How To Save A Life

This is something I’ve shared with very few people. Just a warning: the words below are going to be very raw, disturbing and probably uncomfortable. Like all my other posts right?

The summer before my sophomore year of high school, I tried to commit suicide. I obviously failed. I had lied to my parents about where I was going and who I was going out with, stayed out all night and ignored them in the morning. They found out I had lied but I turned my phone off so they wouldn’t bother me. When I got home, I looked at my stash of pills hidden under my bed and took as many as I could. That was on a Friday. I slept for three days in calming darkness. Nothing disturbed me, nothing woke me and nothing was around me. It was exactly what I was hoping for. Sunday morning, I woke up and glanced around. I saw my familiar desk across from my bed, my nightstand and my blinds that don’t block out light and irritate me every morning. If heaven looks like my room then I’ll pass please. Someone at least provide black out curtains so I can sleep past 8 am. I stumbled out of bed, went to the bathroom, and looked at myself in the mirror. I was small, frail, pale, and looked like an empty shell of a person. That was exactly what I was. It was horrifying yet I was satisfied. The scar on my wrist was almost popping out at me in the mirror begging me to reopen the wound. My stomach didn’t hurt but it did growl. I stumbled to the living room and saw my family. Apparently, they had assumed I was sick all weekend and that I had mumbled sleepily that I didn’t feel well or something when they checked on me throughout the weekend. I think this shows how distant we were as a family. Their daughter had attempted suicide, slept for three days, and it was chalked up to being sick. I’m not angry or anything, just sad. I remember going back to my room and being extremely angry. I wanted to scream but my throat was so dry. Why was I alive?

I had been so low in life that I sat next to suicide and allowed it to touch me, hold me, talk to me and I listened. I believed that killing myself would be the best thing to do because the future didn’t look bright for me. I felt as if there was nothing to look forward to. There was no point in continuing on through this wasteland that I had called life. I wanted to turn the power off and rest in silence. I wanted to quit pretending I was the happy, life of the party everyone knew me to be.

This is where the miracle first becomes revealed.

There have been very rare moments where I have audibly heard the voice of God but sitting on my bed that miserable Sunday morning, His voice boomed in my head and He reminded me that my life was not my own and that He wasn’t done with me yet. I wrestled with this for so long. What did He want with me? What am I going to do? I was frustrated because I felt like I had nothing to offer. If I was going to continue struggling and being in pain, the least God could do was tell me what He wanted me to do. Instead, I felt like I wandered around aimlessly for months, more miserable than before. It felt like even the option of suicide was gone for me and I had no escape. I was angry at God for blocking the only exit. Apparently I had a purpose but God wouldn’t show me. The most ironic part of this story is that this was right after a life changing summer camp! Ha I almost laugh at how ridiculous the timing was. I had rededicated my life, was in touch with God, riding that summer camp high and then shortly after tried to end my life.

I know that doesn’t sound like the miracle, but I’ll get there I promise.

I had no stomach pains. I was not hospitalized. My stomach wasn’t pumped. I didn’t throw the pills back up. They didn’t come out the other end. I have no idea how I survived besides the hand of God. I can’t give you the exact number of pills I took but I know it was way more than what the bottles all said and I’m pretty sure they weren’t supposed to be mixed. I should’ve died that day in 2010, but I didn’t.

How do you reenter society after that? You can’t casually be like, “How was my weekend? Oh I tried to kill myself but it didn’t work. Don’t worry, God miraculously healed my body so now I can prep for school. No big deal.”

No. There are few resources for those who attempted suicide. Almost every second attempt at suicide is successful and that is scary to know. I have not attempted suicide a second time but it’s a thought that haunts my brain occasionally. My brain will take a stroll with depression and casually plan ways to end my life. It goes through each scenario. First, hanging. Well, this might be efficient, but where would I hang myself and with what? Also, that sounds terrifying. Also, I’m afraid of heights. Also.. the list went on and on. Well I shook my head and realized that hanging was off the list of options. Second, pills. Well, I tried that already and failed. I don’t really wanna risk waking up again and looking like a weird skeleton walking around. That was easily crossed off the list. Third, cutting then sleeping in the tub. Hmm. We’ve seen this scenario talked about in movies and stuff. It doesn’t sound painful because I’ve cut before and a tub sounds nice. The only thing is I have to wear a swimsuit or something because I don’t want anybody seeing me naked. That’s awkward. Especially if I survive. And if I survive, it’s not super painful right? I’m in a tub! It’s like I’m hot tubing. Okay that option wins. Depression high fives me then casually strolls off.

Depression is kind of a jerk in case you haven’t noticed. It leaves you with these demented thoughts then leaves so you think that you came up with it on your own. Depression likes to trick you into thinking that you’re the messed up one. It likes to remind me that I once attempted suicide and failed then leaves me with thoughts like:

Why am I alive?

Do I know my purpose yet?

Why did God heal me?

Is my body REALLY okay?

Why did I do it?

Why didn’t I stop myself?

How was I so brave?

I still wrestle with these questions once in a while but I’m happy to say I believe God has finally shown me my purpose. After experiencing the discrimination against people with brain disorders first hand, I’ve decided to make it my life mission to stand up for everyone with brain disorders and say I am worthy. I am capable. I am not less than anyone who doesn’t have any brain disorders. You might be “normal” I guess, but me? I’ve got personality. I want to fight the stigma against brain disorders and show society that it doesn’t have to be this weird, awkward subject we avoid. I for one am done avoiding the elephant in the room. I think there are others on this same boat, ready to move forward. This is why I have to share my story. This is why I survived.

I’m not perfect. I might be way off the mark here. I’m probably shooting in the dark but I’ve never felt more convicted about something than I do about fighting the stigma and starting that uncomfortable conversation around brain disorders. I think it’s worth talking about.

So now that I have left you thoroughly uncomfortable and hopefully thinking about something worth while, do not be afraid. Let your mind wander down those uncomfortable trails and you’ll see me there, waiting, ready to continue walking this trail with you.

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