The Moment of Truth

A few days ago I wrote a post about some of my darkest moments. In the history of this blog, I’ve told you about my life and many of the aspects therein. If you follow me regularly, you probably know more about me than you ever wanted to know. Maybe I’ve made you laugh, or smile. Maybe I’ve made you think. Maybe I’ve simply entertained you for a few minutes while you waited for the commercials to get over. Whatever it was that made you read, I thank you for doing so.

Several of you have written to me with words of encouragement or prayers in the last few days. I thank you for those as well.

Two people have contacted me with the same suggestion: if the basis of my suicidal thoughts are rooted in student loan debt, why don’t I look at gofundme, or something similar? Why don’t I seek help? My main problem rests in the smallest loan of $14,000. People have gotten more than that from good Samaritans in the past. Why don’t I add my name to that list?

I’ve thought about this pretty heavily for the last couple days. As such, my mindset has teetered from despairing to hopeful and back again several times. I suppose that there are two things stopping me from trying. One is simple and easily worked past. The other… the other is harder.

The first reason: Pride. It seems weird to me that I would still have pride as I talk of suicide. If I think my life is worthless, how can I still be proud of it? I don’t think my life is worthless, though. I think it’s trapped. Imprisoned. Buried. I only want freedom of this dark cloud that hangs over my head and (if my math is correct) will continue to hang over me until my death—whether that is now or in 100 years. I think that’s one of the reasons why suicide has seemed so favorable. Right now, my husband and I must both be consumed by the debt-cloud, and we will both be consumed forever. If we ever have children, they, too, will suffer under its darkness. In the state I live in, however, my student loans are not passed on to my husband in the event of my demise. So, if I die now, he at least can be free immediately. In some dark way, it seems logical.

The idea of crowdfunding would free us both from this, without involving my life’s end. We could both be liberated and happily, and I could continue teaching (which is the only career I ever wanted. It kills me to think that I may have to give it up because of finances). However, it seems so… wrong to ask money of other people to pay for my mistakes. I was the one that went into the education field even though I knew, I knew, I couldn’t afford college. Even with all the sacrifices I made at the time, I always knew it would catch up with me, eventually. So how could I ask other people to help me fix the mess I made?

I guess if I did end up killing myself, though, then that pride won’t do me any good, anyway. A proud dead person is not worth much more than a live humbled one. Therefore, I think I could work past the Pride and feel gratitude. Humility. Love.

The second reason is harder. If you ever read my post “Faith: What I *Really* Trust” then you know that above God or deities, above karma and a  great universal justice, above myself and all of the things I believe may affect the world in positive ways—I have faith in People. In Humanity. I believe that people are the driving force behind all the greatness in the world. It’s people that look after others—people who save those who are hurting, who help those who have less than them. The world is a bright and beautiful place—and that is one of the reasons I choose to keep living every day. But the world is not bright and beautiful on its own—it’s wonderful because of the people that inhabit it.

Sites like gofundme and a hundred others have proven this. No matter what happens in the world, there are always people willing to help. I believe that. I know that the world is filled with more good people than bad and that they would be willing to try and save a teacher who only wants to keep teaching.

But what if I’m wrong?

Setting something up on gofundme or anything else would be the greatest act of faith I’ve ever committed. Not faith in God or Knowledge or Justice. Not in Truth or Science or anything else that’s out there. Faith in People. In Humanity. In that thing that keeps me going every day, that makes me smile and empowers my speeches. That makes me sure that life is worth it.

What if I’m wrong? What if Humanity isn’t as great as I have convinced myself it is? What if the world really is as dark a place as the other people in my suicide-prevention circles say? Would I be able to keep going after learning that? I don’t know. And I am afraid.

So, I guess I turn to you, Dear Readers. What would you do if you were me?

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7 thoughts on “The Moment of Truth

  1. If there isn’t a God or anything like that, than enjoying this life is what is worth living for. So as hard as it is, worry not about your debt, just work to find a way and enjoy the short time here to the best of your ability.

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  2. You know what’s interesting, Josh? I think there is a God. But I KNOW that there are humans. And they’re the ones that make me love life. Maybe they do it because God has encouraged them to, or He lives through them. It doesn’t matter to me WHY they are amazing, only that they are.

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  3. God, Schmod. Stop talking about “God.” Let’s talk instead about what you wrote here: “A proud dead person is not worth much more than a live humbled one.” Explain what you mean by “much more.” Dead people are not proud, not are they “worth” anything, let alone “worth more than” anything. They are DEAD. The light has gone out of them. What are you even talking about? Where is your husband, Tahani? I have lost at least four people to suicide who spoke about dying in precisely the way you’re talking about dying, and I am very worried about you. You used the word “suicide” several times in this blog post. If you were here in Billings, you and I would be heading straight for the Crisis Center whether you liked it or not. You need a warm arm around your shoulders, girl. Does Tucker know you’re talking about suicide? My number is ***-****. You need to talk to someone immediately.

    Edited by TahaniNelson (I took your phone number out, just in case).

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  4. What I said in my previous post is still true, Shelley: I am depressed. I am suicidal. I am getting help. I’m going to be okay.

    This post is mostly covering my viewpoints on the aforementioned suggestions to seek help from a crowdsourcing fund. I did not have a way to talk my way through that idea without explaining what brought me to the entire ordeal in the first place. I am in contact with people. I am keeping myself from doing anything stupid. Writing about how the thoughts in my head works seems to make it better–thus the blog. This is an outlet like any other, and is followed by at least a few other people who are struggling with the same issues. We all remain completely honest and are better able to help each other because of that honesty.

    I am grateful that you care, and I assure you that I have numbers on my speed dial in case of emergency.

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  5. Dilemma. Good word. I understand it. Also, it’s wonderful to see the concern from people that you believe exists in them. The concept of finding something you truly love and having it ripped away for financial reasons is heartbreaking. I know–truly–that it will improve and change. I know–that you will come through this, though I fear for your life as an educator. I also know the fear you feel in asking for help. ARE people as you believe or are they as cynical as others believe? If you don’t offer your hand, it can’t be grasped.

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  6. Although the situations are different, your post reminds me of what Tucker said when he thought he’d never find love in the world. I told him not to give up hope. And he found you.
    Don’t give up hope, Tahani. You’ll come through it.
    I understand what a leap it is you’re considering as well. I’d be scared too – and in fact unless you have access to hundreds of people if not thousands, there’s a good chance the word wouldn’t even get out for people to help. But help I believe they would, if they knew. All this to say, if you do decide to go ahead, prepare well. Gather up your resources before you start and give it the best chance it can possibly have. Have you looked into Thunderclap? That may be another avenue.
    Best of luck with it my dear. If I had the $14K to give you, it would be yours.
    Friend me on FB if you like and then I can keep up to date with your decision. I’m on Tucker’s friend list. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know. 🙂

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