Beautiful Between

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I love Jesus but I want to die: what you need to know about suicide

I was in California on a business trip, just yards from the beach, eating ice cream and laughing as the conversation drifted away from business. Eventually, somebody mentioned a friend-of-a-friend who had died by suicide.

The familiar ache and nausea filled my chest. My insides rattled when my coworker said he didn’t understand what would make someone feel like taking their life was the only option.

I swallowed hard and let out the breath I’d been holding. “I do.” For the first time in my life, I spoke up. “I completely get that. I’ve been there.”

My coworkers stared, jaws dangling in breathless shock. Finally, someone asked what it’s like to want to die. So I told them about the physical pain, the exhaustion, the heaviness. I told them it’s like dying of a terrible disease and wishing I could hurry it up, knowing things would only get worse.

The last two weeks have brought news of too many people wanting to die. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade ended their lives last week. Several of our friends’ kids have attempted suicide, shocking their church communities. Our hearts are breaking with those in such pain.

I remember my colleagues’ faces as my words sunk in. They had never heard what it’s like to be suicidal and they started to understand, at least a little. And I’m reminded how little the church knows about depression and suicide.

We are called to be the light of the world, a refuge for the broken and weary. But if we don’t understand the darkness people endure, it’s much less likely we’ll reach them in it. So here are some things every Christian should know about suicide and depression:

It’s not just mental and emotional.

The phrase “mental illness” makes it seem like it just exists in our thoughts. But it doesn’t. WebMD lists at least 12 physical symptoms of serious depression. Chronic pain develops or worsens. Chest pain, migraines, stomach problems, and a weakened immune system are some common symptoms.

There’s a bone-deep weariness that becomes a constant companion; no amount sleep or coffee can shake it off. When people say they can’t get out of bed because of depression, this is what they’re talking about.

That day at the beach, I told my coworkers about depression’s physicality. Every part of me ached from resisting gravity, as though my cells wanted to collapse in a puddle on the ground. My skin stung like lotion on a fresh sunburn and my throat hurt from the lump that lived in it. At one point, I was seriously underweight because I couldn’t force food down.

Suicide is not a selfish choice.

Sometimes people say suicide is the most selfish act you can commit. But for many battling the darkness, dying seems like the most selfless thing to do. Depression often carries an intense, shameful sense of self-hatred. In those pits, I believed I was toxic and harmful to those close to me. I was certain taking my own life would be a blessing to others.

It’s a familiar refrain. This mom thought her husband would find a beautiful new wife and mother for their baby. She knew he wouldn’t be burdened by her illness and her child would have a better mom. My good friend, Steve Austin, nearly died because he believed ending his life was best for his wife and infant son. Thankfully, he didn’t die. He spent some time in a psych ward, got on meds, and found support he’d never found in the church.

We might not be sad.

Depression isn’t sadness, as this article explains. It’s much more complex: emptiness, flatness, irritation, or a strange numbness. Many people who seek help for depression only report physical symptoms because they don’t feel sad.

For me, I first notice it as brain fog. The world seems to move in slow motion, but I still can’t keep up. All I want is sleep, not just because depression is exhausting, but because sleep is an escape.

It’s not because we don’t pray or read our Bibles.

In 2013, a Lifeway Research study found that nearly 50% of evangelicals believe that prayer and Bible study alone can conquer serious mental illness. Unfortunately, this mistaken belief prevents people from seeking the help they need.

I know this firsthand. No matter how many times I recited verses, asked for healing, and did all the other things I was supposed to do, I still had an illness. I wasn’t miraculously healed.

Of course, our God is powerful and able to heal in an instant. And sometimes, mild depression naturally goes into remission, like cancer, which may reinforce the dangerous idea that seeking medical help signifies lack of faith. Christians need to know prayer and reading hope-filled verses are important parts of a holistic self-care plan.

But they aren’t enough. It wasn’t until I started taking medication and seeing a licensed therapist (pastors don’t receive adequate training to counsel people with depression or suicidal thoughts) weekly that the darkness lifted and my chest stopped aching.

And I’m just as grateful God chooses to work through little pills and skilled professionals as if he waved a magic wand and healed me instantly. He is still the ultimate source of healing and still glorified by working through people.

People serving God wholeheartedly struggle, too.

The lie that those walking closely with God don’t ever have suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues is dangerous because it wrongly casts these issues as sin.

If we believe depression and dark thoughts are sinful, we’re more likely to feel ashamed and expect God to deal sternly with us. But the truth is he’s good and gracious, not waiting to punish us for our struggles.

Depression and suicidal thoughts don’t care about how spiritual we are. I’m sure plenty of devout believers and faithful leaders wish it did. I do.

I was in ministry – serving, preaching, leading worship, going on mission trips, leading Bible studies – but still wanting to die. Still hurting. Still hopeless.

I mentioned Steve earlier. He was a youth pastor when he tried to die. He knew what the Bible said and how to pray. He was well aware of all the “right” answers and appropriate spiritual statements. They just left him more ashamed because the stigma of being a pastor with these issues was too great.

Depression and suicide are on the rise nationwide. We can’t assume that those we love and look up to aren’t fighting the darkness.

We can’t “choose joy” or “stop thinking about it.”

Sometimes Christians tell us to “choose joy” or focus on somebody other than ourselves. There is some truth to this: caring for others and learning to cultivate joy are important parts of a healthy life.

But when death seems like the only way out of an internal torture chamber, those things don’t work. What’s worse, they become a way to mask pain. That’s how I could be involved in several ministries and wear a big smile while I wished for death.

Saying things like, “I’m so sorry you’re hurting,” and spending time with people struggling is much more effective than telling them to choose joy. It allows them to be honest, which might wind up saving a life.

Not sure what to say to someone struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts? Or are you dealing with depression and wish someone knew how to help? Click here for a free, 2-page guide to talking to struggling loved ones.

Suicidal thoughts are intrusive.

They show up, whether we want them or not, like a horror movie playing constantly in our heads. We watch our demise over and over. Sometimes, it’s terrifying. Other times, it seems like sweet relief.

Several years ago, I was part of an incredible church in Atlanta. I co-directed a non-profit and served in the youth ministry; students looked up to me and came to me for wisdom. Nobody knew how much I struggled. They never knew about the horror movie in my mind.

One tough Sunday, I stood alongside my students in worship, doing everything I could to turn my eyes upon Jesus. I told him I love him and would praise him anyway, even if I always felt like that. But when I closed my eyes, all I could see was an image of my body, swinging from the rafters.

I didn’t tell anyone.

We know we’re not supposed to have these thoughts, so we don’t tell.

We know they are not healthy and normal thoughts. We are well aware that they are uncomfortable and frightening for people to talk about. So we fight to suppress them, telling ourselves not to think such hideous thoughts. If we’ve been in treatment for a while, we might be able to recognize that those thoughts belong to the disease. We might be able to recognize them as lies.

But we might not.

 

We might believe God has forsaken us because we’re so bad.

The disease lies. When healing doesn’t come, it’s easy to believe that God has left. And if we’ve been taught that depression and suicidal thoughts are sinful, selfish, or displeasing to God, we may believe he’s right in abandoning us.

This is why we need to treat depression and suicide with the same compassion we treat other serious health issues. Kindness and encouragement from other believers are rich and powerful; they prove the presence of God and demonstrate his unshakeable love.

You can wholeheartedly love Jesus and be depressed.

If you’re struggling, you need to know your life can be set apart to his purpose and filled with opportunities to serve and bless others. You may still struggle. Sometimes, you might want to die, but you are no less beloved, worthy, or faithful because of the dark thoughts. And, though you may not believe it, it’s still possible to live a full, joyful life in the midst of depression.

It will require hard work and lots of support from trained professionals. It will probably require therapy, digging into painful stuff, and maybe medication. But you can still have abundant life; I know because I do.

I have to take my meds every day, spend time with Jesus in the morning, and go to therapy faithfully. I tell those closest to me when I have hard days and dark thoughts because I am determined they will not win. And a few years into my journey, I still struggle. But my life is beautiful and I’m happy.

You can be, too. But please, invest in yourself. Take care of yourself. Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text with someone at the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Program these numbers into your phone so you have support 24/7.
  2. Make an appointment with your doctor. If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford the appointment, most cities have free or reduced-cost clinics that offer mental health services.
  3. Find somebody to talk to. You are not a burden to them. You are precious and important and this world is better because you’re drawing breath in it.

It’s easier to save a life than you think.

Earlier, I mentioned believing my death would be a blessing to others. But I’m still here because one friend noticed something was wrong and did something about it.

Angela invited me to dinner, took me along to pick blackberries with her kids, and constantly reminded me how important I was to her family. She told me she loved me, it wasn’t my fault I was broken, and God didn’t like that I was hurting. She was simply present in my pain.

On a hot July night, when I was tired of fighting to stay alive, I showed up on her doorstep because I knew it was safe. And her family walked with me through the dark.

When I needed Immanuel, God With Us, she carried him into my life. She helped me believe I was loved and my life mattered.

So often, all it takes to save a life is being Jesus to us – being present, being loving, and being light. Christ is “in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). You don’t need answers or to be able to fix it. You just need to be present, perhaps help set the doctor’s appointment or just listen. Just be aware of those hurting. Just be kind.

Depressed and suicidal people just need you to enter the dark and sit there with us, your love unchanged. You could be his arms to hold us, his hands to feed us, his voice to tell us we’re not alone. Your love and kindness are more powerful than you know.

Depression and suicide are serious issues, and my heart breaks with those of you facing them.

If you need to talk or you know somebody struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text with someone at the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

 

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About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

210 Replies

  1. Deborah

    Thanks Sarah for sharing from you heart and your life experience. I have lived your story and sought to put words to it, so you did it beautifully. This is especially important for the Christian community, who have often been the harshest critics. Blessing ngs

    1. I hate that you know what this feels like, Deborah. Thank you for reading and for the kind words ❤️

      1. I also know how this feels, I am Bipolar and can remember being told my Faith was not strong enough for healing. When they ask you if you are alright and then tell you how to deal with a depression that is chemical,unfixable. Then when I am bipolar down and also emotionally depressed I do not really want to be here. The Church has failed

        1. I’m so sorry, Andrew. Please know that there are many Christians who are compassionate and want to learn and understand mental health issues. You aren’t alone.

          1. I have depression and ptsd and want to die; I don’t like mental health doctors and their pills made me feel worse. I did relent and take an anti-depressant for physical pain but it makes me want to die more -Just like the ads say. Thankfully I don’t know the depths of depression and sunshine and laughter are big parts of my life but I have told all my friends I want to die because only death will free me; like; I am old-65- so I have had a good long life along with the pain and wretchedness.I told my doctor recently that my life ended a long time ago; when he asked why I would say that I told him I am in the “going through the motions part of my life” When I used the word suicide they took me to a crisis unit and stashed me in a room overnight. Next day I knew I had to tell them all was well in order to get released. Real big time help! When I die I will be free and will see Jesus and I tell myself I am only a heartbeat away from Heaven; and; I ride a bicycle and that is a really good way to commit suicide in itself. I am an alcoholic and smoke as well and that all pushes me towards the “end”. I do take vitamins and eat a vegetarian diet so in that sense I am hurting myself by prolonging my life. I do believe that all teens and people in their 20’s need to be stopped from suicide but that doesn’t apply to me. 7 people I know died from suicide; a consequence of my living so long and seeing them all die and I feel sad for all of them. Hope they are all at peace in Heaven; I just want to escape this body I feel trapped in. What the bleep is so wrong with that?- Don Emmal

        2. Elena

          Andrew, I have seen first hand what getting off your meds can do… I lost a fellow Bro in Christ to suicide because he was Bipolar and got off his meds because he was going through a divorce and felt DONE…also, I have come to realize that your faith shouldn’t be in the CHURCH But in God Himself…. God Doesn’t create anything that doesn’t have a Purpose. You Have a purpose… Just find what that is…please don’t give up. Phillipians 4:13 is my go to verse… Maybe it can be yours too.

        3. Lourdes Fernandez

          That’s one of the things that bothers me the most. Being told that if I really believed in God, I wouldn’t suffer from depression or think about suicide. It’s infuriating. One has nothing to do with the other.

          1. April

            That is so very true❗️

        4. Ralph

          I wish I were bipolar. At least then there would be some up times.

          1. Tutter

            Never thought of that….I wonder how that would be?

        5. Diana Eaton

          Andrew the church is a group of people who sometimes don’t understand. God does understand and loves you. I have dealt with bouts of depression for 54 years, The people in church are in need of healing in some form also. Please put your faith in God he formed you in your mother’s womb and knows you better than anyone.

      2. Earl

        Thank you for your inspiration. I am in a depressed state and attempted suicide only to be stopped by the lord above . Not my time he said ..

      3. Diane

        I have been there and you have expressed so eloquently the deep feelings that reign in this disease. Thank you and I hope many people, especially those in ministry, will read your story. Thank you.

      4. Wow, you just nailed it , in so many ways word for word . I think hurting people dealing with this really don’t think others are dealing the same as you. Every word you Dr robed I can relate to and do many times wanted to say to people. By the grace of God i too have people snd able to talk with Hod but still have dark days . Thank you , thank you , thank you Sarah I pray this helps do msnybno All because I believe we all have dealt with darkness and depression of some sort .
        Bernice

      5. Sarah, it seems like comments are closed, so I am posting here: Thank you for a courageous post that is so important. May the Lord give you great grace.

