When Suicide Seems Like the Only Option

By PeggySue Wells:

When suicide seems like the only option, having someone walk with you through your struggles can give you hope for the future.

Many have been where you are now, survived, then thrived. Ask for help! Your struggles can also teach you how to encourage others.

 

Life preserver image by cbenjasuwan FDP net

Image courtesy of cbenjasuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seasons of famine in our lives can be caused by broken relationships, financial struggles, or by periods of severe stress. For my friend it was all three at the same time.

Here is his experience:

“Through my own poor behavior choices, I lost my job, my house, and my wife.  Going through that loss brought me to the brink of suicide. I didn’t see any other option. But my mother faithfully drove out to spend time with me every weekend for four months. She had little money but she always treated me to a meal, movie, or shopping trip. She sacrificed her own needs for mine. If it were not for my mom, I wouldn’t be here today. She was lifeline when I was drowning in despair. When I was thinking about suicide, she showed me how to live again.

“From her example, I learned to look for the signs of depression in others and give a little of my time to be with that person. Going through that dark tunnel of hopelessness is brighter when someone shares the journey.”

“When helping someone, it is more important to bring hope than to be an expert.” Pat Palau (Breast cancer survivor)

When suicide seems like the only option–you feel you have lost everything–all is NOT lost. You still have help you can give others, and you don’t know the future God has in store for you.  Don’t cut that short!

If you are feeling desperate, be sure to share that with someone who can walk you through your journey. Tell them you are currently not seeing hope at the end of the tunnel, and ask directly for prayer and encouragement. Don’t assume they will know how desperate you feel unless you tell them. They too may have been through very difficult times in the past and be able to encourage you. You can even share your own story in a comment here, and our volunteers will definitely pray for you and reply in additional comments here on this site.

See also:

New Normal: New Hope After Trials

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

 

Effects of a Suicide Note

By Susan Osborn:

Occasionally, a suicide note such as Angie’s in the following story is left. Sometimes, it is a last attempt for vengeance. It appears Angie had probably been jealous of her sister for years—jealous of her good grades and desire to earn a college education. The note caused Carol to drop out of college and to go into a deep depression. Only God’s intervention can explain how Carol put her life back together again.

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Choices

Wanda J. Burnside

In one of my college classes, a girl kept staring at me. I couldn’t help but notice how thin and fragile she looked. I tried to make eye contact with her, but she always turned away. After a while, I decided to ignore her so I sat on the other side of the room.

One day after class, she stepped in front of me. Clutching her stack of books close to her chest, she said, “Hi! I’m Carol.”

“Hi! I’m Wanda,” I replied.

She smiled, then looked away.            

Hey, Wanda!” I heard someone call out, “Are you going to the student union with us for lunch?

I turned to see a group of my friends from class motioning to me. “Yeah, I’m coming,” I answered.

Go on,” said Carol. Don’t let me stop you.”

No. Please come with us. Let’s talk,” I said.

Well, I don’t know… she hesitated and then continued, I usually…

Wanda, come on and bring your friend,” said Charles.

So we ran to catch up with the others. My friends accepted Carol, and from that day on, she went everywhere with us. She transformed from someone painfully shy to someone outgoing. Everybody saw the difference in her. Even the professors made comments about her budding personality.

One day, a group of us decided to walk to a new restaurant across the street from the campus. As we reached the parking lot, up drove a shiny red convertible. “Carol!” shouted a pretty girl with flowing hair. She got out of the car. “Carol!”

Carol stood frozen with a look of fear and sheer desperation on her face. Her hands began to shake. Her eyes filled with tears, and for several moments she remained silent.

The other girl wore colorful, tight-fitting clothes that clung to her curves. Plus she had a beautiful, flawless, complexion.              

“Carol! Today’s my birthday! Remember? My friends are coming over tonight, and you promised to decorate for my party! Why are you here? I told Mama you’d ruin everything for me. You, your good grades, and your school!” she yelled.

