Forgiving Yourself After a Suicide Attempt

Worth Living Ambassador Nikki Opara

My name is Nikki Opara, I am 22 years old and a recent psychology graduate from California State University Fullerton. I am a Mental Health/ Lifestyle Blogger, with a passion for fighting the stigma around mental illness and encouraging young teens to never give up. I hope to attend grad school someday and pursue my masters in macro social work and global practice. – Nikki ( Her Daring Thoughts )

Caution: Nikki discusses suicide

Forgiving Yourself After a Suicide Attempt

I cannot help but wonder about the people who have attempted suicide and failed, then somehow have to live with that nightmare of that day or multiple days that the thought crossed their mind.
Do you have to live with that nightmare? I do too. So let me start now by saying as cliché and repetitive as it is, you are not alone. I am living with that overplayed image in my head as well. I live with the thoughts that will creep in and out and it will leave me so frustrated saying , “ why am I so unhappy? Why can’t I just LIVE MY LIFE?”

Although one of the things that I feel holds me back and probably a lot of us is that we haven’t forgiven ourselves yet. I’ll be the first to tell you, that it is so difficult and something I have to work on every day. Forgiving Myself. If you have read the “Dear 12 year old Me” poem I wrote, it was basically me apologizing to my younger self, apologizing for not only having high unrealistic expectations for how “12 year old” me should look and be perceived, but also apologizing for not valuing myself more. And isn’t that essentially the fore front of what suicide is? Don’t get me wrong, it is a symptom and a fatal cause of mental illness. But most importantly, it is the loss of value and love for oneself.

I am not a therapist by any means. I am just a young women who struggles on and off with depression and writes about her experiences and what life teaches her along the way. And one of the most important things I am learning is Forgiving Myself. How does that look like? It is different for everyone, but maybe forgiving yourself is waking up every morning and actually saying it out loud, “ I forgive you for….” before continuing with your positive affirmations. Maybe forgiving yourself is taking a break from work and school, going to take a walk and just breathe. Maybe forgiving yourself is first coming to the realization that you are human with imperfections and that is okay.

“ Forgiving yourself is transformative, it allows you a fresh start at living” – Justin Peck

With forgiving yourself you begin to have clarity, that shame and self-condemnation will fade, and you will be able to mend friendships and relationships with family that you probably would have not been able to do before. After forgiving yourself, you allow yourself permission to look into your future instead of being reminded of your past. When you forgive yourself, then that is when you start sharing your truth because now you are going back into that place not out of guilt, but with empowerment in order to share with others the true fact that if you can get through it, they can too.

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