      6. Lisa

        I lost my husband to suicide 15 years ago. It never goes away. My daughter was 11 at the time. We are both forever altered. I worry about her and myself. It is like he had a torch that he passed on to us and now we carry it. I feel many of those things described in this article but would never intentionally do anything about it because I know what happens to those left behind. If you survive it, it is truly a life sentence. Anyone who is considering suicide…please don’t ever think your loved ones will be better off. It is a lie.

    2. Kirsten

      I second that response. Well said on both your parts. Thank you.

      1. Kirsten

        My response was to Deborah’s comment above but it posted elsewhere. Just to be clear.

    3. D

      Wow. Honestly, I stopped reading after it said that suicide is not a selfish choice, that is is the most selfless thing you can do.

      Someone that is in that place is a victim going through a horrible time (I’ve been there), so I’m not trying to downplay that, but our choices affect others. Suicide affects others around them and cannot be called self-less by any reasonable definition.

      1. Terry McGregor

        What I got from that section was that the person thinks what they are doing is better for those around them, not that it is. A person in the despair of depression are in such pain they are not thinking clearly.

        1. Ryan

          Precisely! Thank you Terry. That is the misguided thought process on both sides; on one side it’s self-less and we’re doing our loved ones a favor because we are unlovable, or angry, or for whatever reason, feel they would be better off without us.

          On the other side of that is the condemnation for being selfish, inadequate in our faith, or not intentional with our thoughts.

          I kept reading because it was spot on. I have personally been told all of these things by wife (the one person in my life who should be safe) which just shows that just doesn’t care. I say doesn’t care as opposed to doesn’t understand because she used to work in an inpatient psychiatric facility so she has seen even crazier than I.

          1. Theophilus

            Wow, Ryan, that is exactly what my wife said to me some years ago after I returned from overseas operations, “That’s selfish!” My wife is a nurse and told me that, and since that time I’ve never shared another thought with her on the subject.

            I’m writing because I happened to be online and am in another deep spiraling major depression. I’ve held the pistol to me head before, and know how close it’s been to doing it. For people who don’t know what it’s like, it’s hard to explain the gigantic mental maelstrom in which one “exists” when life is so bleak. It’s not sadness… it’s so much much blacker than that. And the thoughts of suicide are constant. I am so tired of the continual everyday nightmares of combat, the physical pains and just the fatigue of age (over 65). Life isn’t what it once was and it’s passed me by.

            What’s really tough, is that for all the “Christian compassion” supposedly in the body of Christ, there seems to be so little in some marriages, and in some churches. Most of my closer friends are dead and gone. I ask myself, “what’s the point”…just git ‘er done, and move on to the next stage. But…I can only hope that this terrible feeling will once again pass. Every time though, it seems as if it gets nearer and more likely.

    4. April

      Thank you for writing this!! I’m a licensed professional counselor working at a Christian counseling company…. and I’ve also struggled with depression (and suicidal ideation) since I was 19. So this topic is doubly important to me— for my clients AND myself!!

    5. Anonymous

      You’re a beautiful soul Sarah. God bless you.

    6. Anonymous

      For me killing myself is God’s option and mine

    7. Katia Antonova

      You are amazing. Thank you so much, friend 🙂

    8. Sue M

      Thank you Sarah!

    9. Susan

      Yes I agree with your coments. It is horrible to have to a cheerful countinense when you are seriously depresseda person has to continue hiding what is wrong or you will lose that friend.
      You cannot put on the smile always. The cloud can live with you through out your life.

  2. Jocelyn Simmons

    Sarah, this is excruciating for a parent to read. My heart is breaking and rejoicing at the same time. I praise Jesus that he has given you those special people to be there for you. I am so proud of your courage, not only to share your personal pain, but to be bold enough to tell the Church and all who will hear, of this horror you and so many have and are suffering. (I think I need you to edit that sentence).
    I love you beyond measure and will share in hopes that it will be taken as serious as it is.

    Your shaken and grateful Madre.

    1. I adore you, Madre ❤️ thank you so much

      1. Anonymous

        Yes thank you this article is so on point for the people me included who suffer from depression.as a Christian for over thirty years now.I struggle to understand these dark thoughts myself.for me I just want God to rescue me take me from this world so I don’t have to deal with this mental pain.but I know he lets me go on in my affliction for a reason.even so my hope is in God amen.

    2. Barb DeVries

      With you, Madre!

  3. This is an amazing post, Sarah. I get it, too. I’m so sharing this on FaceBook. This is probably the most important post people will read all year, and you articulated it the best I’ve ever read.

    1. Thank you so much, Dave. I’m so grateful to know you!

  4. Stephanie Hutchison

    Thank you for your beautiful article. It has the power to help many. I wish every church leader would read this.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie. I agree: I wish I could share these realities with every church leader. I think that’s why it’s so important for us to share our stories ❤️

      1. Jamie

        I don’t know you but thank you.

        I want every church leader; every Christian to read this too. It has helped me to understand what a friend is going through.

        It’s encouraging to think maybe kindness and love is enough. It’s easy to feel so helpless…thanks for reminding us that love really can make a difference.

        I haven’t been through what you have been through but I’ve had a share of tough times and I feel like I’ve been approached in a similar manner (by some people, others are amazing, gracious, kind and understanding)…I hope they read this; to understand you sometimes can just snap yourself out of sadness.

        People can be ignorant…but your honesty and powerful testimony is the start of understanding.

        You are a wonderful, articulate person Sarah….

        Thank you for your honesty. I think it will save and help many.

  5. I read and shared on FB. I can not tell you how many conversations that this has brought up in friends lives who are sharing their stories now because of your well-written thoughts. You have literally put into words what so many people in my life have been feeling and didn’t have the strength to say. Thank you for this.

    1. I’m so grateful to to hear this, Shelly. Thank you for sharing and for having those important conversations ❤️

      1. Kathy

        It is harder to admit depression than people know. God does stop my immediate problems I know I can be depressed but mine comes and goes. I usually reach out to others who have it bad and I pray to find something to do to help me cope.

  6. Sarah – I echo all the comments above. Shared on both blogs and I hope any comments also come here. One already has – and here is another:

    “Absolutely. We don’t tell someone who was shot in the foot to simply pray about it, but we do for mental health. Great post. Thank you.”

    1. And another: “Wow, I love this post. I’m sharing it with my wife. Thank you!”

  7. John

    Not a Christian anymore, but so much of what you wrote rings so true. Particularly the line about suicide being selfish. I’ve attempted suicide twice (unsuccesfully, obviously) and while there was a sense of anticipation for me for the impending freedom from suffering, the much larger consideration in my mind was that I would be doing my parents, my kids, my ex-wife, my animals – the whole world basically – a huge favor by removing myself from existence. I would recommend people who want to help others who struggle with depression and suicide learn about a little-known clinical diagnosis known as suicide addiction. Many people who are long time sufferers of depression have it. It is not full time obsession with wanting to die, but it is looked at by those who suffer from it as a card to play whenever they need to. Just like someone who brings an umbrella in case it rains, a suicide addict views suicide in the same way. It is a comforting thought to them to know they have an ‘out’ if and when the time comes that they can no longer cope. I have been diagnosed with this – it’s always in the back of my mind. ALWAYS.

    1. Chris Simpson

      I’ll be praying for you, John, and your post saddens me so!! Please don’t blame God for what Christians may handle wrongly; we are NEVER perfect, only sinners saved by grace!! But GOD is perfect, He does understand, and He loves you more than any human can come close to doing!!! If you were the only person on this earth, He would have sent Jesus to die & shed His perfect blood for your sin and Jesus would have gladly done it!!! Jesus promises to never leave nor forsake all those that put their trust in Him, & ONLY Him, no works, for forgiveness & salvation; what a deal: don’t pass it up!!!

      1. Great answer Chris, thank you!

    2. John, I have just added a comment above and seen yours and then Chris’ reply.

      Your comment explained something I have never understood, thank you. Of those who return to “suicide” (and some very odd and botched attempts) repeatedly. They were people very close to me. And with never understanding why (until reading your words) I did get frustrated at “all my time an energy” seemingly a waste of time.

      As an addiction – that makes perfect sense! And addictions are something I know and understand! I think we all do. And you have added something very precious, for me, to Sarah’s post. WOW!

      As for being a Christian or not – I am not so sure God Jesus intended for us to achieve perfection of being “Christian”. Seems to me the story of Jesus is mainly about showing the perfect “Chosen People” it is not about perfection, it is about love without any conditions at all. And that means for all and from all – without reason or objective.

      I hope you have those around you to nudge you out of addiction – as we all need to do that ((hugs))

    3. Thanks for sharing the term: suicide addict. It helps in understanding.

  8. Sue

    Sarah, What would happen in your sessions with the therapist that was so uniquely helpful?

    1. Yes. What was helpful in the sessions, digging painful past, that worked?

      1. Great question. There are several things that are incredibly helpful. Normalizing my struggles helped to destigmatize depression and suicidal thoughts. It made me feel not crazy. Listening without judgment and helping me see things from different angles is incredible. I know I can be completely unfiltered without any negative repercussions. And, finally, there are certain therapeutic techniques and processes that have been really helpful for me. In particular, EMDR led to several breakthroughs for me, although YMMV

        1. Sheila McGrath

          Sarah, can you please explain “EMDR” and “YMMV”? I’m not familiar with them. Thank you.

          1. Michelle

            Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a technique to deal with painful thoughts and memories. And Your Mileage May Vary.

  9. Beautifully written. Great suggestions for those around us. ♥

  10. Pamela Sloan

    My 28 year old daughter committed suicide 18 months ago leaving behind an 8 month old daughter and loving husband. She loved God. She could not beat the depression even with counseling and medication. She felt her family would be better off without her. She was a good person. She made bags for the homeless and kept them in her car. She donated her hair to cancer patients. She took care of stray animals. She was looking in to foster care. She attended church regularly. Again- she loved God
    But now all I hear is “people who commit suicide go straight to hell”. People dont realize how painful this can be. My mind is in constant turmoil over this. After all, only God can judge.

    1. That’s heartbreaking, Pamela. I’m so sorry. Here’s what I know about God: he doesn’t abandon his children when they’re most broken. He doesn’t withdraw grace from those who love him. He is faithful to his word, and it says he is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I do not believe your daughter is in hell.

      That teaching is not based in any scriptural truth, but in fear-driven tradition. Your daughter did not commit a crime. She died of a terrible disease, and I believe anyone who says differently is not speaking from the heart of God. ❤️

      1. Margsret

        I agree. I do not believe that those who commit suicide goes to hell. If you confess with your mouth and believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins you shall live. I believe Christ looks at the heart and he knows that person that commits suicide is not thinking clear when they commit suicide

      2. Anonymous

        Thank you so much for this interesting and touching read!! I’m sure you have helped many!!

      3. Ginger

        Thank you Sarah! Pamela, I lost my 20yr old son by suicide 5yrs ago. Immediately God showed me through varies situations that my son was with Him. I know without a shadow of doubt he is with Jesus! I have a deep personal relationship with Jesus… and have had many “religious church, salvation earning people” say to me and my other children that our loved one is in hell. I looked up scripture, and in the whole Big light of who God is… I know that i know that when we accept Jesus as our savior there is nothing that can take that away. We are always & forever His! We don’t have to earn or prove anything to earn our salvation or be loved by Him. We are saved because He loves us and demonstrated it through His son on the cross & His resurrection. Thats the proof that our loved ones were accepted with open arms by their Creator!!! My son loved Jesus, however the world & depression distorted his view of who he was in Christ. When a person is struggling they are not in their right minds, no clarity. I refuse to let the enemy get any credit for what happened! God will restore what the enemy thinks he took. God promised to make beauty out of ashes. His word is the light & truth, and nothing can take its place. Truth always wins! Im a forever all the time warrior XO

    2. Jane

      No loving parent should ever imagine their depression tortured child would not be welcomed into the arms of our loving God with total mercy and loving care. Pamela, we hold you with that care as you join the growing community of parents who have lost a child….

      1. Linda

        Pamela so sorry for your immense earthly heartbreak! As Sarah so beautifully and lovingly shares, there is clearly not scriptural truth for a Child of God who received Jesus free gift of salvation, to later be separated from the love of Jesus. Not for any reason ever. Romans 8:32-39 Praise the Lord! Hugs and prayers for Jesus sweet peace and comfort for you that’s far surpassing our worldly understanding.

    3. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39 Hang on to this God given word, may His peace settle over your heart.

    4. After my nephew and friend committed suicide, I heard this all to often as well. People have no idea just how hurtful those words are and how much I had to struggle with that concept. Thankfully, therapy and our local minister have helped me better understand that, that is simply not true. There’s no where in the bible that it says that.

      I love the words already shared here, but definitely talking with people that have gone through what you have or speaking with a caring and understanding minister can help, too.

      1. Oops, I should have put this in it’s own thread. Feel free to delete – I’ll repost in its own thread.

    5. After my nephew and friend committed suicide, I heard this all to often as well. People have no idea just how hurtful those words are and how much I had to struggle with that concept. Thankfully, therapy and our local minister have helped me better understand that, that is simply not true. There’s no where in the bible that it says that.

      I love the words already shared here, but definitely talking with people that have gone through what you have or speaking with a caring and understanding minister can help, too.

    6. Donna

      Heart breaking Pamela! I pray you can find peace and I do believe your daughter is resting in her Fathers arms.

