I have shared a few different times that I attempted to end my life multiple times, with the first time being at age 12, but I had not shared what saved my life that night.
I was in 7th grade and I remember that day like it was yesterday. My class was doing an art project making beaded necklaces in the room above the gym. I had already contemplated suicide several times and the thick plastic string would be my weapon and it would happen that night so I intentionally made my string extra long so it would work.
The school year was ending and my family was planning to go to Disney World that summer. It's crazy because my parents weren't really the ones to tell us plans ahead of time, especially more than a month in advance so I was surprised that they told us we were going that early.
Finally, the night came, I waited in my bed until I knew everyone was asleep and it was time. I actually did it, I figured out a way to get the necklace around my neck and sat there making it tighter and was ready to end it all.
As I sat there I started to think about my family's trip. Not in the typical kid way of, "I don't want to miss the trip" though. I actually stopped because of two thoughts of how this would go. First, I thought no one would care, they would go on the trip anyway and everyone would be fine. The second thought was that my entire family would be so angry with me that they might have to cancel the trip to pay for a funeral (if they even cared enough to have a funeral) or they would still go on the trip but be mad because they had to plan a funeral while trying to enjoy the trip. That was the thought that stopped me - that my family would be angry with me because I ruined their trip. This goes to show what I believed my family thought of me, that I was selfish, ruined everything, and did nothing but make things bad. And I carried this secret with me the entire trip.
Regardless of the thoughts connected to the trip, if that trip was not planned, and I did not know about it, I would not be here today. I would not have the opportunity to be a voice for young people who feel so unheard and misunderstood and help prevent this from happening to someone else.
Two more young ladies, Kailia Posey and Arlana Miller, have died by suicide this month and it breaks my heart so much to see young people feel that it won't get better.
I have continued to battle suicidal thoughts and depression, even in adulthood. The difference now, is that I am in therapy and have developed more skills to combat them when they do come. My experiences combined with my education in mental health have allowed me opportunities to work with families to make changes that can prevent other people from going down the same road.
If you would like to know more about how I can support your click here to schedule a free 20 minute strategy call with me.
You can also get my course on mindful parenting here.