Bravery is a gift.
A gift that so delicately presents itself during our most terrifying moments. However, we must first make the choice to receive this gift and wield the contents within, which is an act of bravery in and of itself, and one that so many choose to pass over because behind every act of bravery, is an element of vulnerability.
The gift of bravery lies in the ability to fight back the tears that threaten to unveil how truly frightened you are; and enables you to take that first step passed fear, with the knowledge that genuine healing lies up ahead.
Here is my attempt at being brave… and maybe, just maybe, my bravery will save someone’s life.
I tried to commit suicide.
It began eight months ago and peaked at the end of November/beginning of December. Though I tried hard to fight it, I spiraled into a state of desperation and despair. I was convinced that my life was not precious or treasured enough to make a positive contribution in this world. I no longer saw myself worthy of drawing breath. These thoughts of worthlessness and failure were further fueled by the daily remarks of someone close to me, which only increased my resolve to end my life.
I became proficient in the art of deceit. To the rest of the world, all was well. I was the master of putting on a smile and misleading others to believe that I was doing just fine… that I was happy. No one knew of the battle that raged within.
Behind closed doors- I was a mess.
My family and close friends sensed that something was not right, but no one knew the extent of my pain and emotional suffering. No one, expect, perhaps, my four-year old son, Rylan.
It was a bleak and cloudy December morning, just before school let out for the holiday season. Emotionally- I was at my lowest. I had determined that my life was no longer worth living. I was in the upstairs bathroom, twirling a bottle of Benadryl between my fingers and working up the nerve to empty the entire contents into my body, hoping that the desired effect would take place just before everyone got home from work.
I had put a movie on for Rylan in the other room. I wanted him distracted while I downed the bottle of pills. Before I was able to pop the top off the bottle, Rylan walked in with tears in his eyes. I turned slowly toward him, not sure if I could bear to look at his face one last time. I’m so glad I did, because he saved my life. He looked up at me with a great intensity in his eyes and spoke wisdom beyond his years, “Mommy, I feel like you are trying to leave me. Don’t. I need you.”
At that moment, reason seemed to wash over me like a tidal wave. At that moment, God’s truth rushed in and I was able to see clearly, for the first time in months.
I realized that my death would not be the end of pain. I would only be transferring my pain to those I loved most- my husband and two children. And it was something I could not bear to place on their shoulders, no matter the extent of my affliction or suffering.
Y’all, I’m not proud of this and it has taken me months to finally speak publicly about my experience. Please do not take advantage of my vulnerability. I am only sharing this with all of you so that God can take my ugly, messy, life and create something beautiful that will ultimately bring Him the most glory.
I have to live every single day with the guilt and shame associated with my attempted suicide, because after all, according to many in the Christian community, a genuine follower of Christ should never feel so much pain or suffer such emotional trauma, that it would ultimately lead you to believe that this world would be a better place if you did not exist. Their argument is that if you would simply focus your attention on your identity in Christ, you will not spiral into such a tragic state of despair.
It’s. Not. That. Simple.
I know who I am in Christ. I read the passages of Scripture that reminded me that I am a beloved daughter of the One, True King. I meditated on them day and night during the darkest days of my life. I fasted. I prayed. I did everything a “good Christian” is supposed to do when overcome with doubt and despair. Yet the enemy did not relent in his pursuit to destroy me because I did those things; in fact, the attacks grew stronger and more frequent the more I tried to press into the Presence of my Savior. Never forget, we have an enemy who desires nothing more than your destruction, and he will stop at nothing do it. He will use any means necessary, even other believers, to break you; which is why it is critical that followers of Christ learn to tame their tongues. I’m not saying that I do this perfectly. The Lord knows I don’t. But this experience has taught me that I MUST consider each word that escapes my lips carefully because words are powerful. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Just as we have an enemy who will relentlessly pursue your destruction at all costs, we have an even greater Savior who will not cease to prove His great love for you. And He will. Over and over and over again. The last two months have been a much-needed cocooning phase for me so that the Lord could begin the healing process. This is why I have not blogged or really been active on social media since the end of December.
Healing is a journey. I still struggle to combat the lies the enemy has fed me on a daily basis, but now I am better equipped to handle them.
Please know that I did not share my story with all of you to gain your sympathy or as a means of seeking attention. It was with great difficulty that I even wrote this blog post. If I had it my way, I would continue living life as though this never happened. My silence on this issue, however, was not what the Lord required of me.
If you can relate to my story in any way, I would love for you to reach out and connect with me. My email address is email@example.com. I want to impress upon you that you are not alone. There are others out there who feel just as lost… just as hopeless… but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is hope for the hopeless– His name is Jesus.