B for Broken

“Suicide doesn’t end the pain. It passes it on to someone else.”

I’ve been going back and forth on what I should write about next. I feel like I have so many things I want share but the right words don’t come to mind. I read that quote last week and it really hit home. Right under the picture it was captioned ‘These words saved my life’ – I can’t even find the words to describe how I felt in that moment. 

I’m sure in my blogs you will read the phrase ‘I feel’ a lot. And let me tell you. I fucking feel. I feel way too much. My whole life I’ve been told “You care too much” .. Deep down all I’ve ever wanted to say is “Maybe you don’t care enough.”

I’d be lying if I said the thought of suicide never crossed my mind. Luckily, the thought alone leaves an unbearable feeling in my soul. Almost 2 years ago, I lost a friend to a self-inflicted wound. You never think it’s going to hit home until it’s too late. I am still to this day asking myself, Why? It’s a mistake, Right? Wake me up from this horrid dream. To talk yourself down from the ledge has to be one of the hardest accomplishments one can face. Clearly, not everyone is lucky enough to win that battle.

Depression can and it will take over your life. If you aren’t personally suffering yourself, you know of someone who is. It’s true when they say ‘Pain changes people’ – All too often we are judged and crucified for what we have been through. Or even what we have not.

I can count a handful of times I’ve been pushed away because I am ‘broken’ – Whatever the fuck that means. I too get confused on what the true meaning is.

Broken- (1) having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order (2) having given up all hope.

Although I have been fractured, I was thankfully bolted back together. And even though I’ve been damaged, I’m still here fighting for my place.

B gave up. He gave up hope. He gave up on his friends. His family. And most importantly, he gave up on himself. He was worth fighting for. He worked so hard. Day in and day out- He was the best friend anyone could ask for. I think back and it brings tears to my eyes knowing how much he was hurting. Obviously, a little extra that day. He let himself get lost in this nasty world and doubted all of us.

If I had the chance to speak to him today, I would tell him he isn’t the only one who feels defeated. I too have loved someone so much I wanted to die. I would tell him he was enough. I would thank him for always being there for me. I would tell him his past never mattered and remind him how far he had come. I would show him proof of how hard he always worked. I would tell him I was proud of him and that I love him. Most importantly, I would remind him of our God. I’ve been told he can save a dying soul.

If at any point I feel like slipping- I think of him. He is my constant reminder of life. I’ll never forget that morning. January 19th. I woke up at 3:45 on the dot. I knew something was wrong. I will never forget the feeling I felt or the size of the knot I had in my throat as I was grasping for the words of disbelief.

That moment your soul is rocked.

“Suicide is the only thing you can control in your life. That’s why it’s considered a sin. Because you’re beating God at his own game.”

Never under estimate the pain someone is feeling, we’re all struggling if you haven’t noticed. A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness.

“For sometimes you the break the things you love, and sometimes the things you love break you.”

The beginning of the middle of the story… 

For those who don’t know me my name is Mandee. And no- it’s not short for Amanda. I am not a writing major by any means. I don’t always use commons in the right places. I might miss spell words and use run on sentences but I do know the difference between there, their and they’re. That’s really all that matters these days. First and foremost, I have lived a life full of blessings. Along the way I have had a few questionable moments happen to me. Sure, we all have. But I have seen and been through things that would make anyone question humanity. For awhile now I’ve had people telling me I should write a book. Sick joke, I say. The more time that goes by, the thought of telling my story and my past manifest into an idea of acceptance. Something I have not come to terms with yet.

When I say past, I mean the last eight years of my life. Prior to June 28, 2008- I had lived a life any young girl would dream of. I grew up in a loving family. One older brother. Whom I was super close with except for the times when I shined bright on the annoying little sister part. Growing up I always knew I was different from the other girls. I always knew who I was. Who I wanted to be. Or at least the idea was there. As I’m sitting here typing this my heart starts beating a little bit faster when I think of how big my dreams once were. I used to think I was invincible and nothing was in my way.