This is my sister, Angie,” Carol softly said with tears rolling down her face. Excuse me, everyone.” Then they got into the car and drove away.

“Carol never mentioned her sister,” Charles commented. “They’re so opposite.”                       

“Angie is a fox, and Carol’s so skinny!” Terry laughed.           

“Hey guys. Stop! Carol is our friend,” said Barbara.     

Two weeks passed, and Carol had not returned to school. Several of us tried to phone her, but no one could reach her. We all wondered what happened.

One evening while doing my homework at home, my mother called me to the phone.

I listened to a distraught voice. “I’m Carol’s mom. My daughter…she died. Life isn’t the same without my beautiful daughter,” she cried.

“Carol died?” I asked.

Another voice came on the phone. “Hello, Wanda.”

“Carol. Carol, is it you? What is going on?”

“My sister, Angie…she killed herself. She drove into our garage, rolled up the windows, and left the engine running. She also left a long letter—one that blamed me. Angie said I had everything—friends, good grades, and a boyfriend.”

I couldn’t believe it. Angie, dead?

Shortly after our phone conversation, Carol dropped out of school. We later learned she was hospitalized for depression. None of us knew what to do. Carol’s absence created a void in all our lives.

A year later, Carol called me. “Hi, Wanda, this is Carol.”

“Carol,” I hesitated, “how are you?”

“I’m fine. I’m living in California and attending college. I’m also engaged.”

“Carol, you sound happy. I’m so glad for you.” I continued, “We’ve all missed you.”

“Yeah, Wanda, I miss all of you, too. You know, I turned to God. My sister’s jealousy and hatred caused me a lot of pain. Yet, I’ll always miss her. God helped me to accept the unacceptable. Angie chose to die. I choose to live.”

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, there are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

Long-term Depression and Thoughts of Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

Do you struggle with long-term depression and at times feel insignificant?

God says you are significant AND valuable.

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having thoughts of suicide can be a temporary condition triggered by crisis in our lives. But for others, this dark night of the soul is a continuous condition, year after year. Here is how one person described this experience.

Many more people are silently suffering and depressed than ever before. We hear stories about great things coming around for everyone else but nothing is happening for us. We hear about weddings and new arrivals and again nothing for us.

What happens when our anxiety and depression is recognized and being treated but the medications and therapy is no longer working? Or is at a plateau? For our doctors, friends, and family it’s hard to talk about because they don’t know what to do about it either. It’s a scary place to be because there are some things in life that feel completely unfixable and when you’ve spent ten to fifteen years talking it out or taking anti-depressants or doing group therapy sessions – what now?  

As a generation of people who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety through suicidal thoughts, we have to start talking about how we are going to go through life once the meds stop working and the talk therapy is no longer helping. And of course, how we will pay for this is a whole other issue.

I know the pain of being consumed with thoughts of suicide in the middle of the night.

Are you having long-term thoughts of suicide? Have you experienced such a dark time and come through to brighter days?

Despite the struggle and the pain, you matter. You are important. Significant. When thoughts of despair plague, remember that the Lord is with you even in this.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

 

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:1-18

 ©PeggySue Wells. Peggy writes about coping with difficult issues in books including What To Do When You’re Scared To Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After. www.PeggySueWells.com

The Effect of Suicide on a Mother

By Susan Titus Osborn

 The effect of suicide on a mother who’s lost a child is complex; while grieving she puzzles over how–or  if–she could have prevented that loss.

 

Image "Heart Jigsaw Puzzle" by digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Heart Jigsaw Puzzle” by digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

If you are depressed and considering taking your own life, please stop for a moment and think of the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind. The following story sums up the feelings of a mother and the devastating effect her son’s suicide had on her.

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

In this story Dr. Balodis, a Christian psychologist, was able to help a heartbroken mother who wondered if she’d ever feel whole again after her son’s suicide.

