On February 28th, 2019 I didn’t want to live. I wasn’t in a “funk,” I couldn’t pray it away, and there wasn’t enough cardio to help me shake the feeling. I simply didn’t want to live.
Prior to me making this determination my sense of self value and self esteem were shattered by toxic corporate supremacy culture, coupled with insurmountable feelings of worthlessness and exploitation on the home front. I simply didn’t want to live.
At this time and place I was going through a divorce, coupled with a job elimination at the most vulnerable point in my existence, and I was injured from years of trauma at work and in my relationship. On that balmy night on February 28th, 2019 all I wanted was a hug, some sort of human reminder that my life had value, and that I was seen. But yet again, I was met with isolation, distance, and silence. I simply didn’t want to live.
Grappling with the slow ache of suicidal thoughts, with Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder resonating my Christian beliefs, I tried to clear my mind of my sinful desire. But the pulsating sense of worthless disposability continued to grow stronger. I was doing a dangerous dance between two worlds, finding myself lodged between consciousness, and operating outside of myself to execute what I desired. I searched the medicine cabinets in the bathroom, looked under the sink, and entered the code on the safe several times.
As I sat on the edge of my bed, tearfully weighing my options, questioning how I could be saved, contemplating the ramifications of a Black woman calling 911 for help, and fumbling for the phone number to the suicide hotline. My bedroom door opened slowly, and I saw the angelic shadow of my four-year-old. With sleep in her eyes, and her satin bonnet leaning to the side, she said “Mommy, where are you? I need you.”
Something about her little voice calling to me in the darkness, telling me that she needed me, caused me to find my center. With my face hot, and soaked with tears, I rushed towards her and picked her up. I needed her far more than she needed me. When she was born I named her Zoë, meaning “life” in Greek, and perhaps, just perhaps God sent her to me to give me life. I am her chosen person, even if I’m not the chosen one for anyone else. Therefore I had to fight my suicidal sensations – and yes it was an excruciating fight. I had to fight to make the choice to author a new narrative for Zoë, for life.
Pulling myself from bed was painful the following mornings, everyday it felt like a truck was on my chest. In an effort to gain a survival toolkit I started a gratitude practice, began meditating, sought EMDR therapy, and found a tarot card reader. As I reaffirmed my commitment to living, I also sought ways to live with more spiritual connectivity. I freely fell into an abundant living practice, reminding God and myself daily of His promissory of abundance; while fulfilling my commitment to be obedient to His overarching promise.
Stepping out on faith, I was able to secure housing for my children and myself. Leaping out on faith, I found the strength to value my professional experience and expertise to build a multinational brand and business. Soaring on faith I evolve, create, and reincorporate my identity, businesses, and all I hold dear. Today I strongly stand in faith, with the devout resolve that Zoë needs me, my family needs me, and my friends need me. I’m even audacious enough to unshakably believe that the world needs me. With each re-building block I’m assured that my mission is greater than myself, and my purpose transcends that which can be seen. Drowning in an indelible spirit of gratitude for what is, and for what’s to be I march ahead.
With each passing day as we feel the sobering reminder of life’s fragility, I pray we all learn a lesson from the book of Zoë, “I need you.”