Lauren s Story
"My story began at the age of 15 when I faced depression for the first time in my life. I was young, confused, and struggling to find my place in the world. In my short life, I had already been through an extraordinary amount of hardship and pain. As I silently struggled with depression, I began using self-harm as my coping mechanism and I was also experiencing suicidal ideation. No one knew what was going on because I didn't know that it was okay to talk about it.
From that time forward, I struggled on-and-off for many years. It wasn't until three years ago, at the age of 20, that I truly hit rock bottom. After experiencing a relapse in my depression and self-harm, I attempted suicide for the first time and spent a week in a psychiatric hospital.
Following my release from the hospital, I was back within a week for increasing suicidal ideation. After that release, I was back again for a suicide attempt. Then after that release, I was back again three days later for yet another suicide attempt. I was hospitalized four times back-to-back all within two months. It was during my fourth hospitalization that I received the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) which explained so many of my symptoms to me.
After I received the diagnosis of BPD, I entered residential treatment for a month with little-to-no relief of my symptoms. Once I returned home I was once again hospitalized. My string of hospitalizations and suicide attempts had no end in sight and I was slowly but surely losing all hope that I would ever get better.
By August of 2016, I had been hospitalized nine times and attempted suicide six times. Things changed drastically for me on August 11th, 2016, when I attempted suicide for the seventh time and came extremely close to losing my life. I spent four days in the ICU where I was not expected to survive.
After my release from the ICU and ten days spent in yet another psychiatric hospital, I once again entered residential treatment – this time at a different facility. I spent nearly three months working extremely hard to get better. Though my time in treatment was not easy and I was sent to the hospital twice, it made a difference in my life and gave me my first full-year in recovery, following my release.
Unfortunately, in January of this year, I relapsed. I fell back into a very deep depression and began self-harming again. Before long, I was back in the hospital with very intense suicidal ideation. As I write this today, I have been hospitalized a total of five times since my relapse in January and have survived an additional two suicide attempts.
I cannot even begin to explain how difficult my journey has been and the pain that I face on a daily basis. I have been given up on by countless people who believe that I will never recover. I have lost a lot – but I have also gained a lot.
I have gained so much more empathy and compassion for others struggling, I have gained a renewed appreciation for life and for the good days that I do have. And, I have gained an ability to love deeper than I ever knew possible. Despite all of my struggles, I am blessed."