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 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 completing suicide every 12.3 minutes.
The truth is, even one suicide is one too many. #suicideprevention #recklesslyalive #hope
Powered By the Tweet This Plugin
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.
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).
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.
In this together.
Enjoy this post? Become an email subscriber by entering your email here:
Join the Recklessly Alive Mailing List
These awesome songs can be found in my Music Playlist, “Recklessly Alive.“