REDMOND, Ore. - September is National Suicide Prevention Ponth, which is why NewsChannel 21 wanted to share the story of a suicide survivor. Kristin Akin of Redmond attempted suicide, but survived -- and now, she has a whole new reason for living.
"I was just like, 'I'm done with this,' and I didn't care. I wanted to die," Akin said.
The pain Akin experienced was the kind of pain not everyone knows, and only few survive to try to explain.
In July of 2015, Akin wanted to die. She took 18 pills of one of her prescriptions.
"The next thing I remember is waking up, and I had six or seven nurses and doctors standing about me, and I was frantic. I had no idea what was going on," Akin recalled recently.
Akin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 20. Now, at 33, she also battles anxiety and what is known as borderline personality disorder.
"This thing hit me really hard, and I was really struggling, I was self-harming a lot, cutting (myself) a lot," Akin said.
When Akin describes her suicide attempt, she doesn't cry or waver. Instead, she faces it head-on, with a tattoo reading "Live."
"It's a reminder every day to live, just live," Akin said, "And after being through it, I want to save lives. I don't want people to go through suicide attempts. I don't want people to cut or be miserable."
Akin said she knows now, first-hand, there is so much more to live for -- like her young son, Levi Cole.
"He's my light. He's my life. He's my world to me," Akin said.
Levi is her daily reminder to battle the skeletons and stay out of the darkness.
"I can't say that I would never try it again, because when you're mentally ill, there are no promises," Akin said. "But when you have a child, I can't imagine leaving him on this Earth without his mother."
Akin speaks at plenty of events about suicide awareness and prevention, and says she is always willing to share her message.
"You are not alone," she said. "Even if you think you're the only one thinking these crazy thoughts or feelings, these awful emotions -- you're not alone. Other people have been there."
She attributes a great deal of her recovery and strength to a local advocacy group, the Central Oregon chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness. They are a great resource for those dealing with mental illness, or someone who just wants more information.
You can find out more at www.Namicentraloregon.org.