    7. Sandra

      I am so sorry you have lost your daughter. No matter how you lost her, if she was a Christian, she is with God. God does not kick us out of His family because we are sick or injured … because we broke our arm, or had a heart attack, etc. Neither does He kick someone “out” because of depression and/or suicide, also a sickness. A person who commits suicide, for whatever reason, is injured. He/she is not in a normal, healthy state. God understands that, loving us still. And I believe He is heartbroken when a suicide succeeds, shedding tears along with us. I pray for comfort for you and your family, pray that you truly feel God’s arms around you as you walk through your grief.

    8. Brenda Pridgen

      Thank you for sharing this. My 24 yr old grandson committed suicide 13 months ago. We didn’t know he was suffering. He didn’t tell anyone. We suffer now just knowing he suffered then.

    9. Lana Talley

      One of the most comforting truths I have read was from Billy Graham. He believed those hurting so badly as to kill themselves DO NOT go to hell. I believe that also! Jesus took her hand when she had to let go. Your daughter is in heaven.

    10. Rob

      God forgave all our sins before we were born. All of them, first and last.

    11. joanne frey

      God is love… He does not doom people to hell by category… He sees the suffering of those in depression and loves them… not condemning… we need to be the same… your daughter was and is loved by Him!

  11. Dianne

    This article is as if I wrote it myself. Hits everything I am feeling and going through. Thank you for sharing this so I can relate.

    1. Kristy

      Dianne, I pray that Sarahs story brings you comfort in knowing that you are not alone! I also hope that like Sarah you have a special friend or safe place you can turn to when your suicidal thoughts arise! Remember you are loved and God does have a purpose for your life!

  12. Loretta

    Thank you. I lost a brother to suicide 22 months ago. We had no idea of any issues beforehand. No explanation, no reason, no knowledge he was struggling. Lots of trying to make sense of it all, searching scripture to understand whether a Christian can go to heaven after an act of Suicide (I rest assured on Romans 8:38-39!!!)

    Thank you for helping me to understand more of what someone might be struggling with.

    Praying for you as you share so much with others. You are a blessing to many.

  13. Ginger

    Sarah, you’ve put exactly how I’ve felt into words. I too suffer from depression and realize now after going through treatment that there are instances that it reared it head when I was younger. I was in my thirties when it hit me full blown! I also felt that everyone would be better without me. I knew I needed help and by the Grace of God found it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Amy

    I’m in tears. Very relatable. Thank you for your words Sarah

  15. Larry

    Sarah, thank you for this courageous act of love to yourself and others. It gives a clear pathway to demonstrate empathy, compassion, and love to others and ourselves, when experiencing depression. You are in my prayers.

  16. tricia moffat mira

    My beautiful 18 yr. old daughter ended her life in 2010. I did not see the signs of depression. She did have frequent headaches, sleep late & miss school; then she didn’t want to go out & see her friends. I know she pushed herself and hid her depression from family & friends. She did mention suicide to a few friends, but they didn’t think she was serious. She left behind a 2 yr. diary, which told of her ups & downs. She hoped God would take her to heaven. She though she was bipolar. I am still devastated & heart broken. Thank you for sharing what it is like to live with depression. May God continue to reveal His love for you & give you the words to help others live with afflictions like depression. I realize now Christians suffer and life is not an easy journey. God is my strength, peace, shelter, deliverer, & hope. I understand the battle we fight in our minds to hold onto the truth & cast down lies from Satan. May He strengthen you and give you peace.

  17. Rock Conner

    Thanks for writing & sharing this. Most of us who struggle with wanting to kill ourselves hide if from all. I’m among the worst. I’m pretty open with my therapist, but no one else. Your courage is inspiring.

  18. Laura

    Thank you so much Sarah. Thank you for speaking words that I wish I could speak, but just can’t ever find. I actually just sent this article to my Pastor. He’s a wonderful Godly man who wants to love and support anyone who is hurting in any way. My best friend committed suicide just less than two months ago. He had struggled for years. He had shared. We had helped. He was receiving many types of help willingly. Medication, therapies, etc. He promised he would never do it….and he did it. I understand how he felt. I understand why he did it. I’ve been there many times in my life. And I’m broken by it. What has always stopped me is my children. I couldn’t bear them thinking I abandoned them. I will keep moving forward, even though it is so hard. I believe that we have to believe the truth of God, even when we don’t feel it. I just pray that someday I will finally feel it too.

    1. Anonymous

      As I read your comment, I have a glimpse of your great courage and love! You may not realize it but it’s evident. You are giving and loving and selfless in choosing life for your children, where your desire, at times, is completely opposite. Your family is blessed!

    2. Anonymous

      I am also a mother and have struggled with depression, anxiety and PTSD for decades. I had one suicide attempt years ago. It’s my children that keep me alive because I can’t bear the thought of them suffering the loss of their mom. I recently started Neurofeedback as a promising therapy. I take my meds as prescribed too.

  19. None

    Thank you for the post. I have suffered with depression since I was 19 when my youngest brother who was 7 yrs older then myself committed suicide in the front yard. That was the hardest thing to that day I ever had to deal with. Then some 20 something years later my oldest brother took his life 20 days after my mother had past away. Then if all that wasn’t hard enough my nephew also committed suicide he was the son of my oldest brother. Now I have nobody left to talk to or confide in or even just call when things are to much as they have been I can’t handle life anymore and I get hard fand I have also tried it and unfortunately someone came over and found me. I will try again I’m positive about that it is something I think about everyday. I got two fur babies and they alone are the reason why I’m still here due to I worry about them and what will happen to them if I’m not here. I cant bear them going to a pound but they are big dogs and people are afraid of the breed so my babies keep me here for now but it is getting harder everyday staying for them.
    I’m sorry for taking up ur time and space but I lost faith when my first brother killed himself in the front yard.

    I don’t have anything positive or inspiring to add but I know oh to well how everyone on here feels and how hard it is to fight back from this darkness

    1. Jim

      None: I’m so sorry that you have had so many family members commit suicide. I can’t imagine the pain you have to live with each day. Having said that, I want you to know that I am glad someone found you and prevented you from dying. You may feel lonely and insignificant, but I am commenting from Austria currently after finding this article on Facebook shared by a friend who lives in Mississippi. Your comment about your dogs put a smile on my face and lifted my spirits. So you are having an impact on someone on the other side of the world who also struggles with depression. I want you to know that there is a God who loves you and wants you to come back to him. He wants you to cast your burdens unto Him. I know that you have no one to confide in, so I encourage you to seek out a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist who would be glad to listen to you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Keep fighting.

    2. Liz

      Praying for you. I pray the Lord will send someone to show you just how special and important you are. He loves you so much.

    3. Laura

      I am so sorry for all the loss you have experienced! My son died 7 1/2 years ago because he had Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He was 23 years old. That void has made living hard. He had a service dog named Hampton that became my comfort dog after Josh died. He lived 5 more years and then died almost 2 years ago. It was like losing part of Josh all over again. That being said the important thing is have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior. If not you need to do that immediately. If you die without a relationship with Him you will go to Hell. Once you accept Him you will find Him a source of comfort and peace. One thing that keeps me going is that Jesus offers a crown for keeping the faith and living for Him until He decides it is time for us to go Home. I can then lay it at His feet in thanks for all he has done. It is God’s decision when we die, not ours! I also want more than anything to hear “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.” I pray that you will choose not to take your own life. God and Jesus love you. Ask them to guide you to find ways to help others. Having a purpose will help you find reasons to keep living. I say this as a person who is very “Homesick!” Know there are others who want you to live and know that dogs grieve when they lose a loved one. Hampton grieved a long time after Josh died. Read the book of John about 3/4 of the way through the Bible. It will help you better understand how loved you are by Jesus Himself!

  20. Anonymous

    1 to 2 weeks before I’m about to start my period I feel a dark cloud of all kinds of emotions come over me. I feel like I’m a failure, I don’t amount to anything, I wish I was never born, want to die etc etc etc. Is that just a normal PMS thing?

    1. wmcrae

      Yes, it can be part of PMS – our hormones definitely affect our mental state (male or female). If yours are causing this level of distress though, you may want to talk to a naturopath or someone who knows alternate medicines. There are some things that can help. *I’m NOT selling here, but I personally use doterra’s Clary Calm oil blend, put on the skin over the ovaries every day, for female problems – endometriosis in my case, but I’ve had wicked PMS like you’re describing as well.* So there are some things out there that can help – each person is different and finding what works for you may take some experimenting. Guaranteed though, you don’t need to suffer with it like that.

    2. This doesn’t sound like a part of normal PMS. It could be something like PMDD (a more severe and crippling form of PMS) or even depression that worsens around your period. Please talk to your doctor about this! There is help available and you shouldn’t have to deal with this every month!

      1. I struggled with awful mood swings every month for a very long time. I thought it was some kind of hormonal imbalance. I tried everything; herbal supplements, antidepressants for the last week of my cycle, diet changes, yoga…. nothing worked. Until I began to realise that my hormones weren’t CAUSING this… they were SHOWING me my pain. The hormones bring into focus any wounds we still carry and give us a chance to heal our pain. It is not easy – I spent so long feeling so angry at myself for being so “weak”, “sad” and “emotionally incontinent”. But then I did something radical and quite counter-intuitive. I decided to love myself *because* I was sad – not despite…because. I welcomed it all. Not one part of me was unacceptable. All of me is lovable – even the parts I thought were completely unlovable. And one day, my period just arrived… I wasn’t expecting it at all because there had been no negative feelings at all preceding it – and it happened again the next month, and the next and the next and I can now say confidently that PMDD is no longer part of my life. I trained further (on top of my psychology degree) as a Rapid Transformational Therapist and now I help women free themselves from these wounds using a blend of hypnotherapy and psychology that is incredibly effective. If you are suffering, please feel free to contact me – I have helped many to free themselves from emotional pain and it is my life’s work and my purpose to free many more, one heart at a time. The pain you feel isn’t because of what happened to you – that is in the past now – it is what belief you developed (likely as a child) that you still carry in your subconscious mind that is hurting you to this very day – and in my experience, that belief is always along the lines of “I am not good enough”. http://www.facebook.com/rttcopenhagen

    3. Laura

      Hormones really can effect our emotions and desires. I would talk to your doctor about medicine to stabilize your emotions.

    4. Nicole

      Yes, definitely. Right after ovulation (generally about 14 days after your period started), women have a hormone shift, as the estrogen slows down and the progesterone increases. Then, a similar shift occurs a few days before our period starts. Higher progesterone makes me irritable, overwhelmed, sad, and have migraines. Every month. Please talk to a doctor–an OBGYN or a hormone specialist. The two things that helped me the most were charting my symptoms so I knew what was happening (using the method from the book: Taking Charge of Your Fertility) and now using an estrogen patch for 1 week of the month. It is changing my life.

    5. Anonymous

      I had the same thing. Extreme mood swings before my period. My Dr gave me a extreme strong dose of vitamin B6 and Vit B 12. Over time it made a huge difference, in that I no longer had such a mood swing. The vitamins I took were Shiff PMS. It also had a balance of other vitamins in it but the B6 or B12 was a really high amount.

    6. Nicole

      So I have had these issues off and on as well, if this is every month please go to the doctor. It sounds like PMDD from what you are describing. There is a lady in who had a hysterectomy https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-43242003 and reported that all of it went away (hopefully the doctor can help you find a solution that won’t require that). What I have done personally is as follows:
      + From notes I have kept, I can trace that what I eat has an impact on my moods as well. Working on eating better and have noticed a change.
      + About a year ago, I read one women’s blog who said she had switched to cloth pads instead of disposable and she claimed a lot of the issues she faced during her PMS went away. So I switched to cloth (which are really gross to clean), but I feel better during my period.
      + Recently I have read that there are a lot of studies pointing to a lack of magnesium in our diets that can end up impacting our emotional states. So I have started taking magnesium.
      + Sometimes I can’t sleep during my period and the end result is that my emotions get harder to control. I hate sleep aids as they make me feel groggy, but I took melatonin during one of my periods recently and even though I felt groggy the next morning I was a lot nicer person.
      + I don’t know if you are a Christian. If you are, I have found that worshiping (even though I don’t feel like it) is really, really, really good. I have had points where if feels hard to praise and for the first 30 mins (or so) even feels like I am lying, but pushing through has resulted in really sweet times with God.
      This is what I have found helps me. It might not be the same for you, I want you to know you aren’t alone .

  21. Jan Allen

    I have struggled with depression my entire life. It worsened three years so when my husband o forty years passed away. I am on meds, go to counseling, have great friends and am active in my church . I am presently weighted down by health issues. Each day is a struggle. I know l will never act because l love my grandkids too much to hurt them this way, but it is hard to go on.

    1. Traci

      I understand how you feel. I also struggle with health issues and depression. Some days are a true struggle. I have also thought about suicide, but my love for my grandchildren has been stronger. So I’m like you, I can’t do it. Jan, I will pray for you. I’m sorry for the loss of your husband. I can’t imagine that kind of pain.

  22. I recently lost a nephew and close friend to suicide, within 6 months of each other. I have never understood more closely in my life the words you share here. Those words are exactly what have helped me in therapy and trying to heal through this. I so wish people understood this more, because it makes it so hard and difficult to talk about with people that don’t understand, but I don’t blame them, just 6 months ago, I was unknowing too.

    Thank goodness for good counselors, listening ears, and shoulders to lean on.

