This morning on my way to church I was thinking about how today is World Suicide Prevention Day; which has an important place in my heart because I have struggled as long as I can remember with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Yep, you read that correct, I have not always been the happy-go-lucky person that you may know.
As a teenager, I was a self-mutilator; which means that I would purposely harm myself by cutting. I struggled with never feeling like I was ever enough and I was a big people pleaser; especially trying to please my mom and make her proud of me. If I could go back, I would slap my younger self and say that it’s not worth it and my validation isn’t sought in another sinner like me but through Christ alone.
I remember the first time that I picked up the blade to release the pain – it was because I felt as a not good enough daughter. Being a teenager is hard, but being a Hispanic teenager in American culture is even harder because you never know where you stand – at home, it’s one culture and in society, it’s a completely different one. Having to translate for my mom was one of the things that I would do and this day, in particular, I couldn’t properly translate what my mom wanted to say, so I experienced verbal abuse.
My sophomore or junior year of high school I cut myself and overdosed on pills in order to just forget the pain; I wasn’t looking to kill myself but if I died I had said that I would be okay with it. I ended up waking up in the middle of the night and told my parents to take me to the hospital, I ended up being rushed to another hospital due to having seizures and going into cardiac arrest. If I recall correctly, my parents said that I had been dead for a few seconds.
Fast forward to 2012 which is the last time that I attempted suicide and is a humble reminder of God’s grace upon my life. After a devastating break-up, one day after work, I decided that I won’t return the next day. I purposely drove on the wrong side of the road to die but something told me to change to the correct driving lane – my car tires hadn’t even finished crossing the yellow lines when around the curve was a big semi-truck barreling towards me on the lane that I had previously been in. You guys, if I hadn’t changed lanes when I did I would not be here typing this blog post.
It hits me when I think about it because if I had actually died that day I know that I wouldn’t have been in God’s presence, instead I would have eternally been separated from Him. I am so thankful for His grace upon my life and that I am not a victim, instead, I am victorious and because Jesus has overcome death, I too can. I remember praying one night asking the Lord about my ex, in particular, seeking an answer, and I opened up my Bible and read this verse,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT
When I read it I cried so much, because I realized at that moment that I was loved and in my finite human mind, I would never be able to comprehend God’s love for me by closing the gap between Himself and me by sending Jesus to die for me and cover me with His righteousness. I knew that I was broken and thought that I could never be fixed; even though I sought to be fixed by seeking unhealthy romantic relationships or doing unhealthy things, such as cutting myself.
I remember something that I heard once, during a sermon (which might be quoted badly because it was a while ago): “The enemy doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care if you are hurting yourself because he wants to destroy you but God does care and He wants the best for you. He has redeemed you; you just have to accept it.”
After that incident, I decided to seek therapy and go through a process of healing and closure with the ended relationship. I am so happy to say that it has been 5 years since I have been so depressed that I have wanted to commit suicide! God is so good and I hope that my transparency with you guys helps you realize that you are not alone. If you are reading this and experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts, please know that you are so loved and you are worth staying on this earth! There is always going to be heartache on this side of eternity but the good news is that your pain has a purpose; you have a purpose. We were all created by Him and for Him. My identity is no longer who I thought I was but who I really am – a child of God.
I hope that you know that someone does care about you, your tears are kept in jars by God and you can experience healing. You’re not too far gone, nothing you do can take away God’s love for you – you just have to accept and realize that you are forgiven and that you can change your life if you choose to.
Suicide has ripple effects and even though you think that the world would be better without you in it, you are wrong. We need you and what you can offer!
Please educate yourself and others about what the signs of suicidal people are and how you can help.
This song has been on repeat on my phone for a bit. I hope you take something out of this song like I did!