Why I Stay

By: Laura Sanscartier

In the throes of my bipolar depression and psychosis, all I wanted to do was die. This has happened multiple times in my life. I have attempted suicide multiple times. I was sure that the only way to relieve the stress on my spouse and family was to end it all. I had multiple plans, and the assuredness of mind that this was best. What I didn’t see was the little things. The things that ultimately matter most. I don’t have much money, and I don’t drive fancy cars or live in a mansion. The small things saved me.  

Once my brother came to see me in the hospital, and he brought his baby boy to visit Auntie. The wide brown eyes and hesitant smile on that little face were small, but it meant the world. It was a reason to stay.

My husband bought my favorite ice cream and put it in the fridge for me one day when I was feeling low. It was a little gesture, but it showed so much. It was a reason to stay.

My mother sang my favorite lullaby to me when I asked her to, just so I could hear her voice again and feel like I did when I was 5. She didn’t have to, and probably felt awkward singing in a crowded hospital sitting room, but she did it. Her voice is gorgeous, and it was immediately calming to me. It was a reason to stay.

I stepped outside of the hospital once when fall was starting. I live in New England, and saw beautiful reds, yellows, and greens all around me. Nature was proudly showing off. It was a reason to stay.

Everyone’s reasons are different, but they are there. No one likes to hear “but you’re important!” or “but you’re so accomplished!” or “but your family loves you!” because it all feels like lies when the depression or agitation has taken over completely. We must find our reasons out. We must push past the stinking black curtain of illness and find the things that can keep us going.  

And remember, we all have reasons to stay.

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