The Burdens of Life Can Cause Premature Ends…(Trigger Warning: Suicide)

“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.  Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety. But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that.” – Jarrid Wilson

September is Suicide Prevention month and we just so happen to have just finished Suicide Prevention Week. So I’m pausing my “What makes marriage Difficult” series to talk about my own struggles with suicide. Although, I’m sure my struggles with suicidal ideation and my actual attempt happening in year 2 of marriage is certainly something that has made marriage difficult.

I’ve struggled with Mental Health issues and suicidal ideation for a big part of my life, even when I was a child. I remember being in middle school and feeling so frustrated and overwhelmed with emotion that I just knew the best course of action for me was to end my life. I had no plan whatsoever, but the thoughts that things would be easier if I wasn’t alive, permeated many of my days. I recall talking to one of my best friends (She and my husband shared a birthday this past Friday!) , and sharing with her that I felt life would be better if I ended mine. I remember her hearing me out, empathizing with my pre-teen angst, and then sharing with me that she didn’t think life would be better for anyone if I was gone. And at the moment I believed her. Her words were filled with so much love, compassion, and worry that I realized I didn’t want to hurt or leave her…but I never sought any additional help. I assumed my desire to not cause her pain would be enough…

Throughout the rest of high school and middle school, I still had moments where the notion of committing suicide would enter my mind, but I would quickly remember that convo with my dear friend and would brush those thoughts to the side. But then I entered college…The mild bouts of depression I experienced growing up seemed to grow up with me. I instantly became overwhelmed by my course load, meeting expectations of my family, not believing I was good enough to do well in my classes, and drama with my boyfriend at the time. I was a silent wreck. No one knew what I was feeling or experiencing. I was heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, especially with my college church. Bright and bubbly, friendly to everyone, reliable, in ministries, etc etc. The poster child for a thriving college student. Meanwhile, no one knew that during class time I was riddled with depression and what I later found out was anxiety. By my junior year, I had barely attended any classes and the thoughts of suicide returned. The pressure of keeping up this facade of being this “perfect person” while literally failing out of college was just to weighty. Finally, I got that fateful email…the email telling me that I was past the point of academic probation and would now have to leave the university permanently. 

The suicidal thoughts increased…How would I ever tell my friends? My church family? My PARENTS??? How could I ever tell my parents that I flunked out of school??? My parents with multiple degrees between them. My parents who were so excited for me to go to college. It was too much, and the thoughts of ending my life grew. I remember crying, A LOT, in the days leading to me going home and days after I got back there. I don’t even remember the reason I told people as to why I was leaving college, but I’m almost certain it was rarely, if ever, the truth. Life was hard, depression felt like it had a solid grip on me and I was constantly fighting to find a reason to live. The only thing that actually kept me alive was the fear of feeling the pain of the attempt or some how “messing up” and enduring what I thought would be an even greater burden of having to be taken care of due to a disability…

Years passed and I somehow started feeling better, started feeling like my “happy” self again. Even though I still never got any help for my previous issues, I started recognizing the light again. I was in a new city, working, found a church that I was able to get heavily involved in and that felt like a family away from family. I was thriving in the community and feeling like a true asset in this world…and I had never felt closer to God…..yet I still had moments of intense sadness and anxiety….still had moments of desiring death as a means of escape. They were easy to brush off though, to disregard as just a “distraction” that should be ignored. But various means of trauma from death, loss, betrayal and so many other unfortunate events kept that dooming voice close by, no matter how “healed” & “delivered” I thought I was. 

Annnnnnd then I got married…the turmoil increased…as did those old thoughts. Month after month of feeling purposeless, pointless, a burden, unwanted, undesirable, a failure, a disappointment, abandoned, broken, useless and every negative thing you could imagine. I couldn’t take it anymore. My inner critic was overbearing and would not be ignored this time. My pain was not readily seen by most. No one noticed the signs, the change. No one said the words to make me feel wanted, appreciated, or that I would even be missed. I felt as if I was stuck in a dark underwater pit, watching everyone else pass me by. I had nothing to hold on to, and I was just sooo exhausted…

So I did it, my first attempt…and honestly I was at peace with my decision. So much so that I was devastated when I woke up…..Livid is more like it. Couldn’t even do that right. Sigh. So let down by seeing the light of day. A lot of times what is shown in movies and tv is that when someone makes an attempt and lives, they are instantly grateful and immediately turn their life around. But that wasn’t me, I was even more let down because “God saw fit to keep me here”. I couldn’t see how I was ever going to get a point of desiring life and being thankful for it.

