For the sake of confidentially I guess I'll call you "George"
I took the fire you burned me with and arisen from the ashes like a Phoenix.
On and off for two years, you verbally abused me. It was never excessive, so that's probably why I was naive, and I just let it go on (that and I lacked self-love). I use to make excuses for how you treated me. When someone throws a fist at you, it hurts. I've never been physically beaten by a man, but verbally I have, and I've found it can hurt just as much. However, I didn't write this letter to tell you how I'm still hurt, or that I hate you.
I wrote this letter to tell you THANK YOU! I would like to thank you for an experience you brought me through. In December of 2014, just a few weeks after my suicide attempt, and spending a week in the hospital, we had an argument on the phone. I was still battling major depression at the time, and I also had a terrible cold. I was so sick that day I could barely move.
By Jasmin Pierre*, AFROPUNK contributor
I remember the argument being over something so small, but in a matter of moments, it got out of control. I remember how you tried to insult me and call me a child, just because I didn't agree with you on the topic we were discussing. I also remember how I was so tired of your attitude. I was at the lowest point in my life, and even then you couldn't be nice to me. Before I knew it, you were saying the worst thing anyone had ever said to me in my entire life.
"Why don't you try and kill yourself again? You have nothing to live for. You have no money, no job, and no life. Just go kill yourself!"
Once those words left your mouth, I knew you could never take them back. I remember hanging up the phone and laying in my bed sick as a dog. The words replayed in my head over, and over again. For a moment I considered to take your advice. I thought to myself "he's right". I didn't have a job, or money, or a life. I had just gotten out the hospital, and my depression was so serious that I couldn't work. I was twenty six years old, and I felt like I was nobody. So why not try to end my life again? Why not take your advice?
You had money, a good job, and stability. In those areas, you were most definitely superior over me. Of course you could look your nose down at poor little me. You were better than me, so I thought, but then something occurred to me. You had money and a job, but to kick someone down low when they were already drowning didn't make you the superior person. It just made you an evil person. Maybe you had your own demons that you were dealing with. So maybe that's why you felt the need to prey on my emotions. Who knows, but I've forgiven you for it. Hating you meant letting you win.
I could have let you win, and taken my life. I knew I could have done that. I felt so low and humiliated about my situation at the time, however in that moment, I decided I would rise above, become better, and take my life back. I knew the power was in my hands.
In that moment I decided I would LIVE. Not only would I live, but I would tell others who were depressed, and suicidal they should keep living too. Many people going through depression have evil words thrown at them. I knew I wasn't the only one. You told me to kill myself, but instead, I wrote a book called "A Fight Worth Finishing", it's all about my depression, and my struggles with attempted suicide. Something you tried to shame me with I decided to flip it, and empower others.
You told me I had nothing to live for, but I got help for my depression, became a mental health activist, and a motivational speaker. Since the day you told me to kill myself, I've reached over a million people on social media through my advocating. I've been telling these people to LIVE and to not be ashamed of their situation because of their illness. This April I'm speaking at a state conference for mental health. I will be discussing my efforts to erase stigma against mental illness, and once again I will be sharing my story. I will also be speaking at a mental health summit this summer, in Alabama.
I also remember you telling me I didn't have a Job. I decided I wouldn't just get a job, but I would go a step further and create my own business. I'm not just going to have a job, but soon I'll be my own boss. I'll be doing what I love, and that's continuing to help others. In March of 2017, I'll be launching "Keep Fighting Life Coaching" a business that's dedicated to helping the lives of those battling depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. So once again I would like to thank you. I took the words that you punched me with, and I got back up. I even mention this memory in my book, so now I profit from a moment you tried to verbally beat, and humiliate me with.
Thank you for showing me that no matter how badly someone tries to knock you down, you can always rise above. I took the fire you burned me with and arisen from the ashes like a Phoenix. I hope that everyone who reads this letter and is battling a mental illness realizes they too can rise above. I hope they realize that they're not worthless, and I hope they continue to keep on living because no matter what anyone says life can get better. Thank you for the lesson "George". You told me to die, but I decided to live.
*Jasmin Pierre is a mental health activist and the author of “A Fight Worth Finishing”. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jasmin is constantly fighting for the rights of those suffering from major depressive disorder. She aspires to become a life coach and continue writing to encourage others to never give up.
Facebook: A Fight Worth Finishing