Journey of a suicide attempt survivor.
By Yole Guzman, June 2021
We need hope now more than ever. As elusive as it may seem, I do believe it is everywhere. I found some listening to Jane’s story.
For 5 years, Jane struggled to cling on to life. It was customary for dread to fill her up as soon as she waked and for the same dread to haunt her throughout the day. To be dogged by her bullies at school and to find no adequate respite from her friends and family, it was indeed her dark days. In the beginning, Jane managed to get through each day ignoring the toxicity that is her environment and focusing on the practical side of life, such as maintaining her grades. But as the days passed, somehow or another, it got harder and harder to keep the faith. She grew numb. To be able to feel something that would distract her from the chaos in her head would have been a welcome gift. Desperate, Jane turned to cutting herself. Although she knew that self-harm was neither a sustainable nor effective coping mechanism, she had reached a dead end. That was all she had.
Or at least all she thought she had.
When Jane mustered enough courage to open up to her close friend, it was nothing but extraordinary. She felt warmth for the first time in a long time. The relief she felt as soon as the words left her mouth was incomparable and she knew, things were going to get better.
It took some time before her parents could fully empathize, but they eventually did. Her bullies were relentless, but she was glad she could seek solace in her close friends. But more than that, she was able to fully embrace herself again and to regain the self-worth she used to have. Jane harnessed the remaining strength she had to try out various healthy coping mechanisms. As she shared with me her experience with meditation, you could see the glow in her eyes. Getting into the rigour of mediation was tough she admitted, but with determination and patience she managed to reap its benefits. She still commits to it daily till this day. On top of that, she found beauty in drawing and bringing cartoon characters to life. In fact, I will attest that Jane has an exceptional gift in it. Coupled with professional therapy and the love of her friends and family, Jane felt the beginnings of what would be her second shot at life. A renewed sense of self and the learning from experience has made her what she is today, a glowing soul.
Talking to her helped me put things into perspective for myself. Whatever it is I may be going through, I know I am not alone. And despite the new challenges I am facing, I know I can rely on the wisdom of my own past experiences, and those of others. As she shared her story, I found myself sharing details of my own, and truth be told, it was liberating. I certainly wish I could have more of such conversations and that we could be more open to sharing our stories. Our stories of pain and misery. Our stories joy and rejuvenation. But most of all our stories of resilience and growth.
As a volunteer at Caring for Life, I am fortunate to have opportunities to hear the unique and inspiring stories of suicide survivors. It is my wish that you find the same hope I found in their stories, and if you do, hold on to it. It will prove very useful, I promise.
The Suicide Attempt Survivor (SAS) is a youth actively involved in suicide prevention work. She is sharing her story in the hopes that it will inspire anyone who might be facing similar experiences. As someone who managed to find the light at the end of the tunnel, she hopes that the reader might find their version of happiness and solace as well. By sharing her story, she is empowered to build a better life for herself and wishes for the reader to do the same for themselves as well.
About the writer
Yole Guzman believes in the power of relationships. A name concocted from a stupid mistake, it has now become a name in which their friends find solace in. yole guzman hopes that every individual will be able to find the same support from friends and family around. yole guzman hopes you won’t give up. Keep fighting!