Yes, Your Life Matters
Last year I shared this same column and I want to share it again, because your life matters!
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a lady at a writing conference. I asked her why she was there. Her response: “I chose to live.” She was married and had several grown children and many grandchildren. Weekly she attended church, often taught Sunday school, and ultimately lived a good life. But deep in her mind, she entertained the booming voice of depression.
Depression told her she was never going to be enough and there was no point to push so hard. She believed the constant lie that she didn’t matter to others and that she was just a burden. No one would miss her if she was gone. She fed the doubt and negativity by following these trains of thought all day, every day. Never once did she share her inward feelings and thoughts.
Until the day she had planned to take her life. Before she followed through, she called her pastor to tell him goodbye. He told her to wait until he got there. Through his words and firm truths about life, she was able to see past the web of lies her mind constructed for her. Lies that encompassed her being, but no one ever knew were there. Because she remained silent.
We must choose to break the silence. September is National Suicide Awareness Month. In the wake of so many hurting families across our community, state, nation, and world, I’m here to speak up.
2020 Suicide Facts
- 45,979 people died by suicide. That’s means a death every 11 minutes.
- 2 million seriously considered suicide
- 2 million made a plan
- 2 million attempted
The numbers listed above are those who reported the information, but in truth, there are likely many more, like my friend, who have never had the courage to vocalize their struggles with suicidal thoughts. Working in women’s ministry over the last decade, I’m saddened by the number of women who have either considered or attempted suicide, thinking it was a viable option. I’ve heard these phrases countless times, all of which are huge red flags.
- “My family would be better off without me.”
- “I just can’t take it anymore. There’s no way out.”
- “No one would even miss me.”
- “I’ve gone too far. There’s no turning back now.”
- “I’m just tired. Tired of fighting.”
Have you heard these phrases from those you know and love? Have you said or thoughts these things? Have you formulated a plan for ending your life? Please know there are other options. Suicide is not the only way out.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please consider these alternatives:
- Tell someone about your inward, hidden thoughts, even if you are convinced they don’t care. Take a chance.
- Call a mental health provider or primary care physician
- Make a plan for living and list goals, hopes, and dreams for your future
- Get moving and exercising
- Invite people in instead of shutting them out
- Contact Bobbi Sapp with Christopher’s Message at (850) 464-6130.
- Join a support group (Celebrate Recovery in Madison has a group just for suicide, Tuesdays, 6-8:30pm @ Fellowship Baptist Church)
- Journal and write about your feelings
- Recognize these feelings/thoughts are temporary and there is always hope
- Remember you are valuable and that you matter, even when you feel like you don’t.
Our feelings and thoughts lie to us. If you or someone you love is struggling with deep depression and/or suicidal thoughts or actions, please don’t remain silent. You matter. And as the old saying goes, “God don’t make no junk.” There is always another solution. Take a chance on life.
Dial 988, 24/7 for immediate assistance