Embracing Truth after a Suicide Attempt

From Karen Kosman, with Dr. Kevin Downing:

Truth Image courtesy of winnond FreeDigitalPhotos net

Excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors; used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Unforgiveness traps the heart, mind, and soul in an unrelenting cycle of grief. It touches the lives of both the young and old—a jailer of those who desperately need to be set free. It comes in many forms: regret, sorrow, hopelessness, revenge, and self-blame. Standing guard over unforgiving thoughts is anger, whose accusing taunts torment the mind.

The ability to forgive oneself after a suicide attempt is vitally important.

Embracing the Truth after a Suicide Attempt

 by Dr. Kevin Downing

A man, I’ll call him Jeff, who had been a patient in a local ER, came to see me for counseling.

“I can never own up to or explain why I attempted suicide,” said Jeff.

“You already are owning up to what you did by talking with another person about what happened, I replied. “Sharing what happened is the first step, and to do so in counseling is even better.”

He sat there a moment, then added, “OK, but too many people know about my attempt. I feel I have to cover it up, but I don’t know how.”

“Jeff, in your situation you are not going to be able to cover it up—and you don’t need to.”

“As your healing progresses you might find that you will make your suicide attempt part of your life story. It really is an incredible story that at one time you wanted to take your life and now you are in a far better place. It is a testimony of the grace of God in your life. It might become a tool to help other people. You have survived this dark night of your soul and since you did, others just might be able too. You can decide about these things later. For now you need to heal and spend time with safe people you trust. What to do and whom to share this information with will come in time.”

“I hear what you are saying. Dr. Downing, but I can never forgive myself for what I did,” Jeff said. “The guilt and shame I feel is something that I just can’t shake.”

I responded. “I want you to imagine yourself dragging around a giant ball of guilt and shame. Imagine that your burden is so heavy that you give in to exhaustion. But you are not alone. Your friends and God Himself show up and lift the burden. Together they carry it to the foot of the Cross. And there at its base, a powerful cleansing flow begins to melt away this weight of shame and self-condemnation.”

I paused and waited for Jeff’s reaction. When he didn’t respond, I continued, “There is only one place for guilt, and that is at the foot of the Cross. We cannot forget, and that is why we need forgiveness.”

Then I challenged him, “If you really hate what you did, then hate the self-condemnation that could drive you back to another suicidal depression. Propose in your heart to hate so much what you did that you will not allow yourself to harbor the seeds of self-hate that could force you back to the same place.”

“I ruined my life by trying to kill myself,” Jeff persisted.

“Black-and-white statements are rarely true. This one is definitely not true. Your life is not ruined. You survived. Victorious songs are filled with many verses of nearly giving up­—but you haven’t.”

Jeff learned not to take his depression lightly and to take better care of himself. He changed his routine to include physical exercise, a men’s accountability group, prayer, reading the Bible, and periodic counseling. Over time he embraced God’s grace. Jeff forgave himself and found the ability to share and encourage others with his story.

Embracing truth after a suicide attempt can be difficult — yet the truth is: Jesus Christ can wipe away shame, create new hope and offer a fresh start. Ask Him and he will give you new life!   See: 2 Corinthians 5:17

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, 2012

By Dianne E. Butts:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is “dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academians, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors.” The IASP offers a variety of events throughout the year, including World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th every year, with a unique theme for each year. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention Across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope.” Previous themes include “Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies” and “Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World.” September 10th, 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the World Suicide Prevention Day.

The IASP says its research shows evidence that “we can prevent suicide.” In the past “education campaigns have focused on the role of risk factors in the development of suicidal behavior. In order to increase effectiveness in preventing suicide we propose to direct our efforts not only towards reducing risk factors but also toward strengthening protective factors,” the site says.

Factors considered protective against suicidal behaviors include the ability to cope and adjust to adverse life events, a sense of personal worth and confidence, problem-solving skills, and help-seeking behaviors. Social and cultural factors include religious and social integration, connectedness, good relationships with friends, colleagues and neighbors, access to support, and ready access to health care. Healthy lifestyles and abstinence from illicit drug use is associated with reduced risk of suicidal behavior.

The World Suicide Prevention Day web site has a wealth of downloadable information, including:

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 has its own Facebook Page.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention was founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960. The organization includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. It is a nongovernmental organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Take a few moments to stop by the site today or make professionals in your area aware of the resources available at the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Working together we can help prevent suicide. Check out the resources and see how you might support World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

Here is a short video from one group who got involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011:

Also cClick here to see a playlist of 7 short videos from a variety of people involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011.

Life After a Failed Suicide Attempt

 

Angry because of a failed suicide attempt? There’s hope..

