Recently, Michelle Williams from the legendary girl group Destiny’s Child, opened up about being depressed during her time with the group..& even contemplated about committing suicide.
For years, Michelle has been the butt of many jokes, even having her own twitter hashtag ” #PoorMichelle.”
After news of Michelle coming forward with her mental health struggles, people were still finding a way to judge this woman. “Why is she coming forward to discuss this now?” “I would be suicidal too if I was around Beyoncé 24/7” “Now it makes sense as to why she messed up during live performances.” “Some Americans are weak. If a person can think like that, can kill people.”
THIS IS WHAT PISSES ME OFF about people. This woman bravely shares her story, & people make a spectacle of it.
Have you ever had handcuffs tied behind your back? Have you ever not been in control of your own body & freedom? WELL…. This was my life 6 years ago. I tried to take my own life. Why would I do that right?? I had a perfect life, family and friends. I had a future ahead of me. Why on Earth would I want to commit suicide? Here’s why:
Growing up, I had an extremely low self-esteem. Growing up in a world where people of a lighter skin tone are praised and put on a pedestal, I struggled with being dark skinned my entire life. Things didn’t get any better for me once my baby brother Devin came into the picture.
I was jealous of him because he was light skinned, had gray eyes & was adored by everyone. Don’t get me wrong: my mom loved and treated my two brothers and I equally the same, but I just felt like my brother Devin was treated better than me because he was lighter by other family members.
I remember when I was younger, my older cousins would always uplift me and compliment my dark skin and how handsome I was, but even those compliments couldn’t lift up my self esteem. I used to always hold my head down…cause I didn’t think anyone wanted to look at me. Even in adulthood, I still catch myself doing it. Maybe I’m just used to it.
I think I started to have confidence once I started dating men. You see..growing up in a family where your great-grandfather was a pastor..I felt like I had to live by the Bible..& that same bible said being gay is a sin.
Throughout my childhood, I did questionable things to people that made them wonder about my sexuality. Looking back, did I know that I was gay? Yes. I’ve kissed girls, dated them..the whole 9. I just wasn’t compatible with them outside of a friendship and I HATED myself for wanting to be with men.
I was “dating” this one guy and he asked why do I always hold my head down, & I told him why..& he told me that as long as he or anyone finds me attractive, that’s all that matters. For some reason, it clicked in my head that it was okay for me to be confident and not come off as cocky. Today I am confident with who and what I am..& know that there’s people who will like me and people who won’t. & honestly, that’s okay.
Fast Forward to February 2011. I was a senior in high school, applying to colleges and enjoying my last year with my friends. Sounds like a typical young adult transitioning into adulthood right?
Emotionally, I was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts..& I almost succeeded in taking my life. One night, I remember being fed up with my life at that point, & swallowed all of the headache pills I was prescribed to take. Why? I just felt like no one cared about me, & wouldn’t care if i died. It was painful everyday to live a life where i couldn’t be myself and be with the only person who i felt understood me: my grandmother. Well after taking the pills, I was fine for about a hour, but a drastic change happened. I was spinning around on the floor, & sitting on the floor & hitting the ground with my fists.
Next thing you know, I go upstairs and walk around my house back and forth…I remember my mom asking me was I okay, & I didn’t respond to her. I sat on her bed, & she was just repeatedly asking me if I was okay..& eventually I just passed out.
I overdosed…& that’s when I woke up with handcuffs behind my back..& put in the back of an ambulance. I don’t remember much after that, but that I was on suicide watch, had my stomach pumped and I was psychologically evaluated. It was incredibly stressful to have someone watch YOUR every move, & to not be able to leave a hospital bed because you’re seen as being emotionally unstable. I just wanted to be with the loved ones I lost.
I lost my uncle Nathan in December 2005, my beloved grandmother in March 2006, my uncle Derek in August 2006 & a classmate Candace later that month. & losing my great-grandfather in November of 2008? That sent me over the edge. I was depressed for years…angry..pissed..& bitter that the people I loved the most, were taken from me.
I allowed my grades to slip, I was skipping school w/ friends and was doing things I wasn’t proud of. A piece of me died when my grandmother and great-grandfather passed away. I just wanted to be with them again. I also felt like I was a disappointment because I was gay.
Eventually I learned that I was loved & appreciated for the person I am and have grown to become. Over the years, I’ve come to accept the fact that I have lost my loved ones. They may not be physically with me, but they’re always in my heart.
God wasn’t ready for me to come home with him and my family members. That entire situation has taught me that I have a purpose in life. I have a story to tell, and if I can help anyone struggling with their mental health by telling it…then so be it.
Today, I am a lot more happier than I was during the dark days in my life. I have my days where I feel sad, but I have to remind myself that it is temporary..& this too shall pass.
Discussions about mental health shouldn’t be swept under the rug. We have to stop telling people to pray about it..or to dismiss them because we feel they’re being negative. For one, we have to start telling people we love and care about them. We have to uplift each other and be that shoulder they can cry on. Life isn’t rainbows and daises damn it.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be upset. Keeping negative and dark emotions bottled up isn’t good for you or your soul. Let it all out, & I assure you brothers and sisters…things will get so much better. Practice set-care. Take care of yourself, LOVE yourself. LIVE. If you’re reading this, I love you, & you always have a friend in me.
I hope everyone can take something away from my story. There’s always a rainbow at the end of the tunnel. Let’s find it together. ❤️🌈