Mia Murphy was dying on her bedroom floor while blood drained from her wrists, slit to the bone, during August of last year.
Once her shih tzu started barking at her, Murphy’s sister shortly entered the bedroom in horror, screaming and crying. Tears and blood were falling on the wooden floor. This was the last time Murphy expected to see her sister.
After her sister went downstairs to call 911, Murphy’s world faded to black. Later that night, while laying in a hospital bed, Murphy’s eyes opened. She had tried to end her life and failed.
“I basically got another chance at life,” said Murphy. “I want to do something, and I want to go as far as I can with that,” she said. For the first time, after suffering several months of trauma, self-destructive behavior and depression, Murphy was thankful to be alive.
Missing her first semester at Hudson Valley to receive inpatient care at Four Winds, a psychiatric hospital in Saratoga, and Albany Medical Center, Murphy took several months to reflect on her attempt. “It was a long process,” she said.
After inpatient treatment last year, she was determined to move forward. This January, Murphy had the date of her suicide attempt and “I am not afraid. I am born to do this” tattooed on her rib cage. “If I ever get down, I just look at that and it’s just a reminder of how positive things will be,” said Murphy.
Throughout high school, Murphy faced increasing negativity from other students. She was bullied at South Colonie High School in the hallways and online. “I was very vulnerable. I didn’t want to let anyone down and if someone was disappointed in me, it would make me really upset and want to fix it,” she said.
After a March 2014 breakup, Murphy’s high school experience took a turn for the worse. “It was awful. My high school was awful,” she said. Murphy claimed to have faced regular harassment from her ex-boyfriend and his friends. Dealing with what she claimed was increasing torment in school, Murphy started coping with stress through self-harm.
“At first it wasn’t to kill myself. That was the only pain I could really control,” she said. As Murphy claimed to continued to have continued to face harassment, she ran away to Lake Champlain to hang herself. She was tracked down to her cabin before attempting suicide.
Following the incident, Murphy was sent to several weeks of inpatient care at Four Winds. “As soon as I came out of there, everything just hit me again,” she said. Although she recalled feeling better after being discharged, she started claimed to have started to face harassment once again after coming back to Colonie.
“When I graduated in June I thought it would end, but there’s still social networking and stuff so… it didn’t,” said Murphy. Before going back to Four Winds in the summer for an intentional pill overdose, Murphy was subject to physical and emotional trauma. She recalled being reclusive, self-harming and losing weight.
Murphy started expressing suicidal thoughts on social media. Waking up around 6 a.m. on Aug. 13 of that year, she wrote out a suicide note on Facebook, nine hours before attempting suicide.
Over a year after her attempt, Murphy now uses the web to post about suicide awareness. She uses personal experiences to help people in her life struggling with depression. “Girls that I’ve met at Four Winds actually contact me a lot when they’re are getting depressed,” she said.
After missing a semester, Murphy was determined to focus on education. “I’ve maxed out my credits for the semesters to get everything done on time,” she said. As a result of missing a semester for being in treatment after attempting suicide, Murphy has taken a heavier courseload since last semester.
Living through a suicide attempt, Murphy now positions her goals on a higher pedestal.
“I don’t want to be just any other graphic designer,” she said. Hoping to get accepted in Sage next academic year, Murphy dreams of eventually living New York City to specialize in fashion-related graphic design.
In school, she has based many of her graphic design projects around her own experiences with depression. “I try to turn the negative things into something very positive,” she said.
From graphic design projects to assisting strangers coping with depression, Murphy remains open about her past moving forward. “I’m sure there’s tons of people [at Hudson Valley] that when you look at them you think ‘oh, she’s just another person’, but everybody has their own story. Everybody has something,” said Murphy.