My Name Is Tonja. And I Think About Committing Suicide

My Battle With Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

At VSB, Tonja Stidhum shares the story of how she's dealt with depression since she was a child

by #teamEBONY, August 12, 2014

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My Name Is Tonja. And I Think About Committing Suicide

My Name Is Tonja. And I Think About Committing Suicide

It started with my childhood. Muddled with failed attempts to gain the affection of my aloof and alcoholic father, followed by his subsequent lung cancer diagnosis, and then his death. And with his death, crept the man who groomed the vulnerability of a freshly fatherless me and snatched me into molestation as he drove me to school every morning. I was 12. And abandoned. And tainted. And unwanted. My only escape came with creating worlds that lead me to my screenwriting aspirations. My only shield came with belly-laughs, both forged and felt.

The 12 year old girl followed me into high school and into a suicide attempt. And with that attempt, I didn’t necessarily want to die (or to leave), I just felt dying would be the only way to stop the pain. That 12 year old girl followed me into college and found the strength to tell my mama about the molestation for the first time, after telling my class via a piece I wrote in a writer workshop (which was the first time I had ever spoken it outloud). That 12 year old girl is me today. I suffer from depression. I have a therapist that I see, weekly. I cry myself to sleep so hard some nights, my eyes hurt. I think of ending it often. I’ve gotten close a few times. I’ve gotten close last week.

For me, depression is quite the bitch, equipped with my very own sultry voice. She tells me I’m unworthy, unwanted, weird, an outcast, untalented, abnormal, forever alone, unloved, unattractive, a burden to others, and that everyone would be better without me. Some days, I believe the hell out of her. Other days, I don’t. Other days, I (rationally) know she’s full of shit, but I let her voice prevail. I think that’s the most frustrating part of it all. The rollercoaster. One day I’m legit super-confident and ready to take over the world and the next day I’m crawling into bed wanting to forever sleep away the hollow ache of my empty heart. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take a day for the switch to happen. It’s an ongoing battle and not unlike a drug addiction, there doesn’t seem to be a real “cure.” Just a better method of making it to the next day.

 
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