Photo by Trina Atkinson Photography
Pointe shoes donated by Roxanne at Centerstage Dance Shop
I will specifically be speaking about some of the trauma I’ve been through, including drug and alcohol abuse, psychical abuse, and suicide.
April 2018 was the one year anniversary of my last suicide attempt. My attitude was completely different this time around. I knew I had to fight. I knew I had to do something. It’s by the grace of God I’m here and I finally chose to embrace this beautiful life He’s blessed me with.
Severe depression is something I’ve been struggling with for pretty much my entire life. I’ve been hospitalized at least 7 times for suicide attempts. Waking up in the hospital has never been the end goal for me. My last suicide attempt was the most horrific. I had never written a suicide note before but this time was different. The note consisted of me telling the people in my life I loved them and was sorry for causing them so much pain. So many things haunted me like causing so much pain and disappointment for my parents. The events leading up to my last suicide attempt were pretty intense and I was very mentally unstable. I was hospitalized for a psychotic breakdown on top of suicide attempts. So many things built up on top of each other and I kept pushing them to the back of my mind instead of dealing with them. I’m honestly surprised I’m alive but I am very thankful I am.
Over the years alcohol was one of my closest friends, I used it to try to numb a lot of the pain and in addition to that I was addicted to pain pills and was doing cocaine as well. Of course none of these things ever helped. I was never really in a stable relationship but have been in several abusive ones. When I was really little I was molested by two different females in my life which I believe started the beginning of a very hard journey for me. I never told anyone about this until I was in my 20’s. Being so open about my struggles hasn’t always been an easy thing for me. I used to be very ashamed and didn’t like talking about what I was going through because I didn’t think anyone would understand.
Something I want to do with this is to be a voice for those that we’ve lost to suicide. I’ve been on the side most people don’t understand and feel I can lend a voice to help aid in understanding.
October 2017 I started working at Jefferson Park Golf Course. The main hub for The First Tee of Greater Seattle. The First Tee is a program devoted to youth development through the game of golf. Shortly after I started working at Jefferson Park I also began volunteering with The First Tee and fell in love with it. Working with The First Tee has inspired me to move forward with my fight to help our youth. I fully believe The First Tee has a very positive impact on our youth. Any program our youth can be involved in that is positive can really have a major impact on their lives. For me golf has really helped me deal with severe depression and anxiety. When I’m on the course it’s a peaceful place where my mind silences the depression and anxiety.
My passion is helping our youth. The second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 is suicide. Being afraid to talk about depression or suicide isn’t good and is something that needs to change in order to save lives. I believe that I can help people by talking about what I’ve been through, staying silent isn’t an option in my eyes. I’m thankful for everything I’ve been through because it’s made me who I am today and brought me to where I’m at today.
My passion to help people and touch lives grows stronger every day. I want to take something people are uncomfortable with and make it something comfortable to talk about. I refuse to stop fighting.
If you or someone you are concerned about is in need of help don’t stay silent. PLEASE go to my resources page where you can find links to some great organizations that can help with a wide range of issues.
Julie Baird Founder/CEO