Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I chose to cover the subject because it has affected my family and my own life in such a profound way.
When I was 25 years old my grandfather passed away. A few months later my Aunt passed away. She was 37 years old. Her death was ruled a suicide but the family felt it was an unintentional over dose.
Following these two deaths, our family was really in pieces and trying to heal the best we could. About 4 months later, my cousin (the son of my Aunt that passed) committed suicide. He was 17 years old.
When Ryan passed away, it truly was a shock. No one in our family suspected that he was that depressed. At my Aunt’s funeral, he seemed to hold together so well. I’ll never forget him telling us, the day of the funeral, what a beautiful family he had and how much he loved us.
Having already been thru numerous attempts of hurting my own self during my teenage years, and then years of suicidal thoughts, I wondered if it truly was the best way to end my own pain and suffering. I know now that it is not an answer to pain and suffering and often doesn’t go as planned.
I used to go to Ryan’s grave whenever I was at my lowest and talk to him. I would tell him how much I could relate to his pain. Thankfully, I always came away feeling like that wasn’t a good solution.
Let me try to explain the darkest feeling that you can ever feel. The feeling is much like having blinders on. You literally cannot see anything around you. You can only see that you need to get to the final answer. You feel dead inside. You feel like you don’t matter. You look in the mirror and don’t know who you are. You feel so exhausted, like you just can’t fight any more. You feel like you are drowning and can’t breath. You feel numb because the pain is too much. You feel like everything is so dark. Like you cannot see any light at all. Not even a glimmer. You feel like you finally have a little bit of control over your life that no one can take away. It may be one or all of these things at once.
My point in telling you this is because awareness is 95% of the problem. We see people hurting and suffering every day, and the majority of us are interested only in our own pain.
Earlier this year, when I felt those old haunting ideas coming to my mind, I reached out. It took 5 failed attempts before I finally reached that one person who was meant to be my Angel.
I’m so grateful for my friend, Shehalis, who literally saved my life in April. She was selfless and kind enough to put her own needs aside and give me love. She met me where I was, in the middle of the night. She helped me find hope in my darkest hour. She cried with me. Hugged me. And just listened. Yes, it cost her time and energy, but she gave me a glimmer of hope. She gave me attention. She gave me the gift of life.
Hopefully, I will never ever be in that place in my life again. And I hope I can help others to equip their selves to handle life’s darkest moments.
I’m telling my story to stop the shame. I’m telling my story to give thanks to God for all the important people he has placed in my life. I’m telling my story because it’s not uncommon. It’s reality. It’s life. It’s a problem we must address as a society. It’s happening in every nation.
Let’s be more understanding. Let’s love others. Let’s care about where people are emotionally. Let’s pray for one another. Let’s offer help to those in need. Let’s just be nice to each other. Believe it or not, these things matter and could be the one expression that saves a life.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.