This week’s #FROREALlifeStory is one that has taken me almost a month to write. It is about a good friend of mine that is choosing to remain anonymous.
When she said she wanted to meet up with me and tell her story, I had no idea what it was going to be about at all.
We sat in my car (because Starbucks was too crowded) – I rubbed her back and handed her Starbuck’s napkins to wipe her tears. The tears fell like the rain outside the car.
I listened as she told me something that not many people know…
She told me that she contemplated killing herself. She told me that she almost did it.
This is her #FROREALlifeStory
I want to tell this story because I don’t talk about myself much. I tell people things that I feel like they would expect to hear from me.
I play it safe. I do not really get too deep.
I’ve always been this way because I was afraid of what other people would think if they really knew me. If they really knew the problems that I have had to deal with and who I was starting to turn into. If they really knew, I felt like they would not understand. I felt like I would be a let down. I never want to disappoint anyone.
It really started to get bad back when I was in college. I basically drowned myself for the 5 years that I was there. My senior year and then my SUPER senior year were the worst.
I was becoming everything that I never wanted to be. My life felt like a rollercoaster. I was spiraling out of control.
I know that most college students drink and party. But, it was bad for me. I would drink to the point that I would literally black out. I would do this almost every day.
I was drinking as a way to dilute the issues that were going on back home. Family issues. Everyone always looked at my family highly and put us on a pedestal. If only they knew about the damaged marriage and relationships behind the doors.
All of the things that I had suppressed inside of me, drinking was my freedom. I felt like I was an adult and I was free now, so I drowned myself in alcohol and convinced myself that I was happy.
I didn’t want to believe that I was an alcoholic, but that is exactly what I had become.
As much as I hated it. I was becoming just like her, the one person I did not want to be like. I was becoming just like my Mom. I hated myself for that.
The Turn Around…
After I graduated, I thought that my life would turn around. I was happy! I had finally finished school so now was the time for me to be successful! It was the time for me to get the job of my dreams and make the money I deserved. Right?
I have been surrounded by successful people my entire life. Successful parents, successful friends, successful cousins, acquaintances, just seemed like everyone always had it together. That is what I planned for myself. I planned to be successful too…but, it just was not going as planned for me.
I had gotten a teaching degree, but the only place that I could find a job was a daycare.
A daycare where I was barely making $10 an hour.
I was angry, I was unsuccessful, I was struggling and I was not who I wanted to be.
I did not know who this person was. I had plans for my life, plans for where I was going, I knew the future me so well in the back of my mind, but let me tell you, this person that I was becoming…I did not know her at all.
The Build up…
I had been out of school for a couple of years. But, I was still struggling. I was still not where I wanted to be. I had gotten a teaching job, but I was still not satisfied. I was not making the money I wanted. I was not at the school I would have picked. I was just going through the motions.
Right in the middle of the struggle…me and my boyfriend (of almost a decade), we found out that I was pregnant.
I felt like I had failed, again.
How was I supposed to get my life on the track that I wanted now? How was I supposed to go to grad school? I already did not have money, and neither did my boyfriend. How were we supposed to bring a child into the world?
I cried. I cried some more. I decided that I wanted to end the pregnancy. I was ready to do it. I drove to the clinic but they were closed. I decided that I would go back the following week, but when the following week came, I just couldn’t do it.
I know that it was God, the Holy Spirit of God told me, “No…don’t do it.” But, I wanted to so bad. I did not want it. I did no want this baby. My plans already were ruined, I was ruined, I was not stable. I was not fit to be a parent. I did not want it. I did not want a child to have a mother like me.
But, still…God said, “No. Don’t do it.” I know it was God, because my conscience was telling me something completely opposite.
So, I didn’t get the abortion. I kept him. I kept my son. My boyfriend and I got married (as we always planned in the first place) and kept on pushing into the next chapter. I wanted to make the best of it all.
I continued to try to see the best in every situation, but it felt like life just kept on knocking me off my feet at every turn.
No matter what I did, I could not ignore the fact that things were in shambles.
I still was facing the pain of my mother being an alcoholic and drug addict. Her leaving our family haunted me for 8 years.
My younger brother is still awaiting a trial for a crime that he did not even commit – and of course, people looking down on my family because they do not get it.
Then to top it all off, someone very close to me got cancer and within months of me finding out…she passed away.
The build up piled on me like bricks. I felt like all of these things were just to unbearable in my own strength. I tried to be strong…but I was not strong enough.
The self hate…
When my son finally got here, I hated myself. I hated myself so much for thinking such terrible thoughts before. I hated myself for not wanting him. How could I not want someone so perfect. How could I not want the best thing that ever happened to me? I was terrible. I was a terrible person and I hated myself for it.
I blamed everything on myself and I could not stand what my life had become. I could not stand the fact that none of my plans had gone as I wanted.
I was not satisfied with anything and I hated myself. I did not want to be here any more.
Of course, there were other things leading up to this, but everything combined made me want to just end it.
I was home alone. I was upset about my life and how messed up it seemed. I had just done one of the greatest things I have ever done. I brought life into this world. But, still…at the core of it all was me. At the core of it all was my dissatisfaction with life. I figured that everything and everyone would be better off without me.
I got my husband’s gun and sat on the bed. I was ready to do it. I was ready to end my life.
Just when I was about to do it…I had a vision.
This vision was clear as day.
I pictured my husband walking into the house holding the car seat. I pictured him seeing me there lifeless. I pictured him dropping the car seat and running over to me. I pictured him dropping down next to me screaming, “What did you do?”
I pictured how his life would be alone. I pictured him having to explain to our son that his mom ended her life, that is why she is gone. I pictured all of this in that split second, and I put the gun down.
It was like God showed me that I needed to live. He showed me the people who needed me most and how lost they would be without me.
He showed me that I needed His help to get through. That very next week, I started going to church. The sermon seemed like it was just for me. I cried and felt a presence that I had never felt before. It felt like God was speaking directly to me. That was the moment when I truly started to believe. That was the moment when I felt myself begin to change, It was not a miracle. No, I was not “automatically better,” but finally I felt a hope I never had before.
Some may say, “Oh, you should get to a doctor, take some meds, antidepressants.” I have been there and done that. I have seen psychologist and I have been prescribed meds by a psychiatrists. None of those things cured me, it just numbed me. All it made me want to do is drink away my issues some more. I still felt a void after the professional help. Not to down play it…but those things were not God. I was still fighting in my own strength without turning to Him.
God is real. This is real and I know that God is making changes in me. I have hope now.
Even though my life is not what I planned, I believe that God has a plan for me. Starting with being good to myself. Then I can be good to my husband and my child. He is not finished with me, I have learned that I must trust Him. Now, I have found the contentment that I wanted all along.
The reason for sharing…
I am sharing this openly and honestly because I know for a fact that someone out there is having the build up that I was experiencing. I do not want anyone else to go through that and build up so much inside that they do not want to live. God can change their mindset, He can turn it around. When you have tried everything else, alcohol, sex, drugs, whatever, God can change you. All that you have to do is turn to Him and then the answers will start to appear as clear as day. In Him you can find a hope that you can not find in other things.
I am thankful that I did not go through with my plan. I am thankful that God is not finished with me yet.
He is not finished with you either.
*If you are experiencing depression and considering suicide and need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255 – SEEK professional help, and please remember Jeremiah 29:11 – God has a wonderful plan for your life. Plans to give you a hope and a future.*