I’ve struggled with suicidal ideation since about the age of 7/8. I remember the first time I threatened my mom that I would kill myself.
I didn’t mean it. But I didn’t want her to report me to the pastor. She called him anyway, to tell him about how bad I had been (I bought Crossroads starring Brittney Spears on pay per view and blamed it on my baby brother #fuckinghorribleliar).
For years and years afterward I would fantasize about killing myself. Slitting my wrists, jumping out of the window, stabbing myself, hanging myself. I thought about it all.
These thoughts would intensify in frequency during particularly stressful and painful moments in the house, which happened more often that I would care to admit.
But I never did it.
During middle school I would cry myself to sleep almost every night. I hated my life. I felt so alone and miserable. I wasn’t really allowed to spend much time outside the house, so I spent hours inside the house watching TV, listening to music, sleeping, playing computer games and if I could get my hands on books, then reading.
High school came around. I was busier. I felt better, at least I thought I did, but honestly high school was a blur. I do remember spending a great portion of my 10th and 11th grade years in a haze anxiety and a cloud of tears. I would spend hours in a dark closet, rocking myself back and forth, praying for relief from the fear that I was sure would destroy me. I remember taking personality tests and being told that I had a melancholic personality…. I was sure that I would be painfully shy, sad and fearful for the rest of my life. I begged God to help me.
And He did. Because I made it.
College came. I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Determined to make a name for myself, to make more friends and to live life to the fullest I tried to be more outgoing. I tried to talk and fake myself happy. But the fear and sadness that clung to me so tightly in the re-emerged. I went to a psychology fair and got a free mental health screening. He told me I might have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I told him I had Jesus.
He told me to hold onto the faith.
My faith got me through my hellish college experience, where I spent more time crying than living my life. And more time wanting to die than actually living life.
My faith got me through a difficult first year of teaching, where almost everyday I contemplated jumping in front of train tracks to escape the inevitable pain I would face that day from broken children and administration that could not heal them.
My faith got me through my second year of teaching when I thought my eyes would certainly turn into oceans from all the tears they held. Surely I would get into a car accident if I kept crying this much and this hard on my way to work everyday.
My faith got me through my third year of teaching when I contemplated getting into a car accident so I didn’t have to go to work; when my administration bullied me relentlessly….. when I got unjustly suspended and later fired. During my third year I was 3 steps away from my first attempt. But Jesus saved me.
Because He lives, I have faced many many many tomorrows.
Because He lives, I can find the courage and strength to keep walking in the midst of fire.
And like a phoenix, I will rise from the ashes of this beautiful mess that is currently my life.
Because He lives, anxiety, depression and suicide are not my portion. I don’t need medication. I don’t need a mental institution. I just need Jesus, a therapist, this blog and the loving support of friends and family.