I was the freshman RA. I had my own little white walled room. I was able to hide from others. I would walk through campus with a smile on my face and would spend my nights in my room planning.
Planning my death.
I had attempted suicide once. In high school. I was fed up with life and being picked on at school. I tried to OD on ibuprofen. About 5 minutes after taking 8 pills, I made myself throw them up.
My sophomore year of college I experienced my darkest time of depression. I was far from God and was abusing myself by starving myself and making myself vomit whatever I did consume. I couldn’t sleep at night because all I saw was myself dead, dying, or in hell. It was a scary time and place to be in. I sought help but never let go of the desire to leave this world.
I was a junior. It was near the middle of the term. I kept away from friends, was stone cold, and just sank into myself. I couldn’t find relief. I planned on hanging myself. I got the rope. I wrote the note. The plan somehow was found and was crushed. Just a few nights later I decided to take a bath. I was in the only residential hall that had tub. I laid in the tub and let myself go. I spent two minutes under water before God flashed faces in front of me. Faces of children I watched, faces of friends back home, faces of those who wanted me to hold on. I pulled myself out of the water.
I spent the rest of the night crying out to God. I asked for forgiveness of trying to be Him and control my life. I didn’t share the experience with many. With this experience, the final attempt, I made a decision- home in GA was the best place for me. I submitted the application, and waited. In a few months I went home and revealed all.
Suicide is not a pretty thing. It never looks the same. You never know who is on the fence. Those that battle really need one thing. They need love. They want to know someone truly cares. I had friends who wouldn’t let me be alone at night for this reason. I had people who started pouring more into my life. I also focused my life more on God.
Be open enough for people to want to pour their secrets and be engaged in their life to know when things aren’t right. Be bold enough to ask the hard questions. We’re not afraid of the question ” Are you wanting to commit suicide?” and it won’t put the thought into our heads- it’s already there. If someone comes to you and wants to talk- let them talk. If you battle with these thoughts, know that someone out there is willing to listen.
Let’s stop holding these secrets in because we’re afraid of what people will say about us. I am not weak because I battled depression or attempted suicide- I am strong because I said “no, there has to be a better way.”