Let’s get personal.
I attempted suicide on October 22, 2011 at the age of 13. It was the middle of fall. Spots of orange, red, yellow, and green cover cracks in pavement. The sky is a distasteful grey, one that forces you to feel nothing.
My cousins are over; they watch movies in the basement with my siblings. I can hear their muffled laughter from my bedroom. Here, I embrace the gloomy weather. Purple curtains tuck away the little bit of light through my windows.
My room was dark, silent, and evil. My thoughts were deafening as vicious voices proposed ways to die. Pills. Green and white prescription pills. Famous colours of the Nigerian flag. There are 8 capsules in the cylinder container. I chug them all. Waiting for death to arrive, I decide to make my bed.
The taste of shortbread lingers in my mouth.
I start to lose balance and decide to lie down. When you are about to die, your mind becomes quiet. Your muscles relax and chest feels heavy. Your senses heighten as your mind turns numb. There is the feeling of pills making their way through your blood stream. You wonder if this is what being high feels like.
Then you close your eyes for the last time. With the faint taste of shortbread still lingering in your mouth.
One thing for sure, I was relieved when my eyes opened to bright fluorescent lights above my ICU bed. The smell of hand sanitizer and piss consoled me in a disturbing way. Then I looked at my mother.
Instantly, my heart fell into the pit of my stomach. Regret flushed over me like thunderstorms in mid-august. As well as the mortifying feeling of shame that lasted the whole week spent in the hospital.
I was ashamed at the lack of value I had for life. Even worse, I was ashamed that I FAILED at committing suicide. Funny as it sounds, failing at suicide was the best fail I ever accomplished.
My moment of awakening after attempting suicide felt like rebirth.
When I held those pills in my hand, I had made a promise to death that we would soon meet. That’s how it played in my mind.
In reality, I had asked Death out on a date, and she declined. I didn’t deserve death and she didn’t deserve me. First of all, I would have been an unfulfilled 13-year-old ghost who haunts for fun. Second, ending my own life would be like forcing death to go on a date with me.
I’ve never been forced to go on a date. But I assume that would be unpleasant.
This is Why My Life Changed
After recovering, I went back to school. The first three seconds after entering my Grade 9 home room classroom were filled with cheering and “welcome backs”, the usual.
Then two minutes in, a voice from the back of the classroom hollered, “can I have some gum?”.
At the time, I found it funny and giggled at the domino effect of people asking for gum. Now at my young adult age, I am appalled at the legacy I had made for myself.
Please read this carefully: We all have the power to write our own stories.
While my classmates asked me for gum, I realized that was who I was; Gum Girl. If I succeeded in ending my life, that is how people would remember me.
I did not want to be remembered as “Gum Girl”. That, was not fulfilling to me. I wanted my life to have an eloquent purpose.
By failing a suicide, I given another chance to rewrite my life’s outcome. Hopefully, you don’t have to go through depression and attempted suicide to realize this. What you are doing right now, can determine who you’ll be remembered as. Do not create an image for others, but create one for yourself.
Who do you want to be remembered as?
The Lesson: Create Your Own Legacy.
“The richest wealthiest on the earth is the cemetery.” – Myles Munroe
Myles Munroe couldn’t have said it better. The cemetery is the wealthier place on earth because, all the lost hopes, dreams, and ideas of great minded people wither within empty caskets. If you don’t chase your dreams or at least try to make some dreams a reality, will you be genuinely fulfilled with life?
Create a legacy that will make yourself proud.
Focus on what makes you feel alive and passionate, then dedicate every living moment doing that thing. Know who you are and what you want to become. Don’t allow your circumstances to stop you from being the greatness that you already are.
My unending supply of gum wasn’t because I loved gum (that was part of it). Most of it was the fact that people were friends with me because I always had gum. I was a plug for those that were looking for a gum fix. In class, people would ask me for gum and I’d give them a piece, then we’d chat.
Gum was an exchange for friendship.
After the attempt, I stopped bringing gum to school. I noticed that fewer people talked to me and that was fine. I was able to do more with my life, which I did. I focused more on sports and school. By the end of high school I was A’Isha Adams, female athlete, poet, and the girl who passed English class with a 94%.
I was no longer “Gum Girl”.
If I, someone only known for having gum, could change into the person I am now; anyone could do it.
It takes realizing that you want to be something more.
As traumatizing as my experience was, I do not regret it. I do wish I was stronger and did not allow myself to succumb to negativity. Still, I doubt I would be the person I am now if it wasn’t for it. Dead or alive.
Life is a journey that I intend to partake in. In over 80 years from now when I am on my death-bed, my encounter with death will be much different.
My soul would be whole.
I have told this story before, but I felt like I didn’t portray my message well enough. Here is the edited, and finished result. Please like, comment, and share xx
Your presence is much appreciated.