This post has been in my heart for a long time. It’s a post that is so relevant in the time and the place that we live in, with the mass amount of hopelessness and pain that people continue to live in. It is a post that comes out of where I once was.
In the news, on Facebook and in the lives of teens that I know, I have seen increasing accounts of suicide. Actors, parents, kids and friends who are only known by the love and pain that is left behind. It saddens me. But I also stand in great hope because finally something that has lived in darkness is beginning to be talked about in the light. When I was a kid no one talked about depression or suicide, I never knew what they were and as I grew older the prevalent thought was that those who were depressed need to just snap out of it and that committing suicide was the greatest act of selfishness.
Please world, stop saying this. Suicide is one of the saddest things. Suicide is the loss of a human being. Suicide is hopelessness winning. Suicide is Lies winning. But suicide is not selfish, suicide is really a warped version of selflessness.
This summer I was talking with one of my sisters about our childhood and she commented that I was a really emotion child. This is true but it wasn’t just that I was emotional but I had lived most of my early years in the darkness of depression.
In the moments after stating the facts of the darkness of depression, as she looked at me, I understood.
I finally understood that unless you have been there, you don’t understand. When I say that I lived in darkness, I mean that. Most of my childhood memories are vague and shadowy. The memories come and go, I will randomly remember different things that happened, but overall I mostly remember overwhelming darkness. I remember pain that was so intense I couldn’t feel. I remember hopelessness and being utterly overwhelmed.
When you look up the signs of depression these are a few that you will find:
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
I also remember the lies; that I’m not worth it, that my friends didn’t really like me, that I was ugly and worthless. You see depression really is a thing of the enemy. I know that my depression wasn’t just something that happened, especially as a young child, but instead that it was an attack of the enemy. I believe that the enemy often knows at least a portion of who God called us to be and he will do anything in his power to stop that from happening. He comes to steal, kill and destroy not just us but also the plans and promises of God. And he uses our emotions but also the chemicals within our body to destroy what God intended.
I was created to be joyful, to walk in the power of God and to share the truth of His Hope and Salvation. The enemy knew this and he attacked that. Everything that I was meant to be was turned upside down. Instead of living in the light, I lived in complete darkness. I believed that my friends only pretended to be my friends, that in reality they hated me. I KNEW in my mind, but could not feel in my heart, the love of my family. I honestly believed that my family would be happier and better off it I wasn’t alive. When my mother’s father died of heart issues I remember going behind the door in my room and crying out, “This is all my fault, take me instead God, take me instead.” Throughout my childhood I remember getting a full nights rest and still waking exhausted and emotion. One moment I would be find and then in a flash sadness and despair would grip me and tears would come.
I have these memories from as early as I can remember but thankfully Truth was finally able to take hold of my life. At 13, after growing up in the church and learning about God and Jesus, I was tired of being alive. I believe with everything within me that at 13 years old if my life hadn’t changed I would have committed suicide. I was tired of hurting, tired of living in the darkness, I was just tired. I wanted my family to be happy and I believed that this would only happen if I wasn’t there anymore.
As I type these words there are tears in my eyes, for the other 13 year olds who feel the same way; who don’t know Truth or love or peace or joy or hope. My heart aches and yearns for them to know. You see, at 13 I cried out to a God that I wasn’t sure existed. I was so broken and done. I told Him that if He was real and if He took away how I felt so I never felt that way again then I would do whatever He told me to do. I am so beyond thankful for my God who reached into the darkness and brought me into the light. For my God who heard my desperate cry. For my God who gave me Truth instead of lies.
Immediately God brought me deliverance and then I began a journey in healing. I felt love, I felt joy, I felt peace but more than that I felt hope. I feel hope.
Reading the headlines and the stories of those who gave up, who commit suicide, it brings me back to that place. The place where all I had left was to call out to a God I wasn’t sure was real. So you see, depression isn’t just being sad. Depression is believing you are the very opposite of how you were created. Depression is so much hurt and pain and emotion that you can no longer feel. Depression is darkness. And suicide, is really selflessness warped. Wanting those you love to be free from the pain and weight of you. It isn’t right or true, but in the reality of darkness it is all that you know.
The next time you read a story of someone committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide, don’t judge just mourn. Mourn for the loss, mourn for the lies they believed, mourn for the beautiful life that was shadowed by darkness. Reach out to those who seem swallowed by the darkness, pray that God’s light and truth would break forth. Speak truth and joy and love to them. Help them seek help, both spiritual and physical.
Be hope, where hope seems lost.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline