When I first give myself permission to share my story to a wider audience through my article Suicide to Centre Stage, it give me a huge boost to appreciate how this would inspire and empower others. Little did I know what it would spark in me.
When it was pubished within and hour of its submission, seeing it boldly looking back at me online, I was overcome with emotion, this emotion led me to writing in my journal for over 3 hours. Although I thought I had reflected back on my life, I realised that is was through very blinkered eyes and one could say tunnel vison, focusing on a few achievements, but that was only the start.
Taking the time for ‘True Reflection’ is a powerful venture that took me on a journey of amazing wonderment, enlightenment and truth. Opening up in me beautiful loving emotions.
The emotions carried me way back to a time during my primary school years when I was 8 years old, a caption in time, free of the bullying. A time when I was rewarded for a 21 page essay I wrote that was entered into a competition and I won 1st prize, a £50 book token. Back then, it was like winning the lottery. I adored books, still do. The feelings of elation sored through my bones as I relived that wonderful experience. A warm glow embraced me as I pictured the scenes, collecting the award and going to the book shop, heaven!
As the thoughts and memories began to flow during this journey, so much more became apparent that I had seemingly wiped from my memory. In high school I was picked to play for the School Netball Team and travelling around the schools playing a sport I truly adored. The travelling did not stop there though. My reflecting took me to a time when I was singing in the school choir and we were visiting different venues. On one particular occasion, the biggest ever competition the school choir had entered, I had been chosen to sing solo, ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles, it was a national competition and we came……………. Yes you guessed it we came 1st, with a standing ovation. My body tingled then and it tingles now as I write. Pure jubilation not just for me, but the other members of the choir and the school.
Then, as I contnued to journal, my recollection took me on a journey, literally. At the age of 15 years old, I completed the Lyke Wake Walk, back then it was a 26 mile walk across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors. I remember, as I was reaching the finish line and some of the other pupils and teachers were there, cheering me on, and although my legs kept buckling under me, all I could hear were the cheers. Crossing that finishing line was exhilerating, the tiredness, exhaustion and feeling of blisters on my feet evaporated into pure joy, hugging and kissing each other as we continued to support the other walkers who finished after me.
My Journalling fast forwarded to my adulthood. A time when high self worth and self belief were way off the radar, or so I thought. My passion for the theatre, for acting and singing, came alive. I recalled the first auditions, the first stage appearances and my being picked as the leading lady for the first time on the amateur stage. Enter Calamity Jane. I was in my element, I would lose myself in the fantasy world of the theatre and loved every minute of it. For me this was one of my biggest achievements and many more leading lady roles followed including singing live on the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Phew and breathe!!!!!!!!
As I continued the reflective journalling, remembering the achievements I shared in my previous article, the Birth of my Son, the Honors Degree, the Inca Trail, etc, it suddenly hit me, I was not the survivor of 3 attempts at suicide. I was a failure at it. I failed every single attempt! Why? Because I was meant for better things. To become an authority in women’s empowerment. I was meant to have the opportunity to share both sides of my story. To guide, inspire and empower other women ( and men) to be proud of your achievements no matter how small or insignificant you feel they are. Those achievements maybe what someone else is looking for as the answer to them moving forward in their own lives.