Lifestyle Opinion

Fearfully Made: National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and writer, Tim Heard shares a personal testimony.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month.

When it comes to suicide, I DO NOT play. Having gone through suicidal times in my life, I know the struggle, and I believe I was born to help. So I live to do so. (And, if you are a suicide attempt survivor or are the survived love one of someone who unfortunately succeeded in a suicide attempt, you can live to help someone, too.)

Many factors in my life influenced my suicidal tendencies, and are the reason they persisted throughout college. I was never black enough. I am a lighter skinned biracial woman, but like many biracials, I self identify as black. I was always teased for being the “white girl”. I recently traveled back to my home town, where a former classmate of mine told me that “you had a white mama, and didn’t stay in the hood, so you didn’t really count”. Keep in mind there were two darker skinned biracial girls, who did stay with my classmates ‘in the hood’ who were accepted as black. She then proceeded to tell me that ‘I was the only half-breed’, as if the other girls weren’t biracial themselves. It’s sad, because she was helping me out at the time, as she invited me to her house while I waited on a friend. I just had to realize that she was so small minded and backwards, that her opinions and perceptions of me held no weight. She proceeded to tell me she was ‘doing good for herself’ simply because she made enough money not to be on welfare (which, don’t get me wrong, is an accomplishment). But I had to look at her circumstances. She never made it out of that small town, had a son she put up on her mother and her son’s father, and was pregnant again. She even told me that ‘I hung with the nerds’. I almost wanted to say ‘ thank you’ because those ‘nerds’ are in wayyy higher places in life right now, and so was I (though I don’t look down on people who are not. I just had to get some things straight that day.) Also, this is a town that accepted a Vietnamese girl as black, over someone who was actually part black, simply because she appeared to be hood, but that’s another story. I even remember someone saying in school that “this girl and her were the only black ones going somewhere”. I wanted to slap the crap out of her and say “you DO realize this bih is VIETNAMESE right?” Anyways…

There was another time in college that someone who called themselves helping me out made an extremely snide comment when I used the word “nigga”, as most of us do often. She sneered “you think you can use that word because you’re half white don’t you?” Punching a b*^&$ has never been so tempting in my life. I would have, except she was giving me a ride to my on-campus apartment in 30 degree weather. Other instances include being called a “fucking half breed ” (his words exactly) by an uncle of a friend of mine. An older man. With no point to prove. Trolling on younger people. People with obviously tons of more sense than him. Sigh. Big. D*mn. Sigh.

I eventually learned, and am still learning, to not let the stupidity such as the kind people in these situations possess hurt my feelings, because that’s all it really is. Straight up ignorance. And just because they don’t know, or pretend not to know how to treat a person, doesn’t mean I dont. So I choose not to, and I hold my self to a higher standard. You can too, if people in your neck of the woods tend to give you a hard time about yourself and who you choose to be.

Other reasons for suicide attempts include my first love completely deciding to act as if I didn’t exist. That took me years to get over, and, I won’t lie, I tend to be tempted to peep his Facebook page sometimes. But then I have to realize that what goes around, comes right back around, and that I was someone who had love to give, and still have it to give to someone that wants and would appreciate it. Not my loss, pimpin’.

So, not liking the color of my skin, my ex being an idiot, and probably a combination of other things influenced my hate for myself. But a couple things more powerful kept those suicide attempts from continuing. I don’t know how you identify God, or if you identify God at all, but I do personally know without much doubt that something higher than us, the human race, exists. Call it a force, call it The Big Man Up Stairs, call it the universe (I personally think it is bigger than the universe, something outside of it), call it what you will. But I know that whatever ‘It’ is, has been holding my hand from the start, and it hasn’t let go yet. After all the very serious attempts, (It wasn’t playing; I was trying to leave this earth. I’ve taken more than a couple BOTTLES of pills on more than one occasion, and had a gun to my head, unlocked and loaded, on another) and I’m not dead, I’m MEANT to be here. Completely. And I don’t believe you can say you are meant to be here, without something meaning you to be here.

So, I said all that to say, YOU ARE VALUABLE, WORTHY, FEARFULLY MADE (and when I say FEARFULLY made, hunty, you strike fire in the eyes of at least one person on this earth, I guarantee it,-though they may never tell you, most likely because they are intimidated in some way by you) AND INCREDIBLE IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE DAMN WORD. If you are looking for a sign to tell you not to go through with that attempt, baby, this is it. You are beyond comparison. You are greater than a follower. YOU ARE YOU. And that is more than enough. Infinitely more.

You are loved. Now go tell someone else that, too.

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