The Power of Unconditional Love

Stormy - North Port, Florida
Entered on December 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope, love
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

It’s been one year; one whole year since I tried to die. I wouldn’t eat; I thought I was fat. I did drugs; they helped numb the pain. I hated myself and all I stood for; I wanted to die.

So I tried to. One night I took one of my many bottles of pills out to my front porch. It was three a.m. on a November morning, in the middle of Missouri, and it was cold.

I deserve this, I thought, I lie, I cheat, and I’m not who I pretend to be.

My mind was made up. I was going to do this. I didn’t, though, want there to be any question about why I did it. I didn’t do it because a boy broke my heart, because my best friend was a back-stabbing bitch, or even because my mother and I had one fight to many. No, I hated myself and that is why I wanted to die.

I found my phone and absentmindedly dialed. My youth director from church answered on the other line. She was awake and surprised with just a hint of panic in her frail voice. She asked what was wrong and instinctively I started to tell her that there had been nothing to worry about and that I was fine. That, however, would be a lie, and what was the point in lying now?

I explained to her what I was about to do. That I had a half full bottle of pills and I had already taken three. I told her why I was doing it and how long I had been planning to do something. I told her about my diet, my drug usage, the burning, and the horrible thoughts that were always lingering.

I finally finished and I heard her take a ragged breath. I realized she must not have been breathing. Now it was my turn to hold my breath. When she finally did speak, she simply said, “I love you.”

I believe in unconditional love.

The bottle dropped from my hand, in the end having taken a total of seven. She got me to flush the remaining pills down the toilet and to crawl back into bed. She said a prayer with me and convinced me to try and get some amount of sleep. That didn’t happen but it was the thought that counted, right?

Suicide kills. I know how stupid that sounds but its true. Even if you don’t succeed, it kills you. Your thoughts, your emotions, your sanity, it takes it all. And then, when you fail to act on your intentions, the memories haunt you, for life. In dreams, in church, in every day life, you can’t get away from the images that are permanently burned into your subconscious.

The point is unconditional love is the most commanding force of nature out there. It works miracles. And because I am, have been, and will forever be loved unconditionally, I can tell you of the great power of unconditional love.

–Stormy Rachelle Schafer