“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2014 CDC WISQARS)*
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18 (2014 CDC WISQARS)*
- More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED*
- Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7-12*
- Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs*
It would have been my third, and final, attempt at suicide. I was 21, living in Hawaii, and at the end of my rope with absolutely no hope in sight.
Thoughts of suicide first entered my mind at the tender age of 10. I thought it was my only way out from the constant abuse. Later in life, my first and second attempts were vain efforts to escape from the heavy weight of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation that shrouded me.
My life was a living hell. One day I ended up in the hospital because of a severe panic attack. I was 36. My doctor, who was also a close family friend, suggested an anti-depressant. Years of self-medicating with alcohol and illegal drugs hadn’t helped. What did I have to lose? I was desperate for relief.
The results were nothing short of a miracle. The depression slowly lifted. I no longer spent hours in bed staring at the wall. My mind became clear and I could reason rationally. My emotions stabilized and no longer controlled me. My levels of anxiety and fear were no longer off the charts. I was finally able to function. And for once in my life I felt normal. Oh, how I had longed for so many years to feel like a normal person!
Suicide is not the answer!
Mental illness is treatable. With the help of my doctors, I have willingly remained on medication for the last 20 years. Along with therapy, this combination of treatment has allowed me to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
You, too, can have a productive and fulfilling life, but it takes time. Don’t give up. Continue reaching out for help no matter how many times you have to do so. You will eventually find the right doctor who genuinely cares and will see you through. Surrounding yourself with healthy friends and family members for support and accountability is an absolute must. You’ve already proven it can’t be done alone.
I’m praying for you ♥
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give us the strength and the courage to choose life no matter how we feel or how hard things get. Amen.