Having lived with the demon that makes you feel like you have nothing to live for from the age of 13 to 29 and having been a Christian longer than that I know the answer to this question all too well. I remember my pastor asking this question from the pulpit: “Why would a Christian commit suicide?” I wanted to raise my hand and answer. And while he listed reasonable reasons, I completely disagreed with the answers and the solutions he suggested.
I disagreed because I knew the truth and had tried all of the religious antic to breaking free of the demon and its power. I had shouted cried, received laying on of hands, fasted, prayed, read books and lied to myself that I wasn’t sad anymore. Not one bit of it worked. Nothing. As soon as I was hurt or let down, out came the desire to die. I would try to think about my family. I remember texting an ex my last love letter to my family. Things I wanted them to know about me and apologies. He thought I was bluffing, but I had taken a full bottle of sleeping pills. The funny thing was that I slept right through my plans for the evening, but I didn’t die. A month later I had secured a more permanent solution to the life problem at church, and I gave God one last chance to help me. And he did, he allowed a woman that I really love and admire at my church to stop and pray for me. A week later my boyfriend pulled a stunt and I felt the emptiness creep back in.
Then I decided as a testament to my will that I would not die. I began to meditate and pray and I took charge of my sanity. I stopped waiting on God to deliver me and I began fighting for my life. I am proud to say that I am now delivered. Even as I sit here in the midst of my testimony, waiting for the joy inside this story, I have no desire to die. I am sad and worried but not hopeless. Not at the point that I don’t believe in the light of morning bringing me redemption.
But to answer the question from the other side I think I can offer more than I would have on that Sunday in service. Then I wanted people to understand that I felt alone and no matter how much people claimed to love me they still caused me grief and that in a crowd of people I felt more alone then sitting in a room filled with darkness. I wanted people to know that I was irrevocably broken. I wanted them to get that I didn’t know what real happiness felt like because the lows were so deep that I couldn’t enjoy good times worried about how bad I would feel when they left, lied, or didn’t have time for me. I was alive but not living.
Christians commit suicide because they are taught to believe that God will physically remove their pain. That he will heal them and make them strong so that they can withstand this fiery dart of the devil. They get so tied up in church you can’t tell them from the pew, then they began to fade or they move like a robot and not like a true servant. They seek and find approval from people they admired only to be disappointed by their humanity. Then that faithful Christian finds himself alone or maybe they backslide and see if alcohol and illicit sex will make it better. Then finally when no one is looking and they see an opportunity they quit the fight, and die. For them the only sweet release from years of pain, misery, disgust and disappointment. They leave the unfulfilled dreams and the sticky situations; no more break-ups or lies or false promises, not another failure. It’s finally over.
Now to a person without this monkey on their back they are thinking its just life! Get over it! Well let me help you, they can’t. It’s not nearly as easy as it seems, and for the believer they are waiting on God to do something that doesn’t seem to be happening, and when they realize he is not going to do it, they quit. For some they make a split decision in a moment of despair, but for many it is years of contemplations and trying to build up the courage and diminish the will to live.
The reason that I am so committed to trying to get people to understand and use their own power and to look for the answers within, is because that is what saved my life. I stopped believing that some by some miracle the emptiness and the pain would just dry up. I stopped waiting for the sun to shine and started opening the blinds. I decided that I was going to watch and guard the door to my spirit and inspect everything I let in or out of me. I declared to the wall that I choose life and freedom and when I can’t feel God, I love myself enough to fill me!!!!
When you think as much as I do, and for that matter most of the creative people that suffer with this illness of self-murderous thoughts, you have to find a way to control them and express your creativity. The main goal in breaking the suicidal hold is to learn how to reject the emotions. Christianity gives us a lot of tools to use in this process, but nothing and no one, not even God, can do this for you!
As a Christian you know how to speak to the mountain. So start saying the right things. Don’t just faith-talk. Ask yourself mental questions, embrace the voices in your head, and talk to yourself. Analyze your emotions. Choose to forgive people that wronged you, by taking back the power they had in hurting or disappointing you. Be brutally honest with yourself. Realize that what happened to you does not define you. And while I have said these things in one short paragraph accept that they take time to accomplish and determination to experience the benefits of in life.
In my own breakthrough I started giving myself an opportunity to feel negative and sad emotions. For example my grandmother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and several other debilitating diseases that would make her healing process almost non-existent. She couldn’t exercise and because of the dementia making her eat right was like child abuse. So I came to my apartment and sat on the couch and I stayed there. I cried, I watched TV, I stared at the wall, I felt as helpless and as hopeless as I ever had been. Then I woke up the next morning. I decided that well that was that now I have to get actively involved in doing what can be done and I told myself that my pity party was over. So it was, and I began accepting the possibility that she may not be with me much longer physically or mentally, and I decided that it was okay. And guess what? It was and it has been every since. Although, that woman has no intention of dying before I am a bestselling author!
Daily, I meditate and think about my life, where I am and where I want to be and what is possible on the path to getting me there. I accept my failures and mistakes and choose not to let them haunt or destroy any part of me. In the first chapter of my healing I joined a writing group. The difference between a writing group and a book club is that we write the stories and review them together, instead of reading a book and pontificating the writer’s meaning. Nothing against book clubs, I love them! I just needed something different, remember creativity needs expression. So I expressed myself. I started a blog and to be honest I have written in the blog more since I left my group than I ever did before.
I believe that The Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of me guides me, but I decide where I am going. I either accept or deny the reality. I love clichés and one of my favorite is: “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” Thanks Iyanla. I find it to be true but not for the obvious reasons. I knew this statement when I was suicidal, when I wanted nothing more than to die, despite having a beautiful little boy that was my responsibility to raise and good looks and a great personality and a JOB, something I want know so bad I can taste it. I felt worse than I ever feel now, because I didn’t understand the importance of order and what priority really means when it comes to the moral compass. I was ruled by emotions that I never took the time to understand or interpret. Never asking myself why they were my driving force. So I stopped being the victim and taking everything so personally. I started evaluating why I had given this person the power to make me feel verbally assaulted with their opinion. I used my will to take control of my mind and my emotions. So not only did I better understand what it meant to stand for something, but I knew when I was falling for something that didn’t line up with my beliefs.
This is the basis of how I survived my story. You will have your own. The most important thing is that you take the concepts. These are principles; apply them to your life. Remember that this one is on you and God can only give you grace to make it through. I hope you find the joy inside your story!
Live Life Like You Only Get One Chance
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