I’ve looked Death squarely in the eyes quite a few times in my lifetime. I look back on my life sometimes (especially the first 25 years of my life) in awe because I’m really not supposed to be here. A high risk pregnancy, a near death natural child birth, Iraq, DV, being a rebellious free spirited adolescent who never liked rules, etc. I’ve been in so many situations that a lot of people don’t make it out of. I’ve been in a lot of death grips that a lot of people don’t make it out of. However, no flirt with death has had the biggest impact on me than the instance where I almost experienced death at my own hands.
I was 16 years old when I attempted to take my own life. It was single handedly the most profound, thought provoking, empowering and magical time of my life. Instead of gaining death as I intended, I gained a clear insight on my purpose and my time here on earth.
But let’s dig into my suicide attempt first. As I said, I attempted suicide at age 16. I’m not sure if you can imagine the head space and emotional bankruptcy a 16 year old child has to feel to want to take their life before their even old enough to have control over it as an adult.
Honestly, a bihhh was ready to head on out by the time I reached elementary school. I always remember being tired. Weary. Like someone’s big mama. Outside of childhood trauma, I also had depression over the fact that both my mother and father were absent in my life. Then consider the heavy responsibilities I had that were never age appropriate for me. Next, let’s shine the light on how I was always forced to be mature and a big girl. Having a bipolar mother was definitely not a walk in the fucking park and growing up with the knowledge that I was an unwanted pregnancy, it really took away from me seeing any value in not only my life…but also my future.
While all my friends in my advanced classes were gushing over which Ivy League college they were going to get into, I was secretly plotting on how I was goin get the fawk out of this life. I hated waking up in the morning and having to sit through another day of being an ignored super teen. My relationship with my mother was very strained. Especially as I’d watch her shower my brother with love and affection and his raggedy ass was as mediocre and below average as they came. I didn’t see the value of my life because I was never shown that it was valuable by the people who gave it to me. I wanted to close the chapter and fade to black. So i began planning.
My mother always had a plethora of psychotropic medications due to her mental disorders and I had been studying them since a little kid. I went into her medicine cabinet and took half of every one she had. Then I went into my own stash and cleaned out all of my Tylenol, Motrin, and aspirin. I was taking so many and in so many gulps, that I began to throw them up. Frustrated, I went back into my mother’s medicine cabinet and took the other half of all of her powerful medications.
I remember exhaling deeply when I was done and feeling proud of myself for seeing it through. The only thing I had to do next was wait for them to kick in.
Shit was almost immediately.
My heart started beating fast. My breaths became quicker. I started to feel lethargic and sluggish. I suddenly forgot that I never wrote a suicide note and I remember getting up grabbing my book bag for my notebook. I began to write my mom a note. I began to tell her how I never felt like I was good enough and wanted. I remember writing words but then suddenly looking down on the paper and seeing…scribbles. No words. Just scribbles. Then my vision went out and I couldn’t really see anymore. Putting the notebook on her pillow, I crashed down the hallways and back into the living room where I laid in the middle of the floor to allow the pills to finish working their magic and take me on to the upper room.
The peace I felt while laying on the floor…I had never felt it before. It was euphoric. It was bliss. I closed my eyes and I could see beautiful colors and images. I remember smiling widely into the darkness of the room and being so happy to have made the right decision. This was going to be a peaceful death and I was here for it. Ancestors, come get a Heaux cause you clearly should have never sent me down here.
But then, in that same dark room, and in that same peaceful moment; I heard a voice:
The shit sounded so real and shocked the shit out of me. My eyes flew open and I frantically searched the darkness for who said it. No one showed themselves. I heard the voice again. More forceful this time:
“Get UP! It’s not your time yet and you haven’t done what we’ve sent you here to do yet”.
Suddenly, the feelings of bliss and euphoria evaporated from the room and there I was laying there, feeling as sober as an Asian monk.
But I obediently got up. I was a bit light headed and dizzy so I crawled to the phone and called for an ambulance. When the EMTs came, I opened the door and let them in. I told them that it was I who called them and it was I who needed the help. I remember the woman EMT looking shocked as she took in that I was just a child. She asked me where my parents were. I guess the look I gave her told her everything she needed to know because she gently guided me to the gurney and began prepping me for my transport in the ambulance.
When I got to the hospital, I was made to drink loads of charcoal to rid my body of all the pills I had consumed. Nastiest shit I’ve ever tasted in my life, even when the nice nurse mixed it with apple juice. I was at the hospital for a few hours when I heard heels clicking down the hallway. I knew my mother’s walk from anywhere. I imagined her bursting into my door, her perfectly made up face in tears, and clearly upset to hear that her youngest baby just tried to off herself.
