Finding Hope After Thinking About Suicide

by Liz Cowen Furman

I had lost all hope.

I was laying on my bed in a fetal position; my tears spent. I felt things could never get better because of all the lies being told about me, and those I loved believed them.  Worse still, this was a problem I’d helped create. I was desperately depressed and I felt guilty, angry and SAD.

I found myself thinking about suicide. That would show them, I thought.

I contemplated ways I could die, but each idea met with the fear that my attempt would backfire, leaving me maimed, ill, or paralyzed.  Paralyzed?

I couldn’t think of any other options. I stared into space, breathing shallow. My mind was fuzzy, befuddled, but in a desperate last effort I whispered to GOD.

Please GOD, What is the point here? I can’t face this. I can’t do this anymore. Bring me home. I love you, I need you, I’ve blown it so badly You might not want me anymore, but I am asking You to come near to me and help me. Please don’t leave me here alone. I don’t want to be alone. I am not brave enough to commit suicide. No one on earth cares about me any more. Can’t I just come home now?”

As I lay there wishing for Him to let me die, the oddest thing happened. A scripture I hadn’t thought of in years began running through my head; Joshua 1:5:

 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Then came Isaiah 43:1-4

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have summoned you by name; you are mine…

In that moment, I had the oddest sensation that I was being cradled in someone’s lap. I began to think, I am NOT thinking about suicide anymore. I will not let them win. I will just hold my head up and teach them that I am not that easily killed. I had no idea where the new courage came from. I still dreaded facing what was ahead, but a glimmer of hope began to burn and where there is hope, there is a way.

And now 26 years later, I am so thankful GOD didn’t grant my request to die.

If you are thinking about suicide, and you don’t go through with it, I suspect in a few years, months, or even days, you’ll be grateful to be alive too.

If you are thinking about suicide check out this video of a great song that JESUS often calls to my mind at the very moment I need it most.

 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.  Psalm 18:6.

Help for Chronic Pain with Suicidal Thoughts

By Karen Boerger

While vacationing recently in Florida, we were walking through the hotel lobby to begin our day when I heard my husband ask, “Are you OK?”  Again he asked, “Are you OK?” He had stopped beside a man bent over a chair. The man said he had two herniated disks in his back and was in extreme pain 24 hours a day, with no relief. He said at one point he had unloaded his guns at home. Chronic pain with suicidal thoughts threatened his life, but he showed wisdom in protecting himself when he knew the pain was causing him to not think rationally.

That comment quickly took me back to a time in our lives when my husband was having severe depression. Before he was hospitalized he had sent our 16-year-old daughter to our friend’s house with our guns.  My friend still talks about that morning; she still can’t believe it. I can’t out of my mind the look of bewilderment and concern she had as she delivered the firearms back to us later.

It’s good that my husband began a dialogue with the gentleman at the hotel, because with depression one of the helpful treatments is talking about your feelings. Social support is very important. Talking regularly with supportive family and friends is extremely helpful.  Healing from depression takes time, and patience is necessary; but making the choice to share your feelings with someone else is so important. You can also talk with others dealing with chronic pain (some hospitals have support groups), plus find hope and help online at www.restministries.org.

With treatment and support, even when experiencing chronic pain with suicidal thoughts when someone says, “Are You OK?” you will be able to boldly say, “Yes, I am!”

 A friend loves at all times . . .  (Proverbs 17:17)

Other pages here at this site:

Feeling Suicidal?

Letter 4 U?

How to Live Through Hump Day

By Linda Evans Shepherd

According to the Washington Post, “intriguing new research shows that Wednesday is the day of the week on which most suicides occur.”

But why is it so hard to know how to live through hump day?  Wouldn’t Monday be the most challenging day of the week?

Apparently not, as the Post says, “The study looked at data about suicides nationwide among people over age 18; that number totaled 131,636 over five years. Almost a quarter of those suicides happened on Wednesdays, while only about 14 percent took place on Mondays. The fewest — just over 11 percent — occurred on Thursdays.”

So what’s so difficult about Wednesdays?  Could it be as the study suggests, “perhaps life’s stresses build up by mid-week and seem most insurmountable on that day?”

But note what a difference a day makes! By Thursday, people who managed to live through Wednesday or least likely to take their own lives.  With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to live through hump day.  Please note that these suggestions are geared for those who might implusively take their lives due to the mid-week blues or sudden circumstances that seem overwhelming.  None of the suggestions are meant to offend those with chronic depression.  If you are chronically depressed or if you need additional helps, please read the comments to this article which have some great critiques and suggestionsAlso, note that we have an ever growing catagory called ‘Depression‘ that you may want to check into.  Also, we welcome your continued suggestions on what might help people who are looking for solutions.

  1. When you feel stressed, depressed, or discouraged, before you do something impulsive like taking your own life, made a decision to wait; a day, a week, a month, a year.  It’s likely your feelings will change because Wednesdays don’t last forever, Thursday is on the way!
  2. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and count your blessings and if you can’t think of any, determine how you can be a blessing to others.
  3. Think about those things you have to look forward to.  And if you can’t think of anything, start dreaming.  Ask yourself questions like; if I could go anywhere in the world where would I go?  What is a skill I would like to learn? Then start planning your dream trip or researching how you can learn that skill.
  4. Are you still up?  Go to bed. Don’t sit up late and mope, it’s very likely you will feel better in the morning.  Otherwise, if you can’t sleep, read a book, watch a comedy, put on some soothing music.  But if it’s not yet bedtime, stand up, take a walk, get some fresh air, or call a friend.  Relax! Everything is going to be all right.
  5. Recite your problems to God, then tell him, “Now these things are your problems.”  Then relax.  He loves you and no matter what you are going through, you can trust him to see you through it.
  6. Call a suicide hotline.

If you know about the song ‘Friday,’ you might enjoy this silly parody called ‘Wednesday’.  Relax and enjoy.  It looks to me like you need a good laugh.

Don’t let tricky Wednesday pysch you out because now you have some some motivators that will show you how to live through hump day. 
P.S.  Don’t try any of those silly car tricks.  Stay safe.  You’ll be glad you did.

How to Stop Discouragement

By Pat Ennis

Discouragement, extracted from the Greek word athumeo, means to be disheartened, dispirited, and discouraged.  It frequently occurs when expectations are unfulfillment by hoping for impractical outcomes or anticipating unrealistic relationships. The greater the gap between hope and fulfillment, the greater the potential for discouragement and anger. An analysis of the prophet Elijah’s life (1 Kings 19:1-22; 2 Kings 2:1-10) provides us with biblical guidelines that shows us how to stop discouragement.     

Elijah faced off with 450 false prophets of Baal and though he emerged a victor (1 Kings 18:18-46), Queen Jezebel did not share his enthusiasm.  In fact, she was furious (1 Kings 19:1-2)! Instead of surrendering, as Elijah had expected, she issued an ultimatum, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time” (1 Kings 19:3).

Elijah’s response is what I call the Elijah Effect:

  • Fear! (1 Kings 19:1-2).
  • Running away from his problems (1 Kings 19:3).
  • Thinking negative thoughts instead of meditating on God’s faithfulness (1 Kings 19:4).
  • Emotional and physical fatigue (1 Kings 19:5-9).
  • False expectations and unrealistic attitudes regarding the responsibilities God called him to assume (1 Kings 19:10).
  • And then the big one – self-pity (1 Kings 19:14).

If you find yourself caught in the downward spiral of Elijah Effect , try:

  • Resting and relaxing (1 Kings 19:5-9).
  • Focusing on communion with (talking to) God (1 Kings 19:9-13).
  • Using the Word of God as a sword to fight the source of discouragement, Satan (Ephesians 6:17).
  • After a season of rest, resume your activity so that you are  not ‘soaking and souring’ (1 Kings 19:15-18).
  • Allowing friends to minister to you (Proverbs 17:17).

As you consider Elijah’s life, you will see how to stop discouragement when faced with difficult circumstances so you can follow God into a brighter tomorrow.

If you need some encouragement, watch this video of Donnie McClurkin singing Days of Elijah:

FreeStyle Rapper Raps to Combat Teenage Suicides

By Linda Evans Shepherd

Believin Stephen raps to combat teen suicides

Freestyle rapper Believin Stephen has taken his fight to combat teenage suicides to rap as he explains on one of his YouTube pages, “Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. On top of that, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans!”

Stephen has become one of the few rappers to talk about this topic, deciding to tell his own story of his struggles as a young teen with suicidal thoughts in his single ‘Suicide’ from his album “The Suffering Servant” which he created with musicians and rappers Japhia Life and Leah Smith.

In this rap, this musical trio take  a sympathetic look at those who wrestle with feeling of worthlessness and suicide. In addition to that, Japhia Life passionately delivers his sorrow and regret at seeing one of his best childhood friends take his own life. Japhia raps his wish that his friend had lived so that he would have found the better tomorrow that Japhia himself has found.

To watch these musicians rap to combat teenage suicides (suicide video) check out:

To see Stephen’s thoughts behind this album, watch:

To see more about Stephen, go to check out his Blog Spot. http://www.believinstephen.blogspot.com/

In regards to teenage suicides, if you are suicidal know that God hears your cries.  Please don’t act on your impulse to die, because the enemy (Satan) wants the sacrifice of your very life to stop you from fulfilling all the wonderful plans God has for you.  You will never realize the hope of your future if you don’t hold on.  Call out to God and he will give you strength.

“Help me God, give me the strength to live!  I put my trust in Jesus – to forgive my sins, and to live as you, Lord, give me hope and a future.”

What is Depression?

By Karen Boerger

My first caregiving role was when my husband was diagnosed with depression.  During his lengthy illness, I struggled to understand the “why” of his despair and spent hours looking for answers to my question, “What is depression?”

We eventually learned that various factors influenced my husband’s depression: sleep apnea, Seasonal Affective Disorder, his parent’s deaths, and work overload.  Any one of those factors would be a cause for sadness, but having all at the same time caused him major trouble.

