Out of options: How I discovered hope

Each year, 42,773 Americans commit suicide, according to the official American Foundation for Suicide Statistics webpage.

In January 2015, I was almost one of the 42,773.

I had been surrounded by darkness my entire life. I had suffered emotional abuse, neglect and bullying. I hated myself.

Within my first year of college, I had been deserted by people I considered friends. I was homeless. I had been sexually assaulted. I failed every single one of my classes.

I suffered severe PTSD, nightmares, panic attacks and depression as I stumbled through the world, having no idea where I was going.

In January 2015, I thought I had found the solution.

It came faster than anticipated.

One moment I was lying in bed, trying to get myself to sleep, and the next thing I can remember I had grabbed my medication and was shoving the small, red pills down my throat, trying to end it all.

The darkness swallowed me whole, and I felt drained of everything that made me who I was. I had no idea who Katie Hildreth was.

My best friend found me and rushed me to help. I was saved.

Ironically, a week later, I found the real solution to my problems — a miracle.

When I walked into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I expected to get a slice of pizza and find out the next place I would stay in my couch nomad adventures.

However, that night I received a tiny blue book given to me by two girls wearing name tags.

I was baptized a month later. One of the biggest things I have learned since meeting the missionaries is to never give up on hope — it is always there.

Now, I am not saying that converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints solved all my problems.

I still have to fight every day. My thoughts can attack me out of nowhere, and I fight hard to get out of bed some days.

However, I am a firm believer in the concept of hope now. I have the answers I had been seeking my entire life.

I recognize the love that others have, and I have gained true companionship with roommates and friends that I would never have expected before.

I don’t share my story for pity or sympathy. I want to spread hope.

No matter what is going on in the world, there are always things to live for.

I believe in kindness. I believe in standing strong.

I have had plenty of trials in my life, both big and small, and I know that I am not alone, even when life is overwhelming.

I would never have guessed two years ago that I would have a leadership position in a newspaper or that I would be as happy as I am now.

Our future is always bright. Let’s choose to love. Choose hope.

If you are struggling, please reach out to a friend.

Go to lds.org/preventingsuicide to find resources. Call the National Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.

Please, never give up. There is always hope.

Keep fighting the hard fight.

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