I’m writing this post in response to my previous submission of a poem. Some of you might be wondering about the “emo” tone of the poem and well… I thought it’ll be a good time to write and share with you guys, my experience on suicide.
Another reason for writing this post is to also help others facing this situation. I know how it feels. I do. And if you are reading this post, then you must be finding a way out. And this was the best answer I got that stopped me from what I was. And it was all because of God’s beautiful grace. It really is. If you’re looking for an answer, do take the time to read through and hopefully, what I felt may resonate with you and help you in your journey of recovery…
My experience with suicide… is a bit different from the norm. I didn’t start slashing my wrists in angst nor self-mutilate in any other way. I wasn’t abused or had any trauma that led to my suicidal predicament. I didn’t abuse pills, turn into a drunkard nor clubbed my life away. In fact, if I had to pinpoint some reason, it would probably be the fact that I knew God since childhood.
How weird, isn’t it? That what was meant to save me, became the cause for my desire to die.
**For those finding it a chore to read, there’s a TLDR (too long didn’t read) section for you to glance at.
Before we start on moi, I’m just going to go through the basics of what suicide will entail in the Christian context:
1) Suicide is a sin
-1 Corinthians 3:16,17
> 16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
> Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool–why die before your time?
-1 Corinthians 6:19,20
>19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
more verses on suicide here
2) All men will die eventually and then to face judgement
>Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
3) After we (Christians) die, we will be together with God in heaven
>In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And so, geared with the fact that I became a Christian at a young age of 4 and been in church all my life, undergoing pretty decent biblical studies etc, I never had much motivation to live. Yes, I knew all the basics. I knew that God created men, men were destined to die, Man was fallible due to the sinful nature and as a Christian, heaven was a sure thing. I mean, seriously, heaven was a better place and… I … well I never asked to be born. If I had to choose, and if I could choose my own existence, I’ll rather not be born.
Plus, the fact that I sin and fall with no seeming victory was another discouragement to me. What if I sinned to the point where I reject my own salvation? Better to die while I’m still saved. (Side Note: Now, don’t go jumping off roofs yet. It’s a hard topic to answer if we’re going to question the possibility of still being able to enter heaven even if the cause of our death was suicide).
But this wasn’t the main issue. For some odd, odd reason, I was morbidly obsessed with suicide. (I’m sure others might have face the same thing, so do empathize with me.)
Since young, I would think about hanging myself, killing myself with a pill overdose, stabbing myself etc. Out of nowhere, this huge impulsion to kill myself for no particular reason would just jump on me and grip me. When I was a wee kid, I had a fight with my little brother. Being so frustrated, I just took a letter opener and jabbed its pointed end at my belly and shouted that if he didn’t stop, I would hurt myself. I would have. I think.
It’s frightening. This desire and impulse to die was so strong, that all of a sudden I would find myself thinking “I need to die” and out of nowhere, one night, I realized I was midway in tying a towel as a sort of hanging rope on the ceiling fan.
I definitely had an inclination to hurt myself, but I wasn’t motivated much to do so (ie slashing wrist etc). Pain is only temporary. Death was the true satisfaction to end this life that I didn’t want to live. I guess, in some ways, sleep was my rehabilitation. It kept me in stasis within dreams that I could live with.
But yet, it was a struggle. It was really as if this random voice or person was just throwing this bag called “Desire to Die” right into my core and I feel very very compelled to act. Like an animal that was trying to burst out of my body and willing my arms to move to do the things that will kill me. And sometimes, I don’t even know why. I just wanted to die. I didn’t get much help, to be honest, from other people. Friends didn’t take me seriously and told me to jump off a window. Other friends gave me bad advice, telling me to start cutting myself, while there were others who gave me sleeping pills… It’s really all by God’s grace that I didn’t go through most of these in the end. I always end up having this voice of logic that kinda stops me from doing it. Like this thin rope was pulling me back from the very edge of a cliff. Be it common sense at the time, or a random person I ended up talking to… I was end up in a safe zone.