At some point over 28 years of his becoming depressed, I noticed that every November (as the amount of sunlight decreased) he would began to slowly retreat within himself.  He would close his eyes to the world, stay in bed for long hours and wouldn’t talk except for one word answers to questions. He would cry at times and thought about suicide.

Depression affected each member of the family, not just him. I became a nervous Nellie and hovered over all three of our teenage children as well as my husband. I was the caregiver trying to keep the children’s lives as normal as possible, but it was difficult to do.

We lived on a farm, and my husband was no longer able to take care of the dairy herd and the other livestock.  Our children were often late to school because all the livestock had to be taken care of first. Bless the school principal for his understanding of the situation. Yet even though my husband’s depression was emotionally difficult for all of us; I knew that if I were to lose him to suicide, it would be absolutely devastating.

To gather strength to get through the lonely days, I would read the Bible and pray. God was my constant companion, and I could tell Him anything and everything.  David wrote in Psalm 6 about symptoms of depression:

  • “my soul is greatly troubled”
  • “my bones are in agony”
  • “I am weary with my moaning”
  • “all night long I flood my bed with weeping”
  • “I drench my couch with my weeping”
  • “My eye wastes away because of grief”

WOW!  Even King David suffered from depression!  We can be honest with God even when we are filled with anger or despair because God knows us so well and always wants the best for us.

We Found Hope and Help!

Our family trusted in God, sought help from a Christian psychiatrist, and was supported by our many friends. Medication helped, as well as getting to a sunny place in February, which gives him a boost so he’s able to make it into spring with energy. It’s amazing to me to see the difference in him even now after a couple days in Florida sunlight after a gray Ohio winter.

Today my husband is a thoughtful, loving man with purpose in his life and he enjoys his family. Praise the Lord for the help he received in his time of need.

Had he taken his life, my best friend wouldn’t be sitting in his favorite chair, joking with me, trying to make me laugh, or  able to chat with me about the world situations. He wouldn’t be able to play with our seven grandchildren and enjoy their silly antics. What a loss it would have been for all of us!

For more information about What is Depression? watch this video:

Holding On to Hope When You Want to Die

By Karen O’Connor 

“I am so sorry for the horrible mistakes I made,” said Tony, a man in his early 70s.  His past included an affair that separated him from his wife and daughter, drinking, drugs, and loss of employment. He lived in an abandoned house for a time because he had nowhere to go and no money to start over. “It’s pretty hard to do anything positive when you want to die,” he added. “I started thinking about suicide. I figured no one would miss me.”

But Tony was wrong. Someone would miss him, had missed him for years—his daughter Jane whom he hadn’t seen in ten years. She searched until she found him at a shelter in the city where he’d last lived. They reconnected and Tony became willing to get the help he needed. He went into a recovery program and Jane visited him every day for three months.

“She was my lifeline,” Tony said with tears in his eyes. “I have a long way to go but now I have hope. Jane led me back to church and we’re getting to know each other. I’m learning to focus on what we have, instead of the mess I made.”

Tony admitted that for most of his life he’d been looking for love in all the wrong places.  Now he knows that only God can provide what he needs. “The most important thing to me today,” he said, “is to show my daughter that even though I went to the bottom rung, by God’s grace and her love, I have hope. When you want to die, hope seems like a dream, but when you let God lead you, it’s real.”

Be inspired with this YouTube video, featuring music from Company of Saints, to encourage and give hope when you feel hopeless.

 

Suicide is NOT the Final Solution

By Karen Kosman

The pain of suicide is like a jigsaw puzzle. No matter how we try, we cannot make the pieces fit together. Suicide is not the final solution. It only leaves a painful aftermath for the ones who love you. For that reason I share a portion of the letter I wrote to my son who died of suicide at the age of 23.

Dear Robbie,

Each year on your birthday, I stop and ponder what you may have become. What wonderful accomplishments you would have achieved if you’d chosen to stay. I wonder if you would have married and how many grandchildren you’d have given me. I’ll never know—you went away too soon. I miss your hugs. You always seemed to know when I needed one. I miss your smile; it always brightened my day.

 I felt a lot of anger when you left. It’s hard not knowing why you chose to leave. God impressed on my heart that I could be bitter, feel guilty, and show anger, or I could let go of those emotions—not with my own strength, but with His.

 I love you, Robbie, which will never change. But when I stand at your grave site, I can’t put my arms around you anymore. I have so many sweet memories, but I don’t have you anymore. At holidays and special moments with family, there is always an empty chair.

I am sharing your life and death with others in hopes that it prevents someone else’s son or daughter, mom or dad, or friend or relative from dying by suicide.

I know, if you could, you’d tell people that no matter how difficult life seems, it will get better. You always learned through trial and error. Robbie, your life had purpose, and I know that your suicide was your ultimate act of impulsiveness—but at what cost…

 Love,

Mom

For the suicidal individual who wants only to escape pain—there is hope. There are people who care, who have walked on the edge, but overcame. We want you live; to have a future.  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Or dial 211 for help in locating essential community services, such as mental health services. The final solution is choosing to live and getting help.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

 

This blog post is an excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and is used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

The following is the true story of Kellie Borden, who is glad she survived to realize suicide is not the final solution.