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Suicide: A Personal Journey from Trauma to Triumph

By John Gregory Evans | Featured Contributor

Life can be quite demanding.

One may find themselves trying to overcome childhood sexual abuse and jump from the frying pan into the fire by volunteering with the USMC during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972; subsequently, sexually molested by a mid-level NCO while serving active duty through Combat Training. As well, with combat related scenarios one may also be injured upon a field training exercise after three consecutive explosive blasts are detonated, hurling an M-60 spent cartridge to its potential target, a young seventeen – year-old male’s cervical spine, thus, inducing a permanent nerve damage that could potentially one day paralyze him from the neck down, including the larynx. Hence, my patriotic chore that led a confused, dazed, and mystified young man to serious suicidal attempts and further ideation. This continued for many years.

Will there ever be relief?

Will the suffering end?

The answer to this is yes. Give yourself time.

For me, a survivor of childhood abuse, and of Military Sexual Trauma, suffering was inevitable. Suicidal attempts (there were three), and an ideation so in-depth and permanent, suicidal thoughts remained embedded within my consciousness for years to come. Suffering is difficult even on our best days. Given the conditions within my experiences, suffering became a way of life.

But it does not have to be this way.

My relief came through reading books. I began with spiritual self-help books and spiritual poetry that somehow lit a fire within my soul. This experience itself, was and remains a life altering, cataclysmic, and resurrected occurrence. Upon reading Jane Hirschfield’s Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, and Gary Zukov’s Seat of the Soul, I explored further, investigating the euphoric and esoteric value with how these two books changed my life forever, and for the better. I discovered not only the real me, but my predestinated purpose to live. I discovered who I always have been, who I was now, and who I shall be from here on out: a master poet who has embraced ideals as systemic racism, sexism, and equality for all, a true democratic value for all people—that I can now write about.

My favorite excerpt from a poem by poet Nelly Sachs helped me to see how in death, life begins:

Press, oh press in the day of destruction
The listening ear to the earth,
And you will hear, through your sleep
You will hear,
How in death
Life begins.

But, for the first-time reader, this does not mean to die a physical death, but through your suffering, and through your sleep (we are all asleep until we grow through the acceptance of our failures, and of ourselves), then, and potentially, only then, will your soul’s eyes begin to see, how spiritually we must die to our selfishness before we can see that life truly begins. You must look within your own heart and accept yourself as you are, broken and worn down, and discover a beautiful thing: you. You are worthy! How about that? You are worthy.

So, healing has become an option. Certainly, your purpose may not be as mine, but yours may be as educator, scientist, teacher, writer, architect, designer, or whatever your heart has always been aspiring to show you. There remain so many opportunities for a comfortable, abundant, and lucrative life, both in spirit and in personal achievements. One important imperative is once the act of suicide has been followed through, none of this endearing and achievable experience will occur, for once the hammer hits, there is no coming back.

Life I may now see as worth living. Since I have discovered my heart’s desire and chasing this dream to be a successful and master poet, I have not ever been so happy. Happiness remains with me every day. Your purpose may be different than mine, but as I lay in that field of rock and dirt at MCB Camp Geiger, back in 1972, paralyzed for a moment, bleeding profusely from the neck, stunned and dazed, I sincerely thought I was going to die. Now, from a near death experience by fault of the humanity factor, and then desiring to die by my own hand is exceedingly oxymoronic.

Think about that for a while.

*     *     *

If you find yourself having thoughts of suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Or just reach out. Because we all need to reach out sometime. 

Author Bio


John Gregory Evans is an author and poet who writes from the gut, transforming free-verse poetry of his life experiences, good or trauma-related, and craft into art. His accomplishments include having authored a comparative paper with regards to Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture “Ecstasy of Teresa” and Eros in terms of understanding the differences among human espousal love as an ecstasy cooperating in a divine manner with Christ.

Evans lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and Shih Tzu named Paavo.

John’s Blog:

If you would like your work or personal story to be considered for publication on, click here.

39 replies »

    • Thank you so very kindly for your very valuable response. I am a survivor for certain, and happy to be alive. We cannot allow our pains and sufferings to control us otherwise we discover a life born from within the trenches of despair. You bless me with your honesty and for being so touched. I love to reach good people while on this journey of life. I bid you a very lovely day. Bless you little angel. God be with you.

