For Those with Suicidal Thoughts

By Susan Osborn:

Feeling overwhelmed by problems in life? Having suicidal thoughts? You are not alone. Many have shared those same feelings, but there is hope.

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

sunlight breaking through clouds by ozden

Following is a poem written by a young woman we will call CAN, who went through a very dark time in her life. However, by accepting Jesus as her Savior and leaning on Him, she was able to overcome the suicidal thoughts. She penned the following poem:

Joy in Life

I’m finding joy in life again

Taking it day-by-day,

Doing things I like to do,

And spending quality time with me.

 

I was lost for many months,

Forgetting who I was.

Life was empty and meaningless,

I wanted to end it all.

 

Deeper and deeper I fell

Into a big dark hole,

Unable to get out on my own.

Could anyone hear me yell?

 

I cried out to You for help;

I couldn’t do it on my own.

The hole began to close in on me.

I had all but drowned.

 

You threw me a rope,

Hoping to save my life,

But I kept falling deeper,

Thinking nothing could ever be right.

 

One day I finally caught

The rope You had thrown in.

The rope was Jesus Christ.

I then knew I could win.

 

I can rejoice in life again,

Happy to be alive,

Thankful to my friends and God,

That I did not die.

 

So I’ve been making it a point

To cherish me, myself, and I,

And treat myself as valuable—

Choosing to live, not die.

sunshine

My prayer is that if you are struggling with issues and have suicidal thoughts that you will find someone to talk to, perhaps a family member, a friend, a teacher, or a pastor. Or 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.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish)

Suicide as a Way Out of Domestic Abuse

When you’re in a relationship that involves domestic abuse — physical or emotional — suicide may seem your only way of escape.

 

 But there is hope and help.

 

Off the Map domestic violence

Jacquie Brown, author of the book, Off the Map: Follow me out of Domestic Abuse, certainly felt that way the day she ran to her bathroom after a violent confrontation with her husband. Her “crime”? Urging her husband not to drive his truck after drinking seven glasses of whiskey and cola in a few hours.

In Jacquie’s words:

He shoved me into the wall, yelled and called me disgusting names, criticized everything about me, searched for the words that would hurt me the most.

Fear gripped my being. My stomach tensed, and I huddled into myself, trying to disappear as tears flowed and I thought, Am I really those foul degrading words I hear him calling me? He’s right about my stupidity; I never learn. I’m always the catalyst for these explosions of torment. How do I solve it? How do I stop it? The agony and desolation is relentless. How do I escape?

Time seemed to stand still as a thought seeped into my mind. I knew a way to escape. I turned and race up the stairs to the washroom, locking the door behind me. I shouldn’t have run. Now he knows something is unusual. I hurried and swallowed several pills before he reached the door.

He yelled, “Open the door or I’ll kick it in!”

Jacquie came out of the bathroom and her husband got their two young children out of bed, and told the children “This I what happens if you try and kill yourself.” He then beat her.

After he left, Jacquie made her way to each of the children’s rooms and assured them she was okay. Afterwards, she wondered how she could ever have been so selfish as to think of leaving her children alone with their father. But of course, she wasn’t thinking clearly. She was just trying to find a way out of the constant fear and abuse. (p. 42-43)

Suicide lets the abuser win

While there may be times when suicide seems like the only way out of abuse, fortunately, Jacquie eventually found a much better way. And then she wrote a book in order to help others find their way out, and also to help friends, family, and others who want to help domestic abuse victims understand what’s going on in the mind of a person who is being abused.

Off the Map is written with alternating chapters, first giving us a glimpse into Jacquie’s life, then immediately following that with an explanation of what she calls the “underlying dynamics or aspects of domestic violence.”

In her introduction, Jacquie says: “Off the Map demystifies domestic violence. It brings to light how we are ensnared and why we stay trapped. It also reveals our self-destructive coping mechanisms and ultimately the way out of the dungeon to discover the treasure of life.” (p.xiii)
Jacquie also explains that all violence isn’t physical beatings. There are many other ways an abuser can hold someone captive.

