I am alive and well, and I think it is important to take a moment to stop and recognize this, especially with the recent remembrance of 9/11 and World Suicide Prevention day on 9/10. So many people died in the 9/11 tragedy and the aftermath that occurred as a result, and every day, people die by suicide. I know a few people who have attempted suicide (myself included) and were thankfully not successful in that they are still here and are all in much better places in their lives (myself included).
I truly empathize with people who feel that they have reached a point in their lives to where they feel they do not have any other way out. They can fall into the dangerous way of thinking that things will never get better, that they will never get better. All hope is lost, and there really aren’t any reasons to believe that hope will return when your mind has been contaminated with depression. There is literally nothing to hold on to. If you do not have hope, I don’t think you have much of anything. That is a very dark and dangerous place to be, and I have been there. I empathize with the people who do not necessarily want to die—they just want their pain to stop. That is quite a hard place to be stuck in. I empathize with people who have found themselves so depressed that they cannot get out of bed, and the despair is so intense that it cuts deep through the muscles and bones and sucks the energy and life out of you. It is literally painful to roll over in bed so forget getting up and taking a shower or feeding yourself. Forget taking care of your responsibilities. You are just numb and cannot do anything but remain frozen in your pain. I empathize with the people who say they are drowning because depression can bring a whole new meaning to that word. I empathize with the people who close their eyes and pray they do not wake up and who are heartbroken when they do and have to face another agonizing day, wondering how they will do it and become so overwhelmed. The vicious cycle continues. It’s nonstop. It just repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats.
But I am alive and well, and I say that with love and encouragement so that if you or someone you know happens to be struggling with whether or not they want to stay in this world and this life—choose to stay. I think it takes a massive amount of courage to face your demons and walk through the fire, and you are doing a great job. The thing is that you cannot stop walking through the fire—you have to keep going. I can’t tell you where the fire stops and when you can breathe again. I can’t tell you when it won’t burn and hurt anymore. I am not minimizing or discrediting your pain, as what you feel is a unique experience, but I can tell you that I am alive and well, and that I survived walking through the fire.
I envy the people who have not found themselves at such a breaking point, the lowest of lows, absolute rock bottom, and I pray to God they never do. I would never wish such pain on anyone. Really bad things can happen to people…they lose a loved one or a child or endure some other major loss—regardless if it was somewhat expected or completely unexpected, as both have been shown to have devastating effects—or they are survivors of neglect or abuse or are currently being neglected and abused, they have been subjected to chronic injustice or hate crimes and violence, they become unexpectedly ill and the pain is becoming intolerable, they suffer from a genuine biochemical imbalance beyond their control, or they experience some other major, unexpected event and become so broken and beat down that they fall into the trap of thinking they are unworthy of life and love because when you are so broken and beat down, why would you want to live like that? If you are at the point, please believe me when I say you are not alone.
I have been there and have experienced a few of these things, but today, I am alive and well, and I truly gave credit to the grace of God that I am still here. It was not in His plan for me to go that day, and I will forever give Him the praise and glory for that. He rescued me and has saved me several times in my life by sending me people who have truly impacted my life for the better. God has used people in my life to help me and to reveal Himself, and I will forever be thankful for these blessings. I am thriving and doing quite well, and when I look back on those painful years of my life, my heart breaks, but I am also so thankful that I did not give up and God showed me mercy I did not deserve. Since my suicide attempt 11 years ago, overall, life has been pretty dang great, and I am so glad that I am here to be living the fun and crazy yet miraculous life I do. I am so glad that my plan was not His plan. Sometimes, the best thing that can happen to us is not getting what we want. I was blessed that day when I opened my eyes, despite praying the night before I would not.
I am alive and well. I am worthy of life and love, and just in case you have forgotten this truth…so are you.