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A Letter to Anyone Who Feels Like Giving Up

I had been driving all night, obsessing and crying about my pathetic existence.

How had I let my life become such a disaster? Was there even hope for anything but the relentless struggle?

The clock read 5:21am as I pulled into the driveway and felt a strange peace about my conclusion: I had to do something, I couldn’t keep living in this much agony.

I collapsed into my old and lumpy mattress lacking the energy to even take off my street clothes. I pressed my face into the pillow and relaxed into the darkness as the sun began to peak up over the horizon.

I don’t want to be alive anymore. I’m giving up.

I’ve alluded to the beginnings of this blog many times since it began over 3 ½ years ago as a “really dark season” and have shared that I created it during the worst days of my life.

What I’ve only recently starting sharing is my long battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, including my last suicide attempt in 2011.

I’ve come a very long way since those days and most people are shocked when they hear that. I silently struggled for far too long. Over the past year, I’ve felt God calling me to share this story because suicide affects far too many.

In 2016, almost 43,000 people took their own life according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. That boils down to someone committing suicide every 12.3 minutes.

Most of us know someone – a friend, colleague, family member or neighbor who has lost this battle. This year as I saw two more people in my atmosphere who did. Finally, I knew I had to do something reckless: I had to start sharing my story.

The truth is I don’t really want to talk about that time, it would be so much easier to pretend it never happened. But that’s not going to help anyone. Visit my speaking page here to host an event in your community.

Please share this post on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter so that it might reach people who desperately need to hear it. The thing about depression is it hides and lingers with little signs of detection. It did in me. We have no idea who desperately needs to read these words.

 

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To You My Friend, the One Thinking About Giving Up,

Man life is so hard sometimes, the pain worse than most people could ever imagine. It’s crazy isn’t it, how much darkness you feel while everyone around you seems to just keep marching on with their beautiful lives?

What’s even the point of living when there’s no reason to believe it will ever get better?

I was sitting exactly where you are almost six years ago.

I battled depression throughout high school and college and never asked for help. In some ways, it was all I had ever known. There were great moments during those years as well as days I wouldn’t wish on the worst of enemies.

It seems impossible what you’re facing, I know. It feels like there’s no way out, no chance for the things you’ve always dreamed of and no way to see even a spark of light beyond the darkness.

Like a person struggling with anorexia who looks at their body wasting away and sees themselves as fat, so the enemy takes hold of the mind and blocks out all possible signs of light and hope.

That voice piquing your imagination about ending it all, the voice that says peace is waiting for you on the other side of those pills or that gun, is lying to you.

Don’t listen to this enemy who wants nothing more than to see you lose this fight to feel alive. By choosing death, you are truly saying that you will never have another a single good moment worth living again. Do you truly believe that?

My friend. Whatever that voice is telling you, it’s wrong.

You are not a mistake.
You are not an accident, despite what anyone says.
You are not worthless.
You are not ugly.
You are not unlovable.
You are not sentenced to a life of struggle and pain.
You are not your scars or your bad choices.
You are not the bad things that have happened to you.
You are not defined by abuse or neglect.
You are not your past.
You are not invisible.
You are not alone in this world.

Your death won’t help anyone. It won’t be revenge on those who have hurt you. It will be a stinging pain to everyone who truly loves you and wants to help. If you think no one cares, you’re wrong. Heck, I care and I have never even met you.

Why do I care about you? Because I care about what God cares about. And God, the guy who created this world, is madly in love with you. Like, an unstoppable hurricane of love that is unlike anything you’ve ever known. Yup, it sounds crazy because it is.

Maybe you’ve had some bad experiences with God, maybe you have a giant wall built around you so high it can be seen from space. But have you ever thought, even just for a moment, what if God is real? What if there is a father who loves you and wants to save you from this Hell you’ve been living?

It’s easy to blame God for the trauma. That’s what I did. If he truly loved me, my life would be perfect. Yet what if God doesn’t intend for the worst things in our lives to happen, the evil and death that lurks around every corner?

