"You feel like you're beyond sympathy, because you did it to yourself," She told us. "You feel like you're supposed to suffer, to repay the hurt you caused."
That's actually a pretty common reaction.
But she did eventually move forward, and it wasn't exactly like in the Lifetime movies and the inspiring Tumblr posts. It all started with the death of her dog:
"A few months after I got out of the hospital, my dachshund Eve injured her spine and had to be put down. I was utterly devastated and cried for months. My therapist pointed out that I wasn't only grieving for the loss of my dog, but for all the loss I had experienced. Up until that point, my only focus had been on surviving and getting to tomorrow because looking at my broken face and life hurt too much. Crying over Evie released my emotions and allowed me to really look at what I'd done and grieve in it."
Let it never be said that life doesn't know how to properly kick someone when they're down.
Tattoos helped as well:
"I won't go into all the ink I have, but two of them helped me recover at different periods of my post-attempt life. The first is the French phrase 'fait accompli' on my side, which means 'a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them no option but to accept it.' Because I have no real memory of that night, and it permanently changed my life, that seems like a good verbalization of the experience. I also have a large, stylized phoenix on my back. For trauma this big, there's no 'getting back to your old self,' and that can be scary. I think people understand my obsession with the phoenix.
"People can come back from more than you think. I had a bullet travel through my face and out my forehead. I lost 60 percent vision in my left eye, lost my sense of smell. Yet I can drive, work, take care of myself, make friends, and do the things most people do. The confidence and peace I have now, the person I am today, is different from who I used to be. I hate a lot of the things I had to go through. Having my upper jaw cut out of my face, for example."
"I'm not proud of what I did. But I am proud of who I've become since."
The suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255, and you can chat online with them here.
For insider looks at suicide, check out 4 Surprising Things You Learn After Considering Suicide and 5 Disturbing Things I Learned Working At A Suicide Hotline.
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