Category: Personal

This year my mother committed suicide. As much as that statement shocks you, it still shocks me to this day. 2015 has been a year of great loss for me and I am coming to terms with how much of a blessing it has been to me as well.

As a survivor of someone who commits suicide, you are left with the constant noise of your own brain. You question, and relive every moment leading up to that point, scrutinizing everything you could have done to prevent it. You battle with guilt, depression, immense confusion, and even anger and sometimes, abandonment. It has been 8 months since I have lost my mother, and for the past 8 months I have felt like I am falling and haven’t hit the ground. This has changed me. I have taken a huge break from friends, the internet, social activities, music (one of my biggest joys) and just, really living in general. I am much quieter these days, and sometimes I think I spend hours and hours in a reflective state. I currently struggle with maintaining my joy. My emotions are worn on my sleeve most days, but I try my hardest to conceal them, especially when I am at work, or around my friends. I am realizing that I can’t do that anymore, and if you are experiencing a loss, I also encourage you not to fight what you are feeling. Feel everything as it comes. It is unhealthy to bottle up your grief. A part of loving is recognizing the hurt when you feel it. I love my mother so much, and it kills me that I can’t see her anymore. Losing her has helped me realize the strength of God within my own life. It is the only explanation I have for being able to get up every morning and continue living.

One reason I am writing this is because I think it is important that we understand mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and is a diagnosis that is out of our control. You can control being schizophrenic just as much as you can control being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I want to explore that dialogue within our community, further. After my mother’s passing, I learned she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I believe she kept this from me because she was ashamed. I also think mental illness is a taboo topic, especially in the Black Community, and for my mother I think she may have felt that this wasn’t a big deal, and something she could handle alone. I think it is common for teachings within the Black home to be laced with the messages of strength, pushing through, doing what you have to do, and pride — sometimes at our own expense. I cannot claim to know everything, but I do believe messages of love, understanding, compassion and taking care of one’s health — mentally, physically and spiritually — should be equally pushed. We are a strong people by nature, and sometimes (in my opinion) we do whatever we have to do to avoid any appearance of weakness. That is not human. That is an immense amount of pressure to have weighing on you. We have to love ourselves enough to be human. It is ok to be good to yourself. And part of that requires that you invest in your mental stability. Talk to the people you love. In my case I wish, so much, that my mother knew she could come to me about what pained her. I wish she knew that she had a place of love and understanding in me, through God, where she could be herself and unashamed of her mental illness. It is important that we cultivate a sense of openness and a place free of judgment within our families. Be human with one another, and be strong enough to fight these battles together. Don’t ignore them, hide them from your family, or sweep them under the rug. The issues will still exist. Seek the help you or your loved one needs.

A piece (peace) of mind is something everyone deserves and I want to encourage us all to pursue it actively. I also believe happiness is a conscious decision that requires effort. It is easy to let your circumstances effect your outlook on life negatively. But the reward of doing the opposite seems to be the way we should live life. I don’t have anything figured out, but I do know my mother would not want me to live life drowning in misery, sorrow, or letting feelings of depression and loss consume me.

I am currently on the pursuit of real happiness and growth and reclaiming my life. I owe it to her, but more importantly, I owe it to myself. It hasn’t been an easy journey, and by no means do I feel I’ve even began to make any substantial progress. Just recently, my relationship with one of my very best friends ended. I thought the L’s of the year were over until this happened. I’ll spare the details of the situation, but losing this person as my friend definitely equates to a huge void in my circle. On the the pain scale, I’d rank this right after losing my mother for shitiest parts of 2015, but I do believe the separation is necessary for my growth, their growth and our ultimate individual happiness. I will miss them entirely, but a part of loving is also being able to let go. Everything happens for a reason, and if that relationship was supposed to remain a part of my life, God will have to handle it. I’ve been faced with these kind of hard decisions and realizations a lot this year, and I am thankful God is teaching me, along the way.

I think it would be easy to stay sad, and depressed, but that would be a waste of the time God’s given me here in this realm. Sometimes life comes at you fast, and it is ultimately up to you to decide how to respond. I think writing this helped me get out some thoughts I’ve had, but I’m hoping it also helps you and encourages you to embark on the journey of figuring out your own issues. I am choosing to be happy and I hope you will make the decision to be as well.

I love you.
JP

31 thoughts on “Happiness Over Heartache.

  1. How incredibly living & kind of you to share this. My mother has dealt with depression as well. My immediate reaction to her initial breakdown was, “get it together”. It took me some time to realize she was dealing with something much much more heavy than I understood. Thank you for sharing.

    I wish the best for you going forward. Love + light.

  2. JPezzy – I am so incredibly proud of you and the courage it took to stand in your truths and share your reality. The road to wholeness is a journey and I am willing to troupe with you, if you will have me.

  3. You touched me and really helped reassure me with my own struggles. I love and miss you soooo much please contact me if you need anything

  4. I love you Jordan! This was so brave, open and honest of you… and I have no doubt in my mind that this will resonate/ touch so many people. Love you!

