Utah seniors share their stories of resilience.
It Gets Better
A child doesn’t understand why adults are mean. So, they automatically assume it’s them – they’re bad, unlovable, unwanted. Once this reality is accepted, they don’t understand how to love themselves and that leads to years of self destructive behavior. That was my foundation in life. I didn’t matter. As a matter of fact, I was in the way. I was the problem. How a 2 year old can be THE problem, can only be understood and supported by very ill adults. I was surrounded by them. At 5, I took my first drink. Somehow I knew that it was an avenue of escape I wanted. In 5th grade, I started using drugs. By 8th grade, I was using heavy drugs and allowing boys to use me the way the adults had since I was 2. I hated myself. I was overweight until I turned 14 when I thinned out and became way to attractive. I didn’t have any friends that I trusted. I didn’t trust anyone actually. If my own family could betray me, certainly strangers would. I tried to pretend to fit in but I never did.
People think drugs destroy lives. Lives are already destroyed when people use drugs to escape their pain. Drug usage is evidence of a broken spirit. Drugs are a slow form of suicide.
At 14, I made my first immediate attempt. Those that found me were very mad. They yelled at me. My mom stood by. I didn’t really want to die. I wanted all the pain to end. I wanted my life to end. I held on.
The next 3.5 years were filled with drug use and an ill directed search for love. At one point, I started therapy. Therapy saved my life.
I’m 52 today. I have children and a husband. Life hasn’t been easy but I’m glad I didn’t leave early. My depression was situational. The trauma of my youth left me with a lifetime of challenges. It’s made me a better person. I’ve had to learn to face my fears. I’ve had to learn to challenge every thought for it’s accuracy. I have found that because of my foundation, many of my natural reactions and thoughts are lies and betray my best interest. Investigate your thoughts. Get help. The 12 Step Program helped me. A lot. Gratitude changed my life the most. Finding true gratitude in all things is the most powerful tool outside my relationship with God. I’ve saved that for last. Yes, God. For some reason, I’ve always known Him. The more I take time to get to know Him, the better my life gets.
Fight for your life! Ever read a good book? What if you would have closed the book in the middle? You have important chapters ahead. Don’t put your book down before it’s finished. Those voices that tell you that no one loves you or likes you? It’s a lie. You are loved and liked. Get help from someone who has the life you want. Go help someone. Helping people creates an escape from your pain but you have to let others help you too. And finally, make gratitude a habit.
About the Author
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