DISCLAIMER: My blogs WILL have typos. Once I write about an experience, I leave it where it is. I don’t want to look back at them or relive them, so once I write, I don’t proofread. Sorry, not sorry. Either way, take what you need and leave what you don’t.
As many of you know, I have had a long history with self harm and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. But, we are not here to unpack that, as that is something that I have dealt with (and dealing with) and have been successfully self harm free for a little more than a year and half now!
However, when I was going through my depression and my suicidal thoughts and harming myself, I was not aware of what other people around me were feeling. Or maybe I was aware or didn’t care because I was hurting so much. All I can really say, to those of you who are friends, lovers, or family with someone who is having suicidal thoughts or harming themselves is that, ITS NOT YOUR FAULT. And if you are reading this and YOU have suicidal thoughts or are harming yourself, then all I can say is, YOU ARE WORTHY OF LIVING AND I NEED YOU.
With that being said (and I genuinely mean it), I want to share 5 things with you that kept me from going off the deep on.
1.My 6th grade teacher.
She did not know this until recently, but my 6th grade teacher took note of my hurting, my acting out, my pain. She spoke with kindness, she moved with kindness, she accepted with kindness. In fact, as some of you have read, she was the one who gave me Jefferson. He was my saving grace, something I could hold on, something that I loved and, at the time, was intended to love me. Teachers, you have a huge impact, use your career, your compassion, wisely. You never know who you might be saving.
2. The Suicide Prevention hotline.
So, the first time I actually tried to commit…I called the suicide prevention hotline first. I don’t think that I actually wanted to die, but I did no see any other way out of my pain and my fear. The lady on the other end old me to think about my brother. Think about the football game that he was going to drop me off at before he went to his concert. She was giving me a reason to stay, something to look forward to. Now, I went through with my plan anyways. I didn’t listen to her. But, she manifested my brother, and he ended up being my savior. Thanks, Bub. If you need the hotline, call: 800-273-8255,
This is not a privilege that everyone has, which is why it was not number 1 or 2. But traveling, meeting new people, learning and having new experiences was a huge mental shift. While I was still hurting myself between travels, I no longer wanted to off myself. Traveling was the escape, my “something to look forward to”. Traveling adds so many things to my life and I am eternally grateful for my parents for getting me started so young, and for the Wright Brothers for building planes. Be in the moment. Share a moment. Every experience matters, especially when you think it doesn’t.
4. Finding my purpose.
There’s something really powerful about being needed. And not in like a narcissistic way. But in a way that is purposeful. When I was playing basketball, I knew that I was needed because I was good, but I always felt replaceable. However, when I started teaching, the look in my students eyes was irreplaceable. The impact I was making, the advice I was giving…the hug trains, the life lessons, the shared tears. All of that was for me. All of that wouldn’t have happened if those kids were not in my class, relating to me. I’d found a purpose. I’d found genuine enjoyment and laughter. I’d touched hearts and seen hundreds of little smiles, which started and kept my heart going. I’d learned the value of compassion and affection. I am grateful for every child I’ve ever taught, for every child I will teach in the future. Find gratitude in anything that you do. Express gratitude to those even if you don’t think they need it.
5. Finding love for myself.
The first 4 things are huge! They kept me here and kept me going. However, none of those things kept me from harming myself for more than a couple of months, if not weeks. The really thing that made me stop wanting to self harm altogether was FINDING SELF LOVE. All the things listed above helped me find my way, but I also had to do so much more work. As previously posted, I had to acknowledge some baggage and unpack it and let it be. I had to go to therapy. I had to forgive. I started using gratitude and affirmations. I started looking in the mirror. I started taking care of myself and having me time. Self care and reflection are hard as fuck (sorry not sorry), but that’s what needed to be done. I was tired of the constant depression and the tears and the sadness. Something clicked and I realized that THERE AIN’T NO OTHER ME! Like, what. All the foolishness happening in the world that could take me the fuck out, and I want to take myself out? Na, not today satan. You gonna have to try again brotha because I am not Boo Boo the fool (reread that whole sentence as if you were listening to somebodies black mama!). That “click” happened on February 11th, 2019. I could not tell you why, or what time of day. But I am glad that whatever it was clicked for me. Its the self care for me.
This post’s only purpose is to shed light on some of the things that saved me, so that maybe something similar can save someone else. I could have written about a hundred other things and experiences, and this does not take way from your story or your experiences! I am so grateful for the choice that I made, for my life. If you are reading this, I am grateful for you and the choices you have made. Every breath, every blink, makes us a rockstar.
This happened to be on my mind today. After all, it is suicide prevention month (but let’s be honest, this is CONSTANT THING). Take what you need, leave what you don’t, ask questions if you need.
Positivity, growth, and all the things,