Choosing To Stay

Photo by Frank Mckenna on Unsplash

Yeah in this wasteland where I’m livin’
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it’s all that I need to shine

– NEEDTOBREATHE

In my last post, I mentioned some resources for preventing suicide. Here, I’ll share thoughts on my own journey. It’s in self-interview style to help me stick to what I think someone might want to know.

Why was it easy for you to consider taking your own life?

I grew up without a support system and struggled with anxiety and depression from a very young age.

Did something specific happen that urged you to a moment when you could have done it?

I had a hard time coping after arguing with a friend. The things that she said made it easy to let go of any hope that I had for my future.

Why didn’t you commit suicide?

This may sound weird, but vanity is what kept me from actually doing it. At the moment I was ready to act, I thought about my messy apartment and of how I wasn’t dressed yet since it was early in the morning.

I clean my home from top to bottom if even the maintenance man is coming over, so the thought of someone finding it in disarray gave me pause. I figured by the time I got dressed and cleaned my place I would have talked myself out of going through with it, so I just decided not to do it.

Have you ever regretted not going through with it?

Sometimes I do think that if I had just done it, I wouldn’t be experiencing pain right now. There’s a Bible story starting at Matthew 25:14 about a master who gives each of his servants some money before going on a long trip. When the master returns, he asks each servant to report what was done with what they were entrusted with. All but the last servant invested their money. The last servant hid his money instead of investing because he was afraid of losing it, and this made his master furious.

I always think about this story when I tell myself I made the right decision in choosing to stay. While the servants were given money, God gives us talents and has a plan for our lives.  I don’t want to die without completing what I was created to do.

Why don’t you struggle with self-harm and suicidal thoughts anymore?

Trying to decide whether or not I should harm myself to escape my pain uses up a lot of energy and takes my focus away from working through the pain. Deciding to never consider that stuff again frees me up to work on the things that are wrong in my life.

I don’t have the right to take anyone’s life including my own. If I were angry with someone, I would never consider killing them, so why should I treat myself differently?

What would you like to say to someone considering suicide?

You are not doing yourself any favors by taking your own life. It’s not a compassionate way to end suffering. It’s missing out on the chance to see God’s redemptive power in your life.

Don’t waste time trying to decide if you have finally had enough and are ready to end it all. No need to record “goodbye” vlogs or draft letters. Your way out of wanting to die is deciding to live and sticking to it.

People who choose to stay are brave. Working hard at things instead of giving up makes you an overcomer. If you look at my life today under a microscope I don’t look like a winner in life; far from it. But, that’s just because you don’t see where I came from and how hard I’m working at just being here.

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