SEPTEMBER is SPAM... Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
I know what it's like to want to end it all. I've fantasized about not waking up, just driving off the road, swimming out too far, leaving behind the pain, trauma, crisis, people, myself. I couldn't tell which way was up or which way was down while I was drowning in despair. The voices and triggers flogged me out of nowhere (and still do sometimes). The desire to silence it all and make it JUST STOP, I learned, is actually a natural emotion and not something I should feel guilty or ashamed about.
The cause of my circumstances were not my choice and I felt completely hopeless that anything could change, that nothing would bring me relief. I was angry at everyone, myself, at God. I felt like I had done so much for God, and I couldn't understand why he'd leave me hanging and in the dark. So I asked him. "God, why did you leave me out here like this?" He led me to this verse: Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, and told me that he understood, even as my God, that he knew what abandonment, betrayal, fear and being alone felt like. I confronted God further and asked why he didn't protect me and keep me from going through so much. He then reminded me of the scene I've read many times when Jesus prayed just before he was taken away to be sentenced and crucified in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:29. He was so stressed and in despair that he was sweating blood drops as he prayed. (It reminded me of being so sick during pregnancy and vomiting so violently that my face and neck appeared to be covered in red freckles from blood vessels that had burst under my skin). He showed me that in order to take away everyone’s sins, Jesus had to actually die, they were coming for him, and the reality of the suffering he was about to endure was so agonizing that he wanted to just be done, to die there, for God the father to just take him.
Perhaps this was a stretch of my imagination, but I know that God whispered that to me to show me how he could relate to suffering the way that I and every other person have felt at some point in life. I didn’t want to fight or try anymore, but in that moment, I suddenly felt seen. As a result, I sought therapy, and my heart began to slowly shift toward healing. I was reminded that killing myself is putting a permanent solution on a temporary situation, and not to play with death or ideas around death. To die would have killed off the possibility of experiencing something different. Different was exactly what I needed, not death. I learned that the body's Fight-Flight-or Freeze response to threats, pain, suffering or fear exists to help people survive. FLIGHT, in terms of suicide, was my very soul wanting to GET OUT of all of the suffering and that death was my mind’s idea of being free from fear and hopelessness; this thinking was incorrect. The more I thought this way, the stronger the emotions grew around these ideas as an answer. My mind had to be renewed and trained to release harmful, painful experiences and memories that were responsible for me wanting to give up. I learned that the overwhelming, negative thoughts played over and over again like a movie inside my mind could actually be overcome. I learned how to redirect harsh triggers. The PTSD episodes I had became shorter and less often. My mind grew a new path of thinking while healing from the old mindset. I learned to trust that my therapist could do something that I couldn’t do for myself, and she did. I have since prayed earnestly for others currently in a state of despair.
Actually, I am praying for you. I pray you have the courage to seek help and healing and for life to get better. You matter. Your story matters. What you've been through matters. How you get through this matters. You are irreplaceable, one of a kind, the only soul of you there ever was, is, or will be. No one compares to you. I pray you find your value and hope in God and that his comfort and strength inspires you to stop wanting to die, so you really can live. I love you.
Crisis Resources from www.nami.org
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 immediately.
If you are uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988lifeline.org.
You can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text.