I had just turned 20 years old...

Content warning: suicide attempt

“I had just turned 20 years old a month before and going into my second year of college when I found out I was pregnant. I’d only been with my boyfriend for a few months and was scared when I knew something seemed wrong and saw the positive pregnancy test. I went to Planned Parenthood to get another test to be sure, and there on the sheet showed my approximate due date: April 2013. I cried for days trying to figure out what to do, what would be best for myself and what would be best for this unborn growing inside of me. I just knew that if I had a child now, I would not finish college. I had so much further to go. How would I do this financially? I was a broke college student who drained what was in my savings for this procedure.

I remember filling out the paperwork and signing the consent, going to the back for the ultrasound and looking in the opposite direction and declining copies of anything that would remind me of this unborn child because I needed to erase it all from my memory one day. My boyfriend was in the waiting room and I sat in this cold room waiting for my turn. I wanted anesthesia; I couldn’t bear to be awake through any of it. I wanted to be out completely but recall nodding on and off and hearing the suctioning sound that haunts me to this day. I remember waking up feeling groggy and being led into a room with other women surrounding me who just experienced the same thing.

Then, my boyfriend and I headed home. People stood outside with ugly signs protesting and that made me feel that much more worthless and dirty for what I had just done. I had to go back to class in which my lecture was just getting started on processes of pregnancy from conception. I left that class early for weeks, unable to bear the topic after what I just went through. I lost friends because I pushed people away so I could stay in my own anxiety filled bubble. I stopped going to my job because I felt like mentally, I couldn’t take this thing called life. I lost so much weight because I couldn’t eat. Months later I hit my breaking point, feeling so alone because the only person who knew my story was my boyfriend. I had so much guilt and sadness built up inside my heart. I felt too ashamed to open up to those who cared about me.

I sat on my bed one night after class in my apartment on campus and couldn’t even think straight. I felt like I was done and that this pain would never heal. I then decided to take all of my blood pressure medication in hopes my heart would just slow and then eventually stop beating. This was a turning point for me. It left me in the hospital for days, realizing I was incredibly lucky my boyfriend (2 hours away at the time) contacted my brother frantically to tell him I sounded off that morning and then my brother rushed to find me laying and seizing on my bedroom floor. The worst part of it all... it left me with images of the pain I saw on my family’s faces. I never imagined I would be in this position. I fought hard to get myself back, I turned the guilt and grief into motivation to empower others and make the best life I could for myself.

With many other struggles and obstacles along the way, here I am now... a college graduate with a 3-year-old little boy whom I adore more than anything on this earth. While I still have my days, I look into my son’s eyes and know that had I not made the decision I had then, I don’t know if he would be here with me. Instead of living in the past and with regrets, I will look at all the obstacles and hard times in life that have made me into the person that I am... and I am proud of the woman I am today because of how hard I fought to become her! If I can help one person struggling with similar circumstances, then I will feel that what I went through was for a purpose and I want so badly to encourage others not to give up.” - Anonymous

#mentalhealth #collegestudent #gratitude #guilt

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