For this post, I wanted to share an excerpt from my book, When the Wallflower Blooms. This month is Suicide Prevention Month and I just wanted to share my story. Major trigger warning for suicide with this one. Anyway, enjoy my little excerpt and if you want, check out my book here. Enjoy if and if you’re someone who needs help or if you or someone you know is struggling with his or her mental health, call the suicide helpline at (800) 273-8255. There’s nothing wrong with getting help. It’s not a weakness. Thank you!
Excerpt from When the Wallflower Blooms:
If this is a touchy subject or maybe a trigger for you, then don’t read this particular blog post. As I write this, its World Suicide Prevention Day. This is a pretty hot topic. More and more nowadays it seems like we hear more stories about someone who has killed his or herself. The age range varies from sweet innocent young children as young as 6 to the elderly. Back in the day, it was such a stigma to talk about suicide or even mental health. Now (thank goodness) there is more awareness on the topic and people are being more open about their mental health experience more than ever (I think that’s awesome!)
Anyway, suicide is a serious issue. According to the site Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in this country. A person commits suicide about every 12 minutes. I don’t know about you, but that fact freaks me out! Now before you all get all down my throat for not “being understanding”, I think you should know my story. That’s right! I have a suicide story for you all. I have had not one, not two, but three attempts. You read that right: three.
They all happened when I felt like I was at a low point in my life. I’ve always had thoughts of suicide (ironically I’m afraid of death) but I haven’t really acted on it until some years back. I remember my first attempt. I’m not sure how I survived it but it happened when I felt unloved, jilted, and I felt like things just weren’t going to get any better for me. I had sex with this guy (we’ll call “D” in a car and i knew deep down inside he didn’t want me but I wanted to feel needed. I actually ended up feeling super low about myself. I felt like no guy would ever take me serious. I stopped caring for myself. I stopped eating (although I was at my highest weight at this point but I believe it was due to the birth control I was on), showering; I didn’t do my hair; I barely slept…basically at that point I wasn’t living, I was just existing. I even contemplated checking myself in a behavioral health center (aka mental hospital) just because I knew what I was feeling (and doing) was not normal.
I was in a really dark place. At the time, I felt like such a failure and a let down. People would tell me to just get over it (my problems) and just move on. Honestly, how could I when everyday I felt like shit? I felt like everything was my fault. Like I was a failure. I lived my life full of regret. I felt guilty day in and day out. I had high hopes for myself and the way I was living was not the life I pictured for myself. At the time, I had no car, no apartment, I wasn’t in school because I was trying to work to save up money for tuition because I had to pay out of pocket. I just never pictured myself in that situation. I felt like I was a mistake when Jehovah made me. Can you imagine feeling like everyone hates your guts? I would pray that God killed me. I didn’t want to go on like that. I felt like a weak bitch. I wished I was dead or at least go back and have a do over in life. Now I know, everything I went through, there was a purpose for it. I thought Jehovah stopped listening to my prayers because of the wrong things I’ve done and at the time, I didn’t see how I can bounce back.
Usually, when I have one bad thought, I begin to go down a rabbit hole of despair. I think about all things that aren’t going well for me. Again, I experienced irrational thoughts whenever I would get so depressed that I felt like giving up on life. I felt ugly and didn’t think anyone would me. I felt hopeless, like I wanted to scream. It felt like I was all alone and no one would understand how I felt. At the time, I wasn’t in my career that I got my degree in, I felt ugly, and I didn’t have a lot of money. Now I’m sure you’re like “but money isn’t everything. Which is true. However, when you only have enough money to just pay your rent and nothing else or maybe if you didn’t even scrape up enough for rent, thats a big problem, at least for me it was.
Others shared their concern with me and it made me feel judged and like people didn’t want me around. I was depressed. Then one day, “D” tweeted out that some chick made him “feel some type of way”. That drove me over the edge. I didn’t leave a note. I was going to a party that night and I didn’t tell anyone what I was feeling. I drank so much that I passed out at the party. On the way home from the party, I asked my cousin for a couple of her Ambien pills. Now if you don’t know, Ambien is a sleeping pill that is also a hallucinogen (for some who use it) and it was prescribed for someone who was much heavier than me (I’m not throwing shade at all but facts are facts). Just half of one put me to sleep and caused me to hallucinate…I took two. I also took six sleeping pills that night as well. So that night, I had alcohol, sleeping pills and prescription pills (I still don’t know how I woke up) and that’s insane. When I woke up the next day, I was told that I embarrassed my cousin in front of the guy she was talking to (which I literally apologize for). I immidietly told her what happened and she got mad. She was very angry that I tried to kill myslef and felt like it was a selfish thing for me to do.
I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone else. I started to keep all of this type of stuff to my self. Another time I tried to kill myself was actually when my crush left our job at Chick-fil-A. He was already missing shifts and I felt like he was avoiding me. Prior to him avoiding me, we were (at least how I felt) pretty close. He was (in a way) my best friend. He made me feel amazing. He stopped talking to me for three weeks! I went crazy blaming myself for things and working about what he was doing and who he was with. Anyway, after he left, I got no goodbye or nothing. I went to work and since he didn’t say anything to me, I wanted to just give up and die (okay I must admit that was a bit dramatic) so I went home and took around 11-15 sleeping pills. I wanted Jehovah to just kill me and take away my torment. I couldn’t take life anymore. I felt like things would be better if I was gone. I cried as I thought of the prospect of me dying but I believed it was for the best. I know now that was just my anxiety and depression talking. Anyway, I woke up later that night (Oct. 18) and at first I thought I died and was super groggy. Again, I’m not sure how I woke up but I did. It’s crazy how I would just sit at work contemplating all the different ways that I could kill myself. I was unsatisfied with life and felt like it was time to take matters into my own hands. That was in no way a healthy thought. I was so attached to him that it just felt like a part of me died.
