A very good friend of mine tried to kill herself recently. It wasn’t a cry for help. She’d thought it through and planned it well in advance. She’s doing a little better now, but is still in a very dark place. Every minute of every day is a struggle for her – an abyss of despair that is difficult to comprehend. She’s in the battle of her life. And how thankful I am that she’s still fighting.
It’s brought home to me how fragile we are. They say that most people are two or three pay packets short of homelessness and bankruptcy, but our emotional and mental health is no less tenuous. I’ve been in the same place. That’s a painful admission, no matter how much ‘better’ I may be feeling today. Even the awareness that you can reach that point is immensely sobering. Where nothing makes sense and when you’re too tired and battered and broken to keep going. I thank God that I didn’t do anything about it and I thank God for His intervention in the life of my friend.
Because the most enticing and devastating thing about suicide is that that’s it. No second chances. No waking up the next morning and realising that you weren’t thinking straight. No opportunity to let others in, to experience a life that could be better. Depression is horrific, but it does pass. It can be helped. And that might take a long time, but there is a life worth living – Christ promises it. Other people may have hurt us – or we may have hurt ourselves, in ways that humanly, can’t be dealt with. We may have lost our life partner, our parents, our best friends. Life can feel very black. Despite this, Scripture tells us we are not on our own. And that life is worth living. The problem with suicide is that we never get the chance to find out why. We don’t give others the opportunity to make right the wrongs, to say the things we long to hear. It stops the pain. But it stops everything else too. And it leaves behind wrecked relationships and lives.
People who feel like you do, can come through it, to a life worth living. Suicide seems to offer relief from pain – but to feel relief you need to be alive. No matter what the problem is, there are solutions and this is not it. So pick up the phone or email – it could be a loved one, it could be the Samaritans. But please, please don’t give up. Life is worth living.