That feeling to die didn’t end of course. I mean, I didn’t find a solution. I couldn’t find anything to motivate me on to live. I wasn’t worried about my parents, and death would mean going to heaven earlier. I wasn’t too incline to take up my cross and trudge the narrow road filled with temptation and challenges. In some ways, there was nothing holding me back. No responsibility that I felt important enough. SO the feeling didn’t end and so it trashed me on and off as it liked. All the way to the early years of university.
You know where this is going, don’t you?
TLDR: Suicide, for me, was this very natural unnatural impulse that stems for no reason and I wasn’t motivated to live
I love God. I do. With this horrendous passion, that non Christians and atheists can’t stand( not that I get on their nerves though). Yet I still wanted to die.
I’m not sure if your though process went like mine but it went like this
“God God I can’t take this anymore/I want to die/ I want to die/ Please take this life away/please/ I don’t want to stay on this earth/ I can’t do it/ I can’t take it/ I want to die so badly/please Lord… just kill me”
But if you do, the things I’ve done then might help you.
So my action plan then was
I prayed about this. About wanting to die and getting an answer. I really spent the time talking to God about this. Not in a calm way but in this horribly angsty way that makes hobos look harmless. But God is gracious and God answers prayers.
2) I kept myself from people who would make it worse and have the discernment to not follow the bad advice
I stopped seeking help from people who said useless stuff. I moved away from those who would have caused more harm even if they meant it in a good way.
3) What kept me going then was getting busy doing something else
One of the ways I stop doing thinking about it, was when I was helping others or doing something else… like art, for example.
It staved away those desires somewhat… but it didn’t help entirely. I had my saving grace moment when I realized that SINCE I didn’t want my life… SINCE I’m going to throw it away. Why not give it to God. Literally.
Why don’t I, who don’t want this rubbish life, give it to someone who wants it and will use it and only for my good?
This “epiphany” happened just last year. It never really occurred to me. I knew I belonged to God. I know that my life was a gift. But I never wanted it. My view was a very ‘God is above, looking down below on His people going about their life’.
Now… with this mindset, I’m living for God. I didn’t belong to myself anymore. Cos I didn’t live in my own self anymore. Christ lived in me. And I was living in God’s “property”. And having this mindset was crazy, cos it really changed the way I saw a whole lot of things.
1) It changed the way I read verses.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
That verse became something that I could really relate to. I used to view this and other verses as more related to my “changed life” that involved me changing my outward actions to reflect my spiritual life. But now, I became aware of everything I did, and the responsibility for every action that I take. I mean, if I’m going to forfeit my life, my property to someone else, and now it belongs to God… I gotta take care of it, you know.
2) My priorities and motivation to do things became very… God-centred
I used to worry about not having enough sleep and hated the fact that I had to cut sleep to study. Now, I’m more like “Okay, I gotta do my best in everything I do. Which means I need to discipline this body and use it to achieve this goal in God’s strength. I don’t have to worry about the results, God will give it to me what He deems best”. Christ LIVED in me. I was giving the reigns of my whole self to God. Everything!
I don’t have that suicide tendency anymore. It doesn’t grip me in this inhumanely persistent way. Sometimes I do lapse, but only into remorse when I fall into sin again. But seriously, it was the realization that God treasures my life more than me, and the best way to show my love for God, was to actually give him something I didn’t want that He could use?… it’s kinda insane.
Things to take away
Hey, look… I really know how this feels like. I know I might not have the scars to bear it, but believe me when I know how dark those impulses can be and when you want help but no one gives it to you and no one hears you out and sometimes, you feel really far away from God.
The best way, honestly, to start your rehabilitation is to GET someone to HEAR you out and pray for you. Here’s my email: email@example.com
If you need someone to listen to or someone to pray for you, email me, and I’ll get back to you. I know what it feels like, and I’ll take it seriously and will get back to you asap. =)
And if you’re still feeling emotional, read Psalms 121. It’s an amazing psalm… that really makes you feel as if God’s protective wings are wrapped all around you.
Just a parting verse,
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.Phil 1:21
For those helping a friend who’s struggling in this area, or for those who are struggling themselves… I hope you were somewhat encouraged by this fellow survivor! Do send me a mail if you need to, or even if you’re shy, just pop up and say pray for me, and I will add you to my prayers that very night!
Signing off in His Love,