S.Y.S Series: Joy Jordan - From Trauma to Motherhood

Introducing our Suicide Prevention Week: "Share Your Story" Series
Every day for Suicide Prevention Week 2020, we will share inspiring true stories from suicide survivors, grieving family members and mental health advocates. Our goal is to encourage others to share their stories, reach out for help, or be a beacon to those in the dark.
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(Trigger warning: descriptions of rape, suicide, death, self harm or grief)
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JOY'S STORY:

Depression and anxiety were normal for me growing up. My dad has it, and his mom had it. I remember being at church, in youth group, with thoughts of suicide and sadness. I could never truly explain why. It could’ve been my parent’s divorce when I was 6, or the serious disease (uveitis) that almost took my ability to see, or the fact that I was being bullied for it, or a little bit of everything. Growing up, I was a honor roll student, I played piano, I played soccer, I was in dance, etc. 

I had been to many therapists for my anxiety and depression. I always had a difficult time feeling comfortable enough to open up about why I was feeling the way I did. I didn’t even really know. How do I explain what I don’t understand? 

Fast forward to high school, I let my depression get the best of me. I started skipping school, and barely graduated, despite my good grades. Thankfully, I did graduate with my senior class in 2012, and that summer I got an internship at an oil and gas company, doing administrative work. 

I figured I was on the right track, until the day I was raped by 2 males. Looking back on it, it traumatized me more than I was willing to realize. That summer changed everything. I began spiraling into a deeper depression. 

I started hanging around people I shouldn’t have been around. Through that, I developed an addiction to Xanax. It made me feel numb, which was better than feeling everything and not understanding why. I lost a lot of weight, I was barely home, spent days on end just getting high and not thinking about anything. Depression and addiction took me away from everything and everyone that I loved. 

One day, after coming down from being awake for too many days to count, I just lost it. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be here anymore. No one knew what I had gone through. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone. I was too scared of what might or might not happen. I allowed them to have power over me, after years of slowly killing myself to forget it ever happened. February 2015, I attempted to commit suicide. 

I was taken to the hospital, and then transferred to a behavioral hospital. They provided counseling, workbooks and group therapies that helped better than any therapist I had been to before. I thank them for that. 

Once I got out, I relapsed for a couple months, until I got into a car accident with my best friend in the passenger seat. I realized I’m not only hurting myself, I’m hurting everyone that loves and cares about me. That was the last day I consumed that silent killing drug. From that day forward, I promised myself that I would live life like it’s worth living. 

 

Fast forward 5 years later, I have a beautiful 2 year old daughter, a wonderful loving family, and a life that I would never want to take myself away from again. I pulled out my keyboard again. I discovered a new talent I have in painting. I would’ve never been able to witness this type of joy. I wake up every morning thankful that I get to live this life of discovery, love, growth, and motherhood. 

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My story was not done yet, and it still isn’t. Neither is yours. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone, but that was my fear telling me that no one would care. So many people care. I care. Depression and addiction might’ve taken me away from everything and everyone I loved, but suicide didn’t, & I’m so thankful for that. 

Joy is an artist and musician hoping to inspire others who have experienced trauma, like herself. Follow her on Instagram @joyfromthesoul and @shesfullofjoy_

36 comments

  • So thankful you got help you needed and were able to find joy in living. That’s not easy to do. You are rocking it!!

    Liz N.
  • I am also a new mother. I was also depressed for few months after giving birth. It’s pretty common because I spoke with my friends and family and most of them had it. I got all the support I needed from my family and specially my husband. When I joined work after 3 months I felt so good. I was able to rediscover myself.

    Dipanwita Roy
  • Awesome story of comeback, Prayers to you!

    Doris Taylor
  • You are my hero! As someone else who suffered childhood trauma, motherhood is a triumph, but nightmare, as well. I fear for them Everytime they leave my site.

    Shannon Gilchrist
  • Groovy

    Betty Duncan

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