Is there a mistake you’ve made that turned out to be a blessing — or otherwise changed your life for the better? Tell us all about it.
The way I think of “mistakes” is quite particular. It would have to involve a situation where there is a right and wrong, good or bad type of outcome. There have been countless situations where there was a better or worse outcome, but neither was “right” or “best” so those situations are excluded…
Another aspect of a “mistake” is the learning process that follows. You have not made a mistake if you do not realize the error of your ways. If you don’t see how what you’ve done is wrong, then you likely don’t regret your actions and you will not necessarily act differently next time. For something to qualify as a mistake, there has to be a lesson learned.
That being said, I consider my worst and favorite mistake my final desperate attempt at taking my own life. The year was 2009. The reason will never be clear to anyone outside of my head. The methods used were minimally effective. The cause of my hitting rock bottom was a collection of hopelessness. I had made it farther than I ever expected myself to survive. I never projected far enough into my future to see myself as an adult. I could not picture myself going to college or existing in anyway outside of who I was as a child. I expected some tragedy to end my life before I had the chance to end it myself. I knew that if I didn’t die in a freak accident it would have to be at my own hands. I was too afraid to live out there in the real world all by myself.
I had trouble sleeping. I would stay awake for weeks at a time. I got maybe an hour or two a night if I was lucky. I got a few minutes here and there throughout the school day. At this point, it was summer vacation. Nearing the end of July, I was feeling more hopeless than usual. I had made a promise a couple years ago that I would cling to life as long as it was making itself available to me. I promised I would make the most of my situation and not allow the sadness to defeat me. Things had become so defeating, though, that my promise slipped my mind with my increasing desperation.
One evening, I made subtle attempts at reaching out to those who I thought might respond. They did not respond. I convinced myself that no one cared about me. I swallowed all of the sleeping pills and drifted into a drowsy fog. I felt myself losing control over my body and it was admittedly a relief. I was tired of being in control, I wanted to give up. I was done. I fell into a deep sleep that lasted well over 16 hours. When I woke up, I had completely forgotten why I was so tired. I was bombarded by reality upon waking.
I was not the only desperate soul that evenening. I had company that I was unaware of. There was another girl, about the same age as me, just a few blocks away. She was going through something a lot more specific and cruel. She was not someone who hoped for life to be over sooner rather than later. She was a poor young girl who was emotionally harassed after the suicide of her late boyfriend. She was bombarded with hatred from people claiming to mourn his passing. If they were truly mourning him, they would feel remorse for his suffering girlfriend, not anger and blame. The girl was driven to a breaking point.
This breaking point is one that I lived my life on the cusp of. I was always a mere glance away from feeling unworthy of life. I was constantly reassured that life was something I was wasting with my presence. As insincere as those teasing words may have been, they always stuck with me. “You’re such a waste of life and air and water. Why are you even here?”
This was something i felt my whole life: all day, everyday for 18 years (at this point).
I felt nothing short of regret and helplessness (once more). This poor girl deserved her life. Hell, she wanted it! She was pushed to feel the way I felt in a matter of days. She was suffering in a temporary way and the heartless actions and words of others, who had no right to impede on her happiness, brought her down to rock bottom.
Those people should be ashamed. No one should ever be made to feel like they are not worthy of life.
My mistake was believing that I was not worthy. Because of this belief, I tried to take my own life.
The lessons learned were…
- I am worthy of life.
- No one can make me feel inferior without my consent (thanks, Eleanor Roosevelt)
- Suicide is harder than it sounds
- Death is not the answer/it is the easy way out
- It is braver to endure a hard life than to end it with ease.