"Choosing Life," My New Essay in Cleveland Magazine

Friday, August 10, 2018

I didn’t look like someone who was depressed. I was a straight-A student at Ohio University, I’d just joined a sorority, and I was working at a summer job I loved at a swimming pool in my hometown of Cuyahoga Falls. I was outgoing, involved and well-liked.

I was also planning my own suicide.

In 2003, the summer before my sophomore year of college, I planned out exactly how I would die: I’d arrive early to work one morning and hang myself in the staff office, leaving a note on the door for my co-manager to warn her of what she’d find inside. All summer, I wrote out goodbye letters to my friends and family, sobbing my way through each word and counting down the days.

The only thing that stopped me, plain and simple, was fear. I didn’t trust myself to fashion a noose, and I was terrified I’d do it wrong, leaving myself injured, institutionalized, stigmatized and worse-off emotionally than before.

I put my suicide plans on hold, but I never stopped thinking about them, continuing to fantasize about the mental freedom of simply ceasing to exist. I always assumed that someday, when the time was right, I would take my own life.

Read the rest of this essay in Cleveland Magazine, available both online & in print.

Photo by the absolutely incredible Angelo Merendino for Cleveland Magazine. Makeup by Cleveland Makeup Artistry because I didn't trust myself with my own damn face. 

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