CW: suicide ideation.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call or text 988. If this is potentially triggering, please seek help/support immediately.
In late 2013 or 2014, I went to a Christian conference – I forgot was it was called. At the end of that conference, a friend of a friend had a prophecy/word from the Lord for me; “don’t give up.” She said, “the enemy goes hardest after the ones who are the most lethal.” Then looked to my friends at the time who were around me, admonishing them to remind me not to give up. “What are you doing? TELL HER NOT TO GIVE UP!”
I have a terrible memory for the most part, but I do remember that moment very clearly & I think about it every time I feel depressed or suicidal.
Despite being no longer connected to the friends who were there for that moment (& how painful that reminder can be at times), it’s kept me alive up until this point because it’s only by God that the woman who had that message for me could have known about my history with suicide ideation/prior attempts.
But a couple of weeks ago, I started to believe that this memory, along with tools from therapy & thoughts of family/friends was not enough anymore. So, I wrote one of those letters. I didn’t have a plan, I was just writing my thoughts in the middle of my work shift with tears in my eyes. A much-needed cry, to be honest, because I don’t do so as often as I should.
As I’m crying and answering leads at the same time, I muster up the courage to talk to my mom about what’s going on with me. It’s during this moment I realize that I don’t really want to leave this earth, I just don’t want certain aspects of my life to be the same. I came to grips with the disappointment I felt within myself & thinking that I’m not where I should be in life while mourning some recent & past losses. But most importantly, I realized I just needed a real moment of intimacy & comfort that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Intimacy & comfort that I don’t often experience because of my tendency to depend on & rely on myself for the needs I have.
So I just simply asked for it.
“Please hold me in this moment…”
“Tell me it’s gonna be OK…”
Desperation. Without shame this time.
After calming down & clocking out of work I wrote in my journal, “I wrote a suicide note today… I even texted 988. I definitely need a miracle.”
[BY THE WAY, please, if this ever applies (which I pray it doesn’t), please do not do as I did & continue to work in the midst of a depressive episode/mental health crisis. I understand sometimes it’s not possible to step away depending on the setting or environment, but I know that I could have & should have clocked out for the day. Mental health matters, & it’s important to be good to yourself during these difficult moments.]
That night I had the best night’s sleep I’d had in a while after praying for the miracle I’d asked about earlier in the day & the next day, I felt… peace. I felt like it was a gift given to me. Nothing about my life had changed externally, but internally I felt accepted, loved, protected, & hopeful.
The miracle I needed.
It’s answered prayer because I have the tendency to believe the best for everyone BUT myself; even when it comes to You’re Not Finished. I believed I could give people hope, help, testimonies, and resources despite not having much hope in and for myself, with limited help & resources, & despite my testimony. But You’re Not Finished is for me, too. It’s a message for all, regardless of where we are on our mental health journeys.
In my next journal entry, I wrote Psalms 18:2-6:
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
That scripture, the comfort & counsel I received over that two-day period, & the steps I’ve taken since then have changed the way I think about my life & encourage me that everything will be OK as long as I keep going.
To replace that letter, I wrote a new letter to myself to counter everything I put in the last one. Since that day I’ve used a couple of resources I received in my conversation with the agent for 988, started getting more sleep, cleaned up my surroundings, limited my interactions with triggers (things & people), increased my prayer/meditation time, had a great therapy session, & bought another helpful resource called “The Anti-Anxiety Notebook” that I’m giving away this month.
The road to better mental health is about consistently making better choices for yourself on a daily basis, seeking professional counsel, getting around the right people, & (for those who choose to believe) connecting with God who, contrary to what some believe, actively cares about the health of your mind. It’s important to take things one day at a time, one step at a time, at a pace that works best for you. No one else can dictate how fast or slow you go, especially if they are not helping you get better.
For whoever this applies to, please don’t give up.
He cares, I care, and there is help for you.
I will remember these moments & this post while pledging to do my best not to give up either.
Let’s keep fighting, & finish this life well.
If you need additional resources for mental health, addiction, and suicide prevention, head over to the “get help” section.
If you want to share your story or journey or experience of overcoming mental distress or as someone with a diagnosed mental health or mood disorder you’re OK with that being shared publicly on the YNF website, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or contact me through the site. Anonymous submissions are always welcome.