Georgeanna "Chapter One: Choosing to Live"

Captured in April of 2017 - Chapter Two coming soon...

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

Chapter One of Georgeanna's story was brought to you in partnership with Safe to Sleep Women's Shelter:


My name is Georgeanna. I have a mom, a step dad, a brother and a sister. We were all raised here in Springfield. I’ve actually never lived anywhere else. I’ve visited some other cities but Springfield is home.

I love Springfield. I’ve heard that it is the 11th most dangerous city in which to live and at first that shocked me but I’ve seen the crime in our city steadily rise over time.

When I was younger, I could run around outside and play but you just can’t do that in today’s day and age. The rise in crime is not just in Springfield, though. It’s everywhere. And no matter where you are, your location is what you make of it. Springfield is what you make of it. To me, that has to be your attitude, how you see life. You’ve got to be positive.

My situation isn’t ideal. I’m going through a divorce and, right now, the best choice for me is to leave and live out here for a while. When I got married, I came into marriage with my name, my clothes, and my dignity. I’m leaving the same way.

I don’t want to be out here but I believe that God has me here for a reason. It’s not where I would like to be but I know that I can handle it.

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This past April was a very eye-opening time for me. It’s actually the closest I’ve ever come to wanting to end my own life. I started focusing on all of my hurts and I became lost in it. I wasn’t thinking about my son; I was only thinking about the overwhelming pain I had in my life.

I almost jumped.

As I stood there, one leg over the ledge, tears flowing from my eyes, all I could think about was the phenomenally emotional fact that I’m a suicide survivor.

I thought back to when I walked in and saw my son’s father hanging there, I couldn’t comprehend it. He had shown no signs, no symptoms, nothing. All of a sudden my world changed. All of a sudden I started thinking, how am I going to raise a 10 year old boy by myself? How are we going to make it? But you know what? God got us through that too.

As I sat on the ledge, reflecting on my heartache, I began to think about my son. Leaving would not be fair to him. 

I thought about how much my son needs me. I thought about how my son is doing so well and how he is making me proud of the things he is doing. My son is going places and I started thinking how lucky I am to get to be around to see that.

I’m glad that I chose to live. Things got so overwhelming for a while but I am getting my life back together.

It has taken a lot of strength and a lot of prayer. But I’m getting my life back.

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I want people to know that sometimes, to reclaim your life, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It’s ok to be like this, to be homeless for a while. For me, it’s just temporary. I know I’m going to change my situation because I have the drive.

I’ve been very humbled by this experience. In fact, I consider myself blessed. Life is good and I know it’s going to get better. Life can always get better if you have the right attitude.

I don’t see myself as any different than anyone else. I’m chalking this up to an experience and I’m so thankful for those in my life who are not judgmental about my situation.  

My future goal is just to have a good life. I’ve come so far and gained so much self-confidence. I really hope that my story inspires others to believe in themselves; to choose to live. Even if no one believes in you, believe in yourself and be thankful for simply being alive. Not everyone made it through the night last night so the fact that I am alive is a blessing. God picked me up out of my dark place and because I have God and my son, that is enough.

I’m a big advocate for suicide awareness and when you hear people talk about suicide, you have to listen, you have to show them that life is worth choosing. I’m here to listen.

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Chapter 1 of Georgeanna's story was brought to you in partnership with Safe to Sleep Women's Shelter:

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER OF SAFE TO SLEEP

Perhaps you have heard of Safe to Sleep, an emergency overnight women’s shelter. We provide women of all ages a safe and compassionate place to sleep. A volunteer staff assures a welcoming and peaceful evening, with snacks and a shower. We rely entirely on volunteers, donations, and the kindness of community churches to provide this service. (Romona Baker – Founder of Safe to Sleep)

WHO NEEDS SAFE TO SLEEP? Every single night of the year, homeless women need a safe place to sleep. These women may be:

Elderly without rent money

Victims of domestic violence

Recently unemployed

Lost roommate and evicted

High medical bills

All ages; each a unique situation

Each night there are 30-40 women seeking safety at Safe to Sleep. Sometimes, there are up to four new women a night. Since 2011, Safe to Sleep has served more than 1600 different women.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SAFE TO SLEEP OR TO HELP OUT, CLICK HERE