I remembered coming to Houston for a doctor’s appointment. I was never regular since the start of my menstrual cycle and I was growing tired of the generic answers regarding my concern. This time my appointment was with a specialist in reproductive health. She ranked number two in the country thus giving me hope of finally knowing what was wrong with me. Her staff was extremely warm, but she was cold as the exam table I laid upon. Assaulting my cavity with her probing and reading over my chart, she inquired about my father and his gene pool. Answering the questions to the best of my ability, I grew weary and rightfully so. Without hesitation, the doctor looked me in my face and told me I would never be a mother. I could carry a child, but I would have to use someone’s eggs. Naked, I laid there paralyzed by shock. My world was shattering and I could hear my mother weep. Numb, the car ride home was silent on my part. For the first time, I was broken and nothing could be done. I returned to school smiling amongst my friends while my inner being dissolved. Hurting, I was fragile. I would randomly break down when I saw mothers with their children. I would get enraged when my friends would flee to Houston to abort their mistakes. I thought about the relationship I had and how it would change. I cried over never knowing who I could create. Somehow I was defective. I love kids and now I couldn’t have any of my own. I felt God hated me. It was a Saturday morning when I figured it would be a good day to go. My brother came to keep an eye on me and although I would never want to hurt him, I was tired of hurting. I was tired of wondering how my life would be and what purpose would I have. I was tired of being a defect. I laid in my bed and forced myself to pray. It had been some time since I talked to God and I was only asking for forgiveness for what I was about to do. In my hand were six pills. Three were of one particular medication I am highly allergic to. As I gazed up one final time with hurt filling my eyes, I made my peace knowing I was at the point of no return. My brother who normally knocked before entering my bedroom walked in. The tears that swelled in my eyes began to flow onto my cheeks. I knew he saw my shame and could feel my pain. I had no choice, but to tell him I didn’t want to live. My life was in shambles. He cradled me in his arms not knowing that I was seconds from taking my life. As he cried with me, I released those pills and part of my pain. My brother brought me home and I got help. Seven years have passed and he still doesn’t know how close I came. I am unsure if he had a gut feeling or not, but I am sure I never want to experience that emptiness again.
I never planned to share this with BA. In fact I probably would be better off if I didn’t (ridicule is hard), but I watched the short film, “Suicidal Thoughts, by Travis Irby and my heart was heavy. I saw the people I lost and those that I may lose. I heard the very conversation I had with myself. I felt the pain once more. I felt the shame. I walked through that dark hall way again, but this time I saw the door. You may think I’m crazy or defective, but this is my truth. I am what depression looks like. I had what most envied, but the pain I harbored eradicated my joy.
In our community we are comfortable with thinking that depression and suicide isn’t “our” problem. We tell our children to “man up” and “boys don’t cry”. We look in the faces of our daughters and want them to be strong women forsaking the strength in vulnerability. Our kids are told they aren’t beautiful if they aren’t visibly “mixed”. When our men fail, we stomp on them. We shame our women for not being the trending woman of desire. We rip each other to shreds then expect us to carry the burdens the world hands out. We bully each other and when one of us decides on our coupe de gras , we all lie and say “If I had known”. If you had known what? That the 5.4 blacks die per day from suicide? Or that in a year nearly 2,000 deaths within our community will be from suicide with more than 1,600 of them being our black men? We shouldn’t have to have a tragedy occur before we deal with a problem. Depression and suicide is our concern. Erase the stigma.
Check out the film below:
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from depression and/or contemplating suicide, call:
1 (800) 273-8255
You are worth life!