This is How it Feels: A Memoir - Attempting Suicide and Finding Life
At twenty-years-old, Craig Miller attempted suicide. He sat on the edge of a bed and swallowed two hundred and fifty pills, never imagining that a note he wrote to himself fourteen years earlier would save his life. That note simply read, "Don't ever forget how this feels." From the time he was six-years-old, Craig lived his life by those words. He believed that if he needed to remember the feelings behind his life's most significant events, then there must be a reason why they happened. And for three extraordinary days following his suicide attempt, as he lay in the Intensive Care Unit floating in and out of consciousness, he found those reasons. He relived days from his childhood when his only friend became his assailant. He relived years of building a troubled relationship with God. He remembered when the pain of his life's tragedies finally caught up to him and he became the victim of severe obsessive compulsive disorder, relentless anxiety, and devastating irrational fear. After each memory, he awoke to the blurred reality of his suicide attempt. The struggle to fight his childhood assailant became a battle with doctors who worked to restrain him. The pain from a fist to his nose became the sting of a tube as it was pushed down his throat. And the memory of freezing alone on a cold winter night became the reality of a dark, lonely hospital room. But after each memory ended, Craig was left with the feeling that remained from reliving it. He felt the imprint it left within him- the deep desire to love, the desperate need to change, and the fiery will to fight. Craig Miller lay in a hospital bed for three days while his body fought for life, but his soul stood undecided on the threshold of existence. He relived the most pivotal moments of his life and saw himself from an entirely new perspective. He learned that God does not punish, and that love, no matter how bad it hurts, is worth it. He learned that compassion is to see the hurt in the eyes of another, no matter how bad we hurt ourselves. He learned that living in the darkness of mental illness can be one of the most powerful paths to self-discovery. And he learned that life, no matter how hard it gets, is worth living.
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