Friday, September 11, 2015

Suicide Prevention Week and my attempt....



It was many years ago now.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The faces, the voices.   I was sitting before a long table of people.  I was in a religious court and had been for days.  Three days I had not slept and don't think I had eaten but very little.  I was on trial and I was found guilty.  It was clear what was told to me and what I had to do.  If my family was to live, I had to give my life.  Take my life for theirs.  I got up and walked past Jesus.  From my back porch, I opened the door and walked past my sleeping husband on the sofa.  It was around 6 in the morning.  Still dark.  It must have been around this time of year.  It was not cold nor hot.  The leaves were still green and the sun had not come up.

This was all an illusion.  A delusion.  The people in this court of law were not real.  It was not really Jesus. Not that He wasn't there for me but not in my illusions.  I was really sick.  I was psychotic.  I was skitzo-effective they said.  I had a brain disorder.  No one knew just how bad.  The least of all me.  You could not have convinced me I guess, that what I thought just happened, was not real.

I went out our back door and into the garage.  Getting into my car and not looking back, I put on my seat belt.  Out of habit or out of the grace of God.  I backed the car out of the garage and left my home.  As I glanced to my right Jesus was there.  I was going fairly slow and then as I took the curve, a voice came...NOW!  I felt someone put their foot on mine and floor board the gas peddle.  I swerved and I ran straight into the woods, on the right side of the road.  All of a sudden was stopped, even though going at a fast speed.  I ran into several trees.  A house sat only yards before me.  It never occurred to me I could have killed someone that day until later as I view the demolished car.  There were no skid marks.  Only a narrow path, through the wooded area, made by me.

Oh no!  I sat stunned.  What was I going to do now?  I did not die.  What would happen to my family now?   I could not open my door as the car was crushed around me.  I unfastened my seat belt.  Do people who want to kill themselves put on a seat belt?  I saw God that day in so many ways.  I rolled down my window and crawled out and walked slowly into the middle of the road.  I stood in the center of the left lane.  The center of the on coming traffic is where I stood.  Traffic was picking up by now and the cars began to swerve around me, men cursing me in their anger and frustration and fear,  that someone would do such a thing as I was doing.  What if one of them actually hit me.  I can understand their anger.  How could I be sane seemed to never occur to them.

I felt a hand on my right shoulder.  I turned my head around to see a black man.  He said, it is ok.  Come with me.  I walked off the road and on to the side, onto the grass and saw the ambulance beside me.  The doors opened and I knew they were for me.  As I got in and looked out the rear of the truck, I saw my husbands sad and pain stricken face.  I saw the police.  I looked for the man that had just saved my life and he was not to be found.  He was no where in sight.

Could it be Jesus really was going with me and protecting me.  That this man was an angel sent by God to rescue me.  I did not argue with him or put up a fight.  Just the tenderness and care in his voice and face let me know everything was going to be all right.  I followed him.

This is Suicide Prevention Week.  I tell you my story in hopes one life might be saved.

It is still painful to tell this story.  My eyes well up with tears as I write.  The pain I caused my family and myself in those years of not understanding my illness and not knowing how to get help is still there.  My husband still wakes in fear when he can't find me during the night. He worries when he doesn't know where I am in the day.  I try to reassure my families fears.  It has taken hard work on all our parts for them to be able to trust me and for me to take control of my illness and it not to control me and all of us.

Many take their lives for different reasons than my attempt.  They feel worthless, lonely, unloved.  The pain of this life, the guilt and shame, they think will be solved by taking their life.  Young teenagers think they are invincible now.  Suicide is not the answer.  Taking your life is not the answer.  We were not meant to be strong and independent of each other and of God.  We need each other and a trust in God who loves us and died that we might have life.

You are created in the image of God.  You are His most valuable creation.  You have a purpose and He has a plan for your life.  It is to glorify Him and to enjoy Him.

If either one of these examples you can relate to, ask for help.  Go to your  church if you have one or find one if you don't.  Tell a friend.  These voices and thoughts can be deadly and life is so precious.  It is a gift from God and He wants you to live it to the fullest and you can.  There is help.  Get educated, get a counselor.  Seek the support of family and friends.  Do not isolate.  Find support.  You are so worth it.  There is help.  There is a way out of this hell you live in and think there is no way out.  Pain shared brings comfort.  Others have wisdom and can care.  Go to the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill or a suicide hot line.  Call 911.  Don't sit in your tortured thoughts and pain alone.

