“One day someone is going to hug you so tight, that all of your broken pieces will stick back together.” – Anonymous

I remember both incidents like it was yesterday.

A Boy

I was in ninth grade and I was having adolescent issues. My relationships at home weren’t the best and in school I was liked, but also picked on sometimes at that time. As a freshman in high school it seemed like things were closing in on me. It didn’t seem like I had any good friends…even though I did. Things got so twisted that I actually believed everyone was against me. I wasn’t doing well in school and I felt as though I wasn’t the son my dad wanted me to be. We had also just changed churches and the change was emotionally damaging to me. I wasn’t as friendly to the kids my age at the new church, but I didn’t feel accepted them either. For a hormonal young man, these and other issues were getting the best of me. Oh…and the girl I liked, just wanted to be my friend.

So I said forget it…(in harsher teenage boy words)! I found a bottle of pills in our medicine cabinet and took them all. To this day I can’t tell you what they were, but I took them. I called the girl who only liked me as a friend and I told her good bye. I went upstairs and lay on my bed not expecting to wake up and not wanting to wake up.

But I did.

I had a good sleep but woke up to one of the worse cases of vomiting I ever experienced. Talking about a stomach pumping, whatever I took put me to sleep, but unsettled me so much when I woke up I was dripping with sweat and my bed was soaked. My entire body was aching which only got worse when I began the violent vomiting session. My family was none the wiser at that point because I just explained I didn’t feel well.

I cried a lot that night. I cried because I started to believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t do anything right, and I was a failure. Everything I wanted to escape I had to face again the next day. I wasn’t prepared for it, and most of my ninth grade year I walked with my head down trying to hide in a world I thought didn’t want me, and would be better off without me.

A Man

As an adult things were better. I met people in college who brought me out of my shell and I began to see the things I believed as a child weren’t true. I began to see things from a parental view after having children. I then was also diagnosed with ADHD which explained why my focus in school and with other tasks were difficult for me. Understanding that helped me quite a bit to deal with some of the things I experienced.

Yet not having fully dealt with my emotional well-being, I found myself in a perfect storm again. Nothing was working and everything was falling apart. Losing a home, financially strapped, marriage about to turn into a separation, I left the church I attended and served in for over 20 years and other issues which kept piling on day after day.

So one day upon returning home from a day that needed to be forgotten, I was about to put away my firearm. I sat on the edge of my bed and for a moment I looked at my gun and said to myself, I should have completed this years ago then pulled back the hammer on my pistol and turned it towards my face. But at that moment my cell phone, which was on my lap, lit up and I could see the faces of my daughter and son on the lock screen. Both their smiles seem to jump off the screen and that still small voice within me spoke loudest of all and simply said “No more.”

I safety my weapon and lay on the bed crying, but not like when I was a teenager. These were tears of joy, release and gratefulness. My mind began to think on the great things which were all around me, and all I had accomplished despite the negative aspects of my life. I had only seen glimpses of this in the past, but that moment I saw the whole picture. And from that day I never looked back.

I’m thankful to Christ Jesus for the whisper of the still small voice within me. I’m also glad I went to see a professional and dealt with my thoughts that had plagued me for years.

I guess you didn’t see that coming did you?

Most of us didn’t see or suspect Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Lee Thompson Young, Phoebe Prince or Frederick D. Holliday as unhappy or depressed people who gave into suicide. Neither do we see the millions like myself who may have attempted suicide and failed. I was very lucky. Most people still don’t get help. Friends, it’s time out for viewing mental illness as a taboo topic or something we just don’t talk about.

I work with a local group called Reason2Live, founded by Tiffany Washington. She is a great source for information, help, and strength. Also locally here in Cleveland there is a young lady by the name of Latoyia Jones, founder of Alive On Purpose, who is also passionate about helping those who are contemplating taking their own life.

Here is a link to SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. This link has the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and it list the warning signs of suicide.

suicide-prevention-logo

Let’s Live!

until then…

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