As today is a regular day where regular things happen to regular people, today is also a day where great news and tragedy occur on the lives of others. Do you notice?
Today which happens to be a big deal for us, as it is the day of Atonement, we had a late afternoon assembly where everyone came to our home to webcast and fellowship. We have a decent size group, but today we had almost everyone so our apartment living room was very full! 🙂 I sat next to a young teenage girl with a dazzling smile. We will call her Zoey, just to not disclose her real name. As the webcast ended, she was removed from the room politely by her father and then upon return had a deep, dark somber look. Not the kind you get when you get in trouble but the kind you get when your heart has become devastated. As everyone is getting up to continue fellowship, she walks out the door and her mother then tells us… one of Zoey’s dear friends at the age of 15 has committed suicide. My heart fell to the floor. I immediately ran out to hug Zoey. Though nothing I could ever say would truly comfort her, I knew what NOT to say so instead I told her I loved her, hugged her and let her walk down the stairs. I immediately prayed for her heart, her friends family and mainly her friend’s dear soul.
The question that most people ask is why would a 15 year old want to commit suicide, it’s so selfish, but let me tell you… I was that 15 year old. With the exception that I was actually 14 and I lived. (Obviously at the time I was angry about it, but now I am beyond grateful) I do not know the details of this young person, or where they came from. And those who judge others for making a choice such as this – shame on you. Yes, the act of suicide is a very selfish act, however, the severely depressed seldom realize the consequences for their actions, and frankly, they don’t care. As an outsider – DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT say something stupid to a hurting family. You will not say anything that will bring their baby back.
I cannot speak to the family’s feelings today, but I can speak to being suicidal at such a young age. Beginning from the age of ten I would journal. I wrote in my journal about everything. I do remember being 19, getting ready to move to Tennessee I read through my journals one more time before I ripped them to shreds and threw them away. I lived in such darkness. I could not imagine a future, I couldn’t feel happiness, and I felt like I wasn’t worth being loved. I had the few people who loved me, but for all others I was always a burden. The Summer of 1995 was not the first or the last time I tried to commit suicide. Sadly, the first time I attempted suicide I was 10. I wrote someone a note at school telling them about ‘my plan’ and boy that did not go over well. The school called my dad and my step-mom, and soon the family knew about it and I was of course made fun of, because I showed up to school a few days later. I did not want the attention… I wanted to fade away without anyone noticing. Instead I went to a child psychologist who said I needed to try living somewhere else for a while. That didn’t work either.
I will not go into detail about the Summer of 95 for many reasons, but I can tell you that when I ‘woke up’ I was blind – could only see white or dark fuzz, and I was partially deaf – only hearing long and short tones. I could hear my dad’s voice, but I couldn’t understand it. I screamed to him and told him I was dying (because I should have been dead) and he of course thought I was being ridiculous and dramatic. In his defense, he had no clue about my severe depression or think I’d do anything to end my life. So, to him I was being ridiculous and dramatic. I dragged myself to the bathroom which was across the hall. I knew the house by counting numbers – you know, when it’s dark and you have to pee or get a drink of water you count your steps and feel the corners? I knew exactly how far my bed was the the toilet. So I counted and crawled on the floor. I couldn’t walk. Partially because I couldn’t see. I tried to throw up anything I could. I can’t remember if I did. I just knew that if I fell back asleep I would die. I swallowed over half of a large bottle of Aspirin, drank something poisonous and washed it down with some ice water. Seriously. I should have been dead. I begged my dad to take me to the doctor. He was quite angry for having to take off work to drive me all the way across town, but again in his defense he had no idea. I was thankful he did. I did not tell anyone the truth about what happened. So, of course the doctor gave me medicine for whatever he tried to diagnosis me for (I don’t remember much of that visit). When I got home and took the medicine, I couldn’t move my mouth. At this point I saw shapes, colors and movement, so i could get around my house, but I wouldn’t know Paul from Peter unless they spoke. At this point I could hear people talk but everything else was foggy. Needless to say, I couldn’t take the medicine. I didn’t know what to do or who to call. Later, I called a very special woman in my life, Cori (Not her real name) I confessed to her what I did and what happened. Though she lived an hour or so away, she stopped what she was doing, called my mother – informed her of what had happened, and then drove all the way to my dad’s house where I was. My dad was confused why I had all these visitors, since I was just ‘sick’. I begged them both not to tell him. I didn’t want him to feel guilty and I didn’t think he’d understand. I feel horrible for not being honest with my dad, because if I was he may have taken me to the hospital then to get my stomach pumped. I was very sleepy, but tried hard to stay awake. Once my mom got there, I could sleep, I didn’t want her to leave. There is something comforting about your mommy being there, even if they are just laying there. I slept. Finally after two full days, I could see, hear, and function. I was not 100% by any means, but I was going to be okay. I never knew why God spared my life. I really didn’t, but because it was such a scary experience, i promised I would never do that again, take aspirin again, and that I would reach out.
Since I am being honest, I will say that was not the last time I tried to end my life, but it was the last time I ever swallowed aspirin – to this day I will not take it. During my many months of post pardum, I struggled, but what always saved me was the cry of my baby. No matter what frame of mind I was in or what I was about to do – one cry from my sweet baby and I was running to her. God allowed my baby to be my saving grace. I think even those 18 years ago.. he has so much planned for me, for all of us!
In my short life of 32 years I have made the bestest of friends. Friends who still love me to this day. Most days I have no idea why, but they do. I had two loves in high school. in 1998, I met the guy who I truly believed to be the love of my life, and though I made horrible mistakes there and let him go, he was always kind hearted to me when saying goodbye. I have had many great jobs – ones I have been more than lucky to ever get. I married a man who WANTED to marry me. I never thought there’d be such a man, but there is – he’s in my living room. I have a daughter. A beautiful daughter, who is smart, funny, creative and has the most delightful kind hearted spirit. I have animals who WANT to hang out with me during the day and sleep with me at night. I have many people who rely on me. I have a church group of people who come into my home twice a week that trust me. My parents are still living and I love them so much and I thankfully have relationships with both of them. And get this – I still have both sets of grandparents!!! Who I adore and admire. Though I move around a lot ,am often alone and still struggle with depression, I am reminded; There is so much love in my life.
So I write all this to share… Love people. Everyone. Make sure you are showing love by your actions, your words, your deeds, in letters, emails, texts, whatever. When the days are hard and the times are extremely difficult, the things that gets you through those humps – is love. Pray. Pray for your enemies, for people you don’t know, and for you to be a better loving you. Being kind is showing love. Smiling (especially when you don’t feel like it) is showing love. Do NOT be judgmental as this is the opposite of love. Think of others first. As hard as this sometimes can be, it’s truly beautiful to give.
So, my dear friends please pray for this family who lost their child. Pray for the friends and family who have lost and mostly, pray for those who are hurting. if you are hurting. reach out. Reach out to someone who will lovingly tell you the truth. Accept love. Do not reject it. Have any of you seen ‘To save a life?’ We watched it together as a family not to long ago and it touched on this very subject. I suggest you rent it, watch it – take it to heart. http://tosavealifemovie.com/
Prayerfully full of love,