The Puzzle Pieces

by Dr. Jacqueline Balodis

The phone rang, and a hysterical voice on the other end cried, “I just found out that my son shot himself. How could God let him die?”

It took me a moment to pull my thoughts together to respond to her. Then I replied, “I’m so sorry. Brenda, why don’t you tell me exactly what happened?”

She took a deep breath. “My son was going to college and living with his grandmother in Illinois. I just received a call from Grandma. She had just returned home from a shopping trip. When she opened the door, her grandson’s golden retriever met her. The dog was shaking all over and looked distressed. Grandma knew something was terribly wrong and started walking through the house. When she reached Jim’s room, she saw him stretched out on his bed with a gun still gripped in his hand.”

Brenda started sobbing again. “I should have been a better mother. I shouldn’t have let him go to Illinois. He should have stayed in California with me. Where did I go wrong?”

“Brenda, I’m through seeing patients for the day, so why don’t I come over. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

I knew Brenda blamed herself for her son’s death. She also blamed God for letting it happen. On the drive over to her house, I prayed and searched for the right words to give this hurting mother.

Brenda greeted me at the door, and I hugged her, holding her in my arms for several minutes. We went into the living room and sat on the couch. I held her hand, and we were silent for several minutes. I realized my presence was what she needed more than anything.

Finally she spoke. “Why did he do this to me? Didn’t he know I loved him?”

I realized at this point that Brenda blamed her son as well as herself and God. I knew it was going to take a long time for her to work through the pain. Brenda came to my office twice a week for seven months.

Sometimes I let her pour out her feelings. Other times we sat in silence. Often there is strength in quiet solitude. Every session I gave her homework as we worked on various issues she needed to deal with. That way she could progress at her own speed. Ultimately I had her write a goodbye letter to Jim.

I could see that this was the beginning of her learning to forgive herself. The letter was filled with her good memories of special times she and Jim had shared together. The more she wrote, the more her love was strengthened for Jim and the more she grew herself—loving unconditionally, dealing with and erasing “what ifs,” and forgiving Jim.

During one session Brenda announced, “I understand now that Jim’s death is not my fault. I couldn’t have prevented it. More important, I don’t blame God anymore either.”

Finally, all the pieces of the puzzle came together. Once she forgave herself, her son, and God, her faith was again strengthened.

Although a mother may eventually be able to forgive herself and have her faith sustain her, and counseling indeed can help with that, grieving in many ways lasts a lifetime. The loss of a child usually causes recurring pain with each holiday, birthday, and many events that remind them of that lost son or daughter.

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, please stop for a moment and think of the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind.  There are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

Bullied No More! a Poem by Martha Bolton

By Martha Bolton:

How can you experience victory over bullying? Part of the solution is how you choose to react and seek support.

 

Recently a young jewelry designer took her own life,  leaving behind notes describing how she’d been bullied by some co-workers and classmates in the fashion industry.

It’s a tragedy when someone takes his or her own life because of ill treatment by others. But everyone who is bullied can make a choice. If only that young woman could have turned her terrible experiences around, and positively helped herself and others who face similar circumstances by standing up, standing firm, and reaching out for help.

We believe God could have helped her get through that dark moment and find her way back into the light.

          I’ve been bullied myself; I know it’s no fun.

          So what can a bullied person do?

Image by imagerymajestic  FreeDigitalPhotos net

I will be bullied no more!

 BULLIED NO MORE

Say enough is enough by your standing; not by your retreat.

Say enough is enough through your triumphs; not by your defeat.

Say enough is enough with your faithful friends standing up for you.

Say enough is enough by telling your mom and dad and teacher, too.

Say enough is enough by being you, not by returning hate.

Say enough is enough by rising above, instead of biting their bait.

No one can make you be less than you are.  So remember when things get tough,

The ones who matter will have your back ‘cause enough is enough is enough!

© 2013 Martha Bolton

To be bullied NO MORE, and find hope when you are suffering from bullying, these articles may help:

 

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How to Stop Cyberbullying

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts