In honor of September being suicide awareness month.
Part of my story includes having had suicidal thoughts. It’s a part of my story I didn’t share with anyone for a long time. I was always the happy one, the one with a smile on my face and didn’t want to be labeled as having these thoughts, I tried to pretend that everything was fine, that I had everything under control. I didn’t want to see my parents cry or see the sadness on my therapist’s face when she heard about this. I thought I’d tell each of them when I fixed it all myself, but I couldn’t. The thoughts wouldn’t go away and over time increased in frequency and became darker. I was drowning and couldn’t do it on my own anymore. Reaching out for help and starting medication were the best decisions that I made during that time in my life.
In the dark times, I thought my life was meaningless and didn’t matter, that I’d always be struggling, that I’d never get better, that my life was hopeless. I couldn’t see beyond the overwhelming struggle and sadness to see how beautiful my life could be. My life now is beyond what I could ever imagine, in those dark times I never thought I’d be living in a city that I love, having my own apartment with a wonderful roommate (aka my cat :D), going out on dates, having my dream job, having a deeper connection with my friends, having opportunities to share my story, being recovered from the eating disorder, OCD, social anxiety, and depression; living life and enjoying it, not just surviving. It took a while to get to this place and life felt awful for a while but things slowly got better. Never in a million years did I believe that this life could be possible but here it is. So I wanted to share this message for those in the thick of it, for those struggling to stay afloat in the darkness.
Please don’t believe the lies that life isn’t worth living or that you don’t matter. These may feel like truths but I can tell you with 100% certainity that they are lies. Your life is worth living, there is so much hope and potential for your future even when it may feel hopeless right now. And I also know with 100% certainity that you matter. Your life matters. You are so important to this world because you have beautiful and unique gifts and abilities that only you can bring to the world. You were uniquely created, on purpose for a purpose. The world needs you, the world needs your energy and spark and light. While it may feel as those are gone right now, they can come back. Your spark and light can come back.
I wish I could give you a big hug, take away your pain, and take away those dark thoughts. No matter how hard I wish I could, I can’t do that, but there are so many amazing resources that can help you. That can help to bring hope back to your life, that can help you to feel happiness and joy again. Please get the help you need and deserve because you matter, your life matters, and you are needed here in this world. There is so much beauty and light and potential in your life even when it may not feel that way.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988
Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741-741
Rogers Behavioral Health Free Screening: 800-767-4411
Emergency Resources: 911; Your local emergency department
Primary care provider
Local psychiatric hospital
Local mental health provider
I want to share a little story with you, one from a therapist that I think may help if you’re worried about telling someone that you’re struggling with these types of thoughts. (Backstory my therapist knew I wanted kids in the future and knew I was putting off telling my parents about having suicidal ideation). So she said to me, “Megan, if your [future] daughter was struggling with these thoughts would you want to know?” And her words struck me to my core. I knew it’d be painful to hear and would break my heart to hear she had those thoughts but of course I’d want to know. I’d want to do everything I can to help support her and help her not feel alone, to get her the help and treatment that she needs. Please don’t worry about how the other person will respond, tell them so you’re not alone with those heavy thoughts, tell them so that they can help you. No one deserves to struggle alone especially with thoughts like this, everyone deserves help. If you are struggling with thoughts of wanting to end your life please reach out to someone immediately- a family member, therapist, doctor, 911.
Please stay, the world needs you and your light and gifts. Hope; Hold On Pain Ends.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."- John 1:5
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
"The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."- Isaiah 40:28-31
Megan Ludke is a woman of God, Founder and Executive Director of Live RecoverED (formerly RecoverED Athletes), a school-based physical therapist, and a current PSU graduate student (M.Ed. Health Education & Promotion concentration in Eating Disorders). She is recovered from anorexia, orthorexia, depression, OCD, and social anxiety. Megan is deeply passionate about her work at Live RecoverED, having felt the pain and darkness of struggling with an eating disorder. When not working, Megan loves spending time with her boyfriend and family and loves being outside- hiking or reading in a hammock