Tag Archives: despair

Thinking About Suicide? Hope is Here, at Just the Right Time

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care. If you are suicidal, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  or go to your nearest emergency room.  (international emergency numbers, go here )
man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography
Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com

When it seems too late, it is not.

That statement may sound unbelievable to a person on the edge of  living or dying by suicide.  However, it is not just another load of baloney. I’ve been there, and I know  it is never too late.

Despite night and day streaming in and out and sometimes blurring into each other,  relief exists. Though discouragement is seen, what is unseen is wonderful and promised. When ending it all seems the only choice, the answer is on its way.

A reason to stay alive is to wait… wait for the beauty.

If you are suicidal, immediately call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. ( outside the US, go here )

Just like trying to make out small print without my reading glasses, I cannot see the hope that is around the corner when lost in the depths of despair. It is there. It is not just the preacher’s hope, or the therapist’s hope.  It is mine to have and to keep.

I believe I landed in a new city at just the right time to meet those professionals who ‘knew how to reach me. After one suicide attempt, I tried again. A sense of hopelessness stayed around for a while. Yet I chose to believe for hope, and that was enough to keep me here. 

When Jesus came to earth the first time,  he came “at just the right time.” *

He promised to return and will do so at “just the right time.” **

He meets me where I am at just the right moments. When I stumble or grow anxious, or depression knocks on my door, he stays with me. When I cannot see forward, he shows me a way where there seems to be none.

Believe me when I say I know what it means to be on the edge of living or dying by suicide. I know that waiting for the beauty of living can take a long time and a lot of hard work. 

I also know that  rushing my trip out of here was not the answer.  Mental illness is not too much for Jesus to handle.  The right time to believe in the hope he offers is now. 

Today’s Helpful Word  

1 Peter 1: 3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours.

 

*Romans 5:6  **1 Timothy 6:15

Aren’t Suicide Attempts Just Ploys for Attention? NO

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2015 Nancy Virden

She is 18dpressed-2798 years old, a waif of a girl, her anxious fingers twirling long and curly hair. Her eyes refuse to lift from the floor.

She is freshly discharged from the hospital. Her struggle is against major depression and despair. She joins this support group bewildered, her hope exhausted. A week ago she tried to kill herself for the third time.

Slowly, over weeks, her story emerges. It is not an atypical tale in settings like this; a girl is ignored by her father, he dismisses her feelings as nonsensical, and he seems to not care she almost took her life.

His reasoning? Suicide attempts, especially repeated ones, are selfish ploys for attention. “It’s ridiculous,” he would say. “Grow up.”

Why is he wrong, or is he? He gets one thing right – her suicide attempts are one way she tries to get her needs met. Her love-tank is so empty she believes she has to go to extreme lengths to receive any love from her dad. 

Where her dad misses the point, is that her despair is real. She actually believes death may be her only escape from pain. She does not want to die – she wants the hurt to stop. She achingly longs for her father to love her. Yet repeatedly, she reaches the end of her perceived options. 

Is she selfish? Uncaring about the people around her? Having temper-tantrums?

She learns how much her suicide will hurt her little brother and decides she can “not do that to him.”  Still, her heart hurts as baby steps toward mental health seem held back by chains. Her helplessness and anguish over her father’s lack of concern, and suicidal thoughts have not ceased.

This girl’s story is one that may confuse some people. Of course she was thinking of herself when she attempted three times! It is not normal to react violently against oneself. Suicide attempts are not immature responses to life’s difficulties. They are desperation, defeat, hopelessness, a sense of worthlessness, anguish, and despair.

No matter how often a loved one attempts, take her seriously. She is not playing a game for the fun of it. Find out what her unmet needs are and with the help of a mental health professional, discover together how she can find fulfillment.

*****

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

 

Are Faith and Despair Opposites? A Christian’s Experience With Suicide

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2015 Nancy Virden

photo-25180003-exterior-stock-image-of-churchI had reached the end of my life. Breathing seemed a strain while emotional pain consumed my lungs and took control of my mind.

In despair, I knew that whatever I might have offered to the world or my family was worthless.  No reason to hope for change remained.  I fully accepted that continuing to exist meant only more loss.  Thoughts had recently circled less around a fight for survival, and more on the ultimate escape.

I wanted out. 

