In honor of World Suicide Prevention week, here is the second guest post from My Broken Palace, a nonprofit organization that helps people in their time of brokenness. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, My Broken Palace is a charity dedicated to helping and healing those who are engaged in self-destructive behavior—that’s everything from untreated anxiety and depression all the way up the spectrum to cutting and suicidal thoughts/behavior. Their motto is “No one lonely, alone.” They host a free, anonymous social network where anyone can go and talk about their struggles without the fear of judgment. They’re super positive and uplifting. Depression and suicide are getting a ton of press recently due to Robin Williams’ tragic decision to end his life. We are not going to shy away from the issue—even though it’s a tough one.
Written by Jes Balascio of My Broken Palace
Suicide is not a joking matter, and if you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, please get help right away. You can call My Broken Palace at 1-800-394-4673. If not us, please use other options in your community, which include:
- The suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- An emergency room
- A psychiatric hospital and/or walk-in clinic
- An urgent-care or immediate-care facility
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculated that in 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available), 39,518 people ended their own life. If that’s not enough to shake you to the core, then know that means that every 13 minutes and 20 seconds of every day, one person committed suicide. They left behind family, friends, a community and a world that needed them.
People who have attempted suicide and failed largely report that they didn’t want to die, but just wanted the pain to end. They also report strong feelings of hopelessness. If this is you, I’m so sorry, and please be reminded of the hope that Jesus gave us. As believers, we’re not promised “easy.” Quite the opposite—we’re assured suffering. Remember, just as heat purifies gold, so do the trials of our life test our faith and show it pure (1 Peter 1:7).
I’m going to get personal here, and I’m terrified. I never, EVER talk about it, but I attempted suicide twice when I was a teenager. I hated my life—myself—so much. There are days now, almost two decades later, when I still do feel that way; they’re not very often, but they exist.
However, I can tell you emphatically that living is worth it. SO STINKING WORTH IT! Ephesians 6:7 and 8 talk about reaping and sowing, and one of the central tenets of farming is that one cannot reap and sow in the same season. This is a season; cling to that when things are tough. In those years when things were at their worst, I was sowing. Those seeds—many of which I wasn’t aware I even planted—have brought me so much joy subsequently, but I had to get through the season of pain and anger to reap those beautiful rewards. Enough about me…but I do want to encourage you to hold on! There are great things waiting for you out there, and you’ll be so glad you got through this. I love you, and I pray for you.
Ending your life is a permanent way to deal with a temporary problem. In no way do I mean to marginalize the issues you’re facing: Problems with friends/family/love/body image/academics/athletics are horrific. And if you’re feeling suicidal, those issues are probably compounded by depression (our next article will talk about dealing with the disease). Hold tight.
Your 30-year-old self will be glad that you did.
If there’s a place for My Broken Palace in your healing, we’d be honored to contribute. We’re here for you 24/7. Sometimes it feels so good to have someone to talk to who doesn’t know you personally. We’re 100 percent anonymous and absolutely free! To sign up, go to mybrokenpalace.com. You should also join our daily text of spiritual encouragement. Send “join hope” to 40650, and reply “yes” to opt-in. Standard text message rates will apply.