I always get a little depressed when it rains. Nothing drastic, just a melancholy feeling that causes me to listen to one or two songs in a minor key several times in a row. I’m pretty sure that’s normal. Right? I also reflect when it rains. It’s pretty cliché’, but there it is, I sit in my office staring out the window remembering certain life events or contemplating the deep questions of life. “Why do hot dogs come in packs of ten and buns in packs of eight?” Really though, the whole thing is pretty emo. It’s something right out of a Martin Brest film; well at least the one with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, the rest of his films are actually pretty upbeat, but I digress the point is you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with me when it’s raining.
It just so happens that it’s raining today. So here I am sitting at my desk, John Mark McMillian’s “Murdered Son” is on repeat, and I’m looking out the window reflecting on the big questions, and remembering some defining life events.
The one that came to my head today was the day that I decided that I didn’t want to live anymore.
I’ve heard and read that a lot of people who contemplate suicide do so because of a small voice in their head telling them to do so. It’s a quiet nudge that convinces them that they are no longer needed around here anymore, and they buy into it.
That wasn’t the case for me. It was a screaming, raging ideal that lodged itself inside my brain as I battled exhaustion, self-induced malnutrition, and being switched from medication to medication for weeks on end. I simply woke up one day snotty, skinny, and shaking as the idea raced through my mind. I did not want to live anymore. My wife knew instantly. She’s a smart lady. She handled it very well considering the whole situation. “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?” she asked calmly. All I could do was shake my head yes and cry. I was embarrassed, shamed. ” Christian’s don’t think like this,” I thought to myself.
Crisis hotlines were called. A very nice lady showed up in a nice car and talked to me for a few minutes and we decided that I needed to be at a hospital. The rest of the details are kind of a blur but it consisted of me being escorted into a room after the nice lady gave some kind of code word to the receptionist at the emergency room. The room was glass walls on both sides. They took everything from me. Handed me a gown and told me to put it on. As I did so they began stripping the room of everything. I remember the nurse didn’t appreciate my joke as she unplugged all the cords from the monitors in the room, “huh, I wouldn’t have even of thought of using those.” She just stared blankly at me. I guess people who don’t want to live don’t tell jokes about it.
They poked and prodded and pumped me up with some nice sleeping drugs, and in the end sent me home. I suppose they figured there wasn’t much they could really do for me.
I’d like to say that was the last time that I ever had that thought run through my head, but that would be a lie. I realize that Satan will probably always try to whisper this tactic into my mind when I’m tired, weary, and worn.
I’d also like to say that I have the sure-fire answer to getting rid of that idea when it’s whispered or screamed into my ear, but I don’t. All I can say is that I know that God’s not done with me on this earth.
I want to pause here for a minute. I don’t want to sensationalize this idea. Sometimes that can happen when it comes to topics like this. The writer can begin to glorify the story for the sake of keeping the reader sticking around, and might inadvertently convey the idea that they are some how proud of the little confession they let slip into the gaping mouth of social media. Let me make it very clear; I do not share the story above because I am proud of it. I share it because I believe that doing so might be helpful to someone.
I’m working on some study material for an upcoming small group where the topic is the attacks of Satan in our lives; depression, laziness, temptation, cutting suicide etc.
As I have been working through this series I’ve come to a conclusion. All of the above mentioned issues are really just symptoms of a bigger disease. One of Satan’s most powerful weapons against God’s children is the “S” word…silence. Think with me for a moment. Doesn’t there seem to be a myriad of topics that are just off-limits for the saints? At least that is what is communicated. Satan thrives when we push certain topics, words, feelings, and struggles deeper and deeper into the darkness of silence.
In the end it’s silence that really kills us off one by one. Maybe not physically (although sometimes it does) but certainly spiritually.
It’s time that churches’ started talking about the “S” word.