Tamar Braxton Breaks Silence on Suicide Attempt as She Opens Up About Her 'Path to Healing'
"It was only God's grace and his mercy on my attempt to end my pain and my life that I am here to utilize my voice," Tamar Braxton said
On Thursday, Braxton, 43, revealed in a lengthy and raw statement on Instagram that she had attempted suicide after suffering "pain" for the past 11 years while working in the entertainment industry as a reality star.
"First and foremost, thank you," Braxton began, addressing her fans.
"Thank you to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support. In this present moment, it is my only responsibility to be real with myself and to be real with the ones who truly love me and care for my healing. I have without fail, shared with you my brightest days, and I know that sharing with you what has been my darkest will be the light for any man or woman who is feeling the same defeat I felt just only a week ago," she wrote.
"Every one of us has a desire, whether small or big, to make it out of where we come from to an ideal future place that includes, freedom to be who we choose, security for our children and families, and fortune to share with the ones we love. We believe these things can co-exist with just being happy. I believed that, that as a black woman, as an artist, an influence, a personality I could shape my world, and with whom I believed to be my partners, they could help me share my world," Braxton continued.
Braxton went on to say that "over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave."
The singer claimed she was "betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid," prompting her to write "a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing."
Braxton said that her cry for help was "totally ignored" and that she continued to be overwhelmed by "demands" from her career.
"It was my spirit, and my soul that was tainted the most. There are a few things I count on most to be, a good mother, a good daughter, a good partner, a good sister, and a good person," Braxton said.
"Who I was, begun to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter. It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight," Braxton wrote.
At one point, Braxton explained she felt that she was "no longer living" but "was existing for the purpose of corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me."
Braxton asserted that "mental illness is real" and that as a society "we have to normalize acknowledging it and stop associating it with shame and humiliation."
"The pain that I have experienced over the past 11 years has slowly ate away at my spirit and my mental," she continued.
Following her suicide attempt, Braxton said she will now do "everything in my power to aid those from mental illness, including those of us who's mental illness was only a result from the toxic systematic bondage that dwells television."
Braxton said that it was only "God's grace and his mercy on my attempt to end my pain and my life that I am here to utilize my voice."
The star thanked fans for their prayers, sharing, "it is only your prayers that have pushed me to rise above my own personal demise, pushed me to not only continue my fight for the freedom of my own thoughts, mind and soul, but also use my voice and experience to be an ally for every Black and brown person who has suffered from the continued exploitation of reality television."
Braxton said that reality stars "have no union, no coat of protection, no formal representation that protects our labor, our rights, or our voices."
"They promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of Black people in show business," Braxton wrote.
A rep for WE tv did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Now, Braxton said she is learning to "grow through" her pain "instead of looking for an escape" and will be seeking treatment to be the best mother to her 7-year-old son Logan, whom she shares with ex-husband Vincent Herbert.
"I'm on an irreversible path to healing, I am taking my time. It is of the upmost importance that I find my happy and my health, through professional treatment, for sake of my whole heart, Logan, who I forgot in my moment of distress and desperation," Braxton shared.
Braxton also said that she will fight for "ethical business practices in reality TV."
She further pledged to fight for "the ownership of our businesses, promote growth and evolution, of our stories, and gives us 100% equity in our freedom."
"My love for my support system and everyone who chose to love me when I no longer loved myself, is infinite and I am forever grateful. I pray you will stand with me and be courageous enough to share your own growth," Braxton added.
After Braxton released her statement, VH1 publicly expressed its support for the reality star. "We are so proud of Tamar Braxton’s strength, braveness, and resilience. We fully support you Tamar and wish you a safe recovery 🖤• 🔁: @tamarbraxton," the network wrote on Instagram.
On July 16, Braxton was found unresponsive in her room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Los Angeles by her boyfriend, David Adefeso.
A spokesperson for the LAPD told PEOPLE officers responded to a call around 9:45 p.m. at the hotel's location in regards to an individual who had a medical emergency. The spokesperson said that the individual was transported to the hospital.
Reps for Braxton did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time. A spokesperson for the star told The Blast, "Tamar has had a very tough and emotional day — more information will be coming in the next few days. Please pray for her."
In light of what happened, the premiere of Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life! was pushed back to Sept. 10, a spokesperson for the network told PEOPLE.
"Tamar Braxton has been an incredibly important member of the WE tv family for more than a decade, and our first concern is for her recovery and well-being," the statement read. "Given the current situation, we are postponing the premiere of Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life! until September 10. This series was conceived by Tamar and is a real portrait of a dynamic woman juggling the demands of being a single mother, a new relationship and her career."
"We know, when the time is right, Tamar's fans will relate to seeing this honest portrait of her life, but — at this moment — we are joining with her fans and sending strength and healing in the hope that she is getting the support and help she needs at this difficult time," the statement continued.
It is not immediately clear if the show will still go on as planned.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.