Trigger Warning: The following article contains vivid language surrounding suicide and suicidal thoughts.
In honor of it being National Suicide Awareness Month, I want to talk about suicide, life and give anyone listening who has thought of suicide or knows someone who has committed/thought of suicide a little bit of hope.
I was that kid that was picked on.
I had food thrown at me.
I was called every name in the book from fat to ugly and disgusting.
I was laughed at any time that I would speak.
I had to skip out on our eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. because the girls who were supposed to be my roommates told me that I could sleep in the bathtub or on the bathroom floor.
To be honest, I don’t even remember half of what happened to me because I was completely traumatized.
…and did I mention that I had to switch high schools after my freshman year?
We can hit rock bottom at any age. I talk about being bullied a lot. I talk about dropping out of school a lot. But I also talk about self-care and mindset because it’s easy to get caught up in the victim mentality. It’s easy to sit and feel sorry for ourselves. It’s easy to feel sad all the time rather than happy.
It doesn’t matter why you hit rock bottom or why you might be having a rough day, week month or year. If you have ever been in a place or are currently in a place where you are questioning life, then you should give yourself credit because if you CHOSE to read this, and that means you want to improve your life.
I’ve been in really dark places in my life. Places where I feel like I’m drowning and there’s no escape. Places where I feel like I’m suffocating. Places where I just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I would come home from school crying almost every day whether my parents saw it or not. I didn’t see the point of life. I was tormented at school. I hated myself because I was put down so much. I believed that if everyone else thinks that I’m stupid, weird, fat, ugly and that I’ll never get anywhere it must be true, right?
You hear something enough times or you tell yourself something enough times and all of a sudden that is what you believe to be your truth.
But it’s not.
I believed it so much that I would look up on the internet, “quickest ways to kill yourself.” Before the internet, I would starve myself or take a knife up to my room and think about what life would be like without me.
Yes, I’m getting real here.
Suicide isn’t talked about enough. It’s very real. It’s very scary and there’s something that we can do about it.
My entire mission began as an anti-bullying campaign to prevent suicides because of my own experiences.
And for those of you wondering why I spend my time talking about self-care and mindset more than suicide and bullying, it’s because I learned that by investing in my own self-care and shifting my mindset, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So, I talk and write about the lessons that I’ve learned to inspire others. Whether you’ve been bullied, whether you are the bully or facing a really tough time in life where you are considering giving up, this is a resource for you to get inspired because life has so many opportunities.
What I want you to know is that the second you give up fighting for the light at the end of the tunnel is the second you lose.
It’s really tough to get out of a rut. No matter what obstacle or struggle you may be facing in life. It also sucks to feel like absolute shit all the time. So, you can power through and reach the light or you can give up. The only way to reach the light is to keep moving forward.
You might not see the light now and that’s normal. It takes some work.
I always had this gut feeling that there was so much more to life and that one day, I would be able to make an impact and help others. That gut feeling, amongst the help that I got and personal development are what kept me going.
It was my intuition telling me not to give up.
Experiencing hardship doesn’t mean that you’re weak.
Your current beliefs can be changed.
You CAN create a life that you want.
It starts by doing something different than what you are currently doing.
That is when change happens. It’s not easy. It’s really hard, but imagine how you will feel when you see the light?
That is what I used to do. I used to go to sleep every night envisioning my life the way that I wanted it to be. Instead of going to sleep thinking about the negative, 5 out of 7 nights/week I would go to bed just envisioning the future. It excited me. It was the only thing that excited me. It was the only thing that gave me hope to keep going.
Your current situation is not your final destination.
I was watching a video on Instagram the other day and Oprah was speaking about going after what you want in life.
She said that if you keep pushing and pushing for what you want, you are bound to hit an obstacle.
It went something like that.
Whether you are pushing for what you want and you hit an obstacle or you feel stuck or you are being bullied and feel out of control, just know that the only way to get to the other side is to keep moving forward.
Life changes and nothing stays the same.
After leaving high school and making it through those horrible years of bullying, I went away to school, but I knew it wasn’t for me. My sophomore year I decided that I don’t need to do what society says. I decided that I was going to create my own happiness because I was miserable.
So, I left and you can listen to that podcast and hear the story.
I decided to take control of my life.
If you don’t take control of your own life, your mind will and your beliefs will destroy you if you let it.
If you hit rock bottom or are struggling, please know that there is so much more to life.
If I would have given up back when I was 12 years old, I wouldn’t be here today to share this information with you.
I wouldn’t be living on the beach in Miami.
I wouldn’t be in this amazing relationship with Pedro.
I never thought I’d have a relationship because I didn’t know that anyone could love me.
I wouldn’t own my own company.
I wouldn’t be able to create this life that I dreamed of.
It took a lot of hard work for me to get here, but looking back, if it weren’t for my struggles and obstacles, I wouldn’t be here.
If I was never bullied, then I would have a totally different life.
That is why I’m grateful.
I’m grateful that I was bullied.
I’m grateful because I now know that struggles lead to success.
Happiness sometimes takes a little extra work.
Be grateful for the struggle because it builds up strength that you don’t realize you have. You have more strength than you think.
I want to encourage you to try a few things if you want life to get better and please share this with anyone who might be in a dark place as well:
Lay down in a comfy place.
Close your eyes.
Envision what a perfect day would look like for you.
Nothing is unrealistic. I want you to envision what your life would look like if you were already living the life that you love.
Get very specific.
Think about where you would live, the car you would drive, what you would be doing every day, what you like to eat and what you do for fun!
Write it on paper.
Create a journal entry with that exact vision and write that journal entry as if you are already living that life.
Put that away somewhere where it won’t get lost and look at it in tough moments.
End your day envisioning that life you would love to live.
Wake up and write 5 things you are grateful for each day.
I ALSO want you to try journaling. I was so against journaling, so if you are, then I get it. But it changed my life.
You can journal about your day.
You can journal about an emotion.
You can journal about a situation.
You can journal about anything that comes to your mind. Start by journaling for just 3-5 minutes.
Whether it’s a guidance counselor at school, a therapist, an inpatient or outpatient psychiatric program, talk to a friend and get that help.
Sometimes talking to the RIGHT people will encourage you. Just talking and getting your emotions out might feel like a weight being lifted off of your shoulders and you never know the feedback that someone has for you.
I can only share what personally helped me and what continues to help me to this day. But, I can promise you that life gets better if you allow it. I am telling you from experience.
If you are suicidal, please get help immediately because there is so much to live for. I can’t say it enough.
Please call the national suicide prevention hotline. The number is 1-800-273-8255.
It can be scary to get help, but it’s going to be so much better when you feel better. You have to shift the way that you think about it.
Life gets better.