  23. After my nephew and friend committed suicide, I heard this all to often as well. People have no idea just how hurtful those words are and how much I had to struggle with that concept. Thankfully, therapy and our local minister have helped me better understand that, that is simply not true. There’s no where in the bible that it says that.

    I love the words already shared here, but definitely talking with people that have gone through what you have or speaking with a caring and understanding minister can help, too.

  24. Anonymous

    Thank you Sarah for posting this ! I have been going thru self loathing an misery lately , long story short, my life changed in just a few months for the better health wise but not mentally I miss my coworkers an being a work from home mom now has it’s great points but bad for other reasons, most days I cannot make myself get out of bed an I just go thru the motions I keep telling my family I’m miserable but all they say is you should be happy ! Hello no I’m not I have gained 60+pounds an can’t wear none of my clothes just simply existing in this hell! I know first hand about suicide my dad killed him self when I was 12 I know how bad it hurts the kids left behind but there are times I have a terrible times staying safe and sound ! I just want to feel better an normal again

    1. Liz

      Have you had your thyroid checked? It can cause most of the symptoms you are having.

  25. Jeff

    This is how i have explained it and it’s hard for many to understand. I didn’t just hit rock bottom after my wife decided to break Gods covenant of staying married untill death and being there during the hard times. I went below rock bottom. Im just now digging up to the top and actually have had a solid month. We have been apart four years niw and have 4 kids, one i adopted as she was already pregnant when we met. I had a breakdown of some kind as she might have been cheating. Anyway, i asked her and the church she attended (long story) and asked her to ask her church group to help as i was lost. Well, neither one supported me. This was about 2 years before she divorced me. She treated me like i was not a man and started to distance herself from me. That only got me angry and bitter. I still carry that but thank God it’s not near as bad as it was. My parents took me in. I pray a lot. Only when i have my kids do i feel like doing anything. If i dont have them and im not working my pt job, im in bed, depressed, weak, ect. I am very open to my family and doctors. No since of lying if you want help 😉. Your article here is right on. I wish there were groups for us. The hospitals and their groups van only take you so far. When i got back in the world, i let it slowly break me down again. Hospitals are more of a safe zone to calm down, but the problems are still there once you leave. At least this has been my experience. Anyway, my story is way too deep to add here, but you worded it beautifully. I suffered yhe ultimate betrayal. My daughter is estranged from me thanks to the lies my ex and her parents have been feedinh her. I pray God will turn her around. Thanks for this. I will share. God be with us all !!!!

    1. I am sorry you have experienced betrayal. Depression can start at anytime, not just with a life changing event. Stay in counseling and Church. It is a battle that we just have to keep winning.

    2. My husband and I have made it thru more than 50 years of problems and depressions by forgiving, forgiving, and forgiving! It doesn’t mean you were not done wrong. It means you lay it down by God’s throne and say, “Here you deal with them. It is too heavy for me.” And He will. He spoke to me almost audibly while I had a plastic bag over my head. I was in my 30’s and I am now in mid 70’s.

  26. Liz

    I have watched my dad suffered from depression my whole life. I have watched my husband and others close go through seasons of depression for years. For the first time in my life after reading this article, I finally have compassion and understanding reguardjng depression. Thank you for helping me understand.

  27. Alexa

    This is so beautifully done. Your words are SO IMPORTANT and so valuable. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and perspective. I’m definitely sharing this with everyone I know.

  28. Anonymous

    Sarah, you are so loved and you matter!!! Thank you for sharing your heart and story. I truly believe that Satan is constantly at work and to those who are close to Jesus he wants the most. You are amazing and you are worth every ounce of happiness. I believe it is God’s plan for you to live out a life of goodness and even in the struggles he is with you. Be well my friend….hugs

    1. perfectly imperfect

      amen! when i was feeling low after my son passed, a friend had said something that i will always remember…. “God gives His biggest battles to His mightiest warriors”. He is equipping us for something greater. He loves me so much that He wants me to be prepared. Choosing to know Jesus more & more changes everything XO

  29. Lloyd

    Sarah, your courage to be honest about these feelings is so powerful. I have lost friends to suicide and others who have talked about it. We have erase the stigma of mental illness and treat it just like we do heart attacks and cancers. Keep up the good work.

  30. LaNelia Ramette

    Thanks for sharing your story. By talking about it, you are helping to end the stigma. I lost my 20-year old son to suicide 8 years ago. Hopefully your story will help prevent other deaths to suicide.

  31. Thank you for writing this. It is exactly what I feel most of the time. It is always there. It is a struggle some days to breathe.

  32. Steve Ramos

    Wow, thank you Sarah, I understand so much more now. This post is a blessing.

  33. Maureen

    Sitting here…. going through withdrawal of psych meds….. reading this articulated things in a way my muddled brain would never be able to do. After my second suicide attempt my shame was so overpowering I could not begin to talk to God. My God, who loves me so gently, I could not face.
    Trying to explain to people how I felt physically was impossible.
    As I sit here. Feeling positively dreadful, trying to overcome the effects that these strong medications cause…. there is a glimmer of relief and hope that I am not alone. That there is a whole group out there who sadly “get it”…. and whom I don’t need to explain. I fight this as hard as I can…. the journey is so long.

  34. Mandi

    Your article took my breath! I have suffered for 15 years with depression and suicidal thoughts. The ladies in my bible study will pray over me when I get too low, but no one has ever just sat down and loved on me. For the most part I keep quiet about my feelings at church. Like you said, many do see depression as sin. Your article gives me a lot of hope !! I am currently in treatment and on medication. But your article opens my heart. Thank you for writing it. I truly needed to hear your words!

  35. JIM BROWN

    The suicide that hit me hard was Robin Williams……shocked. His quote; “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” That really gave me a perspective on depression I had never realized. And how it obviously led to his demise. Miss him so. ;o(

  36. Mary Jo West

    Such a powerful message! I posted it on my FB page because I am blessed to reach almost 5000. Think how many lives you might be saving with your sharing your personal story. I wish every religious leader everywhere could read your article. Thank you!

  37. Leslie Provencher

    I, along with so many others above greatly appreciate you sharing you experiences with depression and thoughts of suicide. You have an important testimony for the Christian community that needs to be heard. I had a blog that I just closed about this same subject. I couldn’t afford to keep the site up. My audience was targeted toward Christians and Christian leadership. There is still a stigma regarding mental illness and even in the church, but the church needs to be educated by people like you and address it in their churches, provide help by possible professionals in their congregations that could shed light on these issues. Keep knocking at that door for those of us who are Christians who deal with depression, who take the meds everyday and know what it’s like to feel suicidal. But we also know we have a BIG GOD that loves us and will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us and in whom we can take refuge under his wings (Psalm 91). I will share this on Facebook also. God bless you, Sarah (my daughter’s name too :-))

  38. V

    Just wrote my obituary, but I don’t think I’m going to carry through with it even though I really want to. Thank you for this post.

    1. Kristy

      V, know that you are not alone! As hard as it is to believe God has a purpose for you!! I pray Sarahs story helps you to understand the importance of your life to others! Please call one of the hotlines listed above and seek the help that you deserve!! I wish there was a way I could speak with you in person just to let you know how much your life means!! I’m praying for you right now! I’m praying you’re able to find a friend or family member you can trust to tell your feelings without fear of judgment, someone that can help you find the professional help you so need!! Please check back in and let me know you’re still here!! Sending prayer and hugs!!

      1. V

        Still here 🙂 thanks for the prayers – I need them

        1. Anonymous

          V. Please keep moving forward in a positive way… live for those who didn’t make it and be their voice! You can…

        2. Anonymous

          hello… this post is really for me.. know what? i am also holding on. of course the question of staying alive is daily… sometime by the hour. i’ve been through bad times. twice, thoughts popped into my mind.. there is bleach below the sink ready for me. well, i prayed, agonized, cried over it… laid it over jesus’ feet.. over and over and over and over again, until i was so exhausted from it all. slept over it, and woke up the next morning… at least i got over it. the next time it happened was two years later. now i resolve to stay close to people who care, not to be alone often times… difficult, but it carries me through. and prayers, prayers, prayers… tears often …

  39. CORINNE KAHI ISIGE

    Thank you for this post. I cried through it all because its what I go through daily.
    Thanks for the affirmation and direction.

    1. SOS

      Daily. 24/7. That’s tough. I’m praying you have a positive outlet or friend. As hard as it is daily and I know it’s hard, give yourself daily affirmations, daily self love, daily positive thoughts, daily encouragement. Keep moving in the direction of love. Your story can save a life.

  40. SOS

    Grief can leave such sadness, aloneness and emptiness inside. Hollow. You talk to people and the conversations are so surface layered. No one reaches down to those deep inner layers and asks you tough and uncomfortanle questions, pulls out the pain or physically sits with you in your darkness until you expel raw emotions. If you sound ok, then hey, you must be ok. People who commit suicide have found their release. What about those who do not chose that path and live daily in a perpetual state of grief, sadness, depression or emptiness. Im not sure which one is worse.

    1. Grieving Mom

      You just hit the bullseye for me. I lost my beautiful little girl 2 years and 9 months ago. She was only 25 and now I’m raising her 8-year-old son. It’s so hard to hold on, day in and day out. But the thought of my grandson losing me on top of his Mama is impossible to bear. So I just wake up in the morning after hitting the snooze button a half dozen times, put on my mask, and wade through the quicksand of another day. I feel like lead. Time does not heal all wounds. That’s a lie. It just seems to get worse and worse. I had already been struggling with severe depression for many years. I feel like I’m dying, but I’m not. I’ve wished for death more times than I can count and prayed for God to just take me home. Then, I think about my grandson and keep on going. I love God with all my heart, but I sometimes feel alone or that I’m not really saved or I wouldn’t feel like this. I’ve heard the usual comments from people at church who say I need to “pray through it” or “just have faith”. But that hasn’t worked. I have a very strong faith, but I believe not everyone who prays for healing is healed. I don’t understand why, but I accept it. I can’t really think too far in the future because it’s just too painful to wonder how many more days I’ll have to endure the pain, the darkness, the emptiness; it’s too overwhelming. Every once in a while I get a very brief glimpse of light, and I think that’s God telling me to just hold on a little while longer. It will be worth it.

      1. Sos

        Wading through the quicksand was such a powerful statement. People don’t realize that all stages of grief are “quicksand”. Today I may be waist deep, tomorrow ankle deep but it’s still all quicksand! Pray yes, seek God yes. But do not feel ashamed too seek professional help. God equipped those people for a reason .. He knew we would need an earthly and heavenly contact in those hard times. I’m sorry about the pain you are feeling about the loss of your daughter. Your grandchild sounds like the apple of your eye. You have been so internally strong . The mask sometimes keeps us from falling apart until we are in the company of those we can have good ole fashioned melt down with. I pray you access those people and allow them to love and support you.

  41. Peg

    I’m 63 now but in my early 30’s I went through something much like this. I was tortured with feelings of being afraid of dying and of living. If it wasn’t for a savy family doctor and his referral to a psychiatrist I’m not sure I would have ever lived to leave this reply. Those little pills I took for a little over a year and my weekly visits to a psychiatrist were indeed lifesavers. Thanks for the great article.

  42. Dialanurse

    Oh Sarah, I almost took my life back in May because I reached out for help from a family member & was met with “Christian Criticism” instead of love & compassion. Oh how I’ve been hurting and the flood of pain is most unbearable. Then a true & caring friend sends me this. You are a life-saver. I’ve always suffered in silence because of my “Christian beliefs.” Telling someone they are loved & SHOWING someone they are loved are divided by a deep chasm. So very different indeed. My, my, my how the church, God’s true church needs to address this & learn how to be life-savers too.

  43. Asia

    I must say I agree in some areas and in others I don’t. As a person who used to have suicidal thoughts but no longer have them I’d say the healing process is with God alone. I cannot stress enough the fact that if you truly truly and I mean truly know God those thoughts are destroyed at the very root. Your relationship with God dictates how your life will be. Many people search for answers in the church but what some fail to realize is that they may have been in the wrong church with the wrong teachings. Not every church teaches solely off God’s word. Yes I said it and it’s true. Some people don’t realize that they could be listening to someone who knows just as much as themselves and wonder why they’re not victorious as they should be. As humans we are going to have emotions so yes I get sad sometimes , yes I cry and yes I get angry, but not for long. It won’t last and it can’t last because of who I allow myself to follow and that’s Christ. I have joy and I know anything is possible with God. I want others to experience that also. I know that doctors have facts but God is the truth. And if He is for you then who can stand against you? That includes sickness, pain, worry, fear, debt, etc. Sometimes we’re just listening to the wrong people and they’re making us weaker.

    1. Sarah Robinson

      Asia, I’m so glad to hear you experienced healing through God. I agree, God is the ultimate source of all healing and joy. However, for many of us he chooses to use doctors, therapists, and medication. And sometimes he chooses to have us walk with him in the dark and learn to live with the ache. Either way, he is still good. ❤️

  44. Kim Mangrum

    God is good – thank you for this article. It is truly spot on. I’m now 58 I never dreamed I would live past 45. That is mainly due to my grandmother dying at 55 and my mom at 50 (kept ticking off 5 years). My mom died when I was 22 and I have been living much of this article ever since (Especially the 1st year or so after her death). I never wanted anything else around me that was living. No husband; kids, living plants. God had a different plan and brought my future husband in my life – he was a listener and obviously loved me for what/who I was – just what I needed. Fast forwarding – I always told people (I’m ok; feeling down or I am better than I deserve). All the time feeling like no words can describe. Again, this article fills my soul – I especially love the part “I’m so sorry you’re hurting” then just listen. I plan to share this article and I hope you are OK with that! God sees the big picture and we have to be still and listen. We are now are expecting our 1st granddaughter. Just as my mom took care of my kids before they were born – mom has been rocking my granddaughter. Thank you!

