**TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of suicide and self-harm.**
I recently purchased a bracelet from MyIntent.org. The purpose of the project is to choose a word that goes on a token attached to a bracelet or necklace. The project is to help people focus on… well, an intent. Sometimes it means changing the world or simply changing yourself. It can be a reminder of a purpose or goal that you want to fulfill.
In my case, I chose a reminder to survive my suicidal thoughts.
I chose “Don’t Roll;” which is in reference to a road trip I took last summer to visit my family in the Midwest. It was a two week long trip and the first two days were the worst but it was a comfort to have my little 9lb wannabe vicious monster with me. The thing is, I took the trip (which I had been planning for months) the day after I was fired from a job I really liked. A job where I liked most of my co-workers and became good friends with a few of them. A job where, after two years, the explanation for my firing was “It isn’t working out.” Two years with no problems. Just one right up a couple days before I was fired. This write up related mostly to my mental health problems which I’d already discussed with the office manager and she claimed to understand and told me to let her know if I needed anything.
I had no idea why I was really fired and I was already in a fragile state of mind because it was July, the birth and death month of my best friend who I watched die at 10 years old. Another thing my office manager knew when she fired me.
My intent comes in the first two days of my trip. After being fired from a job I thought I was doing well I was left feeling worthless, unwanted, unnecessary. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong but was convinced that I must have done something horrible to warrant being fired. There were long stretches of freeway where there were very few people on the road. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else. I wanted to unbuckle my seat belt and yank on the steering wheel of my SUV so it would roll into the ditch.
But I didn’t want to hurt anyone and my little dog was with me. Whether I lived or died, I would have never forgiven myself if he was hurt.
So I survived those thoughts but that doesn’t mean I’m okay. In the picture you can see the bracelet and you can see the maple leaf/butterfly tattoo I got in honor of my deceased friend. What you can’t see are the scars. Eight years ago my scars were a punishment but now they keep me from feeling the emotional hurt because physical hurt is just so much easier to deal with sometimes.
I am not okay but My Intent reminds me to have hope that some day I may be. And the semicolon reminds me that my story is not over yet.