2 Corinthians 1:8 - We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.
Is it possible to be under so much pressure that you feel as if you can no longer bear life?
We walk each day carrying heavy burdens on our backs. They ooze into every crack and under every broken rock of our hearts.
Perhaps you are a type-A personality that can push through anything. But what happens when you experience a trauma? What happens when the strength that has been your protection falls away?
Perhaps you’re the type of person that is flexible. If one door is closed you watch and wait for a window to open. What happens when the door is bolted from the outside making it impossible to open? What happens if someone boards up all the windows allowing no light to shine in, and there is no way to open the window from your side?
But perhaps you’re a sensitive person. Someone that’s tries so hard to listen to others. To feel their pain. To be ready to help in a moment. What happens when you’re energy is gone, but you still try to help? Is there a limitless supply of understanding to give? But your energy is gone, because you’ve tried to carry too many burdens from others.
So here you are. Faced with yet another trauma in your life. Type-A can’t push through it any more. Flexible can’t squeeze their way out. And Sensitive can no longer bear to hear another sorrow in someone else’s life.
Down the rabbit hole you tumble. Darkness closes in on you. Your body hurts from being banged against the walls of the hole. You can’t even feel the ground beneath you.
There you are. Suspended in the Land of No More. And what’s the worst of it? You hate yourself because you have nothing else to give.
And feeling like a failure, in every area of your life, you feel lost. You’ve tried for so long depending on your own strength. Your own ideas. Your own way of doing things. But they don’t work anymore.
Parts of you begin to slip away. But can you believe it? No one appears to notice! They’re so used to you being strong Type-A. Or Flexible who can change their plans in a moment to do what others want. And sensitive who can just know how to comfort others.
But where are others for you now?
Tired as you are. Worn out as you are. A thought begins to form.
No! You can’t think that thought. “But it would be so easy,” you think.
And there it is. You can’t fight it anymore.
You try to push the thought out of the way while you work all day. But methods of how to take your life begin to occupy your every waking thought.
You don’t think about what effect it might have on others. After all, they probably wouldn’t miss you if you were gone except for the things you used to do for them.
The lights go out. Everyone is asleep on their beds. But you can’t sleep. Slip out from under the covers. Walk toward your bathroom. Open the door. Slip inside and lock the door.
Earlier in the day you placed what you needed under some towels way in the back of the cupboard. You take it out. Open the bottle and spill its contents into your hand. You reach for a glass, fill it with water and pick up a pill. You move it closer to your mouth. Then, there’s a knock on the door.
“Mommy,” the little voice says, “I need a glass of water.”
You put the pill back into the bottle. Place the bottle back into its hidden place and open the door.
You don’t take your life that night. You were saved by a small little boy. And you realize what it would do to him if you had succeeded in taking your life.
This could be anyone’s story, but it’s not. It’s mine. There were four times that I tried committing suicide, but each time I was prevented from doing so.
It was after that forth time that I realized I needed help. I went to my local county’s mental health office where they referred me to a therapist. He helped me understand why I wanted to take my life and ways to heal from the pain I had inside. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I still see a therapist every once in a while. But I’ve been able to climb out of the rabbit hole and back into the sunlight.
Be aware of the signs of suicide. The article, “Suicide Prevention How to Help Someone who is Suicidal and Save a Life,” lists some of the signs on helpguide.org. The article also speaks about some of the common misconceptions about suicide, and how to help a person who’s thinking about suicide.
Realize that you’re not alone in the fight to survive. You can see by reading the Bible verse above that the missionary, Paul, was under so much pressure, that it was far beyond his ability to endure and he despaired even of his life. But he didn’t stay in his pain. He sought help from God, who was ready to hear his cries for help and lifted him up. God can give the Type-A, Flexible or Sensitive person the strength they need to climb out of the rabbit hole. And he’s ready to help you, too.
Call 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.