The phoenix, a mythological creature, is said to be a large, beautiful, immortal bird. It lives a long life and after perishing, it rises from its own ashes. Reflectively, the phoenix symbolizes my struggle with suicidal tendencies. From 2012-2014, I tried to kill myself three times, the third being the most serious one; and, the one I didn’t think I’d make through. Assumingly so, this got in the way of just about everything- school (most importantly, at the time). I went from being an honors student in the magnet to a student barely passing. After two years of agonizing emotional pain, the summer of 2014 came and I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and did something with my life. As a phoenix rises, I rose from my depression.
Because the phoenix is mythological, we can all believe what we want about it. I believe the phoenix is born and lives its beginning years strongly and majestically. As it lives longer, it becomes weak. Therefore, it must perish. However, the most extraordinary aspect of this bird is that it is immortal. It rises from its ashes to, once again, live a life. As a kid, I was happy, strong, and confident. In my early teenage years, my dad got severely ill and I lost my way. Before I knew it, I was depressed. I lost every bit of motivation for everything I ever wanted and dreamed of. Not only did it affect my schooling, but it affected my friendships and relationships. I became very distant from everyone, including my parents. It came to the point where I wanted to end my life because I felt like my depression was only burdening those around me. It wasn’t until June of 2014 that I ‘rose from my ashes’. I came to the realization that for as long as I continued to not care about my life, the more depressing my life would become. I got rid of everything that made me unhappy. This included getting rid of all negative aspects of my life and even breaking up with someone I truly cared about because I realized no one could make me happy but myself. I needed to work on myself and positive affirmations. The life of a phoenix symbolizes my life and my dreams and the ashes are the depression from which I have risen from.
The most significant lesson I learned from this experience is that no matter how hard you fall, you can get up- or rise from your ashes- and you are capable of anything you set your mind to. For my last four months of high school, I just stopped going all together; which led me to falling deeper into my depression; which let to me attempting suicide; which led to the re-evaluation of my entire life, especially my future. With my summer of growth and new-found positivity, I went back to school that fall motivated and determined to make something of myself. Now, I’m chasing my dreams and doing everything I possibly can to achieve my goals. I’ve come across kids who drop out of school and/or go through similar thoughts-that they don’t have a future or that they’ve burdened their family-I want to be the one to say, “If I made it through, so can you.”. I was in a very dark place, and I’ve worked very hard to pick myself up and rise. I have every intention of helping those in need and I would like to encourage young adults to stay strong and remember that a phoenix always rises from its ashes.
“This was a 3 paragraph reflective essay I had to do for an assignment. I just wanted to share it because this was important to me and it took me many drafts before I finally came to this. Thanks for reading! Have a great day! :)”
This is my revised copy of this essay because as hard as this was for me to publish, it was even harder to remain honest and vulnerable about something so crucial in my life. Becoming honest with myself took me years, but I realized that if I never get out of my own way, I will never have the true happiness I want. When I started becoming more honest with myself, I became more honest with others and it’s now led me to live a life based on authenticity and presence. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, I truly hope that the rest of my publications bring you value, joy, peace, understanding, etc. ♥
Because of my experience with suicide, I am a proud supporter of “TWLOHA-To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.” If you would like to make a donation, please click on this link. https://twloha.com/donate/ Thank you! ♥
-Kathryn “Kat” Bundoc