On October 3rd, 2006, at 8 pm, I was sitting on the bathroom floor of Westpines Rehabilitation Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. I was 24 years old, and my worst nightmare had come true. I said the wrong thing to the wrong person and ended up being placed under a 5150. I remember the prayer I prayed. I said, “God, if I am not out of here in the next 24 hours, I will stick my head into the toilet and drown myself.” Just before midnight, a cyst on my tailbone ruptured and I was rushed to the emergency room. Because I was under medical hold, I was not given any painkillers when the nurse stuffed packing into my open wound. After spending three hours in the ER, I was taken back to my room at Westpines to try to get some rest. Later the next day, and after several evaluations of me by the staff, I was released at 5 pm- just three hours before I was to take my life.

At the time, I felt has though I made the mistake of trusting the wrong people. All these years later, I realize the people I confessed my suicidal thoughts to were simply doing their job. I demanded something out of them they were not capable of providing. I expected them to give me that which I could only give myself. I see now I have a responsibility to live my life well and to not take it for granted. I must initiate self-worth. Every life deserves to live well, to serve the needs of others, and to create a better world for future generations. Failure to share the gift of one’s personal contribution, either by taking one’s life or by inaction, is cruelty toward those who could have been helped.