  45. Clinton McKinney

    Thank you Sarah for emoting so well your struggle. I have shared this on Facebook twice already. You certainly are appreciated and highly valued by me and many others! Thank you for your transparency and precious heart!

  46. S

    So, I’m not the only one. I’ve been told a million times to CHOOSE happiness. I would if I could. I dont know how. I stay in a fog continuously. I have a very strong faith.. in my mind, even though I’m so broken, I know God is blessing me, but I’m so sad… angry.. feel worthless.. and get even more frustrated as there is an internal battle going on because i feel like i dont appreciate the little I have. Any how.. I apologize for babbling. Thank you for this. It really hit home.

  47. Like you, Sarah, and many others here, I have struggled with depression since I was ten years old. Sometimes, I feel so much self-hatred that I really do think the world would be better off without me. In the last two years, I have gotten much better though. I have felt some of the joy that I have never felt since I was a young child. However, I do still struggle on some days. I would like to tell everyone here that they are not alone. I also like what you, Sarah, wrote about suicide not being always a selfish act. I think the church in general needs to do a better job of ministering to people who suffer from depression. Depression does lie, but it is an illness, not a character defect!

  48. Lisa

    I struggle with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and ptsd (and more). This article hits it on the head prefectly.
    Ppl think i shouldnt have problems because i have a wonderful supportive mother and a beautiful smart 18mo old that took 10yrs (after miscarriage) to conceive.
    I struggle every day with these bad thoughts.
    It always helps to see im not alone. I wish we more ppl could understand what we deal with.

    Thank you for putting it into words so many of us have a hard time doing.

  49. Martin Gamble

    Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. A friend of mine took her life three years ago and I have struggled to understand what has happened since then. This has been so helpful. God bless you!

  50. Mary

    very well written Sarah. Just about 35 years ago this summer I attempted suicide and almost succeeded – the Dr said another 10 minutes and it could be a different story. I never knew God and had no relationship with religion of any kind. But when I survived that attempt it made me search for answers, I went to church and that was the start of my healing – the compassion of people, the learning and the work God had for me to do . It wasn’t where all of the healing came from and the healing was part of journey that will be ongoing but over these 35 years I have found ways to get through the tough days and have been able to help others as well. there are still days I remember how awful it felt to be at that point and it is a terrible feeling and not selfish . Sometimes we need to give ourselves credit for how strong we are when we can get through 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day……and try to believe that God has a purpose for us. My life has changed so much and I have had tremendous challenges in 35 years but God has taken me places I would never have imagined as well. I pray for all people dealing with this disease that God will provide them with whatever/whoever they need to help them and that they have the strength to receive it.

  51. Sara, Thank you for your honesty. Please familiarize yourself with this website and hopefully share with all faith leaders. This website is a wonderful tool to educate people from all faiths on how to be supportive to the people they serve. Developed by world leaders. faith.hope.life.org

  52. Alta Neese

    Bless you, Sara, for sharing. Like many others who have replied, i have a chemical imbalance that reared it’s ugly head after my 2nd child was born. Postpartum depression just never went away. Being a Christian made it worse. I was so guilty that I could not pray my way out. My friends were saying “Just pull up by your boot straps”. It made me feel so weak. I wanted to turn it all over to Jesus but could not stop the thoughts in my head. All that said, my purpose is to assure anyone out there, that may be depressed, you don’t have to live that way. Don’t try to handle it alone. If it had not been that I had a newborn and a two year old, I would not be here. There is a doctor somewhere that can help. Don’t be ashamed of the fact that you are on medication. It is like a diabetic. They have to take insulin every day. So it is with mental disorder. You take your meds every day and you will never have to go to that terrible place again. Yes, I call it a place. It is a place that no one understands unless they have been there. Sara describes it so well. You can easily tell that she has been there too. Thank you Sara for helping so many.

  53. Jen

    Excellent job at putting words to it, Sarah! Thank you!

  54. Jen

    Excellent job at putting words to it, Sarah! Thank you!
    Shared

  55. Allison Schwab

    This article was everything I needed to read tonight. I’m a Christian but I did want to die.

    My close family & friends know of my battle with depression but it’s not something that has ever been easy for me to talk about. I’ve battled it since I was very young but when “bad” things started happening, it got worse.

    There’s been so many days I couldn’t get out of bed but when I did, I lashed out on my mom, the one person who loved me most & understood what I was going through. The best thing that ever happened was a couple years ago when she called an ambulance to come get me. I was almost admitted to the psych ward but because I agreed to go to counseling, I was released..I hadn’t hurt myself but I wanted to. I wasn’t really sad, I was numb. I felt alone & powerless. I had prayed & begged God to take the burden away but he never did.

    I didn’t want to do counseling because I really didn’t know how to express how I was feeling but it was everything I needed. It helped me understand myself. Then, I found a great doctor who has worked with me to find the best medication for my disease. After three changes in medication, I think we’ve finally found the right one.

    Depression is something I’ll live with the rest of my life but I am so grateful that God will never leave me, my mom will love me through every “I hate you” or “this is your fault” and my brothers will always encourage & support me. I encourage anyone who struggles with this on a daily basis to seek help because your life matters.

  56. J. Glock

    Thank you so much for this. I have a friend who isn’t a Christian who has struggled with depression and would tell me every week that she wanted to die. I would feel broken because I felt like I couldn’t do anything and that she didn’t even have God to lean. But to know that it was so important for you to have that family that made you feel loved and safe makes me feel like maybe God used me to help her just by letting me be her friend and sit next to her while she would tell me everything that was going through her mind when she felt like death was the only option! I pray all the time that God would touch her heart and I can’t do anything on my own but I’m thankful for people like you that speak out on something that is so real and hurtful to many and such a blind spot in our churches! Thank you and may god bless you and keep making you grow in a deep love for him 🙂

  57. Amy

    Coffee, pancakes and street tacos sounds wonderful!

  58. Carla

    Sarah, as a counselor who has worked with Christian clients your words about depression and suicide and the church are spot on. And as a woman who loves Jesus and has fought depression and suicidal thoughts, I couldn’t have said it more accurately. Thank you for your willingness to be transparent and honest.

  59. ben

    Sarah,
    Its been somewhat disappointing to read only affirming comments on this thread. Perhaps I missed a few or perhaps you only approve positive comments. I shared this about your article in another place and I hope it is helpful here.

    The more recent brain research, far more advanced than mainstream clinical psychology, deals with a brain phenomena called neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. This science focuses on the ability of the brain to change. Many prescription drugs block the brains ability to do this.

    Neurogenesis is the brain ability to regenerate cells. The chemical imbalances that result in depression are low amounts of seratonin, oxytocin, and dopamine along with low levels of vitamin D among a variety of other factors.

    Depression can absolutely be caused by negative influences in a person’s life and by a person’s inability to process negative emotions. Phrases like “be joyful” may have more truth to them than this article gives credit. The brain does have the ability to create positive pathways and can even through practice learn to be “happy” or “sad”.

    Unfortunately modern medicine has failed most patients by telling them that there is nothing they can do. They are victims who must cling to a prescription and a therapist.

    Proper nutrition and exercise can boost these levels dramatically and teaching the depressed to live in the moment, utilize mindfulness, encourage them to change an occupation that facilitates depression and yes removing themselves from large amounts of blue light which agitates the mid-brain can all be effective measures of success. (Basically spending time on social media can cause depression regardless of the content the person is consuming)

    Articles like these are good, in the sense that they point out that people need more help. However the prescriptions and therapist I think are chaining these people to chronic life-long bouts of depression. Depressed people can change and I often find that therapist and their pills do little to facilitate these changes.

    Furthermore it needs to be pointed out that some depressed people and suicidal people do not have hope and do not have worldview that gives them a reason to live. Not all suicidal people are suicidal because of their life choices or their worldview. However some are and it would be terribly unloving to give them a pill when what they need is their thinking to be redeemed.

    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks so much for adding to the conversation! I don’t take this as a negative comment at all 🙂 You raise some great points that I really appreciate. I hope everyone who reads these comments takes it into consideration as they talk to their doctors, psychiatrists, and counselors/therapists.

      Diet and exercise are huge parts of mental health and should hopefully be addressed by good doctors and therapists (in my experience, they have been).

      My main concern in this article is that stigma, especially in the church, prevents countless people from receiving the help they need. If memory serves me, only about half of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health issue.

      Neuroplasticity is an amazing frontier in science, though most areas of neuroscience are still relatively new. Effective therapy should harness the benefits of neuroplasticity as the brain builds new habits and ways of thinking. Ideally, medication and therapy are used to stabilize moods enough to establish new pathways in the brain. From my understanding of the science and my experience, it’s not either/or but both/and.

      Ultimately, my hope is that people who read this article and the comments realize they can and should seek professional support because they are worth whatever it takes to heal and keep living. The simple truth is that we are not equipped to fix these problems on our own, or even solely with the help of the church. We need professionals who understand the science and psychology to help us get better.

  60. Jeana

    This article is my voice. It says what I wish I could say. Depression has been a part of my life since I was 15 and I am now 46. Sadly, the church isn’t the only institution that needs this information. I am a teacher and I nearly lost my job this year due to my chronic illnesses and absences. The school system didn’t know how to help and I couldn’t tell them because our insurance doesn’t recognize mental health as something to be protected or helped. I have often wished that my sickness was an addiction instead. At least if I was an alcoholic or a drug addict I could go to rehab and get help. But where do you go when your heart is sick? There is no rehab for that. I had to just suck it up and keep working to support my children. Those 3 children are the reason i have seen each new day. I cannot bear to think of them without their mom and the pain I could cause them by leaving. They don’t deserve that. Ive tried to fight this for so long with journaling and prayer and music and counseling and medication and essential oils and natural supplements but it is still there as big and as painful as ever. I am so ashamed to admit that the past two days I have even gone live on Facebook giving people ideas for ways to “stay out of a pit” when they are facing hard times like I have been lately. I had all these silly things to try to occupy the mind like playing with play doh, painting your toenails lots of colors, eating a pint of Halo Top ice cream, spraying a fragrance you like, and choosing to be positive moment by moment. I read your thoughts about how you really can’t tell someone to choose to be okay and I withered. You are so right. I am exhausted from trying these past two days to choose to be positive. I don’t sleep anymore and haven’t slept more than an hour or so daily for the past 5 days. I have a counselor and medication but I don’t have a person physically here to talk to. It’s getting harder every day

    1. Michelle

      That’s so hard 🙁 I’m sorry your work couldn’t really help or understand. It also sounds exhausting. It can be so hard when you try so many things and nothing seems to take away the darkness deep inside. A lack of sleep really doesn’t help. (Have you seen a doctor about this?)
      In my work, I listen and care for people who struggle, and while I teach resilience and other life skills, I sometimes feel like a hypocrite, knowing my personal lifelong struggle with depression and suicidal ideation. I think it’s really admirable that you are still here, focusing on your love for your children and what matters to you. I hope you can spend some time just resting in God, knowing that you are loved, letting Him be your strength. Sometimes we get caught up in all the things we need or feel we should do, and it can be helpful to just stop and “be”. I’m speaking as a perfectionist who’s always busy and never feels that she’s doing enough. God reminds me that His grace is sufficient, and my salvation rests in His great love for me, not in what I can do.
      (I’m assuming you’re a Christian as you mentioned church. My apologies if I’ve misunderstood.)

  61. Erin

    Thank you so much for having the bravery to share what depression/suicidal thinking is like but also the hope and potential we all have! You’ve done a great job explaining how we can fully believe in the gospel but still struggle with mental health. I’m just now getting to the point in recovery where I don’t constantly feel like what you describe. It’s definitely an illness that the church and our society needs to respond with kindness!

  62. Kalyn

    Sarah, this article was shared by a friend! God Bless You! It came to me at the perfect time! My grandkids had a friend who committed suicide last Friday night. He went to a party, seemed happy, talked to lots of people and came home, wrote a message on his Instagram and shot himself. A smart, sweet teenager with a life to look forward to… He was a popular kid with lots of friends, a loving mother, and not someone who fit what people think of someone who would commit suicide. You explained this so well and as a Christian I struggled on how to help my devastated grandkids and the others when I couldn’t make any sense at all. I suffer from depression and I understand the darkness well but how could I tell them what they needed to hear! Then this article is posted!! Thank you!!

  63. I don’t deal with depression, but I live with a continual internal terror. It is so bad my body, especially my arms just ache, and ache telling my emotions that I am terrified. I have begged and begged and begged God to take me home. I am almost 75 years old and the terror isn’t 24/7 now, but it still comes almost every day. It is exhausting.

    On top of the terror and other struggles my husband is dying from a slow insidious disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy. His autonomic systems throughout his body are slowly atrophying.

    I wish I had learned long ago what the Bible has to say about the importance of suffering in our walk with the Almighty God.

    Thank you for mentioning joy. I get so tired being told I should have joy, or that true love casts out fear. Again we need a better understanding of what these passages are really saying.