    1. Thank u ! For being a voice you truley a leader keep the good work up ! U touch a lot of people including me ! Thank cuz ! Love u

  5. This was an incredible piece of writing ! I struggled with mental illness this year && it is so important to get rid of the stigma !! Thank you for this ! Let God …

  6. All I can say is that, I love you and I know you are a strong individual because I’ve witnessed it personally. I pray you find all the happiness in the world because you deserve it.

  7. Mental illness is something that I feel our community does not speak on enough. It took lots of courage to write this. Thank you for sharing your story, as I am sure this will help someone!

  8. If I could take away your pain… I would. I am so proud to say you are my daughter. You are such a blessing and God only knows how many people you have touched or saved by writing this. Especially during this time of the year. I love you…..daddy

    1. You guys are a part of my life -ALWAYS! This has hurt me to my core, but as long as God continues to wake me I will continue her dialog, your (now) truths…..our history. I love both of you! Continued blessings!

  9. This was a well written “piece of peace” regarding your late mother. I pray God continues to use you and gives you strength to be vocal and be a mouth piece to bring awareness to others who’s ears will listen to the living souls of family/friends who have committed suicide.
    Peace & light

    P.S.. I’m eardrumming to May – December by Mos Def on your behalf Empress.

  10. Jordan, I read this with tears in my eyes thinking of the courage it took for you to share such a deeply personal testimony.. My grandfather committed suicide in the late 90’s.. I never knew how or if I could console my father because, just as you pointed out, it’s taboo and not talked about. You are such a mature young lady and your words have truly given insight on the thoughts and feelings of those impacted hardest by such a tremendous loss. May God bless you and bring you into a place of understanding and happiness again.

  11. This was an amazing truthful piece and I know it took a lot of courage to write. I pray that God continues to strengthen you during this time and allow the blessings to keep flowing. Negativity is easy, continue to be as positive as you can in knowing God is in this with you. I am here if you ever need an ear and I will be praying for you.

  12. I love you. I love you. I love you. Please come visit with us very soon. Our hearts and home is always open. It’s always a joy to hear from you.

  13. Well ,I’d like to say first of all the was a great piece if you as well as my beautiful aunt god bless you in all your endeavors and rebuilding and strength to move on is a inspiration to me as a black women also struggling with these issue I love you hope all is well and things still go great I just want you to know I love u little cousin no matter what and you really inspired me to be stronger and a greater person as we know well are all I. Need of some body to share your truth but I love u and I’m glad u said this out loud and u stopped me from some of my thought I love you alot

  14. Hey Roomie! So happy to see you going for happiness! I’m glad you’re able to talk about what has happened and enlighten others on mental health. Stay strong and encouraged. Always praying for you! Love you Roomie!!

  15. Wow. I am very touched by this post. Just wanted you to know that. I definitely can identify with the feeling of loss of a parent, although under different circumstances. I’ve learned that in the lowest times of life is when you find out more about yourself, others, and God. I will be praying for you!

  16. Jordan,

    We never got the chance to meet, but your mom used to tell me and my mother (Lynnetta) all about you. I even came across some of your loc-journey pictures on Pinterest. I know she loved and was/is sooooo proud of you. I appreciate your courage and commend you in writing this. I and some of my immediate family members have had some serious bouts with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc and I know, for a fact, that it’s not taken as seriously as it should, especially in the black community. After my own personal issues, I’ve definitely become an advocate for seeking help, wherever that may come from, and at the very least, just talking to someone about what you’re going through. You may not know the impact you’re making now, but you’ve definitely opened the door for the dialogue to happen and to that, I say kudos. I would still love to meet you one day and regardless where either of us are in the world, I’m only a text/email away. God bless you and continue to take it one day at a time.

  17. I, too, lost my son and husband to suicide. I believe that they were both bipolar. The loss of a parent through suicide can leave a legacy for their children. My son never recovered from his grief. I have lost many people from natural causes, but suicide is fraught with regret, guilt, and an overwhelming despair in the knowledge in their pain. As a mother we feel responsibility for teaching our children how to be happy. The loss of my son has been the most painful experience of the many hardships in my life. I have learned that from the most difficult events is hidden a spiritual gift. Neal Donald Walsh suggested to me that perhaps my son gave up his life as a soul agreement to further the evolution of my soul. From my extreme isolation following his death, I have once again found meditation, prayer and my Divinity. It has been three years and I still work every day to overcome my grief. I believe that I let it become my total identity, my every breath. I know that it is only my physical form experiencing this and I must stand in my Spirit that cannot be harmed by anything. I was coasting to death, waiting for a reunion with my son. But I have discovered new purpose and joy is possible. It is a choice, but the road to get here has been tough. I am back in the world, meeting new like-minded people that are also on a spiritual path.
    Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  18. Thank you. You don’t know this, but I come and read this when I need a push some days. I want you to know that you’re part of the reason that I can find strength some days– because of these words…

    So again. Thank you.

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