The book has a number of helpful lists, including:

  • signs that you are in an abusive relationship
  • how abusers isolate their victims
  • different types of abusers
  • types of abuse
  • wrong beliefs of both the abusers and the abused
  • reasons why victims stay in the relationship
  • common coping mechanisms that lead to more difficulty
  • people and groups who will help abuse victims
  • practical steps to take to ensure safety when leaving

The book clearly explains how pretty well anyone could wind up being abused without necessarily realizing what is happening. Jacquie shows how abusers can mix kindness in with the abuse in a way that creates dependency and keeps the victim ambivalent about the abuser and unable to break free.

She also links long-term abuse to C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). On page 93, Jacquie says, “A woman suffering in a relationship of domestic violence is similar to a soldier’s experience as a prisoner of war. Both undergo prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences and both can develop C-PTSD.” She then goes on to explain how chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline), are impacted, and how this can lead to a variety of negative things, including forgetfulness, depression, detachment, self-condemnation, loss of identity, hopelessness, etc.

Everyone needs to read this book

This book is specifically about domestic violence, and is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand that type of abuse. However, the implications of abuse go far beyond that to any long-term relationship where one person has power over another and could use it in abusive ways: either situations where one has direct power over another (e.g. a parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor, doctor, counselor) or situations where a peer can exert power over another person (e.g. a co-worker, teammate, a sibling, close friend, roommate, classmate). Please check it out, especially if you:

  • suspect you might be in an abusive relationship
  • suspect someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, whether domestic or otherwise
  • suspect you might be an abuser
  • are in any way involved with people; pastors, teachers, psychologists, counselors, doctors, nurses, politicians, managers, parents, etc.

Click to visit Jacquie Brown’s website and for information about her book Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Violence 

Grief and Suicidal Thoughts: Loss of a Baby

By Karen Kosman:

Sometimes grief and suicidal thoughts go hand-in-hand, and the loss of a baby may seem too great to bear. But God is there to comfort you.

 

grief, suicidal thoughts, moses basket

God can heal your broken heart–even after the terrible loss of a baby.

My body ached and my heart throbbed with sorrow. Surrounded by family and friends we stood at Kim’s gravesite, all eyes resting on my baby daughter’s small casket.

The wind blew softy against my cheeks as my tears cascaded down. I looked at the grief-ridden faces of my husband, daughter, and son.

How do I help them to go on? How do I say goodbye?

Briefly my mind traveled back to the first time I held Kim. I’d marveled at her tiny, delicate features and auburn curls on top of her head, highlighted with gold streaks. Back in the present I questioned, How do I go on?

As the days turned into weeks my emotions vacillated up and down. At my lowest point of grief I questioned why God hadn’t taken me instead.  Each day depression robbed me of joy. I questioned how I could believe that Kim is in heaven and feel so grief stricken and depressed.

Home alone, one morning, while cleaning my kitchen I found a package of forget-me-not flower seeds shoved at the back of a drawer. On the back someone had written Kim’s name. I immediately went outside and planted them. A few weeks later their blue blossoms filled the garden.

I allowed myself to embrace our precious moments with Kim. I realized as I listened to my children’s feelings how much they needed me to go on. We began praying together and talking about our feelings—talking openly began healing our hearts.

We stayed busy. Working on school projects and home projects brought back normal routines. The days became easier. We counted the many blessings Kim’s life brought to others: My mother accepted Christ and was baptized because of the love she’d witnessed from our church family. Friends began to tell me things like, “Kim’s short life made me ponder about my own life and eternal destiny,” or “I value life more.” But one comment really touched my heart, “Kim’s life made me realize how precious every moment is.”

The shortest verse in the Bible is found in John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” At the lowest point in my sorrow I remembered this verse.

Yes, Jesus wept for the heartache and loss Lasarus’ family and friends felt at his death.  As I thought about the compassion of Christ I felt comforted. I began to realize God understood my grief. As the oppressive blanket of grieve began to lift, joy came back into our lives. I am grateful that I had God to lean on in my sorrow and thankful I didn’t give in to my fleeting thoughts of wanting to die.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

My daughter’s life, although brief, had purpose and still does. I am grateful for the precious gift God granted us in Kim.