    Friends suggested I write a book. I decided to write a blog. A song by Steve Green kept me moving forward – “Refiners Fire.” So I called the blog The Refiner’s Fire http://www.myrefinersfire.com/

    It is my prayer that the Blog will minister to others who are walking through suffering – what ever it is.

  64. I think you just saved my son

    Sarah! You are amazing! Look at all the people you have touched, dear Angel.
    Omgosh!! My son is 20. My story is long. We have a family history for mental illness and thyroid disfunction.
    Hubby(Dad) died 6 yrs ago. He stopped taking the large doses of steroids he needed for his autoimmune disease. He chose to go Home.
    Like I said long sad story… so my son is 20 now. He has been depressed since before Dad died. I didn’t see it. I was absorbed in my own torture. When my son told me he thought he needed help, I immediately sought counsel for him. First thing was pills then talk therapy. We went to many docs. One said he had asbergers. My son would say I’m done and stop everything. Went through this 3 times. I knew he was broken, just couldn’t find a way to fix him. Now I know. He needs more of me. Thank you, Sarah. I will hold my child closer. He does believe in God, actually has a firm belief in it. I’ve always tried to instill the FEAR that he would go to hell if he did it, because I needed anything to keep him here. Obviously wrong.
    I have learned so much from all of the people on here. Thank you people! Sorry so long… just gotta say… you will feel better if you force yourself to smile while you are crying or need to. Your brain WILL trick your heart. Try it. I had to. When you cry for years you realize the toll it is taking on your heart and body. I have 2 children I need to raise. And I want to see my grandbabies! Yes, life is lonesome without my husband of 26 years and had I not had children, I assure u, I wouldn’t be here.
    These people who say prayer can fix anything, your wrong. God does not interfere. I have been on antidepressants for many years, I probably always will be. And it’s OK! 👍 It’s my cast for my broken heart. And by the way…. to all of you have have lost a loved one, wether suicide or not, it’s going to hurt forever. That was my best piece of advice through all of my grief. I needed to know how long the pain would last, so I could prepare and deal with it. Lots of people said 2 years, time will heal you. NOT!
    IT HURTS FOREVER.
    Just like depression.
    I love you all ❤️ and GOD bless all of us!
    Sarah, seriously, I think you may have opened my eyes to what my son needs. I have dealt with my own depression since I was a child, but it makes it that much harder to see when someone else is broken.

    1. Anonymous

      aspies are not broken … try embracing who he is, not what he’s not

  65. Tina

    THIS! I’ve lived this for years. I’m so thankful for your encouraging, honest post! A loved one developed cancer, and I remember seeing how the Church talked about it openly, helped with daily tasks, and prayed for healing and strength to get through chemo. Going for chemo was never frowned upon. On the other hand, the cancer that is major depression is stigmatized, medication is frowned upon, and the loneliness and shame add heaping coals onto the already fragile state of mind. Why is chemical imbalance in the brain looked at any differently than other diseases in our bodies? It is a malfunction just like the apopstasis of a cell that causes cancer, or a malfunction in the endocrine system that causes diabetes.

  66. Vanessa

    I am a mother to a child with depression. While I do not know how depression feels for her, I know what her depression feels like for me. It truly is something that affects everyone. I first noticed it when she was 7 and thought it was just “a phase” she was going through. I nearly lost her to suicide when she was 13. I took her to a councilor who told me to start preparing for her death because there would be nothing I could do to stop her, that was unacceptable. I cannot tell you how many nights I went without sleep because it was in the night when she would try to harm herself. The most terrifying moment of every day was going into her room to wake her for school in the morning, I was so afraid of what I might find, after waking her I would go to my room and cry with relief that I had my baby for another day. We finally found a good doctor and she is doing well now, I no longer have to keep all sharp objects locked in a cabinet and I have not slept with a baby monitor next to me in over a year. I believe she has the tools to cope and above all, she knows that I am walking beside her in this battle, that she can come to me even if I can’t make it better, I can be there with her until it gets better.

    1. Theodore Fracker

      My personal opinion:
      I hope you’ll build up a relationship of trust, friendship, and love with her!
      There will come a time, when she’ll have a relationship, and if it doesn’t work out, she might fall back into that hole.
      Letting her know you trust her, love her, and care for her, and that you’re there for her, to help her, is a very large burden off of any teenager’s chest.
      It might feel strange at first, but I think getting to know your child in more deeper levels, and praying together, and hoping together, and do everything to create deeper and stronger bonds with your girl, for her sake, is something that certainly would benefit you both!

  67. Theodore Fracker

    Thanks for bringing some of these truths to light.
    1- Yes, suicidal people are often believing they’re where they’re at, because they don’t pray enough, or aren’t spiritual enough.
    2- Yes, suicidal people are shunned as if they’ve contracted a venereal disease that’s also contagious through conversation; and that attitude only strengthens the depression, and weakens the person.
    3- Yes a suicidal or depressed person needs love; even more than those with a physical ailment!

    initially I thought I would read yet another ‘know it all’ lecture from someone who’s got a theological degree in depressions and demonic possessions; or from someone who’s acting on hearsay.
    I’m glad I read through this, and changed my mind.
    You’re pretty. A lot of women aren’t as pretty as you. A beautiful woman is able to achieve almost anything she likes in life, because she’ll attract wealth, and a wise man.
    Something a lot of less beautiful people have to struggle with, and we didn’t.
    not to say that therefor we can’t be depressed.
    There are still goals unmet.
    in my own life, I was seriously lacking friendships. Couldn’t connect to anyone. And the more I was seeking, the more I was rejected.
    That for me, was horrible.

    While I do believe that God heals, I do also think that quite often, people aren’t seeking hard enough. It takes more faith than that to pray and have it disappear.
    Perhaps as I get older, my depressive emotions go down a bit.
    Or, perhaps, just like I prayed fervently for a spouse, and God providing, I also prayed fervently for healing.
    And just like the spouse, God didn’t just ‘give me one’ like that.
    He gave me the knowledge to change myself where I should, so my current spouse would love me for those character traits.
    And in a similar manner, it could have been Jesus’ consistent love that got me through time after time, and stabilized me. I don’t know.
    I did it without drugs. And with only One Doctor!
    But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, who’s not willing to give up his life for God, and go beyond the call of duty.
    And I’m not saying to pray and fast until you are so exhausted you can’t anymore.
    The hard part is to persist, to last through the years. To, every day go through depression, until you’ve become accustomed to it, and until you understand it’s really not all that important. You’ll still survive without whatever it is you’re missing.
    In my case, I had to give my jewel to God, and find peace with it. My jewel meaning, my earthly desires, to give up the desire of friendship, to enter loneliness, because in this harsh environment, God is preparing me for something greater.
    Now that I’m married, I can’t say I won’t be depressed anymore.
    But there’ve been milestones. Milestones where I look back, and can say:”Never again will I go there!”.
    And I remember, how God saved me in the knick of time, or 2 minutes later I wouldn’t have been here anymore. And the memory, stands as a testimony that:
    1- If you’re at your worst, it means tomorrow can only get better.
    and
    2- If you end your life now, you won’t see where it could go from here.
    and
    3- My (family member that I love most) will miss me dearly. I can’t do this to him/her! For myself, yes, but not for them!
    and
    4- Not to mention the fear of ‘what happens if I fail in my attempt? Will I be willing to go through life as an invalid for the choices I make today?’

    All these are solid answers and questions, that really help prevent a lot of people commit the one sin, they can’t repent from….
    Yeah.. It’s death that can’t be repented from. once you go in, there’s no way back.
    Not blasphemy.
    One can blaspheme the Holy spirit, and later truly regret, and turn back. The Lord will not leave such person behind.
    But only one sin can’t be forgiven (here on earth). The one you can’t ask for forgiveness for.
    Does that mean suicidals go to hell if they succeed?
    No. I’m not saying that.
    It just means here on earth, there’s no redemption.
    But our life isn’t permanently here anyway.
    Our life here, is like a savings account in which we can either deposit, or cash it all out. Every day we live, we deposit something in there. Something good I hope.
    But the day we cash it out, is the day we will cash out the amount we’ve build up. And making the decision to shorten the time to save up, certainly affects that final savings balance.

    1. cathy

      I have to disagree with you and your comment. #1 because you claim that “While I do believe that God heals, I do also believe people aren’t seeking hard enough. For someone who has Clinical Recurring Major Depression it’s hard for them to even get out of bed or eat, and at the point that depression is leading to suicidal thoughts and actions, the last thing on their mind is to push harder, and “seek” harder. #2 “If you’re at your worst, tomorrow can only get better.” You have no proof of that, Do you?? I am glad that you had only one doctor and no medicine, not everyone can do that. #3 According to the Scriptures, The unpardonable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit ie: Total rejection of Christ and the Gospel. It is NOT death, unless you do not trust Christ and trust and have faith in what he did when he died on that cross and rose again. I am just clearing this up now because Scripture is twisted by so many, and one needs to know what Scripture truly says. satan is still alive and well in this world, Depression and Suicide are tools in his arsenal to get us to give up on God.

      1. cathy

        I’d also like to share my story. I was 14 yrs. old when I was diagnosed with severe major recurring depression. I also went through very severe child abuse at the hands of my parents, mostly my father. So, between the two, I was messed up at an early age. My family was Catholic, (my Father was going to become a priest, and was asked to leave the seminary). When I was 7 yrs. old, we had just moved to our house, and my mother decided to take me to a Lutheran church for Sunday, It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I also went to church, that I wouldn’t be beaten on Sunday morning, so I went to church as well. My parents enrolled me in Lutheran Day School, and I also went to a Lutheran College. That’s what I really wanted. I first went to therapy during High School, and my pediatrician prescribed Valium and a sleeping pill. (In the early 70’s there wasn’t really any medication for Depression. I was first hospitalized when I was 16 yrs. old for 5 months. I was put on various meds, and finished high school, and was accepted to Concordia College right after HS. I was put on a nasty anti-psychotic medication– Haldol, and that slowed me down and kept me in bed and non functional, I flunked out of college, the thing I wanted the most. I’ve been in and out of hospitals, in and out of day treatment programs, I’ve been on almost all medications that there is for depression, I’ve had over 150 Electro Shock treatments, I’ve had therapists and psychiatrists tell me that I was beyond their expertise, and they quit seeing me. (That just happened yet again about 6 month’s ago, and so far, I have not sought help again. I have only attempted suicide once, and came almost close to succeeding. I had a very serious problem with self abuse (burning and cutting, and I have done some serious damage, but that helped me control painful emotions, I could feel inside relief when I burned myself, even though I could not feel the physical pain. My father ripped me apart verbally by calling me worthless, useless, hopeless and good for nothing, I believed him, and that just doesn’t go away. I do believe in God, but, I also believe that he hates me as much as my parents and the rest of my family. I’m more of a friend than I have friends, and People are surprised when I have had struggles, and go the other way, because now, I need help. Recently, I have gone through Breast cancer again, and chemo and a double mastectomy, I also have diabetes and other physical issues too. Sometimes I just get so tired and death seems more welcoming than life is. I am a very strong resilliant person, and I have survived. I was able to finally go back to college and get a degree in Early Education, I have taught pre-school and kindergarten, I have been a Nanny, and have mothered so many children, I’ve taken care of babies and others since I was 6 yrs. old. But sometimes I cry because I have no family, and no friends, and it gets hard going through this life all by yourself. I am so thankful Sarah that you are a survivor, and that you have found healing in therapy and friends and medication, I have never found that healing, in fact, I was told 6 months ago that my depression is treatment resistant. I am so very sorry for dumping my sad story on you, but this is the truth. Some day, I hope and pray that I will also have real peace with God. God Bless you all.

  68. Martha

    My 17 year old daughter recently came to us and said she needed help, she had been having thoughts of suicide. We immediately called a mental health worker and they determined she would be better off in a hospital setting. She spent five days in a mental hospital. She is doing pretty good now, she knows she will have bad days and I asked her to let me know when she was and we would deal with them together. Thank you for you article. It gave some insights I hadn’t thought about.

  69. Anonymous

    Sarah
    This is a wonderful insight. My husband took his life 10 years ago. HE loved Jeusus served in our church and loved his children dearly. Our children were 3, 11 and 12 1/2. They are now 13, 21, & 23. I will be sharing this with all of them. ♥️

    1. christina A Fulton

      Didnt mean to leave my name off

  70. This afternoon I went to the memorial service for a friend committed suicide last week. He was a believer. I feel as if I let him down, and the church was not there for him. So reading this, was incredible and timely. Thank you for being a voice for those who struggle and perhaps it will save us from having to sit in a church because someone like my friend just wanted to pain to end.

  71. Thank you for this article – captures the pain and hopelessness so many of us have felt – my song HOME wrote itself after one of my music students took his life the summer of his junior year. I think I really wrote it for me. (Video) https://youtu.be/iWrt9JeqKm4

  72. Susan

    Thank you so much for this article. I am living this right now and reading this has helped me to reach out to a therapist. I think it’s time for me to get some help. Thank you for sharing.

