Everyone has secrets. You keep these from certain friends, your partner, family members… You keep them because they wouldn’t understand, they would judge you and/or you’re embarrassed. Sometimes you pretend to keep them from yourself in the attempt to fool your own person.
On the day that I started to write this blog entry, I was commemorating one of my very own not-so-secret secrets. I have kept it a secret because it is not a very nice conversation starter. 12 years ago, on June 23rd 2005, I tried to commit suicide for the second time in my life. This time around, I trained to be more prepared than the first. I knew to stay still, I knew that I needed to take more than 10-15 pain killers (it needed to be something stronger if you were going to take that route again) and maybe chasing those pills with some alcohol to mix-up those effects and give my heart a run for it’s money. This time it was late at night, mostly everyone was sleeping and I remember thinking: “this way there is nobody that can save you, it’s just you and your stupid thoughts and tomorrow they will find you when it’s over (hopefully)”.
The thoughts of a suicide are so dark/liberating thoughts. It’s that spot between you know this is a cry for attention and you shouldn’t do this but at the same time, such a rush of having no pain and being “free”. It’s so twisted and you just allow yourself to fall into that rabbit hole wishing and hoping for the best/worst moment of your life! You have this helpless feeling and you almost start to believe that this is your calling: you were born to be suicide. I truly believed that I was raised for 18 years to kill myself because my demon thoughts were bigger than me, my goals and God’s plan for my life.
By the time I finished with the medicine cabinet, my grandma’s stash next to the fridge and all the booze in my house, I was slayed to the bathroom floor. Me, my dizzy eyes, my racing heart and this Jiminy Cricket in the back of my head saying: “this is not a good idea, call somebody”. But why would I? I’m going to have it all: people feeling sorry for me and my family, I’ll finally know who loves me and who doesn’t, I get to be at my funeral, I don’t have to fight anymore! Nobody to let down, I don’t have to be that straight A student anymore, I don’t have to start college with the pressure of having to be good at it… total success; highway to easy life.
I’m going to be free and I will also free those around me that I am a burden to…
In middle of my “loneliness” I feel the vibration of my phone in the back-pocket. OMG! I forgot to leave this in the living-room. Should I answer? How? I don’t have the strength to pick up this phone. Literally, I can’t imagine how am I going to pull this phone from my pants to my ear. What am I going to say? Who is calling at this time? What are my friends going to think about me? Will my mom and dad love me more now? Is everyone going to understand why I did this again?
I hear Jiminy yell as loud as he possibly could: “PLEASE PICK UP!!!…”
Honestly, I can’t say what made me answer. It had to be God. It just had to be… Who else has that perfect timing? I picked up my cellphone and slurred some words to my friend. Then, I started to cry so hard that I couldn’t breath. I sobbed until my grandma found me. Her face… She felt so powerless. Defeated. She grabbed me and held me so strong and I felt a tear. Just one tear… she never cried and I never saw her cry again after that. At that point, my friend had called my house and had told my abuela that he was coming to take me to the hospital. She was sad, confused, mad… Abuela woke up my mom with the news and told her to get dressed that they were coming for us.
I was gone… Between them both, they only were avoiding that I fell asleep. I have blurred memories of my mom crying and freaking out. Her voice repeating over and over: “why again?”
After that, all I remember is tubes down my throat and what seemed to be like 10 different people on top of me. However, all I could think about was my failure in beating life. Here I was being saved from myself and all I wanted to tell them was: please stop.
Way beyond this whole entire experience: thoughts, pills, tubes, hospitals (emergency room and psychiatric hospital), psychologists, priests, friends, books, family… I was always told by the professionals: once you are a suicide, you will always be a suicide. Not the same thing at all but I compare it to a cancer patient: once you are diagnosed and even when you win the battle and are cancer free, you will always be associated with cancer and now be known as a cancer survivor… and I can’t lie, those thoughts will swim up. They will try to prevail against everything that you have learned; but us suicide survivors know better.
I know that I am not seen as a suicide: God knows me by my name. I know that there is a way around those thoughts: it’s called prayer. I know that Jiminy was not my conscious talking to me: it was God reminding me of His plan. I know that God has giving me another battle to win. I know that this process has a purpose and lesson. I know that I am not alone. One of my favorite quotes, is from the movie “PS I love you”. Where one of the characters say: “So now, all alone or not, you gotta walk ahead. Thing to remember is, if we’re all alone, then we’re all together in that too”.
And so there you have it, I share my secret to the world. I share it not to be known or seen as a victim but because if with this testimony I save at least one person, my mission in life has been fulfilled. Problems, thoughts, arguments, defeats, etc. will always exist… No matter how poor or rich, tall or small… How else will we learn? However, trust me when I say that it will all be worth it. Yes, its a cheesy phrase but a very true one. Be prepared to fly, live, fall, cry, laugh, see the miracle of life in your nieces eyes, meet the man/woman of your dreams and plan to spend the rest of your life with them, graduate from college, see your parents grow older with you, receive all the unconditional love God has for you no matter what you have done… I have the blessing and privilege of living because I was saved! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s tribulations because I know they will make me even stronger and I want that for you too…
Now, pay it forward…