Don’t Forget The Happy Thoughts

When I’ve asked people to describe me they tend to use words like caring, accommodating, driven, resilient, positive, inspiring and strong. I’ve endured and lived a hard life and manage to still push through and because of that is why people have used the words stated above. I wonder if those will still be the words they use after reading this post.

55% of people have had someone talk to them about, know someone who’s attempted, and/or know someone who died by suicide. If you are reading this you are now part of that statistic.

I have contemplated and even attempted to take my own life on more than one occasion. Middle school was the first attempt and then once again my junior year of high school. I got counseling and turned to dance, which really helped. Things were good for a while, but as someone who suffers from mental illness and suicidal thoughts, it’s always something that lurks in the shadows.

Once I got sick it was really hard to knock those thoughts. I tried to stay positive as long as I could but after life kept relapsing (both figuratively and literately) I found myself falling back into that hole. As a person who likes control and planning, when all of a sudden you’re paralyzed and have no control over your body, it can be very traumatic. I couldn’t turn to dance anymore and I started to shut people out. I got to a point in my life when I would stay in one spot for days in the dark; all hygiene concerns were out the window. I just would lie there, sometimes cry but the majority of the time I would just sleep. I fell in love with sleeping because that’s when I couldn’t feel anything and whatever I felt wasn’t real. Even in this very moment, the hardest thing about battling this is that I feel like I should be happy and have the drive to live but I don’t.

For three to four months straight I went to sleep every night hoping I didn’t wake again. At this point, I had finally told my boyfriend how I had been feeling which was hard cause it’s like, how do you tell someone you live with & you love that you don’t want to live anymore? I think he took it the best way he could, he worries a lot which is why I didn’t want to tell him in the first place, I never wanted him to feel like his love for me couldn’t save my life. How do you tell any loved one that?

On June 16, 2016, if my friend Katriece did not pick up her phone, I would not be here today. I sat in the car on the way to work and was ready to end it all. On days like these, I listen to Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs” on repeat and I call her and my mom every morning before work. My mom would pray for me that I would find peace and my purpose & want to live. However that morning, I just kept thinking about the pain and problems I would cause to everyone else if I ended my life in that moment but also how I just wanted it all to be over. They were two conflicting feelings. I wanted to die, I just wanted not to feel anything and just be at peace, no pain no worries, just nothing.

There’s one point of my drive where there is a high incline and the road curves and you can see all the hills in the distance. It’s my favorite part of the drive. I had 15 minutes until I reached that curve, my mom didn’t answer, I called Katriece and she picked up. I told her I couldn’t do it anymore & when I hit that curve I wouldn’t turn my wheel and just drive the car off the freeway into the hills. I’ve thought about ending it on that same curve a month prior. She cried and tried her best to calm me down and talk some reason into me, she begged me not to do it. And here I am.

I’ve tried multiple ways to deal with these feelings, I’ve tried cooking, journaling, pretending like everything is fine, and I’ve tried praying. But I found the waves. When the stress becomes too much and I struggle to pull myself out of bed I know I need to go to the ocean. I go to the beach and breathe with ocean, each breath riding the waves. It reminds me of my childhood and the days spent along Lake Michigan on Lake Shore Drive. I find peace in the waves because no matter what you make in the sand eventually the waves will come wash it all way. Even if you write something high enough from the shore when the high tide comes it will be washed away as if it was never there. The waves reminded me that no matter how bad life can get or may seem, whatever was written is only temporary.

It was very hard to write this and post it for the world to see, this is something I’ve been secretive about. Given that September is suicide awareness month, I write this to raise awareness. I no longer have a plan; I look forward to waking up the next day and living my life to the fullest. Those of you who know me would’ve never known that these are the things I’ve been battling for years. It just goes to show that don’t know what someone is going through and people are really good at pretending that everything is okay.

So If you care about someone, let them know, you may not know it but you may be the reason they’re still here. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts get help, talk to someone, find something healthy that brings you peace and calms the storm inside of you. What you’re feeling right now sucks and doesn’t make sense all the time, but those feelings very real and valid. Remember that getting help doesn’t make you weak, it gives you strength.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that day and what life would have been like if I never made that call. I think about the things I would’ve missed and how my loved ones would’ve coped. Every day I think of them and their love pushes me to keep moving forward and to stay.

I’m glad I made that call.

 

 

Brandy-Lewis-Contributor-Photo
Brandy Lewis : 23-year-old with a 55-year-old soul, trapped in an 80-year-old body still trying to figure it out. Music Junkie. Wannabe fashionista. Enjoys sharing her handicap perks with her friends and family.

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