We all have a past; usually, we try our hardest to not let what “was” define us. Our past is not who we are, correct?
Our past is merely a part of our story.
To be brief, there have been many events that lead to the moment I am about to recall. Ranging from bullying to sexual abuse, I have encountered human kind in it’s ugliest forms.
In 2015, my life changed drastically. I had never put much thought into my death before then, much less considered suicide as an option. In that moment, I was no longer myself. The girl I used to be was overcome by a darkness that shrouded even the brightest light.
You see, She enjoyed her friends, music, writing, art and was more bubbly and bright than a toddler fascinated by his own voice. I, a mere shadow of Her, turned recluse and hardly picked up an instrument of the arts. Skipping classes during my junior year of college- something I scoffed at previously- and binge watching Friends on Netflix became my daily ritual. Homework and projects piled up, the stress overwhelming me.
Amidst the confusion, pain and suffering, I attempted the unthinkable.
Thankfully, I was stopped:
My phone was on silent and flipped over on my bed, so I couldn’t see how many texts and missed calls were rapidly building.
A voice unlike any I had ever heard spoke to me. Not quite my conscience, and not a booming exclamation, either.
A small, yet comforting voice asked me, “What about your mom? What about your boyfriend…?”
The ibuprofen bottle in-hand, I began sobbing. I knew that the voice belonged to God. He reminded me what would happen to those I love should I take my life. I tossed the bottle across the room and finally glanced at my phone; I had over 30 missed calls from my boyfriend, and he was calling me for the 31st time.
Once I picked it up, a relieved voice sighed, “Thank God you finally answered!” I hadn’t realized how long I had been counting pills, planning on taking them all with my full glass of chocolate milk.
I was in the psych ward for over a week. And honestly, that week was exactly what I needed.
For those who have never been hospitalized for a length of time, or even for some who have, it may not make sense to say that I enjoyed my week there. Of course, being woken up early each day for *knock knock knock* “Vitals!” was not all that thrilling. Dealing with patients that were worse off with their issues wasn’t easy, either. We had scheduled free time, group time, and sessions with various nurses and social workers.
However, the staff were the kindest people. The food was better than you’d expect for a hospital. And, believe it or not, I was able to bond with many of the patients. We had quite a few pep talks and counseling seasions of our own.
When I went in to that place, I was so broken and hollow that I hadn’t written or sketched in months. I had no enjoyment and quite frankly, laughter was scarce.
Within the first few days, I was painting, drawing, laughing, singing in the shower and enjoying myself more than I had in a long time. I had finally found myself again.
Now, here I sit in front of the computer screen. I have recently celebrated a year of life since that night. And so many things in my life have changed for the better.
I am a part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as well as a supporter of Out of the Darkness Walks. In fact, not only have I made art to raffle off at these events, but I am the speaker at the next walk.
I am not where I’d like to be, but I am nowhere near the place I was last year. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and since then have received even more help via counseling, medication and a stronger relationship with God. I am a part of a young adults group that has already taught me so much about love, especially loving myself.
My past does not define me. My depression and anxiety may be cumbersome at times, but I refuse to let them dictate my life.
I am a survivor. I am a warrior. I am a daughter of Christ. I am a sister, a friend, and a counselor to many. An avid reader, artist, author and geek. I am flawed, yet those flaws are a part of what makes me beautiful.
I am full of beautiful imperfections. Just like a mosaic.