Portrait of Survivor

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Meghana, Suicide Survivor.


A journey of hope.

Trigger Warning: A suicide survivor’s story.

Please note: The name of the person has been changed upon request for anonymity.


I met Meghna at her home on a rainy evening. As soon as I entered the rain picked up the pace. I wondered if I would reach home that night. She offers beverages, suggesting De-caf as something she swears by as a solution to coffee while on anxiety medication. As we bond over our shared mental health history, coffee, and anxiety medication she tells me her story.


She is outspoken and animated when she begins talking. She works in finance and has taken up poetry and painting. She tells me how the suicide attempt only made her realize how much want to live.


Meghna attempted to take her life 5 years ago. She remembers the date 8th December 2014. She remembers fighting with her mom over her then abusive boyfriend. But, she points out that she had been depressed for years.

Having moved a lot and always have been a “fat kid”, she says with air quotes, she never connected. ‘Fat’ was always the first thing they noticed about her. People would always say to her “But you are so pretty. How are you so overweight?”

“Do I have to be thin to be pretty? I guess I was always fighting that notion within me.”


Even today when Meghna looks in the mirror every morning all she sees is her “fat tummy”. She reminds herself then that he is not the sum of her parts but more.” I feel pretty. I feel pretty. I feel pretty…”


She notes many times through the interview that she had been screaming for help for a long time. It was her parents that she approached first. As usual, she was met with skepticism. What do you even know about what depression is? They asked her.


“I felt at that moment that the ppl who understood me all my life, my only companions, suddenly couldn’t hear the words that come out of my mouth.”

That particular day she had reached a point where the mental pain that she had felt for so long became so unbearably real that it was physically painful to have to live through it. Fear at what she had done. As they pumped the poison out of her stomach she prayed for a second chance at life.


She shared how much she wants to live. How the incident made her realize that she did not want to die. She wanted to live. How she values the second chance.

Today she says, “My father still doesn’t get it”, but her mom has been her rock since the day of the attempt. She now makes it a point to tell her she is pretty every time she buys a new dress.


When I ask her what she considers the most important thing she is quick to answer.

Empathy.

“I think that’s what I had been searching for my whole life. Connection and understanding. And you need empathy to understand each other.”


The words stuck in her head, anxious and preposterous thoughts.

The brutality of the present, the insanity of the past, and the obscurity of the future.

All lies cutting through her hands,

scars beneath her heart.

Silence a distant dream,

that longevity for peace.

Forgone desires and happiness.

A life, hollower than an empty glass jar.

The light in the tunnel seemed to be at a distance,

far far away from reality.

“Oasis!” her mind yelled,

but the heart does what it does.

She moved closer to it, but the distance never lessened.

Scavenging through the sanctity of her soul, she moved on…

Survivor Of Suicide


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