On a Path to Suicide

I made friendships with a depth that I had never experienced before.

My life before Shelterwood was characterized by loneliness, depression, self-harm, and the desire to end it all. It was my choice to attend Shelterwood, and I am happy to say that it has been the best decision of my life so far.

While attending, I learned how to deal with my emotions in a positive way, made some amazing friends that I still talk to on a daily basis, and learned how to communicate with my parents. My transition home started while my mother was recovering from an appendectomy, so it wasn’t as smooth as we had hoped; I was re-acclimating myself to my old school where I had previously felt very lonely. I had to finish coursework, and make sure that my mother was doing okay.

Although it seems like it wouldn’t have been beneficial to go home and be thrown into a bunch of things, it was good for me. I had to rely on God to give me peace every day and be able to let me let go of the little things that I would usually hold on to.

My relationship with my parents has become so much better since attending Shelterwood. I used to not be able to talk to my parents about anything, and now my mom is my best friend. The friends I made at Shelterwood I still have today. One of the old Littles and I still talk non-stop, calling the other when we need to cry or yell or talk about silly things.

Also, my relationship with God grew while I was at Shelterwood, the pinnacle being when Jim Subers, who is also my godfather, baptized me in Haiti. God never ceases to amaze me at how many times He was there for me, even when I wasn’t actively pursuing Him. I believe Shelterwood was one of the things that God was using to get my attention back to Him and away from unhealthy addictions. Choosing to get help at Shelterwood was the best decision of my life to date, and I will forever love my Shelterwood family.

Gracie O.