Monday, April 14, 2008

The Suicide Story

The Breaking Point recently shared his thoughts on a frat brother's
suicide and his own bout with depression and I said I would share my own
thoughts and struggle.

This is hard for me to write because my nature is to act as though I
have no problems while swallowing my pain. This is part of the problem.

My first attempt or thoughts of suicide was when I was 13 years old. I
was working on Roosevelt Island. Its right in the middle of Manhatta and
Queens, a small island first dedicated to people who had been paralyzed
who were trying to lead normal lives. There was a Promenade that looked
out to midtown Manhattan. My father was dead. My mother was kind of
detached. I was going through those adolescent changes. I felt ugly. I
had given my virginity to someone on a whim because I felt like I was
entering high school and felt like I needed to experience new things. I
just got out of an abusive relationship where my boyfriend dumped me for
my best friend...basically, there was a lot of SHIT. I didn't think my
life could get any worse. I can't swim, so I decided to jump over the
gates of the promenade into the Hudson River which in itself is suicide.
Just below the gates were these sharp rocks that the impact of my
hitting them would hurt a lot and then I would roll down into the river
and just give up. I remember clearly visualizing myself jumping and saw
myself as a wounded pig on the rocks. I started crying hysterically as I
gripped the railing. I asked God to send me a sign that life would get
better. I prayed that if I didn't end my life right there thay I would
have the strength to go on.

I want to say that there was a big sign...the skies opened with hail and
frogs, but it didn't. I heard a voice say that it will get better. I
thought it was God talking to me. For years, I convinced myself that it
was God. I tried to talk about it in my church's youth group but the
youth leader who was like my sister ignored me. She didn't want to
discuss it and so she closed her eyes and willed it to go away.

A few weeks ago, I was severely depressed. There's a lot going on right
now. Some of it I blog about, some of it I don't. But, nevertheless, I
thought that I was ready to try again.

I tried talking to Gi and LP in no specific terms. I told them I felt
like I was failing at life and that I might need counseling. LP told me
she thought I should talk to someone. Her aunt had gone through the same
thing I'd gone through. She'd gone on anti-depressants and it really
helped. Gi was more in denial. She just thought I was going through a
rough patch and although she could tell there was a stark change in my
mood, she didn't think I was in any real danger.

I was busy trying to put my affairs in order while thinking of ways to
do it. I think I settled on slitting my wrists. I was thinking of what I
would say in my note.

I remember one day just feeling really weak. Like, I let things spin out
of control and it was time for me to reclaim that.

I would love to say I'm great. I'll never be depressed again. This is
not true.

Happiness, attaining happiness, is a marathon not a sprint and I'm glad
I'm still in the game.


Jane said...

How does writing about it make you feel? Feel good to get that story out of you?
When I wrote a post about my child hood a while back it felt sooooo lood so refreshing. It was like the flashbacks from that day finally stopped hunting me.
I wish the same release for you.

Nina said...

It feels good that it's not a big secret. I don't think there's too many people in my life I wouldn't tell. I just want to help others who have fought the same thing. Suicide/mental health problems in the black/brown communities are often looked down upon. People generally don't have an outlet to talk about it and it makes it worse. The harder part was not wanting to kill myself. I knew what I wanted to do. The difficult decision was knowing what I wanted to do and not feeling like anyone would understand why I did it or even know how to talk to people about how I was feeling without ending up committed or without friends.