I was standing in my bedroom on Monday and in the far corner of my mind, I saw myself being thrown on the stairs having the life choked out of me. Or should I say death. It was a moment I thought I would never get over or forget and now I cannot believe I had forgotten. Call it healing. I’m not sure why it popped into my head this week. Well, that is until I was leaving my yoga class yesterday and saw a large sign on the army post that ready “Suicide Prevention Month.”
Sigh. Had I never been thrown on those stairs that day, I would have never been teaching that yoga class.
I was twenty two and should have been extremely happy. I had just graduated college. I was pregnant again with a boy after my first son had died the summer before. I had gotten a job that wasn’t retail. I was married. I had just moved out of a small apartment into a nice rental town home. But I was miserable. Depression had gotten the best of me. I had gained quite a bit of weight and it was around the anniversary of Jordan’s death. My husband and I argued non stop.
I won’t say what led to this moment of desperation. I will say it was THE straw that broke the camel’s back. I had had enough and I was at the point of killing myself or killing someone else. I knew I wanted my baby boy that I was carrying. But everyone had wanted me to have a girl and I felt like I was disappointing them. My pregnancy was high risk so my activity was low. I was fat. I didn’t feel capable of being a mother, a wife, a woman, a human being. WHY would I want to bring him into this world? I remembered passing out from stress that week, crying so hard and locking myself in the closet. I wanted out. I only knew one way. And I was going to take it.
I was on medication while I was pregnant because I kept getting infections. I remember grabbing the bottle with the INTENT to die. I literally dumped the entire bottle down my throat in the quick second my ex-husband blinked. He was thinner, stronger and faster than me and before I could get them all down, he had literally thrown me down and choked me until most of them came out. I remember screaming my head off at him to get off me. He wasn’t hurting me. Well, other than the fact that he wasn’t going to let me die. I was extremely mad. And sad. And afraid. It wasn’t the first time I had contemplated suicide. It was the first time I had tried it. In front of someone. And really hoping I was going to die.
The story goes that my baby is now almost sixteen, we are no longer married (I am remarried with another child) and it wasn’t the last time I thought about killing myself. I know people say you should be “strong” but the truth of the matter is there are times in my life when I just wasn’t. I just wasn’t. I felt like I didn’t matter. I wasn’t heard. Nobody cared. And the pain was just so heavy. I’ve taken a bunch of anti-depressants in my lifetime, had A LOT of counseling and have cycled through a lot of friends who just didn’t get it and thought I should just “get over it.” (A lot of them will be hearing this story for the first time on this blog.)
What saved my life? God. PERIOD. And I know it’s because I still have work here to do. That’s why I am soooo serious about what I do. It’s not a “job.” It’s purpose. And I don’t know who I’ve helped NOT live this story because I was there to listen or encourage or just say “I understand.” Maybe it was patience when they were crying after class or offering sweaty hugs or just saying “you can do it!”
Suicide prevention starts with investing in PEOPLE not our schedules. It’s “inconvenient” to have to listen to what you think is someone’s “drama.” It’s very inconvenient to feel like everyone’s life would be better if you were dead.
YOU matter. YOUR life matters. I’m rooting for you.
We have to root for each other.