by Jjakoba Predmore
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in We’Ced Youth Magazine Issue #1
This story may seem a little confusing, but this is the text conversation that took place right before my fiancé and I attempted to take our own lives. Everything was fine on this day until this conversation. Here is some of what went down: My fiancé took some pills, I made some phone calls and found out, then I asked my mom if I could go for a walk. She said, sure. I grabbed my bottle of anti-depressants to be ironic towards my own death. I started taking the pills handfuls at a time as I was walking, tears rolling down my face. I called my brother Diego to say goodbye. He called the cops. I was crouched, crying in a corner by Big Lots when I started seeing cops drive by. It took seven cop cars before someone actually got out to check and see if I was there.
When the officer found me, I was sitting behind a bush next to Big Lots, holding an empty bottle of prescription pills in my hand and crying. The officer pets my head and told me it was going to be ok. I blacked out and woke up in the hospital.
There was all this commotion around me, I felt weak and sick, still overwhelmed with emotion. I was in and out of consciousness for a bit, all the while there was tons of cops everywhere, I was being poked and prodded and being handed things to drink. My mom and friends, Ana and Julia, showed up while I was still a bit delirious. When I finally came back to reality, I faked being ok to make everyone around me happy, even though I was secretly planning on trying it again after everyone went home. My friend Julia helped me be less suicidal, helping at least keep me somewhat sane for several months after.
I guess what I’m trying to say is there have always been problems in my head and still are. I need help to keep steady and grounded and I’m not faking it to get attention. I’m just too scared to tell what’s going on because often times you all think it’s for attention and that makes me feel worse inside.
There are only 2,566 girls and 2,447 boys served for mental health in Merced County. The actual expected amount for girls is 5,873 and for boys the number is 4,534. There are only 1,343 teens served between the ages of 12-24 and the expected rate is 2,306. That’s insane, no pun intended.
“There is a large group of youth that suffer in silence,” says Janet Spangler, Program Manager at Merced County Mental Health, “A lot o the time it is not the youth themselves [that are causing these problems] but their surroundings.”
There is a place called “The Cube” for teens that have had experiences with mental health services, who have aged out of foster care services or who have endured other difficult experiences, provided through Merced County Mental Health. They provide help finding jobs, offer classes, internet access and just a place to hang out. At Marie Green, the Crisis Center will let you stay overnight if you need a safe place from yourself to cool down.
Never be afraid to reach out for help. Remember, if your parents don’t approve of you getting help for “brain problems,” at the age of 16 you legally have all power over your own health services.
I would like to add a special thank you to Justin and Preston.