How surviving three suicide attempts birthed a purpose

How surviving three suicide attempts birthed a purpose

Nthabiseng Ngoepe, the author of ‘The Mending of a Broken Vessel’, shares her story of pain, rejection, and three suicide attempts - and how she is using it to build a better society.

Nthabiseng Ngoepe
Nthabiseng Ngoepe/ Supplied

Imagine the pain of falling pregnant as a teenager and having the father of your child reject the pregnancy. Not only that, but sleeping with another lady in front of you. That was the first painful experience that led to Ngoepe wanting to end her life.

The author and mother of two says it was after that encounter that she started drinking poisonous chemicals, hoping that they would take her life. But she survived. Even though her life was spared, Ngoepe says she never dealt with the pain and it affected her next relationships. 

“It defined everything I became thereafter,” says the author.

READ: Teenage Suicide Prevention Week: Expert advice on how to help a teen who is suicidal

The next suicide attempt would come years later when her husband started to emotionally abuse her.

“I ran to this older man who ended up marrying me. He gave me a sense of safety and acceptance when I needed it,” says Ngoepe.

However, her happily-ever-after was cut short when she started advancing in her career and her husband couldn't handle the success. 

READ: Suicide survivor on a mission to end suicides

Ngoepe says she became a lawyer and partner at a law firm. This led to her husband mistreating her and finally a divorce.

“The divorce tore me because I was still in love and didn’t really want to divorce him.”

She says as a young girl, she was badly affected by the divorce of her own parents.

“I suffered a lot of pain from the divorce of my parents.”

She says the divorce of her parents led to her doing so many things to try and deal with the pain.

“I spent a lot of my life seeking my home, because when a home is dismantled, it takes away your safety. All of what I did is because I was looking for a home, I was looking for a place I could belong. I was promiscuous because I looked for a place where I could be loved, and I could belong,” she says.

Sadly, her own marriage didn’t survive the hardship it faced.

Ngoepe says as a result of the failed marriage, she attempted to kill herself. She threw herself in front of a car in the estate where she lived but was luckily saved by security guards.

The third attempt was when she became unemployed and the company where she was a partner decided that it didn’t want to work with her anymore.

“I couldn’t deal with that. I was battling with my social standing,” said the author.

“Unemployment messed me up. When I realised that I was nothing, I became a suicidal mother of two, and I took pills."

However, despite all these suicide attempts, Ngoepe survived.

READ: Celebrities who survived a suicide attempt

She says her healing began when she started understanding her worth.

“I started healing when I started understanding the love of God for me, because I started understanding that whatever the people were saying didn’t matter. To survive three suicide attempts, to survive depression, alcoholism, promiscuousness, and seeking love in sex, all of those things, I survived because God had a plan for me,” she says.

Ngoepe says she also had to forgive all those who hurt her and to train her mind to be positive.

She adds that she believes she went through everything so that she could be a beacon of hope for someone else.

“The greatest lesson I have learned is that there is nothing you can’t overcome if you have the right focus. I think God brought me to this point for someone else.

“People go through hardships not for them, but for others and God wants them to speak about those hardships so that the next person who meets those trials can know that,” she says.

The pastor, author, and motivational speaker says those battling with suicidal thoughts and depression need to choose their battles and seek to be at peace with themselves. 

She says some situations are not worth your peace.

Pressure from society can be a big contributor to depression. Ngoepe says that "your definition of you must not be in the hands of someone else.” She says be confident in who you are and talk about your struggles. 

Image courtesy of Facebook/ @Nthabisengngoepe

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