What if someone you loved killed themselves? Before you answer I want you to picture this. In public their life seems great. They have a nice car, decent job; they are easy on the eyes. They are well loved. To look at them you would think they have it all together, right? Wrong. They are in massive debt, struggling with bills and their health. They have lost a home of some sort and even experienced the death of someone essential to their life. They are stressed out and anxiety ridden. If they have children and they love them but believe you me they are worried like hell that they can’t take care of them. They are overwhelmed beyond compare and one day you get a call that they committed suicide. What do you do? Are you mad at them? Do you call them selfish and stay angry that they left you?
That person sincerely believed the road ran out. They believe the next minute will be just as painful if not more painful than the next. This was me on November 22, 2014. I woke up in the middle of the night after a series of long, painful days full of abusive conversations stemming from an unhealthy relationship, stressful work days, feelings of inadequacy as a mother and person and struggling with the loss of my best friend (May 2013) the road ran out for me. I got up, sat on the side of my bed looked at the window next to it and said, “At what angle can I jump to make sure I break my neck and kill myself?” As I continued the calculations for a solid snap that would sever my spinal cord and crush my skull, I finished dressing myself, as I did not want to be found half naked on the grounds of the gated community where I lived. Immediately the tears begin to pour down my face and I thought about my babies and thought, “They are better off without me”. My mental, emotional and physical exhaustion and stress from the past several days and years had finally caught up to the woman I was fighting to become seeking to snuff her out. However, there is something special about the God we serve and His wonder working power. My heart; though tattered, withered, broken, bruised and confused; sent me one last s.o.s and told me, “No, Nina. This isn’t right.” So, with everything I had left inside my injured soul and body, I walked away from that window, put my coat on and walked out of my front door and headed straight for the hospital and I never looked back. Even though this resulted in a 5 day stay in a mental health facility, it was the BEST DECISION I EVER MADE. We quietly hide our mental meltdowns, brain bruises and emotional emptiness until it’s entirely too late. We suffer in silence because we believe that people will look at us strange or begin to call us “crazy” if we seek medical attention for our mental health. I realized that even staying silent about it this long I STILL would have died broken just as I would have that night had my plan to end my life worked. My silence isn’t saving anyone. Only my bravery, my boldness, my knowledge and my voice can. We CAN’T remain blind to the notion that even though males are 4 times more likely to end their life by suicide, the attempted suicide rate for females is 3 times that of males. This fact alone tells me one of many things; OUR WOMEN ARE HURTING. Therefore, we need to begin to examine our mental health as diligently as we do our physical health. In my own hurt to healing process that saved my life, I’ve uncovered 10 things that would have been stopped had I given up that day:
- I would have not been on the trolley 2 days before my 36 birthday to help my fellow Virginia State University alum with a simple token and pay forward all the hands from that beloved institution that reached out and helped me over the years.
- I would not have been able to release, “With Love From Nina Volume One” and see how much my gift of writing helps people in their daily journey called life and gives them hope.
- I would not have been in Marishka Phillips acting class on New Year’s day (yes I’m going again) to gain the confirmation and confidence needed to respect my craft and gift of acting. I can keep going because I was manufactured for this very purpose.
- I would not have been able to sing at some the saddest and also some of the most joyous occasions in the lives of those I love this year. My gift of singing has a purpose beyond me.
- I would not have been able to hear my parents tell me how proud they are of the mission that I’m on and have my dad confirm that THIS is a part of my calling. Seeing the look on my father's face every time he holds a copy of my first published book, "With Love From Nina: Volume One", is priceless.
- I would of missed this year full of lessons and blessings with my children and I would have missed my son uttering the words, “Mom can you be my hero?” and hear my daughter say, “you are my best friend, you are beautiful and the best mommy in the whole wide world!”
- FOR all the women that have crossed my path in the past year who needed an example- via me – of how to keep FIGHTING and recognize that WE ARE STILL HUMAN, a listening ear, encouragement, a hug, some motivation, a little inspiration, prayer, a laugh or even a good cry, I was able to be there.
- I would have never learned that I can demand and require the love I seek in a relationship and that compromise of myself or God’s expectations of me is not a requirement to enter into the bliss that’s waiting for me when my King enters my life.
- I would not be on my way to becoming Dr. Nina Blaylock, willing, able and ready to use my gifts, abilities and academic accomplishments to help change the scope of how we as society discuss, value, view and treat women of color and how myself and other women of color treat ourselves.
- IF I would of committed suicide, all of my dreams - big or small - would have died with me.
Each day that I recognize my worth, I pray and I keep going, I discover new realizations through even some of the most challenging times. My mission is to live as long as I can, living out my dreams and purpose, and to show others who fight this fight daily how to do the same. There is no sense at dying in your worst when you can go on to live at your best.
Remember, life is not perfect, it’s purposed………………………………..for GREATNESS!!!!!!
With Love From,