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My Story

Losing someone to suicide is more than just a heaviness in the heart, it’s more than a puncture in your spirit – it’s as if a surge of darkness takes over your world and diminishes the happiness you once felt of it. It happened so suddenly, the moment always replayed in my head when she told me that she’ll be there tomorrow for video game night, but instead I attended her funeral that weekend. She always stood by me when many turned their back on me, she inspired me to always be better than who I was yesterday – I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. When she had gone, it became hard to focus and concentrate on my studies., For a very long time I blamed myself as to why I couldn’t save her, why I couldn’t help her with her pain, what could I have done so that things would’ve been different?

One thing that I feel could’ve prevented her suicide was if the world would take her seriously, I wish she was given more of a safe space to express her concerns, I wish that she wasn’t spoken to like a chore on a to-do list but like a person of great value and worth. I wish she was given a peaceful atmosphere both in her home and at school as she was bullied frequently. If more of the world treated her kindly, she most likely would’ve still been here.

This was the first time I had lost someone close to me to suicide, coping was incredibly difficult as grief can sometimes feel like an imaginary anchor weighing you down. This experience altered my outlook on life making me feel a little pessimistic, so I decided to try different things to explore and learn more about life. Besides ensuring that I gave myself time to grieve, I kept myself busy with a variety of hobbies such as calligraphy, netball and figure skating. Whenever, I felt uneasy or especially for days I felt quite low, I started journaling. This has proven very effective for me as writing out how I felt and seeing it all in front of me feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I also find it helpful to write besides my negative emotions what I can do at that moment to learn from this and adapt for the future. This was important for me as even when I didn’t have the courage to tell anyone else, I ensured that I constructed a safe outlet to deal with grief and use it as strength.

My message to those who are struggling and thinking of suicide as a way out, as hard as it is just try and focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Personally, I draw inspiration from the lotus flower, its journey of growth is unique. The lotus is a plant that stands out to me the most, it has a life cycle unlike any other plant. It begins its journey in the darkest and murkiest of swamp waters yet despite these harsh conditions it remains grounded and then submerges into water each night fully closed. As soon as the light of dawn approaches, it rises out of the water and blooms in the light, uncovering its beauty and greatness in the sun. For the lotus to blossom, it must be surrounded by mud and not regular soil like most other flowers, even if the lotus seed was planted on marble, a kinder surface, it only grows in deep, dark and muddy waters.

Life is very much like this, you can emerge into a greater version of yourself through perseverance, take things one step at a time. If you find yourself pushing against the turbulent waves of life, take this as an opportunity to learn strength and patience. It’s easy to compare your life with others but remember to focus on your own journey, your past doesn’t determine your future but how you deal with today develops the strength for tomorrow. Although it’s not an easy path, be hopeful that someday all your hard work will pay off, and you’ll blossom into someone you’ll be proud of – if you don’t believe in you then borrow my belief in you.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rarest and beautiful of all” – Walt Disney, Mulan

Story – Anonymous

Image credit: ha11ok  from Pixabay

Robyn Fletcher

September 8, 2023