2009 was a crazy year for me. At the beginning of the year, I found myself in the most devastating of situations. I had been evicted and had to tuck my tail and go back to my mother’s house. Shortly after arriving at my mother’s house, she began pressuring me to contribute more to the household. Now I was barely working maybe 15 hours at a department store. And I had just dropped out of college. And one day I snapped. All of my problems were coming to a head, and the pressures of life were pounding on my door.
It was my grandmother’s birthday, and I was an utter and total failure. My circumstances were bleak. I just wanted to put an end to all of it. I decided to die. In the weakest moment of my life, I had nothing to look forward to. I had nobody I felt loved me, and nothing to be inspired by. The darkest of clouds loomed over my head. I was really going to hang myself. This would solve my problems. And I wouldn’t be a burden to anyone anymore. I wrote letters to my family. But I couldn’t do it.
I did not want to die. My problems seemed so big in that moment. That day I checked myself in at a mental institution. I cried and babbled for more than 12 hours. I assumed that they help you in there. Well, no. Not one inspirational word, not even a bible verse. The ordeal was startling and awakening.
I shared a room with a young woman who suffered a myriad of events that lead to her placement in the institution. Hurricane Katrina had robbed her of her home and family. Having nowhere to live once here, she took refuge in the arms of a schizophrenic vet who held her hostage and raped her often. One day she escaped. She required so much medication that periodically she had to stay in the institution to adjust her dosages.
At 9:45 the first night they passed meds (I refused all medication), and by 10:15 all of the patients were zombies, except me. I was afraid. In the middle of the night, I was awakened by my roommate asking for my drink order. In her dream state, she was transposed to a time before the hurricane when she was a waitress. This young lady had been through so much, and had so much further to go. I felt ashamed.
Although, my life had not been peaches and cream, my struggles were a far cry from the mental anguish this woman had been through. I learned to cope through creation. I learned that my rainbow is quite enough. I learned to like what brings me joy versus what others think should make me happy. Most importantly, I learned to encourage myself. My inspiration comes from within. It is not tangible, but it is very real in my heart.
2009 didn’t get much better until October. My faith was tested in August when my body gave out for the 1st of 4 times. But in October, I was blessed with a whole new job situation. I was brand new and ready for whatever may come my way.
From that day to this, I have had several other situations try to take me out, but my God is always on time. Though I may grow weak and even weary, I have never felt completely alone again. I know that I have been carried at various times through my walk. And I am grateful for this journey thus far.
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, please seek help:
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Your life is invaluable. please don’t solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255 or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org