Updated: Oct 4, 2020
The command I heard as I was having my possible last breaths behind the barrel. I had been in this place numerous times, but never came this close to an unhappy ending--the moment that was my joyful beginning.
Today, I am celebrating my suicidaversary. For those who can’t keep up with my created vocabulary, this day marks the day I last attempted suicide two years ago, which is still running as the longest I’ve ever gone, in life, without attempting. I am celebrating mostly because God kept me here. But, I’m also celebrating because I actually grew into wanting to be here.
In the light of a few recent tragedies, one specifically at my place of work surrounding suicide and mental health, I reflected deeply on why I am here today, and why in two years I haven’t thought of trying again (and believe me, life was tough enough to consider it). A lot of people ask me this, and I don’t know if I have the most phonetic answer, but it’s pretty real.
I got tired of burying myself, yet God said it was the perfect time to bury, because He was preparing my seed, underground, to grow into the light.
Now it still awes me that God has all the confidence to see me intensely try to end my life, yet He boldly commanded it as a moment of shifting, beginning, and growth. It was truth. My flesh had came to an end, but my spirit was just beginning to take place. I had to grow through the shell of life and crack through the surface to experience the light.
Yet, the light was the very thing that made me grow—even under ground.
Nonetheless, I want to share this for anyone out there who is struggling with feeling worthy, feeling visible, feeling validation in our feelings and experiences, or feeling safe. These are topics we often don’t address but the things that lead us quickest to suicide if we don’t pay attention. I want to share some places that I actually grew from this moment, hoping that those who do and/or do not struggle with ideation can receive a message on how you not only survive, but thrive past your lowest moments. The things that made it worthwhile to stay, and worthwhile to live on.
My worth matters. To me. I put this first because above all, it’s the most essential factor for growth and surviving, yet the hardest to practice. It takes practice and daily, intentional, efforts to believe that your worth matters. It takes critiquing external perspectives to see how valid they really are, as well as coming in tune with who you are and what you need.Even if my worth is not clear to others, I will make sure that my true worth is clear to me, because ultimately, that is what matters most.
God calls us to love...that includes ourselves. We are a reflection of God, and His creation. If we don’t love ourselves, then you know the rest. Love is patience, kindness, and endurance in the gifts God has made, which one of those gifts are you! Despite what the world says, you are never a mistake.
As you grow, practice the principles of love and give yourself the time, space, and nutrients to grow. You are worth it.
Accept the things you cannot change...including people. Yikes. So hard, right? A lot of times we internalize negative perceptions of ourselves because we are not compatible with others. If you are not able to practice healthy communication, transparency, and safety with someone, trying to change them (or holding the expectation that they SHOULD act better) creates a large valley between expectation and reality, which causes anxiety and depression. It definitely is hard to comprehend why we choose to try to change someone instead of letting them go, but I must inform, holding on in dismay, distrust, and disgust of others' failing you is only holding back your growth and blocking your access to light. You deserve people who value and uplift your existence, not tear it down.
"...I must inform, holding on in dismay, distrust, and disgust of others' failing you is only holding back your growth and blocking your access to light"
You have permission to fail, explore, struggle, and pause without ANYONE’S approval or scrutiny. It’s necessary for your gifts. The saying definitely rings true that what the enemy (and his team) try to use for evil, God will use it for greatness, riches, and Glory. Your failures and struggles are your bridge to your breakthrough and light. God builds riches on the ashes of our discrepancies. So, no matter what the naysayers think, say, or do to shame your journey, believe this:
Your journey (successes and fails) is Glory and Victory, and just the right fertilizer to make your beautiful garden grow. It is necessary for your gifts.
Indulge in happiness. You deserve the things that make you happy. Take that vacation. Leave that stressful job. Cut off that toxic friendship. Try that new hair color. Start that new business. You are allowed to indulge in what is true to you and brings you joy, despite society standards. Forego allowing social norms to divide you from who God made for you to be. You are more than a box, a label, or a statistic. I am a firm believer that God fulfills the desire of our hearts. It may not be in the way or time we want, but it does get fulfilled. So, allow yourself to indulge and grow in your passions and joy.
"You are more than a box, a label, or a statistic."
You are strong and equipped for any and everything. It’s just the outside forces that misinform us our capabilities. When/if you go to therapy (plug of recommendation), the therapist will never give you advice on what to with your situations. Not because therapists are tricky people who like to see you squirm, but because they know you already know how to solve your problem. How? We all have this power. Now, we may need tools to correctly access this power and practice using it effectively, but everything you are looking for is already within you. You know yourself best. We just allow the perceptions of others question the natural wisdom we were equipped with. How unfair to our wise selves! So, tap back in with you and build your self-trust and self connection so that you are reminded how well you can protect and prosper. Trust that you deserve the healing and that despite what others tell you, you are strong, you are worthy, and you can.
You have a purpose in the world. If anyone hasn’t said it, I will—your existence matters to me. PERIOD.
Originally, I did not want to talk about my attempts ever. I saw it as an embarrassing and shameful part of me that I needed to leave behind. But, I realized that this makes my landscape stand out in the garden and hopefully nourish other plants to grow. And, you have that power, too. You are probably thinking this audacity is scary. And, you're correct. I have been barred with slander and labels based on my decision, which I have come to accept, with confidence and humility.
I’ve accepted everything that this experience has brought me to help me to grow even more from the roots of my circumstances, and the seed of my traumas. Watered, nurtured, and transformed by God’s hand, as well as the Resurrection of Christ within my seed, I experienced bursting through the soil, which was the ultimate struggle, yet we have the strength inside to breakthrough.
I know my sprouts have nothing but beauty and light. So, no matter your circumstance, accept everything about it as it will provide more strength to grow from. The strongest trees have the largest roots. Know that if you are struggling, remain patient and steadfast knowing that God already has a plan for your buries--to prosper, to succeed, to grow, and to be enriched.
And to those who weren’t able to live as I was, I dedicate to you the promise of telling your narrative and praying that more understand our circumstances. To those who are struggling in that place, know that I walk with you, and you too, will grow and thrive through.
I am celebrating this day because it is a reminder that even when I tried to end, God was already manifesting my beginning. A day not of burden, but of a breakthrough. I celebrate the purpose to grow for myself, and all of us together. Cheers to our journeys.