Portrait of Josh

"Sometimes we lose hope, but that doesn’t mean we lose the ability to ever hope again."

Eight years ago, after months of battling depression, I lost all hope of recovering and tried to end my life.

I thought my friends, family, and doctors who urged me toward recovery didn’t understand what I was going through – how raw and painful every moment was.

Suicide started as a fantasy, something I thought about to ease the pain. But as I became more severely depressed, these thoughts came more frequently. I began to think of suicide as a real option.

When I finally tried to take my life, there was no turning back. With a cold and hard resolution, I pushed forward, jumping off a bridge in an attempt to end my life. I was incredibly lucky to survive.

The fall into the water below didn’t end my life. In the confused and overwhelming hours that followed, I was taken to hospital where my injuries were treated. I had multiple broken bones and a punctured lung, injuries that would heal over time.

While in the hospital, I felt happy to be alive. I felt joy in seeing my family again – just hours earlier, I could barely look them in the eyes, thinking I was a tremendous burden on them.

Though this momentary pause from the unrelenting onslaught of depression didn’t last long, it proved to me that my mind and body were still capable of recovery. Despite everything I had been through, and the certainty that killing myself was the only way to end my pain – I now knew I was wrong.

In the weeks and months that followed, I recovered from my physical injuries and began to improve mentally as well. Despite the depression I was still facing, at my core I believed I would get better.

I started with small steps, barely getting out of the door to walk around the block for exercise. I worked to recognize when depression was pulling my thoughts down and how better to distract myself and ignore them.

Though it was not a straight path, I thank myself everyday for the work I put in those months and years directly after I tried to end my life. Recovery started with small steps, like learning to give myself credit – instead of ridicule – for the days when all I could do was get out of bed.

I wish I had believed I was able to recover from the start, because I now know that no matter how bad things get, recovery is possible and I have a life worth living.

– Joshua R. Beharry, Project Coordinator, HeadsUpGuys 

Learn more about Josh’s recovery in his story video.

Next Steps:

How to Consult a DoctorHow to Reach out in a CrisisKevin’s Story – Overcoming Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

Written by the HeadsUpGuys Team - Combining lived experience, clinical practice, and research expertise. Reviewed and approved by Dr. John Ogrodniczuk - Professor and Director of the Psychotherapy Program at the Department of Psychiatry, The University of British Columbia.
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