The day that is most significant is the day I got into a car accident (btw, totally wasn’t my fault). I was having a terrible week and it seemed like it was one thing after another. Bad stuff kept happening to me. I was over the edge. One day, I saw something that just drove me over the edge. I remember being at work and crying and begging for them to just send me home; my supervisors refused. I sat in my boss’ office and cried for hours it seemed like; still no one sent me home. I was mentally removed from work. I called out on my second job (after school teacher). I then made up in my mind that I wanted to kill myself. I felt like I was a burden on people and that the best for me to do would be for me to kill myself (see how the mind lies to you?). When they let me leave (just shy 8 minutes left in my shift), I decided to head to CVS and buy sleeping pills to overdose on.
I was at a light. My radio was off. I looked at my phone. I notice a person on the side of the road with a bicycle. The light turns green. A person on a bike decided it was a good time to go across the street as the incoming traffic (us) have the green light. The car in front of me stops so I stop. The person behind me, however, doesn’t. I’m hit from behind. The person drove off. I screamed as I pulled into a Starbucks parking lot. Screamed. Screamed. Screamed. I texted my crush and told him to call me when he could. He did. I cried. Screamed. Cried. That was truly the icing on the cake. When I got home, I sat on the floor and cried. I didn’t know what to do. I barely slept. My cousin cussed me out because I yelled at her (in my defense, I told her I didn’t want to talk about my car accident at the moment because I was too emotional to deal with it). I just didn’t what to do or how to feel. My car was wrecked. I had the crappiest week ever! I felt so alone. When that accident happened, it showed me a lot about who would be there for me and who wouldn’t. It showed me that Jehovah is real (btw, on jw.org, this month they have an article that is right on time!). I leaned on him and he built me back up when I felt like I was at my lowest point in life.
Some may ask, “why didn’t you take medications?”. Well, I actually did…twice! I remember when I decided to take myself off of my medications for good. My general doctor (not a psychiatrist) prescribed them for me and for a while, I felt fine. It started out with one medication but the downside to that was that I couldn’t stay awake! I was always tired. Then she prescribed me a pill to wake me up. I felt like a zombie. One day, I said “fuck this”. I just wasn’t going to take it. “I don’t need it” I told myself. The intentions were very much true. I needed to learn ways to cope with things. Not dope myself up. Again, if medication is for you, great! At one point in time, I really needed to get on medication. Like I said, I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. My depression and anxiety was out of control. As I said before, I eventually began to neglect my basic human needs like bathing or doing my hair. Mentally, it felt like I hit rock bottom. So yes, going on medication was like a breath of fresh air for me.As a side note, I actually told my doctor that I wanted to kill myself and she did not even consider sending me to a behavioral health center, which looking back now seems quite odd but then again, she’s the doctor. She knows what she’s doing. Anyway, eventually I wanted to learn how to cope with my depression and anxiety and not rely on my medications as a bandaid. I threw away my bottles with pills still inside of them. That was a huge mistake and I warn anyone out there to not just stop taking your meds. Talk to your doctor before you decide to go off on your meds cold turkey. For me, therapy is much more effective.
Looking back, it was a blessing. For one thing, I’m still here. I didn’t kill myself! I thank him (Jehovah) for that. I still don’t quite understand why I survived my car accident (by the way my car looked, it was a miracle I survived with the damage and how hard I got hit). There were times I questioned why I was even born. I didn’t know God’s purpose for me. Ever since I decided to leave it in God’s hands, things have been better. Does it mean that my life has been perfect? Nope! Far from it. I went to counseling. I changed who I surrounded myself with. I left a job that was emotionally toxic for me. I had new beginnings. All because I’m still here.
I would never judge someone if he or she took his or her own life. That’s not fair. I hate it when people say That’s selfish or My so and so went through hard times and so can you or the Can’t you just get over it? When it’s a battle with your mind, that’s not something that you can just easily get over. Like I said, I felt like I was a burden on others. I was thinking of others when I wanted to kill myself. I wanted life to be better; just without me in it. That’s what makes mental health tricky. People can’t see it so some act like it’s not real or that its a sign of weakness. It is not a sign of weakness. In fact, I wear it like a badge of honor. I’m pressing on in spite of my “issues”. That’s why I got my semicolon tattoo. To remind me that it’s okay to pause but to keep going. I look at it every now and then when I need a reminder that I can keep pressing on.
Some people may feel all alone. If thats you, understand that you’re not alone. But also know that you can’t “get over it”. It will take lots of work. The healing process won’t be easy. But is it worth it? Heck yeah! If you know someone struggling, be patient and don’t make any ignorant comments. If you don’t know what to say, be honest. A friend of mine told me that she understands that I was depressed but she didn’t know what to say or do for me. I appreciated that truth be told. I’ve never really told anyone all of this and I hope that it’s helpful. I’m actually quite nervous. No one knew all of this. I kept it hidden. But today? I’m choosing to be truthful. You never know; my story may help someone. Anyway, hope the rest of your day is awesome.
btw, you can purchase my book here!