Five Years On

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Gentle Reader,

At this hour on a Monday, I’m usually be up to my elbows in Zephaniah.

Not today.

This is a special day.

Five years ago, on a cloudy, cool, early autumn day much like this, I determined that my life had no value. No purpose. Enveloped in a dark, intense pain, unlike anything I had ever felt, I concocted a plan. An exit.

An escape.

Those who contemplate or carry out suicide are not in their right minds. Yes, self-murder is an angry act. In some ways, a selfish act. I get that. What you need to understand is that, in the moment, it doesn’t feel angry and it doesn’t seem selfish. Thoughts get twisted. Emotions get jumbled. To commit suicide is to enact the worst, harshest form of judgment on oneself. People in that pit of blackest dark genuinely believe that the best thing they can do, for everyone, is to cease to exist.

It’s a nightmare of hellish proportions.

There are many things I don’t and will never know, but two things I do, five years on:

  1. Mental illness is as real as physical illness, and just as nobody with a broken bone should be expected to “pray it away,” neither should the depressed, the anxious, the schizophrenic, the borderline. Oh, my, yes, prayer is powerful. But it’s stupid and theologically shallow to believe that therapy is sinful and medication is bad. When a person is too sad to get out of bed, so sad that his whole body hurts, is it reasonable or even compassionate to flip a verse or two at him and then judge him for not having “enough” faith when the problem doesn’t go away? Please. What a load of crap. There’s no deliverance or healing in heaping condemnation on someone, especially when she’s busy throwing stones at herself. 
  2. Satan is real, and he wants to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). I have been in the midst of evil. I have seen it. I have felt it. Don’t tell me that there is no Enemy. Again, stupid and theologically shallow.

If you’d like to fight me on either of these points, I’m down. Let’s go.

Today I remember. Today I thank God for saving me from myself. Today I sit in the quiet, allowing myself time and space to rest. The war is not over for me. Just over 24 hours ago, I had a panic attack.

But I know in Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is faithful.

If you find yourself worn out, pressed on to the point of being crushed, just so very done with it all – I understand. Sweet friend, I know you’re exhausted. I know you just want to stop the hurting. Jesus Himself felt the same way, that night in the garden when He sweat drops of blood. He knows your agony.

Fight on. Keep going. Take your pills, pray, see a counselor, do whatever you need to do. Get the help that you deserve. Yes, deserve. Because you have value and purpose. You were placed on this planet, in this context, in this generation, for a reason. Anything else is a lie. You don’t have to listen.

I pray today for you, fellow scarred and bruised and bleeding and small sojourner. I stand with you, little sheep who’s wandered so far and wonders if the Shepherd will ever come. He’s already there. You may not feel Him. You may not see Him. But He’s there. He lifts your head and beckons you to look in His eyes. In them is fire.

In them is all the strength you need to slay the beast.

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20 thoughts on “Five Years On

    1. They are indeed!

      Prayer is powerful. There’s no way I could handle daily life, let alone other struggles, without the Lord. We simply mustn’t place limits on the ways and hows He will use to bring us healing. Medicine and therapy, in His hands, are excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I too am a suicide survivor. If God hadn’t told my husband to go back and check on me before he left the house, I would not be alive today.
    I have never before read or heard anyone say that suicide is the harshest form of self-judgement, but that expresses what I experienced exactly. When a person tries to murder someone, it is an act of hatred, and depressed people hate themselves. I truly thought at the time that my loved ones would be better off without me.
    Suicide is also about intense, excruciating mental pain. At that point in time, if I could have done so, I would have put my head through a concrete brick wall to stop the mental anguish I was feeling.
    Finally, people who try to kill themselves are, as you put it, “not in their right minds.” When I woke up in the hospital, I could not correctly identify on what the day of the week or time of day that I had attempted to take my life. I mean, I thought it had been nighttime, and it had been morning…that is how messed up my mind had been.
    Thank you, Marie. Once again, you have eloquently expressed what I have felt and thought. God bless you!

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    1. I hate that anyone has been to that same dark place, but at the same time I love reading stories of rescue and redemption. God also used my husband to keep me from doing what I’d planned to do. Interesting how He does things like that. 🙂

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Marie. I am so thankful you have lived to tell it and to encourage and bless others through your testimony. You encourage me personally. Have shared your post on FB: it is so important we make people aware of the battle and especially the church.

    I almost took my own life a little over a year ago in the throes of PTSD. Yes, it is a physical illness and yes we have an awful accuser who feeds lies into us to kill us. I was trapped one moment and back to rational reality the next, ashamed of how desperate I had become and too scared to admit the truth for a long time. I only just shared openly a few weeks ago about just how close I got, encouraged by a Christian blogging friend who noticed that I was hiding beneath a veil when I shared my story: she said my emotions were missing. I shared a lot in my book, but even in that did not admit that there were several moments I had stood before an open window ready to jump and if I had been able to find the key for our balcony door one time, I don’t know if I’d be alive today.

    I’ve been so challenged to open up more and more. For me the physical hold on my brain came at the hand of unprocessed childhood and adult trauma: both situations in which I was unable to protect someone I loved. But in therapy God broke open these memories and wrote His truth into them as he held me tight, spoke to me soothingly and reassuringly and urged me to release the pent-up anger inside, telling me He too was angry at what had happened and that it was not my fault and that He had never ever left those I had loved or me alone: showing me images of Him holding my little brother’s hand who I couldn’t protect as a child and lifting my Mum, whose body was ravaged and broken by cancer as I cared for her, into heaven, whole and complete.

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  3. Thank you for still being here; your story brings light to the possibilities that come after we feel our darkest. ❤️️ also: one of my favorite lines in this post is “….I’m down. Let’s go”😂 Marie is here to let you know that she has got time lol

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    1. I have learned that there is always light. Always something good, something to be thankful for, even in the middle of the worst days, the days we think only exist in nightmares. Things as small as a warm blanket have carried me through, been signs of His presence, more than once.

      Liked by 1 person

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