She burst in the door, yes, but the look she gave me and the annoyed exhale she gave confirmed that hadn’t shit changed. My mother was upset that she was pulled away from whatever the fuck it was she was doing to come see about me. She didn’t even really speak to me or comfort me. She spoke the most with the hospital staff and I learned later that she had arranged to have me shipped away to a psychiatric institution. And in the middle of the school year too. I stayed at the institution for almost three months.
My mother never came to visit me.
But being there finally gave me peace. I had no responsibilities. I didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t have to take care of anyone. I didn’t have to be smart. I didn’t have to perform. All I had to do was heal. I had amazing staff who loved up on me and gave me the praise and recognition I never received at home. The other kids there were pretty cool too. I got to play games with them and…be a kid. While it bothered me and even embarrassed me that I was the only kid who who didn’t get family visits, I was secretly relieved. Cause to be honest, I was TIRED of my family. Especially my mom. Plus, my best friend Chuma and his mom came to see me regularly and brought me home cooked meals.
My mother was so absent and removed from my stay there. Not only did she never visit me, she never checked up on me or my status, nor did she show up for any of the family therapy sessions that were scheduled for me…even after being told that the bulk of my issues stemmed from my relationship with her. I tried to tell them that my mother didn’t care. I guess they needed to see it for themselves…and that they did. Finally tired of her shenanigans, they threatened to report her for child neglect if she didn’t show up the following day.
She showed up the next day, dressed to the 9s, and clearly in a hurry to get back to her day. Instead of sitting in a session with me, she promptly checked me out of the facility to the horror of my psych team. When we got to the car, she looked over at me and said: “Try that suicide shit again and I’ll leave you here next time”
That was all she ever said to me about taking my life. She never ever asked me why I did it. She just simply didn’t care.
Instead of getting down and feeling sad about it like I had done all my life, I no longer cared anymore either. Those three months had done me justice. Not only the therapy and amazing people who actually gave a damn about me, but also I was a different person spiritually. The voice that had told me to get up was now a permanent fixture in my life. Since that day, it spoke to me more. Encouraged me more. Loved up on me more. I would later realize that it was Spirit.
Spirit stepped in and told me my time wasn’t here yet. Spirit stepped in and took me away from my family environment and into one that would strengthen me and help me begin to break apart from. Not dying that day has not only been confirmation that I was sent here to do some amazing shit, but also my ancestors were counting on me to do it, and had no problem protecting me so that I could.
I became a fearless ass kid at 16. Even more than I had ever been. At 16, it was confirmed that I had a special purpose and I needed to focus on THAT and not just the vessels that got me here. So at 17 years old, I dropped out of high school, got my GED, joined the army, and moved the fuck away from home (and out of the country) to find myself and my purpose. I had finally grasped what and who mattered to me. I was unstoppable from there.
Suicide taught me how valuable my life and presence is-especially to the collective. My suicide attempt showed me the value of my life instead of taking it from me. 22 years later, I realize how much I would have cheated myself out of had I been successful. Everything from motherhood to full autonomy over my independence and the experiences I want to have. This is also the main reason why I’ll never lie about my age or hide it from folks. I’m 22 years past the age I thought I should expire. Each birthday I celebrate is me defiantly laughing in the face of the darkness that tried to consume me. Suicide taught me that the only person who is going to save me is Me. That’s a powerful lesson to learn and begin to walk in at such a young age…but dammit I did it and I’m so proud of myself. I’m not supposed to be here. My loved ones should be sadly thinking about the life I could have lived and the woman I could have grown up to be…but instead they get to see it in 3D every day cause I’m still here ♥️
Suicide has such a nasty stigma to it. What people need to realize is that a lot of people who attempt suicide don’t really wish to die, they simply want the pain to end. I understand that wholeheartedly on both a professional level and a personal level.
As such, I want to drop the following resources if you or someone you love has ever considered suicide:
Suicide Crisis Hotline & Help:
ALSO: For my MEMBERSHIP ONLY, active subscribed members each receive a complimentary (FREE!) 30
minute phone call session with me if you are experiencing suicide ideation and thoughts of self harm. I will work with you to hear you, de-escalate the issue, and link you with resources in your area for long term supports. This offer is good through the rest of the year (cause we are also knocking on the door of Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka: “The Winter Blues”). All you have to do is shoot me a message and I'll take it from there 😘♥️
You got this. I’ve got you. You’ve got me.