Anniversary of My Suicide Attempt

The semicolon project: my life could have stopped, but I continued on.

Exactly seventeen years ago, I attempted to take my own life. I don’t talk about it much because I don’t like to remember that day or the events after it. In actuality, I think part of my psyche has blocked it from my memory because I only remember bits and pieces.

I was thirteen. I remember the pain I felt; deep, intense, hopeless. I felt alone. Yet, when I went into the inpatient/outpatient programs, everyone just looked at me and said “You don’t belong here.” It wasn’t out of malice, even though it may sound like it. All the other teenagers around me had severely broken childhoods and families that really did not give a damn. And there I was – with two parents who loved me and who tried to give me the best life possible. It pains me to think of it because the guilt I felt was tremendous. “I didn’t deserve to feel pain”, I thought.

But the truth? Everyone is entitled to their emotions. We cannot compare circumstances. It does no good and it does not solve the problem.

While I did not have a broken family, I had a severe chemical imbalance – most of which I contribute to getting my menstrual cycle early. My body was developing fast, but my surroundings were not and my brain was still one of a thirteen-year-old. I would get conflicted as to how I should be feeling and what I actually was feeling.

In addition, the meds I was put on for my depression and anxiety were not handled properly. The doctor started me off on a high dose and then did not monitor it. My parents did not know any better. After all, they trusted the doctor.

To this day, I remember my dad’s face when he found out I overdosed on pain medication. I stayed home that day because I needed a mental break from school. I felt so alone with my feelings that I just broke – I grabbed the bottle without thinking and continued to shove the pills down my throat. My dad knew I did something. He kept asking, “What did you do? What did you do?” I don’t remember what tipped him off honestly, but he knew. I was honest. Then he called 911.

The cops showed up with an ambulance. I was so scared. I was crying. “I’m fine! I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. Please don’t take me away.” I just wanted them to go away.

Once at the hospital, they pumped my stomach full of charcoal. I met with some doctors who I tried to convince “I WAS FINE”. But since I had made an attempt, I had to be inpatient for a couple days.

Those days were filled with the scariest moments I had seen yet being only thirteen. I was trying to understand my emotions, while also be frightened into seeing the worst of the worst situations. To give you an idea – someone smashed their head through a glass panel on a door in an attempt to end their life.

I wouldn’t understand this experience until much later in life. I never wanted to end my life. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted to understand my feelings and how to feel better.

Since I refused to deal with it, those emotions just fostered into an eating disorder three years later. I used food as a cop out to control the emotions I felt were out of control.

Now almost two decades later, I have completely done a 180. I’m so glad I failed that day because I had so much to accomplish that God was planning for me. I look at my struggles with mental health as a time that made me stronger and more understanding. I am now able to help others with my story and encourage them to keep fighting. It is no walk in the park; it takes time, dedication, continual therapy, and patience. BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. I truly believe we were each created for something special. Sometimes it takes others longer to find it and that’s okay. We each bloom at our own time.

When you feel at your lowest, remember me as an example to keep fighting. You have no idea what God has in store for you and whose life you will one day impact. I’m in your corner.

If you or something you know is suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Help is available.


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Friends Come and Friends Go

“As I get older, I am becoming more selective of who I consider a friend. I find that I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies”

Unknown

One of the hardest things about life is “change”. It is unavoidable and honestly a natural occurrence here on Earth. As you travel throughout the different phases of your life, your surroundings also change. People in your life may move, pass away, or just continue on a journey that is different from yours. One of my biggest challenges has been letting people go. Since I was a young girl, I always wanted to be the girl that everybody liked, the girl who was kind to all, and the one who never let anyone down. To some degree, I still feel this way.

But — can I say — how unrealistic this is? No matter what you do, you cannot make everyone happy. And honestly if you try, you will be burnt out and anxiety ridden. It has taken me a long time to realize this and I fight this concept in my head almost everyday.

About two years, I lost about 3-4 close friends if not more. I was at the lowest point in my life. I couldn’t take care of anyone anymore because I could barely take care of myself. And for some people, this is a complete deal breaker especially if they are going through something similar in their own life. My marriage was failing, I was verbally abused daily, I recently miscarried, and I felt stuck – I could not see how to pull myself out of the misery. I became a person I didn’t even know anymore. I started drinking heavily, not eating, getting high on anxiety meds, and doing basically anything destructive to run from my life. I was too scared of what was on the other side, even though I really had nothing to lose. I literally went day to day wishing I could run away or just not live life anymore. I had a couple close friends at the time that then slowly disappeared because they “could not handle my shit” – and yes I was really told that. It broke me in ways I cannot describe because the last thing I wanted was to be considered a selfish person. But honestly, in that time I needed to be selfish to get my shit together. I wasn’t me anymore.

Once I started to find myself again, I went back to my friends who had distanced themselves at the time. I wanted to try to mend things. Unfortunately, those relationships were unmendable in most circumstances.

I don’t blame them necessarily, which I’m sure will surprise you because it surprised me! But, bottom line is this — We all need to protect ourselves FIRST and foremost. Now to the classic plane scenario to prove my point. When there is turbulence on a plane, the flight attendant tells you to put the mask on yourself first before attempting to mask another. That is because you need to be able to breathe clearly if you are going to be any use to someone else.

In retrospect, we are all human so I would be lying if I said it was hard not to take this personally. My heart felt so empty. I blamed myself for the longest time. Then one day, I decided to #1 acknowledge what happened #2 admit there were times I was wrong and #3 forgive myself for something I could not go back and change.

The thing to remember is there is a purpose for every person you meet – whether they stay for a season, a couple days, or a lifetime. At the end of the day, you cannot make someone see something they don’t want to see. You also can’t force an apology down someone’s throat. All you can do is put your heart out there, apologize, and move on. Trust the process. And whether they are in your life or not, the most important thing to do for your own sanity and heart is to wish them well.

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