[There is mention of suicidal tendencies in this story. If that is something that can trigger you, please be cautious.]
When I was driving home from school the other day, I had a moment that I like to call a "Jesus moment." This is when you feel His presence with you in your everyday life.
I had just finished a long practice due to having two-a-days this week. Before I could even turn on my Bluetooth, I was flipping through the radio stations, and the first song that came on was a worship song. I'd never heard a worship song on the radio before, but it played that day, and the song I heard is the one I've chosen for my speech today.
My journey began in 2019 when both of my grandparents passed away a month apart. As an eighth-grader, I tried to be as mature as possible, but the weight of this grief overwhelmed me.
Since then, my battle with depression and loneliness has been ongoing. What led me to my faith was a moment by my grandma's deathbed. She was in a coma, and I whispered, "If this is the last time I see you, I love you and it's all for you now."
She made a loud noise that everyone could hear. Two hours later, my dad and his brothers returned from dinner, and the nurses were leaving her room. Within five seconds, she took her last breath with just my dad and his brothers present. That was God; that was her telling us she would always be here.
In my eyes, everyone goes through an experience that leads them to God and reveals the importance of faith. Everything happens for a reason. In July 2020, my dad entered my room and asked, "Lucy, do you want to be alive? Are you going to hurt yourself?" I responded, "I don't want to be here."
Consider that I was a content kid, with what seemed like the "perfect life." I had straight A's, a loving family, success, trainers—everything a 13-year-old could desire. That night, I sat on the bathroom floor with the lights off and scissors in my hand.
Helpless is the only word that captures that moment. I also skipped basketball practice, which was unlike me, as basketball was my escape. I spent hours in the gym, my way of forgetting my problems. Skipping practice was a red flag.
To this day, my motivation for things I once loved hasn't fully returned, but I've learned that's okay because I've changed. I'm a new version of myself. That's when I knew something wasn't right.
I remained this way for about a year, shutting everything and everyone out. I cried every day, struggled at school, and felt loneliness around others. I used to be outgoing and helpful, but no one knew I was battling to stay alive.
Eventually, I found the strength to seek help, started medications, and found an amazing therapist. I believed everything was improving, but it was just the beginning.
My freshman year at Liberty was tough; I cried daily and my grades dropped dramatically. Around this time, I was in a toxic relationship that had gone on for two years. I felt small, voiceless, and out of control.
Once, he told me, "I could do whatever I wanted to you, and you wouldn't leave." That stuck with me. Relying on validation from others became a crutch, making me vulnerable. Recognizing how deeply I feel every emotion and how there's no in-between, I felt incapable of picking myself up.
Thankfully, I had male figures to look up to, like my trainer Kam, who saved my life on multiple occasions. After two months of convincing, I transferred to Regina. It seemed like the best choice, especially since my devoted Catholic grandmother would have approved.
Last summer, I attended Notre Dame and met amazing people who shared my experiences. I joined youth group, became a Regina youth representative, and spoke about my beliefs, impacting others.
I received texts from people saying I saved their lives. I do it because it's who I am, because it's God's calling for me. If you take one thing from this speech, remember that suicide isn't the answer.
It's okay to seek help; you can't do everything alone. You don't need to be picture-perfect to be accepted by the Catholic Church. It's okay not to be okay; God calls everyone, even if you don't realize it yet. Trust His timing, and remember that everything happens for a reason. What's your reason?