Portrait of Josh

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

Over ten 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 determined 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 the hospital where my injuries were treated. I had multiple broken bones and a punctured lung, injuries that would heal over time.

But something surprising happened while I was 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 of how much of a burden I had become. 

Though it was only a momentary pause from how severely depressed I still was, it proved to me that my mind and body were still capable of recovery. Despite everything I had been through, and my previous 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 finally believed I would get better.

I started with small steps, barely getting out of the door to walk around the block for exercise, and learning to give myself credit – instead of ridicule – for the days when all I could do was get out of bed. I worked to recognize when depression was pulling my thoughts down and how better to distract myself and ignore them.

Though it wasn’t a straight path, I thank myself every day for the work I put into those months and years directly after I tried to end my life.

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 Manager, HeadsUpGuys 

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

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