In a lot of ways, hitting rock bottom is the best thing that ever happened to me because it showed me that nothing in this world can fill the hole in my heart except God. It’s a longing for love and compassion that only He can provide.

What if you are not an accident? (Jeremiah 1:5)
What if you created on purpose, no matter the circumstance?
What if you are worth more than what this society defines you by – your looks, your money, or your achievements? (1 Samuel 16:7)
What if you are beautiful (or handsome if that’s too feminine for you guys out there)?
What if you are cherished for the person you are?
What if your life could be better than you ever imagined?
What if your every mistake could be forgiven in a second? (Romans 8:1)
What if you were seen?
What if you were loved from the hairs on your head to your baby toe?
What if you can overcome the darkest parts of your past and feel recklessly alive?
All things are possible for one who believes. –Matthew 19:26

Take a reckless step now, today.

  • Call a suicide hotline(1-800-273-8255) or 911.
  • Use the TEXT Line by texting CONNECT to 741741.
  • Tell someone you can trust about what you’re going through. If you can’t think of someone, ask God to put someone in your path. He will.
  • See a counselor (Many have options for you to pay less if you have a lower income).
  • Pray.
  • Listen to God.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be really hard, but ask yourself, have you truly given life everything you have? Have you TRULY tried to LIVE with all your soul?

Come check out what God is all about. Give living life his way a try. It’s greater than I could have ever imagined. This person who wants to give up is not you. I know you’ve lost all hope that life could ever get better,

But IT CAN.
And IT WILL.

4 years later my life is not perfect but I have found more joy than I ever would have believed was possible. I have been to plains of Zimbabwe and atop the mountains of Haiti. I have found love and redemption in my family and friendships. I have found a home and a life that I love. And you will too.

There will beautiful days ahead, days with sunshine, friendship, and laughter.

You are NOT an accident.
You are loved for exactly who you are.
You can do this with the help of God.

Choose life.

With the utmost of love,

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These awesome songs can be found in my Music Playlist, “Recklessly Alive.

 

 

 

 

 

About Sam

in love with all things Jesus, music, adventure, writing, teaching, laughter, running, friendship. Founder of recklesslyalive.com.

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15 comments

  1. Thanks for being brave and speaking your story. Your words are hope and encouragement in a world so often filled with darkness and doubt. Love you friend!

  2. Soooo beautiful!

    Even for those who are not about to give up but are just tired and lost, this is a must read. Very encouraging and inspiring.

    These beautiful truths should be spoken to us everyday.

    You are a blessing, Sam.

  3. Sam: Thank you so much for sharing your story to help someone else and to show the power of God! You are truly an inspiration, and I am so thankful God led you to where you are today! I am also sure God will use your book to save and help many others as well. Blessings to you and keep on the path you are. I am always inspired by your sharings. God bless.

  4. I don’t know but I guess I should be spending my everyday reading this again and again until it sinks in my mind.

    • Niq,
      I know what you mean! Me too. You’re not alone in that my friend. Blessings to you. Let me know if there’s anything I can ever do to help.
      -Sam

  5. Thank you for your obedience and honesty. I have battle depression on and off my whole life. I tried committing suicide 2 and God intervene the 3rd. Newly married, I felt the loneliness I ever had. Long story short. My night ended in tears crying out to God and singing my favorite song during those dark days, “Amazing Grace.” That Sunday when my hubby and I went to church (which we were late and lived across the street from. SMH! LOL!) As we were seating, a woman began to sing the most beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace!” I sobbed. God spoke to my heart and said, “I see you, I hear you, and you are not alone! Men will fail you but I will not.” So every time that suicidal thought comes, I am reminded of that time. Jesus is my strength. Now, if I could let go of “my control”, die to self, get out the way and just let God have all of me, all my heart…He is working on that. Again, thank you for your obedience and keep sharing the truth….Jesus truth.