Create a Plan to Survive Suicidal Thoughts

Create a Plan to Survive Suicidal Thoughts

 

Many people who feel suicidal are only temporarily suicidal. The good news is that if they can survive their suicidal impluses or thoughts, they will be okay. To help them survive these difficult periods, Suicide Lifeline Prevention says,

“Having a plan in place that can help guide you through difficult moments can make a difference and keep you safe. Ideally, such a plan is developed jointly with your counselor or therapist. It can also be developed with a Lifeline counselor who can help you write down actions to take and people to contact in order to feel safe from suicide.

“In general, a safety plan is designed so that you can start at step one and continue through the steps until you feel safe. You should keep your plan in a place where you can easily access it (your wallet or cell phone) when you have thoughts of hurting yourself.”

To see more, click HERE.  Also, please note that the Lifeline number this quote referred to is: 1-800-273-8255.

More good news! The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has developed a tool, or a safety plan that you can download as a PDF.  (You will find the link to this PDF as the end of this article.)

Here are the ideas you will find in the plan:

  1. Recognizing your warning signs.
  2. Developing your own coping strategies, even when you are alone, to help you not act on your urges to harm yourself.
  3. Creating a list of people or situations that can help you take your mind off of things.
  4. Creating a contact list of family or friends you can talk to when you’re under stress.
  5. Creating a list of numbers and/or locations of clinicians, local emergency rooms, crisis hotlines, like the Lifeline number listed above.
  6.  Removing implements, like guns, that could be used to harm yourself.

You can download the worksheet by clicking HERE.  However, please consider adding the following idea to your plan:

     7.  Write down, or print the following prayer to pray in time of crisis.

Dear Lord,

Help me!

I cancel the spirit of suicide, trauma, panic, depression, and emotional pain off of me, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus. Lord, in the place of all of these things, I ask for your peace and your strength to help get me through this period. Help me to have the courage to live.  I use the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus to silence the voices and emotions that are tempting me to harm myself.

Also, Lord, cancel any discouraging thoughts, impulses, negative emotions, and/or voices off of me, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus. Replace these things with your  hope and encouragement. Lord, download in me the knowledge that you love me and have goodness and blessings for me. Thank you that I am not worthless. Thank you that because of you, I have purpose and hope.

Thank you for saving me Jesus!

In Jesus Name.  Amen

If you want to know more about developing a relationship with God, go to:  www.GodTest.com

Here’s a cartoon-ized story of a man who made a plan to live:

Why Live If Everyone is Out To Get Me?

By Lisa Copen

 

If you are having thoughts about suicide it can feel like everyone is out to make your life harder, more of a challenge. Sometimes it even seems like people want you to fail! Does it ever feel like people are just pushing you around (emotionally perhaps?) and you are sick of it?  Making you think “Everyone is out to get me?”

I saw this video on two penguins–one who is minding his business and just going for a little walk– and BAM! Take a few seconds to watch and see what you think.

 

Ever have one of those days? Though this video is meant to make us laugh, too often we can relate to it all too well. When we start having suicidal thoughts, it sure doesn’t help to have someone like this in our life who just reaches out and–whack! It is easy to start to wonder, “Why live if everyone is just out to get me anyway?”

What can you do to feel as though you can gain some control when you begin to think, “Everyone is just out to get me”?

  • Talk to a physician or psychiatrist to see if what you are feeling is normal for your circumstances or above average paranoid-type thoughts. if they are severe, they may recommend medication.
  • Remember, it is not all about you. Most people are concerned about their own challenges in life and you may be misinterpreting their actions or words.
  • Life is difficult and sometimes it seems as though the bad stuff just keeps happening. Consider keeping a journal and rather than focusing on the challenges, write about what you are learning through the process. I know. . . it’s cliche. But it also works.
  • See a good counselor. Suicidal thoughts because you feel targeted need to be addressed. Get a recommendation of a counselor who can walk you through the feelings of wondering if the world is out to make you miserable and where these emotions came from. We all have days when we feel this way, but if it is impacting your life, find some help.

When you are going through those dark moments, a simple “slap into the mud”–like this penguin received, can feel as though life is never going to improve. But it will. And while the slaps keep coming, learn to laugh at them. Search for the humor in the chaos. When you do, you will find people who laugh alongside you who want the very best for you.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

Help, I am Having Suicidal Thoughts

 

If you’ve ever typed into an Internet search engine, or cried out in prayer, “Help, I am having suicidal thoughts,” you’re not alone. According to an article by Ankur Saraiya, MD on Howcast, “Suicide is not necessarily an abnormal thought. It’s not necessarily a sign of major illness. In some ways it’s perfectly natural for people to have thoughts that life is too overwhelming when something very bad has just happened.”

