My Story: How I Overcame Depression & Suicide
Share your story. It'll inspire others.
I read that quote and saved it to a private Pinterest board 3 years ago.
It was a message for me that day.
Someday, I knew that I'd share my story after I overcame my biggest fear of being judged and misunderstood by people beyond my inner circle.
I was 14 or 15 when I made my first attempt to take my own life. I couldn't go through with it that day. I confided in a girlfriend from school through a note. She took the note to a teacher. The teacher showed my mom. My mom, well, she approached me in the gentlest way a mother can.
I don't remember the conversation. I only remember her love.
It was enough to get me by, for a while.
I'd go on to make several more suicide attempts over the next 2 to 3 years. By way of overdosing on pills, suffocation, and then the last one...
I searched my dad's closet and found his gun.
I loaded the chamber.
I really thought this would be better.
My heart raced.
These were the last thoughts leading up to the potential end:
Are you sure?
Your little brother will be the one to find you.
Are you sure that's what you want?
Are you sure this is it?
You think you know what it's like having a gun pointed at your head like they do in the movies, but once you actually feel it - you can't forget what the tip of a barrel feels like against your soft, naked temple.
Something took over me. I pulled the gun away quickly, unloaded the chamber, and I ran into my baby brothers room. He was barely 10 years old.
"Dad's gun is in my room. I'm ready to take my own life. Go get it and hide it someplace that I will NEVER find it. Stash the bullets somewhere else. Do it NOW!"
Looking back, I can't believe I'd give my baby brother that level of responsibility, but in that moment he saved my life.
We sat together the rest of the evening.
I don't remember the conversation. I only remember his love.
Decades later I would tell my mom that story. For many years my dad talked about his missing gun and where it could have gone.
My brother doesn't remember moving a large heavy wooden trunk off the top of a vent duct, in the back part of our family home. That's where he hid the gun that day.
Dad would find it years later and would talk about how he had no idea how it got there.
The first time he said that, I remembered everything.
Back then, darkness and I existed as one. Colors were muted. I had no appetite. All I wanted to do was lay in bed day after day. I didn't want to see my friends at school. When I did go, I faked happiness. I hid my sadness. I was the funny one. The cool one, who got along with nearly every social 'click'. Back then I felt like I never belonged anywhere though. Most people's adolescents are rocky, but for some reason, I experienced the depths of pain at a pit of something I can't describe.
I was 16 or 17 when the thought of suicide would release its grip.
Soft hits of the 80's played on the radio as my mom drove me to run errands. Oh, how heavy my young soul felt.
While riding in the passenger seat - as if my whole body could hear - I sensed a small voice that said, "It's going to be okay."
Every tiny cell in my body, the trillions of particles that form my earthly-self, got that message loud and clear.
It's going to be okay.
There was no way for me to un-know that.
Believing that it was true was an understatement.
Listen, I know not everyone is going to understand this story. In fact, if you're like me, it's hard to hang with stories about suicide or depression. UNLESS you're in that place yourself.
I started with Share your story. It will inspire others. This story is for those who need what I needed back then.
It's simple, but I promise it's going to be okay.
This is the premise for what I do. Everything I do is driven by my desire to see other people overcome their own beliefs. As a business owner, designer, entrepreneur, wife, sister, daughter, friend, every role that I embody in life - it all comes from my experience to support and inspire others that we are bigger than our pain and our beliefs. This is my purpose in life - to share my story and how a simple mindset shift can change your world.
Truly, our thoughts, our mindset, and our beliefs shape every corner and facet of our bodies and lives.
The phrase it's going to be okay was my first experience with the power of words. Over a decade later I'd learn to recognize that lesson. Another decade later, I'd learn how to have the greatest impact, where my passions and hobbies would cross intersect with my work.
For over 3 years now, I've been using my experience to inspire others to harness the power of their own mind and live a life worth living.
Whether it's in the emails I write to customers, conversations with the checkers at the grocery store, or my loved ones - I am kind because I know what it's like to be bullied. I know what it feels like when people are unkind, when in that moment, kindness could have changed everything.
I've also learned to not gossip. If you've ever really wanted people to decide whether they like you or not, shut down conversations of those who gossip - they'll decide to hate you or respect you in under 3 seconds.
Ultimately, you never know what another person is going through. You don't know their story until they share it. The best that we can do is share ours and understand that regardless of what others think, it's going to be okay.
The words you speak to yourself are important, but sometimes the words you don't speak to others, during moments of their pain, are just as important. So just love them.
They might not remember the conversation. They'll remember your love.
It's love that conquers all, even death.
I write all of this on the eve, of the eve, of my jewelry brands new collection launch. This collection blankets my story. The collection exists because it came time for me to share the hardest - but most profound - part of my own story.
If you know a loved one or someone who's dealing with depression or has had thoughts of suicide, do 3 things: give them a phone number to call for a suicide hotline here, be with them if even in silence, and share my story.