.
At work, if Cheryl noticed I was struggling, she’d leave me a note that said “smile” with a smiley face. One night when I drove her home, I stood in the middle of a busy street determined to die. Cheryl pulled me out of the street. She led me into her apartment and talked to me until she was sure I would not try taking my life again.
When Cheryl moved away, we kept in touch online. She continued to support and listen to me while struggling with her own hardships. For a period, we lost contact. While we were apart, I reached recovery. When we finally did get back in contact again, through Facebook, she once again became my supporter and still is. Now she can also turn to me for support.
I no longer think about taking my life, I haven’t
injured in thirteen years and I have been standing above the hole of depression for a long while. Cheryl praises me on how much stronger I am and on how far I have come, but when I do go through a rough time, she’s there to give me words of wisdom and to help me see the light again. The funny thing is she and my husband give the same advice without talking to each other. Cheryl helps me stay within the light.