  73. Maria

    Thank you Sarah for sharing your story. My beautiful and wonderful cousin posted this to my timeline in Facebook and I am so greateful she did. I never realized someone did care about how I am feeling or saw the pain I am In. All I want to do these days is sleep away life. I wake up every morning because I have to go to work but all day long I am tired and can’t wait to get home to go to sleep. Though I am on medication it doesn’t seem to help.
    Yeah I don’t feel suicidal any longer but I have given up on life. I am married but it’s like living with a roommate because I no longer feel the need for love. My granddaughters live with me and I struggle to do anything with them I am always in my empty world but I feel so bad about it but can’t seem to do anything about it. I feel like god punished me for not being a better mother or daughter so he took my mom and daughter to cancer and now my aunt that I so dearly love has breast cancer. I stop believing there is a god even though I find myself talking to him at times but I ask myself all the time is there truly a god are these just stories. I never read a bible because I didn’t understand it all I know about god is what I heard as a child from my mom and aunts but I was always frightened by there stories as well.
    I don’t know what to believe any longer so lost in this horrible world.

  74. Betty Allard Bonham

    Thanks, I learned so much.

  75. Candace Lazzaro

    Thanks for this article. Although I’ve never gotten so depression that I’ve attempted suicide, I have prayed to God to just let me die. He didn’t answer that prayer with a yes. Thank you, Jesus. I still struggle with depression but after a long time of being lethargic and crying a lot, I feel like I’m finally “moving” toward joy again.

  76. Leslie

    I can do relate to what you’ve posted. Positive, happy, out going me has suffered from depression for approximately 20+ years. I know firsthand about this subject & for some reason I’m feeling brave enough or crazy enough to share some of my insights. Granted everyone’s journey with depression is as individual as the person is but IMHO there are some universal similarities. I feel there are some “truths” only those who have been there know. I will attempt to articulate a few of them. Some will relate some will not.

    I’ve not researched what I post here. I’m not wanting to argue or tit-for-tat facts. This post is merely from personal experiences of my own & like all of you, with family members & friends who have attempted or been successful with suicide.

    I’ve been to the “other side” more than once. I have a Pinterest board called “The Other Side” that is a collection of art from all over the world that depicts some of what I think it feels like to be depressed and in anguish.

    It is not my intent to offend anyone reading this but people frequently refer to suicide as cowardly, selfish & thoughtless on behalf of the victim. I disagree. As a matter of fact I find it cowardly, selfish and thoughtless for a person’s loved ones to want to keep someone so broken & who is in so much pain for their own personal reasons & needs alone. It is the person left behind who is afraid to be left; who wants that person regardless of the costs; who is putting their needs ahead of their loved one IMO. It’s not all their fault though. Unless you have been there I do not think the average person spiritual or not can fathom the depth of the despair whether it’s mental despair, physical pain or both.

    The thought process for planning a suicide is itself intense, thoughtful and overwhelming but also freeing. IMO this “freeing” or “restful” sensation is intoxicating & far out weighs the negatives at the time.

    I also believe for most it’s not this frantic, impulsive act. I believe from experience it is quite the contrary. Anguished people are secretly thinking of it & planning it for some time.

    I believe women’s typical inability to compartmentalize makes suicide more likely for us. That said man or woman, I believe suicide is never over a single issue. I believe those who are left behind want to simplify it and believe there maybe a single dominating reason but in reality I think that is rare. As Shrek said we are like an onion-many layers. When suicide is considered or attempted there are so many variables the majority of people couldn’t begin to comprehend the complexities in your life & head at the time.

    Once you have suffered so long & are so exhausted the idea of death is such a relief you can hardly wait for that peace to come. For some spiritual people the feeling is so exhilarating it supersedes God’s grace which again seems unfathomable to most people. For me I felt I would have God’s grace despite because regardless of what many scriptures say, I believe God is an all loving God who would never ever turn his back on the most broken of his likeness. At the moment my life was to end I planned to beg forgiveness & to ask him to take my broken heart & spirit and make me whole again or at the very least relieve my insurmountable suffering & to lead my loved ones to peace.

    The feeling of release from your emotional and or physical burdens is so enticing it makes any possible pain during the actual act bearable & conceivable. I had suffered silently with a smile on my face and “looking normal” for so long that a moment of physical pain seemed an insanely small price to pay for peace. In my experience emotional pain is much worse than any physical pain although I’ve experienced a great deal of both.

    One thing I find ironic is we hear all the time the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over & expecting a different outcome. What people who do not suffer from depression don’t understand is most of us go through a host of different meds, different counseling, different alternative treatments such as acupuncture hopeful each time & then if or when these options fail we are back at square one…..over & over & over & over & over & over & over & over again. So who’s insane?

    And as for the logic & cowherdness behind suicide, when I was on the other side I believed what I wanted to do was in the best interest of my family. I felt strongly that I would be doing them a favor. I felt I was dragging them down, a burden, a hopeless embarrassment of doom & gloom. There’s no doubt IMO it’s an escape from self but it is also sparing those who love your broken person & preventing them from having the heartache your depression creates for them. And to take the greatest gift God gives us and destroy it-that is yellow bellied?

    And the final point I’d like to make about my experience is this: those left behind say they wish they’d known or they wish they could have been there to talk the person out of suicide or to somehow prevent it. To get the person into counseling or some other recognized form of treatment. But the reality is there is nothing that will stop a person intent. Nothing. No one. No one thing. Carrying guilt for a lost loved one is useless & misguided IMHO. No matter how many interventions, treatments etc if a person is intent on ending their life they will eventually do so.

    I feel one positive that can come from Robin William’s suicide is an open honest discussion about what it means to be depressed, to consider suicide and our failing mental healthcare in this country. In his case we can add mania and addiction to the discussion. While I do see his suicide as a choice I do not see it as selfish or insane or cowardly. Quite the contrary. He finally took control of the demons that haunted him, the ones who he couldn’t overcome, the ones he no doubt felt were in someway destroying his self thus his family. Despite the publics’ loss and certainly his family’s I respect his choice. I won’t glorify it or promote it as an alternative but neither will I condemn his right to take control of his life the only way he thought he had left.
    —————————–

  77. Anonymous

    thanks!

  78. Peter Hawley

    Thank you for writing your article. I’ve struggled with depression and PTSD since 2007. After struggling with my depression and anger issues for four years, I went to the VA and asked my primary care person for meds. I had tried everything else. I had prayed and begged God for healing. I had believed time would heal my brokenness. I was active in my church. I’ve come to realize there will only be healing when I see the ultimate healer. Until then, I will continue to take my antidepressants and go into the group when things get too bad. My church has been wonderful. I remember when I started taking the pills. The pastor of the church I was attending at the time told me, “Better living through chemistry.” I didn’t care what he thought. I felt better than I had in years. I understand attitudes within the church have to change. My depression started when my first wife cheated on me while I was deployed on the southern border with the Border Patrol. She decided to leave me for the other man. Sixty days after she tells me she’s leaving, I am dragging my gear into my armory. We have Iraq orders. I did the only thing I knew to do at the time. I packed my gear and went. There were days when I was doing good to put one boot in front of the other. The struggle continues to this day.

  79. Cat

    This is where I broke down and sobbed: “You can wholeheartedly love Jesus and be depressed.” Thank you. <3

  80. Love this post! I love Jesus and struggle like you. Thank you for your openness and honesty. We too often find this subject taboo in church.
    I wrote about this on my blog…but it’s anonymous…I’m a scaredy cat, which is why I admire your bravery❤️. Here’s the link if you’ve got a minute.
    https://squarepegsdrumsandbuttholes.com/depressed-super-christian-lol/

  81. Anonymous

    This is a very good article, thanks so much for your insight. My son died by suicide nine months ago. He was fourteen years old. I saw him and I will never be able to get that image out of my head. I wish I could share this article on FB, but this phrase: “my body, swinging from the rafters” prevents me from doing so.

  82. Ray

    What a great read! I felt like I was the one writing this by how much it relates to me. So encouraging and powerful

  83. Lorelei

    “The lie that those walking closely with God don’t ever have suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues is dangerous because it wrongly casts these issues as sin.” And this lie also proves that they have ignored or missed large swaths of the Bible. Spent some time reading the Psalms, Job, and the prophets.I find so much encouragement in reading their words, because they too have had moments where they wished they had never been born and yet found hope in God.

  84. Christina

    I’m currently going thru all of this, I’m speechless but I’m seeking help m. It’s still so hard

    1. Marc Deweasae

      Christina,
      There are many of us who have to deal with depression and the dark thoughts that accompany it. Learning about the disorder and how to combat it is one of the best things we can do. Do not hesitate to reach out to those who know what you are going through and are familiar with ways to disrupt the symptoms of the depression. We are a unique group of people, and we do not have to submit to the beast. God bless and keeping you in my prayers.

  85. Marc Deweasae

    Thank you for sharing this. You put into words what many people feel and do not know how to express. I suffer from depression, and although I know many of my friends are trying to help, sometimes the things they say only makes the situation worse. I have been fortunate enough to avoid suicidal thoughts for the most part, but when they come they are heavy and dark. Knowing what we face with depression and confiding in people we can trust helps beyond the darkness. Thank you again for sharing this. Well said and worth the read. Sharing.

  86. sallie

    My son is a worship pastor. He has his suicide all planned out. He has told us about it. He is seeing a counselor and is taking meds (we think, so he says). We don’t know what to do. We tell him we love him and that we know he is hurting but he has pretty much shut us out of his life. Won’t answer phone or texts. He is out of town a lot so popping in the see him is hit or miss. We feel helpless and are just waiting for that phone call…

  87. Jake Kern

    I wish people would read this and believe it! I’m 48 and have been fighting the battle for decades. I also deal with anxiety & agoraphobia, and within the past year it’s come to light that I am contending with PTSD. Fortunately I have a fantastic psychiatrist and even better therapist, a Christian counselor who specializes in acute mental illness. My psychiatrist had me take a genetic test, and I have a long-short pair of the MTHFR (methyl folate receptor) genes which regulate the body’s ability to process dopamine and other important chemicals for mental health. In other words, I finally saw that I had a physical, genetic impairment. So many years, and it finally felt somehow legitimate.

    I’ve studied the story of Elijah a lot, and something you shared revealed new truth in that passage. Suicidal ideation is not sinful. Elijah told God that he wanted to die, and God did not rebuke him for sin. He fed him, let him rest, and was present for him with compassion. Eventually when Elijah was more clear-headed, God challenged his perspective that Elijah wasn’t truly alone. Knowing that it’s not sin helps to deal with the sense of shame.

    Thank you. It’s time for the Church to have genuine dialog about mental illness. Blessings to you.

  88. Anita Weaver

    Dear Sarah and others who have commented here. I know that all you’ve said is true and from a human perspective the physical and emotional help is very important. What makes me sad is that no one seems to address the spiritual side of the suicide problem. Depression is a lie from Satan and his solution is death. It always has been. Remember the demons that Jesus cast out? The young man who kept throwing himself into the fire? I’m not saying that anyone is going to hell or not a Christian if they have these feelings, but I am saying that the feelings are not able to be overcome just by physical and mental treatment. The Bible says to take every thought captive and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I certainly can’t speak for others but I saw God heal my Dad from schizophrenia. He had suicidal thoughts. God created us to have fellowship with Him so we can and should take everything to Him in prayer and leave our struggle with Him instead of trying to work it out on our own. I truly believe God can and does heal both physical and mental illnesses. But even if He doesn’t take away the pain He PROMISES to be with us through it. He is a God of LIFE and wants us to live in His abundant life. Please know that my heart goes out to those who are suffering and I pray that the Lord will meet you where you are and give you the strength to resist the devil and his lies about killing yourself.

  89. Lourdes

    Anita, people like you are the problem that she addresses here. Clinical depression is an illness like diabetes or cancer. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. God gave each of us a mind so we could learn. I believe that not doing so and hurting sick people is a sin. I would suggest you get help and then go to a library and educate yourself on what clinical depression is. Also, talk to professionals who can explain it to you and maybe help you as well.

  90. Alex

    -Depressed and suicidal people just need you to enter the dark and sit there with us, your love unchanged.

    All I want is sleep, not just because depression is exhausting, but because sleep is an escape.
    -Sometimes people say suicide is the most selfish act you can commit. But for many battling the darkness, dying seems like the most selfless thing to do.

    👆👆👆 I’ve searched almost my whole lifetime for this. I never could really explain what I was really feeling, so nobody ever really understood. Thank you so much, Sarah! Such a beautiful artical!

  91. Rob Tierney

    Hello Sarah, A very good article… I saw it shared by a friend on Facebook. It is very good to see an explanation of these thoughts, and the struggles. I have a family member that struggles with bi-polar, and suicidal thoughts. I have had to seek medical attention and help a for times for them. It can be hard, truly hard to understand what is going on in someone’s else’s mind.. And it is often very hard to know the right courses of action to help. It’s like you love and care about the person, but always a concern your not healing or helping the right way. The mindset that plagues me… If a friend breaks all their legs… Knows they are not going to be an Olympic Sprinter in the future.. so they don’t want to do the rehabilitation.. At one point do I keep pushing them to move.. and what point do I say… I don’t know if you willing to do the things you can to be better… It’s hard.. you love them.. but you don’t always feel attention itself is in itself the right thing…

  92. Connie

    This is such a good explanation and adds clarity to a very difficult subject. Lauren Daigle has a new song coming out called “You Say” which affirms much of what you’ve said here. https://youtu.be/sIaT8Jl2zpI

  93. I have thought about this everyday for 40 years. As I age I realize it could be easier to let go. The only thing that keeps me here is the knowledge of the hurt I would leave behind. Years of counseling and medication has helped, but I always wonder….. always.

  94. Ray Marconi

    Hi Sarah, A very good article, I can fully understand and share your view.

