From when I was a young child, I remember feeling like I was a burden and a problem. I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me and didn’t know how to understand what I was feeling. I grew up in a chaotic home life where there was a lot of aggression and abuse. I did not feel loved. In fact, I was sure my family hated me. I felt out of place and not cared for. I got bullied in school and didn’t have friends but my parents didn’t listen to me or do anything about it. I was sexually taken advantage of by a family member and couldn’t tell anyone and knew no one would believe me anyways. When my parents found out they said I made it up, so I learned that I had to stay quiet and bottle everything up inside. I loathed myself. I hated the life I was dealt with and hated that I had to live. I used to pray every night for God to take my soul. As I got older the pain grew stronger and stronger, until it was unbearable. I felt that no one cared about me and I was better off not being alive. I started to engage in self-harming behaviors, including food restriction, consuming substances, and very negative self-talk. I felt such deep-rooted pain and hatred for myself that I couldn’t handle it. I felt like I was becoming psychotic and acted like it too. I didn’t know why no one was helping me or asking if I was okay. To me, that confirmed the suspicion that no one cared. I had suicide notes written for everyone in my family and attempted suicide several times over a 5-year period. I was hopeless and helpless and saw no other way out. I knew I couldn’t live like this. I took substances just to get through the day. I barely got out of bed for several years. I was so sad and lonely and angry.
One day, after a failed suicide attempt, I was offered help by an amazing organization. I agreed to go to treatment as a last resort. I spent a year in multiple treatment centers and told myself I will give it my all and if it doesn’t work out at least I can say I tried. I met people who understood my pain and experienced things similar to myself – and finally felt heard. I felt seen for the first time in my life. I realized all I needed all those years was for someone to care. I needed love and support. I learned to love myself and through a lot of work began to get a better perspective on life. I realized that everything I had been through gave me an immeasurable amount of strength that I now lead my life with. I began to heal. My anger turned into passion. My sadness turned into joy. I learned to love and honor my body. It wasn’t easy and still isn’t easy. Every day I have to work to rewire my brain and turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk. I have to keep myself accountable daily. I was blessed to find amazing friends who support me and respect me and love me. I make sure I don’t keep any secrets because we are as sick as our darkest secrets.
If I fall down, I treat myself with compassion and get back up. I know I am meant to be in this world and inspire others. Every day I am grateful that my suicide attempts failed and that I was given an opportunity to build a life that I love. I am so grateful for the place I am in life now. I genuinely feel happy and loved. I have been given opportunities that I never dreamt would be anywhere near possible in my life. I became more social. I bought a car. I got my first apartment. I am able to hold down a job. I have been able to go on vacations. I am blessed to now be able to work with and support others that are working through their journey of pain. I wanted to share my story on this platform to help others that are stuck in the dark like I was and to show them that there is a way out.
If you need support, don’t be afraid to reach out. It can get better. If I can do it, then anyone can!