“I was about 15 when I had the worst break up ever. Not that the breakup itself was bad or terrible, the heart break from it, was.
I had been dating this guy who was a really good guy. He treated me good. He was respectful to me. He was sweet and kind. He was the kind of guy any mom would be thrilled to see their daughter dating.
We dated for what seemed like forever. When you are that young, dating for over a year is a really long time.
As a teen it’s true that you can’t really see past your own nose. I saw everything up close, never taking a step back to see the full picture.
He broke up with me and because I didn’t have the level of maturity needed to handle that kind of pain, I decided in order to make the pain go away, I would swallow an entire bottle of Tylenol.
Or at least whatever was in the bottle. I don’t know how many. I didn’t count. I just took.
After I did that and a little time passed and I started to physically feel sick, I realized how stupid it was. I think being scared at that point, far outweighed the pain, I called my mom to tell her what I had just done.
By the time my mom and a family friend arrived, I was curled up in a ball slowly drifting in and out. They did whatever they could to keep me awake. I know a blessing was administered to me. I know it was given to me because my mom told me it was.
As I was being loaded up into the ambulance, one of the EMT’s said to my mom, ‘Why would she do this?! She’s such a pretty girl.’
Out of that entire experience you guys, that is the one thing that has always stayed with me and is crystal clear.
Because as soon as he said that, I wanted to vomit. Like forget sticking the tube down my nose and pumping some ugly black stuff down it… I will happily vomit for you.
Like somehow because I’m a pretty girl, I’m not allowed to struggle? I’m not allowed to experience pain? I’m not allowed to make mistakes? I’m not allowed to be dumped? My life is suppose to go a certain way?
Like somehow a nice face gives anyone a free pass in life to experience struggles?!
Out of it all, the hospital stays, the stomach pumping, the friends coming to visit, the therapist, all of it… that is what I remember so vividly.
Yes, it’s already been established that this girl had MAJOR issues as a teen.
That was over 20 years ago you guys.
I think to some degree we all say this to each other in one way or another. I’ve been so guilty of it myself.
Why is she so unhappy, she has a wonderful husband!
Why would she yell at her kids, she has the best kids ever!
Why would she quit her job, she has the best job ever!
Why is she going through bankruptcy, she makes plenty of money!
Why is she having a panic attack, she seems to have it all together!
Why would she think no one likes her, she is loved by everyone!
Why would she do something so stupid, she has everything going for her!
Why is she so negative, she grew up in such a positive home!
Like somehow only certain people are allowed to struggle? Only certain faces can struggle? Only people with certain jobs, bank accounts, or relationships are allowed to struggle?
Humans, regardless of what their face, job, or marriage looks like, will experience struggles in life.
Show me one person who says they have never had struggles and I will show you a huge liar with some massive issues needing to be worked through.
Yes, it’s true some are self-induced (like a lot of mine when I was a teen), some are caused by others, and some are just part of life.
Regardless of age, race, religion, bank statement, size of your home, make and model of your car, or what your face looks like, you will have struggles in this life.
True, some people struggle more than others. And yes, I believe sometimes, those people struggle more because of their own choices. But regardless, no one is exempt. No one!!!
And remember, nothing in life is ever so bad that it won’t get better. Nothing in this life is ever worth taking your own life and causing even more pain.
Instead of thinking suicide is the best option. Learn and understand the purpose of your struggles. Put your ego and pride aside and learn a lesson from it.
It wasn’t till I came to the understanding that I was not the only one who had struggles, some just hid theirs really well, and that all humans have them… I was no longer ashamed of mine.
And when my understanding of them shifted, I started to look at them as opportunities to grow. Opportunities to learn. Opportunities to help others get through what I went through. Opportunities to show courage and strength. Just flat out opportunities!
I promise, things do get better if you begin to take action. And making a mental shift and flipping the script in your head, really helps too!
You are not alone. No, I may not understand your exact struggle and you may not understand mine. But you and I know struggle. We know the pain is real.
I know that tunnel may seem so dark and never ending, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually you will see the light.
Trust your struggles. Trust they are feedback. They are there to help you grow. Trust in a loving God who wants to see you conquer it!!
If life feels like one big struggle, sister friend, that is not what life is meant to feel like. That is feedback that something has to shift.
Yes, we all have seasons of struggle but life itself isn’t meant to feel like one big struggle.
Stay in the game! Learn from your struggle so you can begin to play the game better.
I believe with everything in me that when we learn to use struggles instead of allowing them to use us, life becomes richer!”
[If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help is out there. You are not alone.]
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tracey Ferrin, 36, of Houston, Texas. Tracey’s new book “Up Struggle” is available now here. Follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Tracey here:
‘I was diagnosed with cancer, 6 months pregnant, married, with a 10-month-old daughter. I was under attack.’: Mom refuses to abort child despite doctor’s advice, ‘It was up to me to make an impossible decision’
‘I wasn’t playing games. 4 weeks after meeting, he asked me to marry him! I said yes. Then, I tried to break it off.’: Single divorced mom of 2 gets engaged to man she met after 4 weeks, ‘He is worth the risk of another heart break’
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