Ask for Help!

Brain disorders or some refer to as mental illness is no respecter of persons.

My plea is to get educated.  Reach out to the hurting.  Learn to bring the gospel into your struggles of everyday life.

Sickness of the brain and depression is running ramped.  People are being killed and people are killing themselves.  Don't shut the door to this epidemic of humanity.  I beg you churches get educated.  Form support groups and a counseling ministry at your church to save lives and impact how people live.  Help them.

I am blessed in so many ways.

I am blessed in so many ways.  I have a loving supportive group of friends and a family who loves me.  They have worked so hard and been there when many would have given up.  They have given me all that they have to keep me well and take care of me many times.  I am so thankful for them.  But I had to let them in.  I had to learn to be open and honest and vulnerable about what was going on with me or they could not help me.  They are very proactive and knowledgable and just don't give up.  They are the most loyal bunch you ever want to meet.  They pray for me and do what it takes to keep me well from watching me day and night to making office visits with me and talking to me over and over again, encouraging me and giving me advice and support.  There is hope for you even if you don't have this but don't shut your family out.  Give them a chance to love and be there for you.

Seek community

Rick Thomas has a forum if you don't have the support of a local church and even for those who do.  These last few years the counsel of Gods word, the articles Rick writes weekly and his resources and the friends I have made there, have made a huge difference in the quality of my life.  There is a forum where people support and learn how to help each other.  He gives conferences and webinars where you can be trained to help the hurting. Where you can learn to counsel yourself with the support of others.   It is a resource for both the hurting and the care givers of them. Rick Thomas at RickThomas.net is a wonderful educating resource for your church and you to learn to disciple others.

NAMI has support groups and educational groups on mental health.  I have led support groups there for years.  Understanding mental illness is imperative.  They also have a website.  Don't be afraid of the hurting because you don't know what to say or do.  All you have to do is to care.  To care enough to enter into someones pain and give them hope.  Care enough to do something.  Tell them you love them and they are valuable.  Give them resources and get yourselves educated.  We have a responsibility to each other.  Please don't ignore the call of this week of National Prevention of Suicide Week.  Take action.  Call your congressman.  Our country has shut the door to help for the mentally ill and sent them and the addict to prison and to the streets.  They are overflowing.  There is no help there.

People need people not fixing them or giving them pat answers but walking and limping along side them with truth and compassion and a love for them and God that overcomes all the struggles that keeps one from living effective lives.  We need relationship and intimacy with each other and with God.  We need His Spirit, Jesus and the Father in our everyday lives.  We need to take the truth from the bible and make it work not just sit there.  We need the faith to believe and to give us hope in a hopeless world.  We need to face reality and do it with a humble confidence and faith of a child.

The place for help for the hurting is in our hearts.

Please pray about what you can do and to whom you can reach out to this week.

I pray we do not continue to turn a deaf ear to a dying world but become active in the lives of those around us.  Help the hurting.  Make a difference.  We need change and it begins with you!  It begins with me.  We sit in the comfort of our homes and read on the internet and news and sit idly by as people waste away in their pain and suffering.  There is hope and there is life beyond mental illness, beyond addiction.  I still have hard days but I love life and the people it in.  My dysfunction has turned to healthy, loving relationships.  I know how to detect early on signs of not being healthy.  I call my doctors for mental and physical health, talk to my counselor, talk to friends, talk to my family, talk to God and seek His word and Spirit for counsel, take my medications, eat right, push myself to exercise, take supplements, fight my fears with faith, attend small groups and support groups, serve others who struggle, get good sleep.  I feed my mind with good things.  I think on encouraging things and share with others when I don't.  I can't afford not to.  It is worth the fight.  It is worth the struggle for good health mental and physical.  Life is worth it.  People are worth it.  You are worth it.  God's glory is worth it all.  This is why I share.

Do something today, please...Together we can make a difference.

Suicide Hotline...1-800-273-8255