    • Hello. I read your profile. You are a young lady full of goodness and courage. Your mission is a grand mission to help others. Stay on this trail. Keep on this path. Write about your journey. You shall succeed. I am very uplifted and proud of you. Keep up the good work. Peace be with you dear one.

    • I would sincerely wish to thank you for your most generous comment. It is my wish to address and advocate for good people who for what ever reason must face trauma. Suicide or ideation is no good for anyone. We must all try to help one another. Thank you so much for your kindness.

    • Thanks very kindly. I wish you and yours well. It is truly my hopes to advocate for those suffering and hopefully healing peoples around the world to always choose life. Challenges are many in our lives. I am a Christian man. I believe Christ overcame the world in which we face so many trials. I now place my hope in the Lord. Thank you for commenting. God bless you.

  1. Thank you for sharing your deeply moving experience and profound awakening. Two people I loved committed suicide, and I still pray for their ongoing healing in spirit. But there are only victims when someone takes his or her life. Your words will help many.

    • Good morning! It remains difficult to comfort those who have lost loved ones through suicide. I am so very sorry, and sad, to hear of your experience. My thoughts are with you. My heart shares your pain and suffering. You are right, I have a daughter who never knew what I was going through because she was only two. My thoughts of my suicide hurt me to think what I could have done to her. I love her so much. I understand. I sincerely hope my experience facilitates healing among all reading. Life is very, very precious. The ideation (in my case, lasted decades), and this is bad enough. I pray for an end to any and all suicidal thoughts, and encounters. Please, feel free to write if you so wish. Many heartfelt blessings for you.

      • Thank you! Your voice is a blessing for many, especially those who do not know how to articulate such deep sorrow and even enlightenment. The wounded can rise as healers as they speak their pain and truth.

        • You are most welcome (Barbara?). I have many passions but the passion that creates even for me is the passion to be good for other people. I write, and I write of experiences and the strange phenomenon is I have been not just around the block a time or two, but, a lot! This signifies to me anyway that suffering, depression, anxiety can be great and wonderful healers in and of themselves. Does this make sense? Pain (emotional and mental), have reminded me we are created beautifully. When we survive such hardships, after a time, we CAN learn suffering, pain, and healing are the natural order of things. God bless you! I shall pray for your pains to remind you of the depth of love we are rendered by a truly loving and resurrected Lord God. My thoughts are this: From the Annunciation to the Resurrected and Ascended Christ, we may follow in His footsteps to a heaven of bliss, peace, and joy. I hope you are willing to share more of your story, but only if you care to. I love to listen. Be good and gentle to yourself. We may both speak our pain and our truths. Peace dear sister.

  2. This is so emotional. I somehow relate to this as I was molested by my own cousin when I was a kid and that’s still fresh in my memory. Having suicidal thoughts, depression and social anxiety disorder is a nightmare to me. I keep fighting each day. Keeping my hopes up.

    • Good morning! 😃 Please always hold a smile in your heart for you because you are blessed and beautiful. I read your response and you have a wonderful spirit about yourself for being so honest. Oftentimes talking through your experience may help. I hope this helps but Gloria Steinam states, “The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.” I sincerely felt this way for many years and I would not like to think you would dwell on your pain though I clearly understand. We become angry with what has occurred in our youth and you have every right. I wrote two books of poetry regarding the experiences and I have healed. I have also used a health professional to grapple with this demon but you can do it. My heart is always with you. Please, when you feel down and hurt, please get back up and know you are loved!!! 😊❤️

        • Your wonderful statement makes my heart smile. Be gentle on yourself and live in the gratitude of love. You are very much loved. Write anytime to me and I shall hope to comfort you. Be well and be blessed!

    • Dear KK,
      I thank you 😊 very much for your honesty and response. Please enjoy your day!

  3. Such a great post! Thank you for talking about this now when people might not get appointments with thier counselling personnel during this pandemic and might be battling such thoughts. 🌸

    • Thanks very much for your insightful comment. I am grateful you shared your heart ❤️. Please enjoy your day!

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