But week after week, I’d attend therapy, which sucked at first because it felt pointless but would, out of nowhere, started to become useful. Or someone would reach out to me that needed help, and I would be taken aback b/c they were in need and my name came to mind as someone who could provide what they needed. Or people would just reach out to check on me. For no reason other than they cared. Most didn’t know about my attempt when it happened. Only the people who were directly affected by it. And yet they still reached out, just to say “Hey Sis! How are you?”. 

Then one day I woke up and I smiled, and I actually felt like there was use for me. And literally the thought came to me, “The Purposeless Wife Blog”. This blog, sharing my story, my struggles and the support I’ve gotten from it has been another great catalyst in my healing process. It’s been freeing and also comforting in knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle. It almost felt like a shield, protecting me from allowing the darkness to take over again…

That was until last tuesday. On Tuesday Sept. 10, 2019, World Suicide Prevention Day, it was announced that a Pastor, author, mental health advocate, influence and support for those with mental health struggles, had unfortunately committed suicide. Jarrid Wilson, was very open about his own personal struggles with mental health and even founded an organization called Anthem of Hope which is dedicated to “amplifying hope for those battling brokenness, depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction, and suicide”. I didn’t know much about him while I read an article on his passing, but once I finished reading, I felt an overwhelming sense of grief and to be honest, fear. This man did so much of what I aspire to do. So much of what I hoped to create or at least start with The Purposeless Wife. He had posted the day before prepping people for World Suicide Prevention Day, and even requested prayer b/c he was officiating a funeral for another woman in the faith who committed suicide…

It was a devastating realization that even with being transparent, advocating for myself and others, and trying to give people space to feel understood, cared for, and loved, I may still have the capability to sink so far, again, that I make another attempt on my life. That I could, yet again, put on the face of being “OK” or “fine” and hours later have RIP in front of my name. Terrifying…but I chose to sit with those feelings and that realization in an effort to fully process them. I didn’t try to brush it off or just ignore that potential reality, but accepted it as an unfortunate possibility that I needed to confront head on. I realized that most of my lifelong struggle I rarely accepted that what comes with mental health issues as a possibility either because it made me feel weak (and as a black woman weakness is not acceptable) OR I had to spiritually bypass them (because as a black christian, if I speak it, I’m claiming it thus completely disqualifying my entire faith journey or I’m asking for it to take hold of me).

That was a disservice to myself. How can I properly address something that I continuously sweep under the rug? So while I don’t know if I will ever sink deep again or whether or not my first attempt will be my last, I’m dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep that possibility at bay. While this blog, and hopefully movement, has been a positive catalyst for me, I know it is not the end all/be all. It is not my savior. I have to keep trying, keep fighting, and keep putting support in place to hold me up when I feel I can do no more. I am committed to doing whatever it takes! Healing By Any Means Necessary! It’s literally the best we can do and we are sooo worth the effort!

Disclaimer: If you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts or are at the point where you have a plan, please fight as hard as you can to reach out to someone. I know how difficult it is once you are in this head space, but I truly believe there is someone in all of our lives who we can reach out to in our times of need. I couldn’t see them easily/didn’t always recognize them but they were there. You can also utilize the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 or their online chat. There is also a crisis text line in the US, just text HOME to 741741 (it’s free), since I know it’s always easier for my to type then talk. I don’t always know what to say but feel free to message/email me too if that is more comfortable to you. Please don’t let go…

I have also created a team for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk, on Oct. 6! If you would like to donate to help my team reach our goal, please click here: #TeamThePurposelessWife and select “DONATE”. All donations are 100% tax deductible and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), funding research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. Any amount is appreciated!. Thank you so much in advance for your support and donation!

Let’s Talk! Can you relate? Have you or anyone you know encountered any of these struggles? What steps were taken to heal and progress and what is in place now to ensure regular support and accountability? I know this is a tough topic to discuss openly, but if you’d like to share, let me know in the comments or send me a message on the “Contact” page. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook using the links on this page and connect with me there! Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “The Burdens of Life Can Cause Premature Ends…(Trigger Warning: Suicide)

  1. In the words of a close friend of mine, “I’m really glad you’re here…” 😉 Thank you for talking about this D’ani. Sending so much love, gratitude, and prayers your way ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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