At 16 I attempted to take my own life. I would make another attempt at 19. And I am SO THANKFUL that I FAILED in those attempts. Why? Please... PLEASE read why.
I was removed from my family's house when I was about halfway through high school. My grandparents took me under their roof and provided for me something I never thought was possible in a place of acceptance. But both of those things would never have happened if I didn't reach out and ask for help from my friends and family that weren't living with me. They helped me learn what resources were available for me, who I could talk to about these things, and what could be done, and although it was only little steps... THEY WERE STEPS and steps in the RIGHT DIRECTION! I began to understand that I had value, that I was important, and that I did matter to people around me. My confidence slowly rebuilt and I started to rediscover who I was and what things made me truly happy in life.
Like I mentioned before though, I did attempt to take my own life again at 19. And at this point in my life (at 25) looking back, I hope I can provide some perspective for you - knowing where I was then. Once I began to understand what made me happy I began to make longer, lasting friendships and relationships with people around me, but I relied too much on those people. In high school and especially through college and working in the 'adult' world, these friendships don't last as long as you see in movies and TV shows. So when they ended, it really hurt... it dug deep. After having surgery that took me from my dreams of playing any sport in college, breaking up with a long-term girlfriend, and learning my last term of high school dropped my GPA below scholarship levels I thought I was losing all my value as a person again.
At this point something wonderful happened and I would hope and pray that it can and will happen in each of your lives if you are reading this now:
instead of thinking about everything I was doing, I thought about all the things I no longer had done. I used to read when I was growing up, something that I loved! So instead of going out to a friends house for a night, I went and read a book of my own choice. I used to love to learn, and would dedicate myself to working with people! So I found a part-time job AND volunteered in places that helped me practice those skills. And guess what? That work and volunteering led me to earning back the scholarships I thought I lost when my grades dropped, and I finished a degree in management! I thought that my family wasn't valuing me for the longest time, because they never celebrated around me... but I realized that often time I found happiness in THEIR smile and laughter, and I made it a point to call a family member once a week. Then twice a week. And now almost daily I try to talk with them to see how they are doing, to seek their advice, to hear what I can do to help them or be around them.
All these things might seem particular for me, but if I never took that moment to take some deep breaths. To think about what I could do differently instead of what I was doing wrong. To reach out to family and to resources around me (things like this website). TO believe in myself! These things may seem impossible at times, but even just small steps in the right direction can be SO wonderful. And I have faith that you can do these things. I believe in you. I may never meet you, I may have met you, but I believe in you!
I will admit that I am quite the Star Wars guy. I imagine life working in ways like the Force, and that I am like Luke Skywalker trying to find balance through all the chaos. A New Hope (Episode IV if you know them by Episodes!) is my favorite, and often time I use it as an example in talking about these types of situations in life. A new hope, creating hope, finding hope is so important throughout your life always. I would strongly encourage you to reach out to someone you trust, and if you are having problems with reaching out to someone you know? This website has an awesome resource tab that I NEVER had growing up, that you guys are so lucky to have!
So where am I now? Well, I'm on good terms with my mom (something I never thought would happen!), she regularly checks in with me and offers help and advice with what I'm going through (again, never imagined it!), I'm managing full-time in a team-environment and getting to help people develop work habits I wish I had at a younger age, I'm taking care of my grandparents who unfortunately now are in very old age and need a hand (the same one who helped me through my struggles) and EVERY day they both tell me how much they love me.
There's something so BIG I want to tell you. You, reading this... you. You are LOVED. You are VALUED. You are WONDERFUL. UNIQUE.
It may seem corny, but I hope to be someone that can help in every way I can after what I've gone through. I didn't want to share too much, and still I ended up sharing quite a bit, but that's because I hope that after you've read this you can be more comfortable reaching out for help with this battle. So many people have gone through the fight... sometimes we don't look like it, but everyone has their battle wounds. And what I hope from the bottom of my heart is that you can realize that you have SO many allies, and we just want to help you as much as you want to be able to move forward from it.