Rachel’s Story: It’s Going to Be OK

Rachel with her Ryan's Lion


In October of 2012, my dad attempted suicide. My mom and I left early that morning with my uncle and cousin to go to Utah to visit family. We said good-bye to him before we left, and then we headed out the door.

We were well on our way to our destination when my mom received a call from my oldest brother, who had arrived at our house just after the police and ambulance had come, telling her that dad had attempted to take his own life. I remember being in the backseat, very very scared as my mom had a panic attack. She was bawling and she was so scared and was crying so hard that she couldn’t tell us anything, and we didn’t
know what was wrong.

My uncle figured out what had happened and kept telling me, “Your dad’s going to be okay! I promise, your dad’s going to be okay!” I didn’t know what had happened and I had no idea. Had he gotten in an accident? Had he had a heart attack? For about 30 minutes, I worried and worried, crying, and not knowing what to do. Finally my mom calmed down, and we pulled over at a gas station to re-fill the car. My mom got in the backseat with me and told me my dad had tried to kill himself. I didn’t know what to think, or what to do. I would never have thought that my dad was capable of such a thing! Suicide always seemed so unreal to me, something that only existed on the news. For the next hour, I cried and cried, and my brain just couldn’t comprehend what had happened.

We finally got to my grandma’s house, and my uncle told my sister and brother-in-law and grandma and aunt what had happened before my mom and I went in the house. Everyone was crying, and it felt like I was in a nightmare. Everyone was just crying and hugging each other, and it was silent. My uncle kept getting updates from my older brother and other people that were with my dad at the hospital. It was so scary and frightening to not know if he was going to be okay or not. We received many updates and each one confirmed that my dad was going to be okay. We went back home a couple of days later, and visited him in a hospital that he had been moved to that was a couple of hours away from where we lived. I was so sad and scared and angry.

My dad finally came home a couple of days later. I started going to counseling to help me deal with this trauma that I had experienced. I have been going for a whole year now, and I have learned and grown so much over the past year. It has been a very hard and difficult year, but I have changed a lot, and learned about a lot of “tools” that can help me through life. I have been able to process my trauma and learn to deal with it. My uncle had given me a Ryan’s Lion late last year to help me remember that I am brave and courageous, and that I can do hard things.

Throughout this past year, through all of the strugglings I have had with this trauma, my mom has been a big help and support for me, even though she was greatly affected by this experience, too. She would always remind me and tell me: “It’s going to be okay!” And I had a hard time agreeing with her at the beginning, but as the year went by, it was easier to see that it really would be okay. And now, I see that I am a survivor, and that things are getting better, and that “it is going to be okay!”

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