  6. Reading ur stories have inspired me & lifted me up.. I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression in 2013..I hate that I’ve gotten to this point in life that I have trouble just trying to push on..I’m a 63yr.old woman..my dad passed away Jan 27th in 2007…my mom passed away dec.16th 2013 my husband the very next morning dec.17th 2013…I’m the oldest of 11 children..I had to take care of mom’s estate (which was nothing of value)..but it was chaos starting the day she passed.. fighting… arguments…stealing..I am so ashamed of how my brothers & sisters acted & they still want let up…so trying to deal & cope with that & my husband’s death..plus I have 3 of my grandchildren that I am raising..a 21yr.old grandaughter with cerebral palsey…..a 17 yr old grandson that is a type 1 diabetic a 14 yr.old grandson that has seasonal asthma..& no help..my nerves are out the window…my heart is shattered & not one person can see the pain in my heart…& I had to b the one that had to choose to pull the plug on my husband’s life support…even the doctors & nurses said that he was already gone..but…at times I think what if I had waited just a little longer a few more days…just maybe.???….but I can’t go back & change it….so everyday I die a little more..the guilt eats at me what if I had waited a little longer…I have kept this bottled up for so long…I have 2 daughters…& they r so busy with their own lives they can’t see that mine is a wreck & I am raising their kids..I couldn’t have a life if I wanted…so most of the time I just want to go to sleep & let it b at that…but I know that these grandchildren need me…thank u for listening to a broken woman..

    • Diann, I don’t know if you will ever see this, since it’s an old blog, but I just found it today. I see that the dates of your mom and husband’s death just passed. The years. The timing probably means the holidays are a very heavy time for you. I am praying for you. I can only imagine how hard it is to get up some mornings.

      I don’t want to give you empty platitudes, but I am burdened for you and don’t know what else to say. I have been through depression, I have lost a baby, my parents split, my mother in law ditched. I dealt with guilt about not noticing my baby’s demise, not fighting for care when Dr’s said it was OK. My personal testimony is that I just stayed committed to God. I read my Bible daily, pray constantly, am involved with my church, asked for a mentor. On a daily basis right now I am not depressed, and am very joyful. Different seasons have felt hard to be joyful (like after losing my baby, it felt wrong to be happy ever) but at this point I am grounded in the joy of the Lord. I pray, pray, pray that you have gotten here too, or that you will.

  7. That was very encouraging. Thank you for being so transparent.

    I hope to have the same testimony.

  8. Powerful stuff Sam.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I know it will help many and God bless you for answering His call.

  9. You’re a hero, dude!

    • Haha, I don’t know if I would use that word but I definitely appreciate the comment! 🙂

  10. Of course, so many of us put all our hope in God only to be horribly disappointed. Im at a point where I dont know what god wants, if the answer to my prayer is and has been a big fat NO, or a WAIT, and my life is left in exactly the same painful spot. God CAN help but will He? Doesnt appear that way. When you are so sad and you turn to God but He wont answer…Im not sure where that leaves us. I do know it then smashes that child-like idea that God is there waiting for us to call ans moves the mountains and and all that. I find now that everything is up to god and no matter how much I pray, it doesnt mean something will ever change. As a whole, “it is what it is.”

    • Thank you Sam!! What a blessing you are and a what a mission you are on and accomplishing!! I have fought depression for decades. Your description of the room in your brain is the best I’ve ever read. I wept as I relate and so can so many others. My brother also suffered from bipolar disorder and took his life nearly 10 years ago. But the heart break, guilt and pain I felt has been lifted though the grace and atonement of Christ!! Everything you said in your letter is completely accurate!! God loves each one of us. He knows us by name. I wept again that you have shared a way for anyone who is struggling to contact you personally. You are a true disciple of Christ. We are blessed by your testimony and willingness to ACT and to use social media for such a noble cause. I want to be you when I grow up.
      LOVES TO YOU

  11. This is very great. Am touched by this. May God bless you in abundance.