“Years of recovery” – Candace’s story
*Trigger Warning: suicide – explicit description of an attempt to take own life*
After experiencing traumatic bereavements, Candace couldn’t see a future. But with professional help and a strong support network of friends, her recovery journey has led her to a place where she has much to celebrate in her life.
A few years ago, I tried to take my own life. I jumped 35 feet onto concrete. My brother took his own life when I was 21 so I already felt genetically dispositioned. Right before I jumped, I remember thinking all this was too much. I felt I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and it had me at the most hopeless spot in my life. I saw no point of living and I had cut off all contact and became very isolated.
After the jump I remember waking up in the hospital struggling with the thoughts that brought me to the point of taking my own life. As if the physical pain I was in wasn't enough. I still had the daunting thoughts that brought me to the darkest place I've ever been.
Friends and family started visiting me while in the hospital and I started to feel cared for and wanted in this life. It was a slow process. It took a while to feel connected to the people that I had strayed from while coping with my daughter's death.
When I came back home, I was pretty much in a full body cast, bed ridden. After getting out of the body cast, I was able to be in a wheelchair, which I was in for 8 months until I started walking again. I remember the first time I took steps around my neighbourhood and my boyfriend started crying.
I remember the first time I took steps around my neighbourhood and my boyfriend started crying.
During the years of recovery, I sought help with my mental health and faithfully spoke to a psychiatrist and therapist where I found a lot of healing. We touched upon subjects besides my daughter's death that contributed to me trying to take my own life.
I was living with anxiety and depression. A lot of suppressed emotions from events that occurred in my life were holding me hostage. There were times that I had mental breakdowns and sought more severe help at mental facilities. These places helped me recollect my mental clarity and I met a lot of incredible people on my journey through these facilities, patients just like me. It felt good to have a network of people at my hand who had struggled with mental health.
Sometimes I wonder if my brother had known about these resources, would he still be alive? I became an advocate to my friends and family that there were places available for severe mental health and there is help out there.
There were times that I had mental breakdowns and sought more severe help at mental facilities. These places helped me recollect my mental clarity and I met a lot of incredible people on my journey.
Growing up, mental health wasn't touched upon in my household and it was very taboo with my friends, so it's important to me that people in my life are comforting and accepting about issues that may be going on with me.
As time goes by, I seek healthy coping skills to deal with my daughter's death and the past trauma in my life. I began to draw which was something I loved to do while in college. I also like to spend time journaling even if it's only 15 minutes out of the day. These coping skills help me feel vibrant and alive.
I now have a beautiful baby boy who is 11 weeks old. I love and cherish my son and look forward to waking up and caring for him every morning. Though he can't replace my daughter, my heart has grown to love them both and most importantly I have grown to love myself.
You may also be interested in
“It is still ok not to be ok, even as a parent” Chloe’s story
With a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder and psychosis, Chloe assumed motherhood was not for her, but in 2018 she found out she was pregnant. On Mother’s Day, she discusses experiencing psychosis after her daughter’s birth, and how it’s crucial to seek support.
Read more “It is still ok not to be ok, even as a parent” Chloe’s story
"We need different things to thrive and blossom" - Laura's story
Thirty-one year old Laura describes living with bipolar disorder and emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) as like “being on a carousel while riding on a rollercoaster at the same time”, but explains how gardening helps to soothe her soul.
Read more "We need different things to thrive and blossom" - Laura's story