Dear Dr. Wallace:
I’m asking a huge favor from you. The past seven months, our daughter has been suffering from severe depression. Her boyfriend had been drinking and the car he was driving missed a curve and smashed into a tree. He was killed instantly and his friend who was a passenger died in the hospital a few days later. Neither boy was wearing a seatbelt.
Ever since the accident, our daughter has been unable to function normally. She has received psychiatric therapy, but so far it has not helped her. She is 19 and a very bright girl. She was attending a local community college at the time of the accident but she immediately quit attending classes after she received the shocking news.
My husband and I are very concerned about her outlook on life. There are times when she tells us she finds it difficult to go on living. We are doing everything in our power to help her return to the happy young woman she once was.
A while back, a young lady wrote you a very touching letter about her “failed” suicide attempt after jumping off of a bridge. Is it possible you could print that letter again? I urgently wish to show it to our daughter and ask her to read it.
— Concerned mother,
Dear Mother: I fully understand and greatly respect your urgent request. I hope this very special letter (shown below) brings comfort to your daughter and any others who may relate to it and potentially benefit from its message. Here it is:
Dr. Wallace: I’m not writing because I have a problem, but instead, to share a message with my fellow teens might be thinking of doing something that I have actually tried ... suicide.
Several years ago, I was totally alone and depressed. I honestly believed that nobody loved me or even cared for me. My depression led me to a 50-foot-high bridge and my loneliness told me to jump. However, once I was airborne, I realized I didn’t want to die. Fortunately, God allowed me to live.
The jump broke all the bones in my ankles and crushed both heels. My hip was broken in three places and I also broke my back. My hospital stay lasted four months. All of this happened because I thought, “What difference does it make? Nobody cares about me.”
I am once again walking but with a noticeable limp. I can’t stand up too long and I can’t bend my back it all. There are many scars over my feet and legs, my rib cage is lower and I’m one and a half inches shorter now then I was before I took my fateful plunge.
I learned the hard way that people really did love me. My body will never be the same, but my spirit now is at an all-time high. My mind is at ease and my future is bright. Many wonderful people have come forward to comfort and encourage me. I only wish that I had known this before I made the biggest mistake of my life.
Young people, please look around you. Trust me — there are people in your life who do love and care for you, even if they don’t always express it in words. For those of you who look around and still feel lost, I would like to say that I love you, and so does God. We both care about what happens to you.
Contact Dr. Wallace at rwallace@ thegreatestgift.com