Through the Tunnel & Out of Darkness

By Nykia Allen

Suicide is something people don’t talk about often enough. That’s why we have to speak up, to tell our stories and reach out to those who are isolated. I found that suicide is an impulsive thing, and you can endure by dealing with those impulses until things change. It always changes. If someone should think that ending their life is a good solution, I can attest to the fact that it is not. The pain that I felt was indescribable.

People who try to kill themselves and do not succeed are privy to a mess they can in no way imagine. The physical pain can be unbearable. Then you get to see the pain and horror in the eyes of someone you love and who loves you. I truly believe that if a person is suicidal, that person does not feel any self-worth. Such a person also probably feels inadequate and unable to resolve issues that for them are truly heartbreaking.

But with suicide, you’re not ending your pain; you’re giving it to someone else. I never saw or experienced real pain until I looked into my mother’s eyes. I saw the hurt and pain she was enduring from the loss of my brother. My mother means the world to me and is the strongest person I know. After seeing my mother break down, made me realize that this is reality and it’s going to hit me hard. I remember thinking this is going to be a long road to recovery.

After serving time in the Navy, my older brother suffered from depression. He was honorable discharged from the Navy. My family and I later found out he was discharged because they claimed he was too aggressive with guns. They also said he had ideations of being suicidal and homicidal. Honestly, I thought he enjoyed life more than I did, and that if one of us was to go, it would be me. Not the case, he died by suicide in May 2012. He and I were extremely close we’d talk to each other every day whether it was via phone or text. I had no idea he was on the edge, and then he was gone.

The first reason for me to go on living was seeing the love my family and fiancée have for me even though I had become self-destructive and essentially mentally abandoned them. The second reason was I had nieces who also loved me and needed me. My nieces are my world; they mean everything to me. I saw my nieces’ need to be taken care of as just that but in order to live I must be able to feel that they love me deeply and would be heartbroken if I died. They are the only pieces of my brother I have left. Thirdly, every individual in my life gave me purpose and validation. I’m not quite where I want to be in life, but these reasons are keeping me alive.

The oddest thing in the whole world has been for me to recognize that no one looks at you and judges you as to your social and economic status. Having an open mind and being willing to listen has made it possible for me to establish relationships with individuals from all walks of life.

I’ve been told that I need to think of my family and friends. But at the time I felt, “Who is thinking of me?” When I felt suicidal and took the overdoses I couldn’t see how much my family and friends needed and loved me. I was so depressed I truly believed they would be better off without me. I didn’t feel I would be missed. Why go on living when the world is sometimes a very hurtful place and it seems that “you just can’t win?” As I now like to say, “Everything shall pass one day even the good stuff.” Nothing stays the same and therefore, one never knows what changes may come in the future.

You can’t live for others, not even for your own family. At least I couldn’t. I know firsthand what it’s like to lose someone to suicide.

You have to feel like you are loved and needed. I heard people say these things but I couldn’t internalize them. I now realize that love and care from my family will keep me alive. To be able to feel in my heart that my family does care about me and truly wants to see me get better. To feel in my heart that my friends do love me and think I am a worthy person. So my reason to live would be because I am a good and worthwhile person and I am loved by many people. I am not quite there, but this is what is keeping me alive.of the ones left behind. I completely lost it.

When I’d tried to commit suicide, everyone was so relieved that I hadn’t succeeded.
Everyone hid their anger and fear from me. I’d been stuck in the tunnel vision of how horrible I was feeling and hadn’t realized how I’d impacted those around me. Now I’m one
of the ones left behind. I completely lost it.

I realized that there was no way I could attempt suicide again now that I’d lived through the results and witnessed how devastated the survivors were. The only option was to try to find a way to actually enjoy life like everyone around me seems to.

I may not be completely happy, but at least my family supports me. With God’s help, any and everything is possible. Now I am stronger, wiser and in a good place than I was yesterday. I still have bad days, but I think I’m actually starting to understand how most people feel on a day to day basis. I’m content some of the time, which is better than I’d had before or even dared to hope for. There is some hope that I’ll continue to get even better.

Since the night of the overdose, I’ve been noticing the simple things in life that I totally took for granted. I don’t know what exactly clicked in my head, but I think it’s the beauty of it all. Driving home from the hospital, the blue sky was gorgeous. The trees were magnificent. The wind was fantastic. The sound of my fiancee’s voice was the sweetest thing in the world. And it wasn’t until after I attempted suicide that I realized how precious this life is. Many of us don’t realize how short life is, and how much there is to do and experience. Those who have lived through a suicide attempt often do, but some still struggle.

I only wish now that my brother had a second chance at life like I did. I still miss him every day, and probably will forever, but I take some comfort in the thought that his suicide literally saved my life.

Suicide is not the answer. It is only the accumulation of bad feelings that can change. Life can be good if you wait. God has spared my life twice, so therefore I know I have a purpose here on earth. My reason to keep living is now me. I’m not going to let anyone else influence my passion for MY life. It’s mine, and it’s what I make of it. Don’t stop yourself, and never let go.

To grab your copy of the JUNE issue of “Running On…” magazine today, click HERE

 About Nykia Allen

Screenshot_2014-08-28-12-02-06-1Nykia Allen (age 24) born and raised in Nashville, TN. She has always had a heart of gold. At a young age, she learned to care and nurture everyone she came in contact with. She has a passion for helping others. In 2013, she graduated from University of Memphis in Memphis, TN with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She then later relocated to Cleveland, OH in 2014. She is now working towards becoming an Suicide Prevention Activist. After losing her oldest brother in 2012, she became dedicated and passionate about helping others through suicide. One day she hopes to start her on organization in memory of her brother and to help uplift her community/suicide prevention community.

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