 

If you’ve survived a failed suicide attempt, you may be dealing with many emotions including anger; anger that you were left to continue to face your troubles.  But could it be that God is giving you a second chance; a chance to find hope?

That’s what Kristen Jane Anderson discovered after her failed suicide attempt.  You can listen to her tell about how she discovered hope and purpose, even after losing her legs the night she survived laying down on the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train, and 33 freight train cars at 55 miles per hour ran over her.

A train took her legs–yet God gave her a new life. See Kristen Anderson’s interview on CBN about her failed suicide attempt:

 

You can visit Kristen’s website at Reaching You Ministries (www.reachingyouministries.com) See also Kristen’s book (with Tricia Goyer): Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice. The Random House Digital version can be read on Kindle or on a computer, via Kindle for PC.

Kristen became desperate due to grief over losing four friends–one to suicide–then her grandma, then trauma from rape by a friend. See our articles (try our site SEARCH) on dealing with grief, including the loss of teen friends, and on sexual assault/rape, for more help. However:

 If you are contemplating suicide at this moment, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you would like to know more about God, and how to start a relationship with him, go to www.Godtest.com.

If you’ve ever wondered if you would go to hell if you committed suicide, check out our article on the topic by clicking HERE. But also we hope you wonder, “What can God do with my life, if I choose to live?” Kristen is now not only glad to be alive–she is hoping to save others, with God at her side.

Will I go to Hell if I Commit Suicide?

Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

A lot of people wonder, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?” This is an important topic, with strong opinions on either side of the issue.

Those who think people who kill themselves will go to hell, believe this because a person who kills themselves isn’t trusting God to get them through their difficulties and therefore may not really have faith in God.

Still, there are other people who are convinced that the jury is still out, as God is in the business of forgiving all who ask.

Both of these arguments seem to make sense, so which is it?  Part of the mystery is because most people who have experienced hell after a suicide attempt don’t like to talk about it. But one exception to this rule is Tamara Laroux, who when she was a teenager, tried to kill herself by shooting herself in the chest.

Did she go to hell?  Yes.

Did she stay there?  No.

God in fact rescued her from hell, but to find out the why or how, you’ll have to watch her explain what happened in the YouTube video below. Her story has a twist you won’t expect. However, Tamara’s story certainly sheds a lot of light on the question, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

So what we’ve learned from Tamara is that hell is real, and sadly, people really do exist in torment there.  But it seems God has set up a way to escape hell, in the here and now,  that has more to do with God’s grace and forgiveness when it is sought through the sacrifice of Jesus.

If you are reading this article, because you’re considering killing yourself, here are a few rules about God you should know:

  1. God loves you and does not want you to kill yourself as he has a special plan for your life.
  2. The enemy (the devil) wants to tempt you with self-inflicted death so that you can’t fulfill God’s plan for your life.
  3. You can receive God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins (through the work of Jesus who died for your sins) if you only ask him.  Click  here  to learn more about this:
  4. God will also help you walk through, then eventually walk out of your pain, if you but trust him.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to become a sacrifice to Satan, especially if you are not sure where you stand with God.
  6. Choose life – Despite how it seems, God can really take your broken life, no matter how broken it is, and turn it into a miracle.
  7. Live and dare God to show you what he can do with your life.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV

If you are hurting and  need to talk to someone, call a suicide hotline.

 

Blindness and Thoughts of Suicide

By Janet Perez Eckles

He turns your thoughts of suicide to a song.

“I hate my life,” I cried out to God.“ I sobbed. “I don’t deserve to be blind. Why me?”

My clamors to God filled my sleepless nights. I was only 31; my sons at the time were 3, 5 and 7. They needed me and I needed someone to help me deal with my intense fear and anguish.

Doctors didn’t have a cure, treatments didn’t work, and even those painful acupuncture needles around my eyes didn’t help. I was desperate and would tried anything so I could to regain my eyesight.

“Are you okay, honey?” my mom asked.

“I’m fine,” I lied. The retinal disease I inherited from my father wasn’t anyone’s fault. But accepting my blindness was beyond me.

Some have thoughts of suicide, others turn angry and I was sinking in self-pity.

Then a friend invited me to her Christian church. I heaved a long sigh of hope. And thought I’d try to see if that secret miracle I longed for would be waiting for me there. But sadly, there was no miracle, no healing. But one day, unexpectedly, like a warm injection to my soul, a verse filled me:

 “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

I committed to make Him first. Regaining my sight came second. I drew closer to Him, and farther from my pain. My despair subsided. I believed in that promise. I put aside my anguish and invited His strength.

Eventually, step by step he changed those thoughts of suicide I could’ve had to a song as you can see in the YouTube video below:

My new song plays a melody of hope, a marked beat of His reassurance and, a symphony   of joy for my soul.

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.

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.”