At HOPE419 our focus has been consistently focusing on the healing aspect of your journey and the power you have to make change. September is designated as Suicide Prevention Month. This is a time for us all to reflect on the power of change and how we can be instrumental in providing each other with hope.
There are many different messages out in regard to Suicide Prevention Month. The VA is focusing on Don’t Wait Reach Out and the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline’s message is #BeThe1To. The primary focus of these campaigns is to spread the word about suicide prevention and to change the narrative to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.
Today I would like to share my journey of being a suicide survivor and the hope that I have found throughout my life. As a teen I struggled with depression which manifested into anxiety or maybe it was the opposite, who knows, but it led me down the path of addiction and so much more. Throughout my teen years I struggled with finding a purpose in life and was more fixated on finding ways to end my life. Numerous times I attempted but some power greater than myself knew there was a purpose for me in this world. I would like to tell you that there was this bright light filled with confetti and glitter that changed my life, but not so. Finding hope was almost impossible! I spent many dark days and nights, attempting to find purpose and as you can imagine I didn’t find it in my addiction, it just made it darker.
The intrusive thoughts of not being enough or the world would be so much better off without me were my constant enemies. I fought with them day in and day out. As difficult as this was recovery was equally as challenging. After everything I sure didn’t deserve to feel good, who am I thinking I could live a “normal” life? I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture and especially if you ever have been in that dark place.
Hope for me was found in recovery, unconditional love, and to be totally transparent it took me almost my entire life to own my purpose and find true healing and hope.
I continue to be a work in progress and know that my journey if far from over but today I’m grateful for the opportunity to be alive, to have people in my corner who never gave up on me when I couldn’t see the light not only at the end of the tunnel but anywhere!
Today life is good, challenging at times as sometimes those demons rear their ugly voices, and self- doubt starts to creep in but my people have me and you know what I have me, today I can say I know I’m loved; I know I’m worthy of being happy and being alive!
Stay lifted and know there is hope even in those darkest moments, if you don’t have people in your life, you do now because we, at Hope 419, will gladly be your people!
Written by Vivian Winters, LISW-S