This is not a cry for attention.
I simply wanted to make a quiet exit. One that was as painless as possible for me, and one that wouldn't require a lot of clean up after I was gone.
That is why I locked the door. Do not disturb.
It's the suicide note they would have never found, because I never penned it. I never understood why most people believed there was always supposed to be a note.
My note was the act itself...how I would carry it out.
There wasn't enough paper and pens available to me for me to try and explain why I had made this decision. And for those who would no doubt be affected, no explanation would truly suffice.
So. there would be no note.
Why am I sharing this?
National Suicide Prevention Month.
Like so many important, yet (society-dubbed) "taboo" topics, suicide is not talked about enough.
Suicide has no race or gender bias.
And on any given day you may encounter a person struggling with loneliness, depression, and thoughts of suicide.
The scary part is - you. won't. even. know it.
Because like you, they have been conditioned to wear an 'I'm fine' mask and a fragile smile. Many of these people function at a high level so that no one has reason to suspect anything is wrong.
You'd be surprised.
Your coworkers. Your friends. Your siblings. Your child. Your spouse. An acquaintance. A stranger. Your hero.
One, or more, of them may at some point have struggled with, or may even currently be struggling with, loneliness, depression, and thoughts of suicide.
I don't have the answers.
My God, even with the years so far removed, I can barely speak on my own experience.
My life looked fine on the outside. I was a high school senior with a bright future. I had great grades and even better friends. I had my own car. I lived in a loving two-parent, Christian home. I went to church regularly. I had managed to survive the impending wrath of my Caribbean parents during a short rebellious stint, in which I did almost the complete opposite of what was expected of me, only to come up empty and unimpressed.
In a haze of depression, confusion, frustration, and feeling alone, I drew my conclusion - I wasn't cut out for living - and I didn't want to go on pretending I was. Ending it all seemed the only reasonable thing to do.
To be clear, I did Not make an unsuccessful attempt on my own life. I certainly planned it. My accomplice - the weapon to end self - was with me but I never had the chance to act.
Before I took action, God intervened.
A phone call.
Someone, who dared follow the leading of Holy Spirit, called in tears, pleading with me not to go through with whatever it was I was planning to do.
They had no idea.
NO ONE. had. ANY. idea.
I hadn't said a word or given the slightest indication.
Literally, only God could have known what I had purposed in my mind to do in that moment. That was the day I truly experienced the power of JESUS for myself.
"So I'm here today because GOD kept me. I'm alive today, only because of His grace."
Even after that day, I struggled with depression and stray thoughts of suicide throughout college, and even in my first year of marriage. But I never got as close to attempting the act as I did that day in 12th grade.
August 2015. When I mustered up the strength, the courage, to tell my husband I was struggling with severe depression, he was kind and supportive. It was a rocky time for me. Telling him didn't make it better. But he was there for me to hold me and to comfort me, even when I woke up crying in the middle of the night, filled with anxiety, and sick with bad memories. He prayed for me. He encouraged me to seek help if I needed more. And we believed God together. And here I am. Free of depression. Miraculously HEALED.
I don't have all the answers.
But I will say this -
BREAK THE SILENCE.
If you're struggling with depression:
If you have thoughts of suicide, like I did, PLEASE tell somebody, anybody.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 24 hours. 7 days a week.
1 (800) 273-8255
I'm here for you, tell me.
I just want you to know you are not alone. Help. Support. Love. Is available to YOU.
There is no shame in feeling the way you do or in struggling to cope with life. I know you may be afraid to feel "less than" for admitting to it, but speaking up doesn't make you less than anybody else who may, or may not, be dealing with feelings of depression. The truth is, by breaking the silence you give hope to the others who are struggling, alone in the dark. Let that inspire you as it has helped me.
If you're reading this. and breathing:
Be kind to EVERYONE you meet.
You never know what they're going through, or what they're struggling with.
A sincere inquiry about a person's well being, or a smile, a wave, some small acknowledgment even to a complete stranger is enough to turn someone's day around, and could potentially change their mind about taking their life.
Follow that feeling you have to call or speak to someone.
How many times has someone crossed your mind and MAYBE you prayed for them? Or maybe you were somewhere and a person, a stranger, stood out to you and you thought to go talk with them but let fear, or something else, hold you back.
Follow that feeling. You may need to, and be able to, do more than just offer a prayer. Be obedient. It could be a matter of life and death.
What if the person who called me, had not called?
If someone opens up to you about thoughts of suicide, don't be critical.
Don't shame the person who opens up to you about struggling in this area. The worse thing you could do is tell a person that they're 'crazy for thinking that way,' or 'selfish for wanting to take the easy way out.' Those kinds of responses can drive a person to move from thought to action. They still won't feel understood, or "normal." Listen first. Then, remind them that they matter, that they are loved, and that they don't have to deal with this alone.
Don't just feign support, actually BE there.
Suicide has no bias.
It is ignorant to think that "Christian" people don't have thoughts of suicide, or that black men or black women don't struggle with depression. Or that only the rich, or only the poor, are driven to take their life.
All it takes is one, dark, lonely moment in which a person makes an attempt,
Some people may change their mind in the middle of the moment but its too late. It's quite possible that the very next moment may have been a brighter one, where life would seem bearable again, and the thought would have left altogether, but so many never make it to that next moment.
We have lost too many people to this silent killer - young people, elderly people, rich people, poor people, men, women, celebrities, and no-name neighbors.
Many of them leaving an invisible suicide note.
One that expressed extreme anguish, hopelessness, exhaustion from pretending, and feeling unloved & ignored, if only for one, dark, brief moment, a moment when it mattered most.
Please join me in shedding light on this issue, and in loving others relentlessly and sincerely, so no one within our reach is lost in this way. Suicide is 100% preventable.
To love and long life,