Ralph Smith

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I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that every single snapshot is a part of a bigger picture. I believe this because my life has been a testament to it. It all started the summer of 2011. I had been depressed for a while at this point. I just drifted through each day. One night I found myself staring into a container of pills. I don’t know what I was thinking, but the next moment I remember, I was on the floor and that container was empty. I woke up later that night next to a pool of vomit filled with half-dissolved capsules. My mom found me and cared for me as if I was a baby again. It made me finally feel… at home.

But it wasn’t my attempted suicide that made the greatest impact on my life, it was what came later. At the 2013 Michigan PTA convention, I was asked to be a panelist on a discussion about bullying, teen suicide, and depression. I had no idea what to say, being the only person on the panel without a doctorate, so I just told them my story. 

After the discussion, I was barraged with countless complements, dozens of heartwarming stories and so many “thank you’s.” All the parents told me they were going home to talk to their children. I go to sleep hoping that I helped at least one person that day, and to this day I try to do my part to care for others. I will fight to make sure no one else makes the stupid decision I made. I believe I survived for a reason; if I couldn’t help others dealing with depression then it all would have been for nothing. My survival has changed my life forever.