I dreamed of how I would die since the age of 7, which I considered to be one of the darkest years of my life. It was during that time, March 27, 1996, when I lost my father.
This day would change my life forever.
It was during this time that I tried coping with the loss of my father through the practices of self-harm. I learned that the emotional pain I experienced could be momentarily avoided through the use of self-inflicted pain on myself.
I would hold knives to my chest, until one day my mother almost caught me as blood ran down slowly sticking to my shirt. It was at that time that I also began to experience stomach ulcers, migraine, weight loss and extreme depression.
However, I also embarked on the journey of healing, through the use of hours and hours of individual and family counseling services. My mother understood that I had a real problem, and there was nothing she could do about it. I continued counseling on and off for years until I reached my preteen years.
During this time I began to run through my collection of emotional masks in which I would pretend that “everything was okay”. I had gotten pretty good at it until I experienced my first high (drugs).
After that, things really began to spin out of control. I became addicted to what I referred to as a “life time girlfriend”. Through the use of alcohol, drugs, and sex, I thought I would be able to survive without ever having to deal with my preexisting pain ever again. My, how I was wrong!
As I mentioned before, I began to have dreams of how I would die at the age of seven following the death of my father. This dream always ended with me falling to the ground after gasping for help to the questioning of my mother’s voice, “Baby, what’s wrong?”.
Nine years later, I found myself in that exact scenario. Only I wasn’t dreaming.
The morning of my suicide attempt, after smoking a joint in my school parking lot, I ended up skipping school and returned home, where I was completely alone.
I ingested 5000 mg of an antidepressant. I could not move for several hours leading to my final moments (or so I thought).
I made a few calls to friends saying my final goodbyes (or so I thought). The last call I made was to my brother.
After he hung up, I began my journey up the stairs, on my hands and knees of course since I couldn’t walk at that time, and was finally able to pull myself up and stand.
In pain, hurting, and full of fear I heard my mother’s voice in my head question me about what was wrong.
“Mommy, help me,” I uttered.
As I prepared myself to fall and die, I relived my 16 years on this Earth in a matter of moments. I remembered the last words my brother said to me, “You are all I have man. If you die what do you think will happen to our family. Daddy died, and if you die I don’t know what I will do!”
It was at this moment that I knew I had something to live for.
It was at this moment that I realized me dying would not be a cure, but would be another way for sadness and pain to spread throughout the world.
It was at that moment I realized that committing suicide would be a permanent solution to what may have been a temporary problem.
It was at this moment that I realized I deserved to live.
I walked a few steps into my mothers bedroom, began to fall and grabbed the nightstand, and refused to lie down and die.
I pulled myself up, and waited until the ambulance came.
I, now at the age of 28, am a loving husband and father to five beautiful children. I use my life and story to spread awareness about these issues, and hope you do the same.
My story speaks volumes about the trials and tribulations that many individuals around the world go through. However suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Many of us go through storms and stages of dark moments, that leave us feeling as if we are in dark rooms screaming for help, and no one is there to hear us. There is help out there for us.
Pain is real, suicide is real, but so are the resources and people out there that are willing to help us get through these trying times. Through my pain, I have shared my story of overcoming it. I have reached several people that share my story, and I am a firm believer that this is the reason why I had to go through it.
If you are hurting, talk, call or reach out to someone, because you are not alone. There are many more people like us who stem from all ages, races, cultures, sexual identities, countries and more.
Always remember, your life is important, and you were born to be a blessing to someone you may never see, hear or speak to. Never give up, because someone is depending on you to make it through their storm!
Love and Blessings,
Ryan James Reed Sr. M.S. Ed QMHP
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline for help at 1-800-273-8255.