When I tried to take my life on December 30, 1970 I was a depressed 19 year-old who didn’t know there was so much life ahead still to be lived. My problems seemed insurmountable. It was my third attempt that year and I had managed to get a lethal dose of a prescription medication, so I’d do it right this time. It was the first of many miracles that I was discovered unconscious in time to be taken to an emergency room where my stomach was pumped. I was too groggy to remember much of what happened over the next three days. That was exactly 50 years ago. Since then, the path has held moments of great joy, as well as times of tremendous grief. But by the grace of God, one day at a time, a life has unfolded before me beyond anything I could have imagined. I felt this anniversary should not go unmentioned. I am thankful. I am humbled. I am happy to be alive. I know every day I live is a gift. I believe there is always a blessing in every situation, although it may be impossible to see it at the time. At least, that’s been my experience for the last 50 years.
I debated whether or not to publish something so painfully private in this blog. I decided to go ahead on the chance that one day it might fall into the hands of some 19 year-old who’s feeling the way I felt on December 30, 1970.
To that person I say: Hold on, keep searching for the light. When you feel like you can’t go on, go on anyway. Answers will come in a way you won’t expect them. And, if you don’t give up, incredible things can happen. I wasn’t a big believer; my trust grew very slowly. I hated that girl. I hated her so much I wanted her to die. Today I love the woman I became, and I’m still a work-in-progress. I’ve recognized with the passage of time, how I hurt others because I was hurting. I’ve learned the power of forgiveness. I’ve learned that my healing does not depend on what anyone else does or does not do. When we focus on our own healing, it can have a healing effect on other people in our circle. It’s been a long road to understanding. I’m so grateful for the courage I was given to keep going. Many times I was hanging by a thread. What I’ve learned is that God has a plan and I don’t have enough power to mess it up. Neither do you.
faith #hope #courage #love
If you or someone you know needs help, it’s available 24 hours a day at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionhotline.org