Major depression had for months challenged rationale. Impulsivity rose while judgment declined. My once hard-fought battle against suicidal thoughts was over.  I questioned not if, but how.  Depression continued to limit my cognitive abilities as I worked to reason out a plan.

Only one hesitation stopped me – my deep wish to honor God.  I did not want to hurt him or my eternal chances.  My goal was to join my Heavenly Father, and Savior Jesus Christ.

I needed his approval before I could end my life.

Moments before follow-through, I said, “God, is it time yet?” It seemed he said “Come home,” and great calm filled my spirit. 

The suicide attempt landed me in the hospital with full medical care for body and mind. Doubt and sensibility began to peek through the cloud of misery and irrationality. Had it actually been ok with God for me to kill myself? Is he the one who said “Come home?”photo-24803711-praying-hands

Christians who have major depression are often advised to read the Bible and pray more. Some form of “just give it to God and he will meet you and give you peace and joy” is the most common sentiment I have heard.

Yet I had poured hours per day into Bible reading and prayer while despair crept ever closer.  Communication with God was dear and intimate.  After the attempt,  acute grief broke my heart because I feared that misunderstanding his permission meant I could not recognize his voice anymore.

We Christians can believe wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ, his cross, and resurrection. We can know in our hearts that he has conquered death, and fully understand he is above all the trials of this earth.  Nonetheless, a shroud of major depression may steal our positive emotions.  We can begin to feel we have lost touch with the God we love and desperately miss.

Major depression and its accompanying despair and negative thinking are not loss of faith. They are not denial of the power and presence of Christ! If these issues are present in a believer’s life, depression is not the proof of it.  

Recovery from major depression and the suicide attempt took years. For sixteen months despite a death wish, I yielded to God’s will each day when I got out of bed and stayed alive. Another year passed before a renewed vision of purpose grew. 

From the outside maybe it looked as if I did not believe in God’s goodness, when in reality I was counting on it.  Church folks could have assumed I wept during services out of sadness. Truth is, God’s grace was overwhelming.

I am a Christian with Major Depression Recurrent.  I know who is King of Kings.  My hope clings to the truth of his Word and in one day being with him for eternity.

In his time.

*********

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

-pictures from Qualitystockphotos.com

To Anyone Questioning the Value of Living…

Compassionate Love:Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2014 Nancy Virden

Do you question the value of living? If so, this message is to you.

photo-24768393-old-man-raising-his-eye-browRecently I saw this quote on Facebook and decided to pass it along… “Just beat my record for most consecutive days without dying.” -Bill Murray

For those of us who struggle with Major Depression and suicidal thinking, this joke can be a serious consideration. You and I repeatedly beat our record of number of days alive. We can go on. Continue. One step at a time, staying alive is possible.

But there have been too many losses and more are to come.

Nothing God could want of me is worth all this pain.

No one cares. They’ll be sorry after I’m dead.

I’ve done too much wrong. I do not deserve to live.

My life is not meaningful. Nothing I try works out.

To an outsider (one who has not been in such despair) it may seem like an easy fix to just stop feeling sorry for ourselves. However, we understand it is so far beyond self-pity, it is unrecognizable as such.

Pain becomes reality. It is all we feel, breathe, hear, and see. Our emotional skin is so raw that tiny events such as a person looking at us from across the grocery store aisle can trample us in the bottom of the pit. She seems happy, I will never be happy. 

I was told I could come out of that mindset, rediscover life’s meaning and learn to enjoy being alive. I did not believe that statement. At best, it occurred to me my life may produce some good but pain made it pointless. So how did I get to this place three years later where the future seems positive? I am looking forward to upcoming events, expecting good, still practicing strategies that raise my mood, and …dare I say it… hoping.

One step at a time. That’s how.

I learned to accept that my needs can be met and it is not selfish to make that happen. I do not have to be a victim of circumstance. I heard for the first time that I have some control over how I feel based on how I choose to think. One by one, decisions for life piled on top of each other until they became my reality.

For whatever reason, joy follows close after despair. It’s like stopping at a dead-end street only to discover it continues past a few crowded trees. We may not be able to see beyond our feelings and experiences, but we can choose to believe people who tell us the road is on the other side.

Please believe me. Let’s break the record of consecutive days without dying again tomorrow.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

***********

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*picture from facebook.com