But what do you do about it?

  1. Don’t act on your thoughts.
  2. If you need help, get help.  Call a suicide hotline. If you need to talk to someone right now;  otherwise, make an appointment with your doctor for a checkup and while there, talk to her about your feelings.
  3. Pray! Talking to God can really help.  Below is a prayer to help get you started:

Dear Lord,

I’ll admit that I feel betrayed by my circumstances and feelings of despair, and I have to wonder if you love me so much, why aren’t you taking better care of me, fixing my pain, or changing my situation?  I confess these thoughts of anger and confusion to you. In fact, I give my anger and confusion as well as my problems to you. I know you love me and I also know you have a bigger perspective of my life than I do.  I even know that you can turn anything into a miracle.  So, though I feel angry, sad, and confused, I want to say to  you:

My problems are now your problems.  I give them to you and ask that you turn my problems into miracles.  I ask that you calm my broken heart and carry my pain.  I ask that you forgive me of my sins, through your son Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins on the cross.  I give my whole self to you.  In fact Lord, now I am your problem too.  And in that, I invite your presence to walk with me through this storm.  I will turn my focus from the wind and the waves,to your unfailing love and kindness.  I say, I will trust you and live.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To find more answers to your questions about God, take our Godtest.  Also, watch this helpful video produced by Howcast as posted on Youtube with Dr. Ankur Saraiya for more ideas on how to get help, especially if you are having suicidal thoughts.

You might also be interested in PeggySu Wells’ story about Help When Thoughts of Suicide Filled My Mind.

Suicidal? Need Help Now? Call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or

Text Telephone: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 1)

Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

 

Grief and Guilt with Suicidal Thoughts? Ask for Help

By Dianne E. Butts:

 Grief, Guilt and Asking for Help: Lesson 2 in 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief. Includes Post-Abortion Grief.

 

As I write about lessons I’ve learned about grief, you may recall lesson #1: Grief Plus Exhaustion May Increase Suicidal Thoughts where I talked about how being tired is just one symptom of grief.

Lesson #2 is to recognize additional symptoms and know when to ask for help:

Some people may temporarily experience sleeplessness, nightmares, lack of appetite or greater appetite, fear, increased anxiety, or various other difficulties. These are “normal” for people working through grief, but if they continue or become overwhelming, ask for help.

It’s hard to ask for help. I’ve also learned even when we reach out for help, the help we find isn’t always helpful. If that has been your experience, I challenge you to try again. You are too important to let a mismatched counselor stop you.

In the article, Choosing a Christian Counselor at  CBN.com,  David Martin states: “In order for a Christian to make a good decision about a Christian counseling professional, there are some important factors that need to be understood as well as the various options that are available to you.” (Click through to that article for more good information.)

For help, CBN.com recommends these organizations that you can call right now:

New Life Ministries: 1-800-NEW-LIFE (1-800-639-5433)

Rapha National Network: 1-800-383-HOPE (1-800-383-4673)

There are various reasons feelings of guilt may be associated with the loss of someone. For many women and men, that relates to  abortion.

Post-Abortion Grief and Guilt

In a guest post at Kathi Macias’ blog, I wrote about how it’s common for people with an abortion in their past to grieve and even think about suicide. (If this applies to you, click here to read more about that.) But women (and men) the world over need to know that God loves them, that He will forgive them, and that He is right there with them no matter what they have done or what they are facing right now.

At the Abortion Recovery Help webpage, the list of  Symptoms of Post Abortion Syndrome  includes depression and thoughts of suicide. Whether you are a woman or a man, pro-life pregnancy centers offer free, confidential programs to help you through after-abortion struggles. Find one closest to you here: www.OptionLine.org.

Even if this common cause for grief does not apply to you, feelings about the loss of a loved one can be complicated, and counseling frequently very helpful. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do ask for help, from a friend, any of the counseling resources previously mentioned, or:

CBN’s 700 Club Prayer Counseling Center at 1-800-759-0700

This video,You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up), may help:

 

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.