Episode 14: Emma Benoit Speaks On Being Paralyzed After a Suicide Attempt


* CONTENT WARNING * This episode discusses suicide, methods used and sensitive content. Please listen with caution and care as it could trigger emotional distress.

                                                              

June 7, 2017 is a date that will always be etched into the mind of our incredible guest today.  It was on this day that Emma Benoit tried to take her own life.  

Born and raised in Louisiana, Emma was the all American girl.  A beautiful and popular cheerleader, the life of the party with a picture perfect life.  How could a girl like that get to the point of wanting to end her own life?  Today Emma shares with us about the internal struggles she faced and the desperation she felt while trying to maintain the perfect facade to her friends and family.

In this episode, we dive deep into Emma’s story and she shares about the months leading up to her suicide attempt and the moments following where she felt nothing but deep regret and the fight to stay alive.  Emma openly talks about her struggles and breaking points throughout her time in rehab hospital with a spinal injury and how her new found faith helped her through the journey to recovery.  Unlike most people, Emma was given a second chance and she recounts a spiritual encounter which completely shifted her perspective to see life through a new lense.  

At the age of 19, Emma still has so much life to live and is now busy sharing her journey to help others see the beauty of being alive.  Emma’s inspiring story is being told through a documentary film called My Ascension which was made by one of our previous guests, Greg Dicharry, with the aim of spreading the message of hope and suicide prevention.

Emma’s story is an alarming reminder that nobody can do life alone.  Too often it’s the unsuspecting people who are crying out for help on the inside but feeling like they have nobody to talk to.  Regardless of achievements, wealth or social status, it’s vital that we maintain a listening ear to those around us and an open heart to be vulnerable when we are in need.  This episode is guaranteed to inspire and will remind you of the importance of staying true to yourself and embracing the people around you.

 

TOPICS WE COVERED AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:

[7:34] - The internal struggles that Emma was battling from a young age, without really comprehending what they were

[9:10] - What propelled Emma into the severely depressive state that she was in by the time she was 16 years old

[10:10] - The instant regret Emma felt after she attempted to take her own life

[11:15] - What made Emma feel as if she couldn’t speak out about the struggles she was having

[13:00] - We’re not meant to do life alone. The importance of community and fellowship

[14:30] - The overall exhaustion and feeling of overwhelm that Emma was facing, and how that affected her

[18:10] - What happened on the days leading up to Emma’s suicide attempt

[22:00] - How Emma always felt as if she had to be the life of the party and starting the fun, when she was really not presenting her true self

[23:50] - The moments after Emma attempted to take her own life and the thoughts that were going through her head

[24:40] - Waking up in the hospital and how Emma transitioned into realising what she had attempted and how that person seemed so foreign to her

[27:40] - What Emma would tell to her younger self

[29:10] - How difficult it is as a young person trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with the rest of your life, and why looking back, Emma now realises how much that doesn’t matter - you’re not supposed to have it all figured out

[32:00] - Emma’s rehabilitation journey and recovering from a spinal cord injury

[34:40] - The inner battles of feeling like a victim, but also recognising that she had done this to herself in some way

[36:00] - The huge role that faith has played in Emma’s recovery and the moment that would be her turning point to viewing her situation through a new lens

[40:00] - How much sharing her story has helped Emma heal and convinced her it was a good idea to do the My Ascension film

 

Links:

Instagram: @benoitemma

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010109530647

Emma’s website: https://www.liferejuvenated.org/

 

Instagram: @myascenionmovie

My Ascension website

My Ascension YouTube 

For any enquiries, feedback, and interview requests, please send an email to: podcast@livin.org

Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb.

If after listening to this episode, you don't quite feel right or you want to reach out to someone to talk to, we have provided some useful resources below. 

For immediate support please call one of the following 24/7 hotlines. Someone will be ready to take your call. Remember, ‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’

If you are in Australia:

  • Emergency - 000
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800

If you are in the United States:

  • Emergency- 911
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text LIVIN to 741741 in the United States.

If you would prefer to speak with someone face-to-face, we recommend visiting your local GP (doctor) who will be able to have a chat with you about what is going on in your life and refer you to a mental health professional if need be.

For some tools to help you with things like stress, low mood, general worries, please check out our LIVIN tips and tricks here: https://livin.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/LIVIN-Tips-Tricks.pdf

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