Shilpa Thomas

November 2018 marked the 15 year anniversary of my suicide attempt. I can’t believe it has been that long but at the same time, it feels like it was just yesterday. Years of insecurity, low self-worth, lack of faith, and pain-evoking experiences had all played a role in me making that life-altering decision.
It all began when I was a child. I was molested when I was 8 years old by, who was once, my favorite uncle. This had shattered my world. I think what may have affected me the most was how the situation was handled after. Nobody really wanted to speak about it. Everyone dealt with the pain in silence. I felt alone. I had nobody to talk to, nobody to cry to, or at least that is how I felt at that time. I had become withdrawn. I felt dirty, insecure, and hated myself.
I was the queen of negative self-talk. I would cry often. I was miserable. I was extremely hard on myself. I hated making mistakes and disappointing others’ expectations. I wanted everyone to love me even though I did not love myself. All this self-hatred led me to make a decision that would change my life forever. I hated myself so much that I felt that my family and this world would be better off without me. I overdosed on medication and ended up in the hospital. I felt embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had done what I did. I remember praying for nobody that I knew to find out because I did not want anyone to think I was crazy.
It took me a while to truly digest what had happened. What did it all mean? This girl, who felt insignificant and undeserving of life, was given a second chance. I was meant to be here. My presence on this earth has a purpose. I have spent the last 15 years exploring what that purpose is. I believe sharing my story with others is one of them. I am no longer embarrassed! I am a warrior and this is my story.

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MannMukti pledges to serve all South Asians, recognizing the power hierarchies in our communities, created and maintained by different identities of caste, language, geography, gender, sexuality, and religion that shape individuals' obstacles while seeking mental liberation.