    I need support and other opinion, as I have struggled with depression for the past 15 years. It worsened those days, I want to die, but my love to my wife and my 19 years old only son stop from doing that in addition to my religion believe. If I die, I will not suffer any more but my wife and my son will do, I cannot be selfish, I cannot be selfish

  95. MK

    Thank you Sarah for this description of what the heaviness is, how it feels, and what it means to be a Christ-follower in the midst of the shadows. It is the “valley of the shadow of death” in Psalm 23 not because it is literal death, but because it is so dark it feels like the real thing. We all need to keep enduring these bitter realities, reminding ourselves that our good God has plans bigger than we understand here and now, important purposes for us in this life. And then, one day Jesus will call us home – not by our premature choice, but by his faithful timing. Let’s all keep holding on when we just want to escape. Bless you!

  96. Sarah,

    This is a very insightful and heartfelt article. I think you can Speak Life into the lifeless through a desire to truly understand so that you can show Compassion and Love that leads to healing.

    There’s one thing in there that I 100% disagree with… the idea that suicide isn’t Selfish, and, it’s definitely not selfless… I get the lies rattling around in the heads of the suffering, “They’ll be better off without me…” but that’s a lie. It’s a lie that anyone who has been left behind by suicide would refute – anyone who had to deal with the wreckage left behind (of which I am one) would cry out against. I would pose a challenge to anyone considering suicide and justifying it with this lie – go explain your suicide case and get permission to kill yourself from everyone in your life, and see what Truth looks like – see what desperate Love looks like.

    I Pray that all would endure, cry out for help – not suffering in silence, and accept the love that they both need and deserve.

  97. Thank you, thank you for sharing this. It was authentic and insightful, putting to words things I have experienced myself and through my partner, who suffers at a much deeper level than I. When a friend shared this article, our church worker community was grieving the loss of a friend and colleague that took his life. This article created the opportunity for more conversation. Thank you.

  98. Cindy

    Very well written although for me may not be enough to help me understand why life all of the sudden is just so meaningless. I lost my husband 14 months ago. I have been trying to get from one day to another. Fighting different battles every day, taken advantage of more times than I can count. Tired emotionally, mentally, and physically.

  99. Thank you for your transparency. The spectrum of why people are suicidal or depressed is wide. My depression often rears its ugly head in the form of anxiety and being totally overwhelmed with life’s responsibilities. Thankfully, I have a few people in my life that do exactly what you suggest:

    “Depressed and suicidal people just need you to enter the dark and sit there with us, your love unchanged. You could be his arms to hold us, his hands to feed us, his voice to tell us we’re not alone. Your love and kindness are more powerful than you know.”

    Your post is well written and heartfelt.

  100. Joy Stobbe

    Thank you so much for sharing this Sarah! I have Depression and PTSD and have been told so-o-o many times that my faith isn’t strong enough, that I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, etc. etc. I think one of the sayings people used with me the most is because of my name, “Joy” – you have to live up to your name!!! Ugh! How do you live up to your name when you can’t even begin to think that there is such a thing as happiness…let alone Joy! I am doing so much better now, I take all kinds of meds and thankfully I have a Christian Phsychiatrist , he’s not preachy or anything like that – sometimes he will remind me of a scripture, but not preach to me about it. I have committed suicide (attempted many times – succeeded once), I watched from above as they worked on me and brought me back – I didn’t cry or have any reaction when I came back…they took me to a lock up room and on the way a nurse calmly told me, “You must not have wanted to really die, because you’re not upset that you are still alive!” I did not comment, but in my head I was saying, “You have no idea how much screaming is going on inside of me right now!” I am still alive…duh obviously and most days now I am glad to be alive! God has given me GREAT friends, counsellors and pyschiatrists!
    Someday, I would like to write a book about my journey, I have the title already, “My Search For Joy” it has a duel meaning! Finding joy in life and finding myself! I have kept journals through my depression, when I first started seeing a counsellor I could not talk at all about the abuse from my past (that is what brought on all of my mental issues)! I could write it, but I couldn’t talk about it! I would write and then the next visit give them the writing and we would talk about it – or should I say, they would talk about it and sometimes I would listen and sometimes I would totally disassociate because I could not !handle it! Just want to share a bit and let you know that I enjoyed your writing – wish you hadn’t had to go through the stuff you did to understand depression! I think sometimes that the only way you can understand it is if you have lived it – living with someone with depression doesn’t always bring the understanding

  101. Just some guy named Ryan

    Sarah, your words are an inspiration to us all; they are so applicable it feels like I wrote it myself. While I don’t wish this upon anyone, it is reassuring to know that I am not alone.

    I’m 41 years old. Just celebrated my ten year anniversary (second marriage) last month. We have seven children all together. I really struggled as a teenager but eventually that passed at approximately the age of 16; leaving me with 25 years of a relatively good life and the thought that it was nothing more than teenage hormones and angst.

    Over the last year, we’ve been going to marriage counselling and uncovering a lot issues in our lives. Particular, I’ve had to confront my upbringing in a house with two alcoholic parents, and have had to cut my mother our of my life due to that. On top of that, I’ve also discovered past sexual abuse that I wasn’t aware of and the fact that I’ve been neglected my entire life. And here I thought being able to get myself out of bed, to school, and cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at six years old, was a sign of independence. I’m learning now that it was a sign of neglect.

    Throughout all of this, I discovered about 6 months ago that my wife was having an affair with a 20 year old and that destroyed me. In comparison, my first wife also cheated on me, but I took my twin 5-year old daughters and left, never looked back. But this time, something was different; I couldn’t be the strong independent man that wasn’t going to tolerate unfaithfulness. No, this time it rocked me to the core.

    My life as a teenager came flooding back; severe depression, attempted suicide, self-hatred, anorexia. “What…what was wrong with me?” I thought. I began researching my state of mind; am I bi-polar? Am I depressed? Am I just selfish and attention seeking? Am I an addict? I was able to make a self-diagnosis; all of the symptoms fit like a puzzle. I’ve concluded that I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD has traditionally been reported as a female disorder, but I know now that this is mainly due to the stigma of showing emotions as men. My father grew up during the Great Depression, so I was reared with a very traditional, or old fashioned, set of beliefs. As such, I learned to stuff; and stuff I have done with great frequency and abandon. I stopped talking because every time I shared my mind or my heart with other people I was basically punished for doing so. This caused me to retreat inward, to seek refuge within that which I hated the most; myself.

    Back to today, and my wife and I are working on our marriage. I love her and I hate her, but we’re still together. Everything that you’ve written is almost verbatim some of the things that I’ve been told: I need to be more intentional with my thoughts, I need to spend more time in God’s word, I need friends, and, most importantly, I’m being selfish and I better not even think about killing myself. Shame. Heaps and heaps of shame piled on top of my mental state in an effort to bury it rather than understand it. Its all in my head, basically, and if I was a better husband/father/Christian I wouldn’t be having these issues. I also have some pretty significant sexual baggage which she discussed with numerous people (including the two major families) in our church. She claimed it was to seek wisdom; but of was wisdom about me and not wisdom for me. I was mortified and felt like I couldn’t look anybody in the eyes again; our pastors, our counsellor, her friends. Since then I’ve been actively ignored by others in the church; numerous times I’ve been around our pastor’s wife and she won’t even acknowledge my presence. So, all of those emotions that I’ve been pulling out for the past year have been going right back in. Stuff it down, shut up, and put a smile on my face. She wants to be part of the “in” crowd at church, and if I was a better person, more outgoing, and more open then she would be. It’s all my fault; I am inadequate.

    Within the past year I’ve sworn off alcohol completely, after seeing what its done to my mother. I don’t smoke tobacco or do any hard drugs, although I have smoked cannabis pretty much since I was 16. That, along with, leaving home at 16, I feel is what has really made a positive impact in my life. Cannabis also helps with a laundry list of other problems that I have as well, including anorexia, nausea, seizures (they run in my dads side of the family), sleep apnea, arthritis, depression, anxiety, and Crohn’s, just to name a few. However, even though my wife says she knows it helps me, she hates to see me do it because she says that I addicted and she feels that I’m just “doing whatever I want to do” and that makes her want to do whatever she wants to do and sleep with random guys. I’ve always been supportive of and non-condemning of her pack-a-day cigarette habit, even though, in financially difficult times, she has chosen to buy cigarettes instead of spending that money on food for our family (feeding 7 kids is one heck of a grocery bill). I have only been supportive and loving and have allowed her to stay home, raising and homeschooling our children, and this is how I’m treated? With disdain and contempt. I work 10 hours a day, and the primary cook in the family, and get on average 2 hours of sleep a night. But, according to her I’m not a good father because I’m not doing enough. I don’t feel like a husband, I feel like an ATM.

    So here I am today. I’ve been free from cannabis for 2 weeks now, and have also quit drinking coffee, because, much like my wife’s reasons for hating cannabis, I am addicted and I enjoy coffee. Since those two criteria apply to coffee and caffeine as well, then that must mean I need to give up coffee as well. It’s the last thing that I’ve given up that I feel gave me identity as she seems to hate everything that I am, love, and identify with. I work in IT, but she hates when I’m on the computer; if I dona quick google search then, according to her, I’m on my computer “all the time.” She’s recently told me that she hates me having my own laptop that “nobody else has access to.” I run Linux and use it for programming and development mostly and I don’t let anybody else use it because, well, seven kids.

    On top of that, I’ve recently taken an ethnicity DNA test and found out that almost everything that I thought I was, I’m not, and everything that I’ve been born to despise, I am. I’ve always been told that I was Native American, Italian, and French. Come to find out, I’m mostly British. I have nothing left that I love, no hobbies, no interests, and no way to escape the fact that I have no idea who or what I am.

    “Well, you’re a child of the one true King….”

    Shut up with your generic canned responses. I’m a mess, a disaster. I truly believe that God doesn’t make mistakes, so then what am I?

    I haven’t really eaten anything in the past two weeks. Anorexia is my self-harm. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds and have had to tighten my belt two notches. I work out like crazy, and have been getting a load of compliments. I don’t smoke (anything) and I don’t drink coffee anymore. I am just kind of waiting to die and looking good while I do it. I can’t take the pain and anguish anymore and every day just brings me one step closer to being an active participant in my demise. I can’t do this; I cant be expected to do all of this “emotional heavy lifting” without any support and without it affecting those around me. I’ll just go back to stuffing so that maybe suicide isn’t my most prevalent thought 24/7. I think I’m going to call off my therapy as well; I get so excited that I’m going to be making progress only to be disappointed when the focus of a session has to do with my favorite colors or some such. Life was so much easier when I wasn’t trying to be a better Christian, husband, father, and person.

    I just can’t help but think how much better my life will be with a shotgun shell to the head. Will I finally be at peace? Will I be free of the living Hell that is my every waking moment? I know my wife will be much happier with a fat life insurance payment and the freedom to go out and be as promiscuous as she wants to be. It’s almost selfish to make her have to continue to endure a life with me, when I think about it.

    Thank you, Sarah, for your compassionate and caring heart. You’re truly a light for Christ on this dark world.

  102. Thank you for sharing this! This is probably the best article I’ve read about Christians with depression who are suicidal!! I dealt with my depression from age 15 until I was 62. At age 60 I fell apart and hit rock bottom, even with 10 years of psychiatric care, taking multiple antidepressants and anti anxiety drugs. Group Therapy was most helpful but not a cure. Christmas Eve, 5 years ago, a young lady I did not know, who had just graduated from college with a degree in music wanted to pray for me. I was changed that night. I may be a rare but highly blessed Christian who was instantly healed. No more depression, anti-depressants or psych doctors. I started a small study group for people going through what I had experienced for so long, called Restored Hope. I have seen people changed. I started a Facebook page for the group which now has 244 followers and some posts get 500-700 views. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/restoredhopes

  103. Maureen

    I’m a psychiatric professional. I’ve also dealt with the Devil of depression and anxiety. Growing up, I never felt any love from my parents, only rejection. I will tell you that when I talk to people long enough, many, many times deep seated rejection is the reason for their issues. It’s pain that is buried deep. It comes out as bullying, drug abuse, alcoholism, hate, depression, anxiety, anger issues. I’m a sprit-filled, tongues-speaking Christian. I, like Sarah, know all the verses. I speak them daily over my life. But, like for those with high blood pressure and diabetes, the medication I take, the same type I prescribe to my patients, helps me more than anything.
    Having a disease in the brain is no different than having a disease of the colon or of the heart. The brain is an organ. It can be sick, acutely or chronically. The problem in my line of business is that I cannot take your brain out, examine it, and put it back in. If you go to the doctor with a sore throat, she can look at it, swab it, grow a culture plate and make a more objective diagnosis. The majority of data for a mental illness diagnosis comes from subjective information. This leads to misdiagnosis a lot of the time in the beginning stages. Someone with Borderline Personality disorder looks a lot like a bipolar person. But there is no medication for a personality disorder. It’s trial and error a lot and the medications don’t work overnight. There is a new DNA test that will help to find the right medication but it is expensive and most private insurance will not cover it. And it is not 100% accurate. The best advice I can give to my patients is to take your medication as ordered and go to therapy- often. And stick with it for at least 6 mos. We want a quick fix to everything. It’s just not that way with the brain.

  104. Elena

    I’m very alone and confuse. Constantly I’m thinking in kill my cell and look for ways how to kill myself. Please I need help and somebody with I can talk

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