On June 28th, 2008 my whole world was changed. In a matter of seconds. Myself and a group of friends had been hanging out at a friends house. We were throwing a ‘Welcome Home’ party for my friend who had been back-packing in Europe for a month. By group of friends- I mean friends who had known each other for over 10 years. Some longer. The bond we all once had was something that brings a smile to my face despite the mess we made. That night I was there without my boyfriend who I was with at the time. I had work the next morning and it was my bosses birthday. Around 12 AM- As I was walking out to leave- A few people hopped on the golf-cart to ride up to the front gate to let an old friend in. Someone who I had not seen in a long time. Instead of just leaving, I jumped on with them for a short adventure. We made it to the front- We also made to back to house- Instead of parking it- we kept going. As we were turning around- Someone yelled “my hat flew off’ – The driver jerked the wheel to the left. There was a bunch of loose gravel and an open ditch. The cart went off the road and ending up flipping over. Everyone was thrown off but me. I landed on all fours with my back holding up the cart. My friend lifted it off of me and I crawled out. I rolled over and laid on my back. I remember laying there in the first few seconds, adrenaline rushing. My first thought was wiggle your toes. Since it was dark all I can picture was the porch light that was on in the distance. I wiggled my toes and they moved! Do I even need to say that was the best feeling in the world? My legs! They work! I’m fine! I jumped up and walked home half a mile.

Within 20 minutes I knew something was wrong. I went to sit up like I had sat up the last 18 years of my life. I couldn’t move. My body was completely numb from my armpits down. My friend rolled me over and noticed bruising and swelling down my spine. The only word I can use to describe that feeling in that moment is fearful. I was scared. I was scared I was going to be late for work. I was scared my boyfriend was going to be mad at me. I was scared of what my parents were going to say. I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up- I assured her I was fine and that I just needed rest before work tomorrow. I reminded her that my dad need to come to drive my car home. By the time they got there I was completely stiff. My friends had to carry me out to the car. I remember the whole way to the ER I kept telling my mom to hurry up. As if she wasn’t already going as fast as she could. When we arrived they immediately rushed me in. Hooked me up to a bunch of IV’s. Within minutes I felt nothing. Morphine is one hell of a drug. After my CT scan and MRI they pulled my parents out of the room to show them the results. It was maybe a few minutes which felt like hours before they came back in.

When my parents walked in I noticed they were BOTH crying. That was the first time I had ever seen my father cry in all of my years. I muttered “What did I do?” – Neither one of my parents could talk. The nurse spoke up and shared the news that I had shattered my L2 vertebrae. “I what? What does that mean?” I was so shocked. Still am. They then explained exactly what my condition was. My L2 had shattered into my spinal cord. For some unknown reason it did not puncture it. I should have been paralyzed. Typing this brings tears to my eyes- as I am constantly reminded just how lucky I am.

For the next six months, my life had become something I never knew. I was having to depend on everyone in reach. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I felt trapped and I couldn’t understand why me?

I can now say I fully understand what it means when they say ‘It isn’t always the initial heartache, but what comes after that hurts the most.’

I not only had my ‘normal’ life taken away from me but I lost a lot of friends too. When you’re young, friends are life. You learn peoples true colors when times get tough. Everyone I ever knew growing up turned their backs on me. Everything I believed in was false. I felt like my life I once knew was just a dream and I was rudely awakened into a nasty hell. Stripped of my identity and forced to make my way with no guidance.

God has always made his faith very apparent in my life. I might have questioned his reasoning in my time of my pain but I never doubted him.

After my accident, I moved out and began a relationship with someone who I thought would be my husband and who I would start a family with one day. We were young and both still growing into who we are supposed to be today. We lasted for five strong years. Even though we had great times it was toxic to say the least. We were both fighting for something completely different. I was trying to find myself after losing everything- But the only thing I found was myself lost in him.

This last Wednesday, I was out and about in New Braunfels. I had some time to kill so I stopped by the river where I used to spend my days before the accident happened and where I met my ex. I had not been there in eight years. The feeling I got was so indescribable. I was talking to a friend and I said ‘it made me feel like one day i’ll be happy again.’ In that same breath I clicked over and read the words “Im going to be a dad.”

Ironic. Don’t you think? I believe in the good. And I believe in God. There is a purpose for me. I’m so close to finding it.

‘You defeat who wounded you when you choose not to be like them.’