How Writing My Suicide Note Saved Me

How Writing My Suicide Note Saved Me

Sometimes reaching your breaking point is exactly what you need.
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With blurred vision from eyes filled with tears, I looked at the clock on the nightstand next to my bed that read 3:12 AM. This scenario was one I had grown to know all too well, lying awake at night, head pounding and eyes puffy from sobbing. Begging for sleep to come and give me a break from the pain; but being wide awake, knowing in the back of my mind that the second I dozed off, the nightmares would come. Throughout the day, I can get by through talking to friends or making myself busy, but at night is always when it's the hardest. Knowing I have no one to call and not wanting to disturb my friends or family (because they're lucky enough to be asleep) is when the loneliness hits like a ton of bricks. After lying awake for almost five hours, just me and my thoughts, I made the decision to give in to the thought that kept entering my mind: I'm tired. I tried my best. And now it's time to give up. I tiptoed downstairs so as not to wake anyone, felt the cold wood against my feet and tried to hold in the tears that seemed to have become a part of my identity. I pulled out paper and a pen and I began to write, describing all of the pain that has drained me and taken my spirit, making the idea of ending it (and consequently, my life) so welcoming. I wrote about the feeling that I am too sensitive and too weak to exist in a world that was continuously eating me alive and destroying me. I explained why I felt that the only way for me to have peace would be to not exist. I felt that by continuing to live I would only become more broken, hurt, and used.

After outlining the aspects of my life that led to the decision to end my life, I listed the people, places, and things that got me to where I am now. I wanted to show some gratitude for the positive things in my life that I do have. As I wrote, I realized how long that list was. Hands shaking, I put down my pen and re-read my list. Thinking of all the things that made me happy, I imagined never experiencing those things again. Something about seeing it written on paper caused me to shift my mindset. Instead of focusing on the parts of my life that caused me so much pain, I focused on what has brought me joy. I pictured my loved ones going through the stages of life and me not being there to laugh, cry, or stand with them. I thought about never feeling ocean air on my face and water beneath my feet. Never dancing to "What's My Age Again?" by Blink-182 or any other music; whether it be by myself in my room, out with friends, or in the car with my dad. Thinking about all that has kept me alive, I realized I was not done experiencing what has made me happy. I wasn't ready to give up just yet. If I hadn't written those things down, it would not have been so clear to me that there are so many positive aspects of my life and just how much I have to live for. And with that, I folded up the note as a reminder, went back to the comfort of my bed and decided to keep holding on.

I've experienced a lot of pain and struggle. I know what it's like to want so badly for everything to end and to finally be at peace and not have to suffer anymore. I often feel too fragile to handle a world that can be so unfair and hateful. I know it's scary and it hurts. If you (whoever is reading this) has ever felt this way, try this, because it's so important: just when you think you can't take it anymore, think about why you have carried on to live as long as you have now and write it down. Then, put it somewhere you can look at it every day. Whatever has kept you alive this long and the possibility of new motivators is your reason to keep going and part of what makes your life so valuable. Think of what has made you smile and made you laugh and hold on to it because those things are what make life worth it.

I know how tired you feel, but the fact that you have made it this far shows how strong you are. Think of all you have been through, and you still didn't stop. I know sometimes life can get so hard, but yours has value and if you ever begin to doubt that, look back at your list.

If you need some help getting started, here's mine:

- My four best friends
- Listening to Beyoncé
- My grandpa and my dad
- My cats
- Hot coffee on a cold day
- Seeing the leaves change in the fall
- The ocean
- Watching 48 Hours with my mom
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama
- Singing to throwbacks in the car
- Sunflowers
- Making people happy










There are so many people that care and so many reasons to keep living, you just have to find yours.

Resources

If you or anyone else you know is in danger of harming themselves, please take advantage of these resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

This article (written by Kate Fagan) is about Penn runner Maddy Holleran, who committed suicide. This article does a wonderful job of showing how important it is to look out for any and all signs that someone is struggling.

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur--this book is especially helpful for young women, containing poetry written by a 21-year old girl about the stages of hardship she has gone through.

It's A Wonderful Life was particularly helpful for me as it puts things in perspective whenever I watch it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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