by Janine Eadie
Every person in this world has scars. They can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. These scars have shaped my life and they are deep within me.
In elementary school, I was made fun of on a daily basis…both right in front of me and behind my back. I wanted nothing to do with them and vice versa. I had two friends I’d hang out with during recess and lunch. Sometimes, I stood by the doors and waited for the bell to ring signaling the end of recess or lunch. I battled with memorization, reading musical notes, comprehension with French and grammar, being fluid in my cursive writing and having a good flow to it, hand-eye coordination in gym class, art, etc.
Although I wasn’t good at every subject, I excelled in spelling, reading and creative writing. If a family member asked me how to spell a word, I’d be able to tell him or her how to spell it without even writing it down. My mom called me her walking dictionary because of that. I was exempt from my next spelling test because I’d done so well in the previous one… I thrived at it.
I hated elementary school so much that I didn’t want to graduate with my grade eight classmates. I didn’t want to try high school because I figured what’s the difference between the two. I gave grade nine a try and it was less difficult than elementary school. I had a good group of friends to spend time with. During high school, I went to a resource teacher for extra help with tests and exams. I helped classmates that had difficulty with Math problems. I felt proud that I was able to help them. I continued to battle with depression and suicide, so concerned family and friends encouraged me to meet with a counselor. I met with one once a week and it helped me immensely. I was embarrassed because I thought the people that needed help were the ones that had an addiction or a disease. Little did I know, depression is a disease. I didn’t apply for college right away for two reasons. One I thought my grades weren’t high enough and two I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I found out this wasn’t the case so I applied and was accepted at Niagara College.
Before I started college, I went to a program for students with learning disabilities. I learned strategies for studying for tests and exams along with techniques for memorization. I met individuals who helped made the transition to college easier. It was here that I met Zack, who I kept in touch with and he had a profound impact in my life.
I took the General Arts and Science program at Niagara, to figure out who I am and what I wanted to do with my life.
While at Niagara, I went through intensive testing which was very hard and exhausting. I was diagnosed with a Non-verbal Learning Disability (NVLD for short). This disability falls under the umbrella of autism. My difficulties with learning and language delay were the reasons for this diagnosis.
Throughout elementary and high school, I went through the grieving process as three people in my life including my great-Opa, Oma and great-Oma passed away. All of these were constant struggles for me.
I had a harrowing experience. On January 6 of 2008, I attempted to commit suicide with an over-dose of my anti-depressants before I went to bed because I felt like my presence wasn’t needed on this earth. The plan was that I’d pass away in my sleep. That wasn’t God’s plan for me, though. In the night I got up to use the washroom. I don’t remember anything afterwards. My dad said that he heard a loud bang and thought it was one of my brother’s. It wasn’t… it was me. My dad found me and I was having seziures. I was rushed to the Hamilton General Hospital and I was in the ICU for three days. Meanwhile, family and friends were praying for me, sent words of encouragement and support, along with visiting me in the hospital. Zack who was and is the rock in my life encouraged me through emails. January 8th, on my birthday, my life turned a corner for the better. God had answered everyone’s prayers and I was on the road to healing and recovery. The doctor said that I was able to go home. Thursday Jan. 11th, I went home and I was ready to move on from a very traumatizing time. When I think about this experience, I feel pain for my loved ones. Family and friends came to visit me at home. The following week, I returned to work and my co-workers were happy to see me and have me back. They offered me words of encouragement. My mom took all the mementos and placed them into a memory scrapbook for me. I cherish it…when I look in it, I am reminded of just how many people love and care about me. The knowledge of that is a huge comfort.
Life went on as normal until Monday Feb. 8th of 2010, in the afternoon when my best friend, Danielle’s mom, called me to ask me if I’d heard from Danielle. I told her that I hadn’t and asked her to call me back if she had any news. Later that week, I remembered I’d been in contact with Danielle because she wanted me to visit her in Burlington. I couldn’t because it was a very busy time at work. I had planned to visit her once the busyness died down. I didn’t have that chance to visit her and I wish that I’d made time for her. I didn’t though and it brings pain to me today.
Honestly, I didn’t think much of her mom’s phone call because I’d seen Danielle purposely ignore text messages from her mom or make her wait for her when she was picked up from my parents home. Since I didn’t receive that phone call, I called her mom. When she answered the phone it sounded like she’d been crying because her voice was all husky. I knew that something was terribly wrong. Sunday Feb. 7th, 2010, Danielle passed away in her sleep at the age of twenty-one! I couldn’t believe it… it was heartbreaking. After I’d processed the initial shock, I gave my condolences to her parents. Then I sat down and shared this terrible news with my mom and dad. Although it was difficult for me, they were supportive and were sorry to hear this terrible news. Not being able to keep my emotions in check anymore, I broke down and cried. I had the hard task of letting our group of friends know… it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I, myself, was still digesting the news as the grief struck me to the core. I wasn’t myself for another week and I didn’t sleep so my mind was a whirlwind. I was off from work until the following week, when I forced myself back to work, knowing it’d help me through the grieving process. Also, I knew that my co-workers needed me there. I went to a program where individual’s shared similar stories to mine and it helped me for the one year that I was there. I still hurt and was devastated by this blow. Afterwards, our group of friends drifted apart; and I felt extremely abandoned and lonely. I asked God for me to happy with my life and in it. Once again, God answered my prayers. He placed Zack into my life to encourage, support and comfort me through my loss, via emails. I sent him emails as well. He was the one constant friend while I stuggled to come to grips with this. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I had someone to talk to and who believed in me.
Ironically, Zack is now my husband and life is full of plenty of caring and loving people. The changes that have come since my marriage are and have been life-changing. I hope to continue to live this well because God has been a great blessing to my past, present and future, as well as Zack. God saved me from succeeding in my suicidal attempt and He was the one that placed Zack into my life.