My name is Clarissa Turner and "I AM" a survivor of suicide!
Allow me to go back exactly seven years ago, on December 21, 2004, a cold Tuesday morning and three days before my 23rd birthday, which was Christmas Eve.
I remember being at the bookstore working and thinking about so many things that were on my mind that day. The pain of being separated from my husband at that time since he was in the military, the financial downfalls of not having enough money to do the things that I desired, the constant questions from others as of why I did not have any children, having to be in a house where I was not accepted warmly by my mother's husband, since my husband had sent me back to the Midwest from the East Coast to be closer with family and friends, and lastly, the depression from suffering from severe acne and not wanting to be around people.
It had been about six months since I had last seen my husband and I was excited with the thought of knowing that he was going to be coming home soon! In the midst of everything else, I had so many things that nagged and picked at my mind but I held so much in because I was the person that other people would come to be uplifted and to release smiles of joy into their lives, but it seemed like no one was there for me when I needed to be listened to and encouraged.
As I stood at the counter of the bookstore and waited on my customers, I got a phone call around 10:15 a.m. with my mother on the phone and with my husband on the other end, calling to tell me that "HE COULD NOT COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS" and that he really did not know when he was going to be able to come home period. In the depths of my stomach, I wanted to throw up and within my eyes, tears felled down like rain. I could not believe what I heard on the phone and on top that, my husband had my mother to call me at my job to break the news.
I walked a way from the counter and asked my manager if I could go to the break room because I just felt heavy and sad in my spirit. When I sat down in the break room, I remembered that there was a commercial with a mother holding her child and that made me break down even more because I desired children badly.
My manager came into the break room and told me to go home because she did not like seeing me look the way that I looked: SO SAD! The funny thing is that people act shocked and surprised when they see a "so-call" strong person crying, when the truth is, "EVEN THE STRONG CAN BECOME WEAK AND NEED TO BE UPLIFTED!"
I asked myself over and over again in the car as I drove to the house what had I done wrong in my life to feel like nothing was going right? Sure, I was a Christian and I believed in God and I still do, but I experienced a season in my life where I felt like God had left me out in the cold and did not care what happened to me or my heart. So, I arrived at the house at 11:15 a.m. and I sat upon the bed thinking about the people who loved me and how they were going to miss me when I was gone because I was tired of so many things in my life that had not gone right.
As I began to write my suicide letter, I heard Mariah Carey sing on the radio the song "I Am Free" and that was what I wanted to be, because I felt broken, hurt, sad, lost, disappointed and confused in a world where it seemed liked "Good people suffered for doing what was right. I made my way to the medicine cabinet and I swallowed an overdose of pills that could have stopped my heart because I wanted to be numb to the negative side of life and all of the lacks, setbacks, and attacks! I remembered my mom calling me with a panic tone in her voice because I knew she sensed that something was not right. After swallowing the pills, I felt my head spinning and my heart slowly beating. I got up to go get a second bottle of pills and I fell back onto the bed and urinated on myself because I could not move to go to the bathroom.
I was waiting for my spirit to leave my body, so that I could enter into a world of TRUE PEACE but I heard someone coming into the front door and it was my mother and my grandmother who had Alzheimer's disease but for some reason, it was like my grandmother knew something was wrong with me in the midst of her illness. The look on my mother's face made tears run down my face, as I remember my grandmother holding me in her arms and saying, "It's going be alright." My mother was shaking as she called the ambulance and to see the look on her face was a look of fear over the thought that she could have lost her only child that day. I can never forget that look because it was a look that said, "I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU GO BEFORE ME!"
When I arrived at the hospital, pills began to come up from my mouth and I overheard the doctor tell my mother that I was "lucky" to be alive but I was going to have to spend some time on the psych ward. I broke down because I realized that I allowed my "bottled-up" depression to take over my actions and to put me into the state that I was in. As I was being transported to the psych ward, I cried like never before because my mother was told that she could not see me until they approved the visit.
In the midst of everything and as strange as it may sound, God took a negative situation and caused me to win a soul to Him. I am reminded of Romans 8:28, which says: "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose." I had a purpose in going on that psych ward and that purpose was to understand that we all fall short and that no one is "exempt" from experiencing the act of suicide because depression has no name, color, shape, age, size, or religious belief attached to it because it can be anyone who has reached a breaking point in their lives. I remember the psychiatrist asking me, "What are you going to do if everything still does not go the right way for you? Will you keep attempting suicide until you succeed or will you learn how to cope with life and the many obstacles that go a long with living?" Those questions stayed in mind for a very long time because shortly after that, my husband wanted a divorce! My stay in the hospital was exactly four days and I was released on Christmas Day of 2004. I was given a prescription for Zoloft anti-depression pills but I never got the prescription filled because my medication became a man called God! Never in my life did I imagine that I would have come to the point of attempting suicide and I must admit that I use to judge others about how crazy it was to go to that point, but I learned from it all, never to JUDGE ANYONE.
That following Sunday after Christmas, one of the ladies who was on the psych ward with me, she gave her life to Christ at a church I was visiting and when she stood up and saw me, she began to cry and she told me afterwards, "I thank God that you came onto that psych ward because your spirit was so strong to lift me up in the midst of where we both were." I took her words to heart and God told me in my spirit that even during the midst of your affliction you can STILL BE FRUITFUL!
My life has been a great journey and on December 24, 2011, I celebrated my 30th birthday with all smiles of true happiness because God allowed me to step out of my 20's and to embrace my 30's with a profound respect for life and to be on a mission to spread the word to others who are hurting that there is JOY IN LIVING and that situations just like the weather will and can change for the better.
Since then, I have lost much but I have also gained a whole lot as well. I went on to write a book ( www.bookstandpublishing.com/book_details/The_Open_Book ) that poetically speaks about my journey in the form of biographical poems, take part in what I love to do, (speak) to a crowd of people about my testimony, and live my dreams of being an Entrepreneur.
So to answer the questions from that day that the psychiatrist asked me about, far as what I was going to do if everything did not go right for me; the answer is, I will continue to press forward and know that my life has purpose no matter what I see or what happens to me a long the way, and to answer the next question, whether or not I will keep attempting suicide until I succeed or will I learn how to cope with life and the many obstacles that go a long with living, my answer is this: "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGHTENS ME!"
I chose life and that is what I plan to give to others because I AM A SURVIVOR!
~Clarissa's book has not been reviewed or approved as a recommended resource by AFSP~