Your Life Matters
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a lady at a writing conference. I asked her why she was there. Her response: “I chose to live.” She had several grown children, even 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 she was just a burden. Never once did she share her inward feelings and thoughts.
Until the day she had planned to end it all. She called her pastor and told him she was about to take her life and he told her to wait until he got there. Through his words and firm truths about life, she was able to see the web of lies her mind constructed for her. Lies that encompassed her being, but no one ever knew were there.
September is National Suicide Awareness Month. In the wake of so many hurting families across our community, state, nation, and world, here are some statistics.
2020 Suicide Facts:
- 45,979 people died by suicide. That means a death every 11 minutes.
- 2 million seriously considered suicide
- 2 million made a plan
- 2 million attempted
- Nearly 80% of suicides were males
The numbers listed above are those who reported the information, but in truth, there are likely many more 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 thought these things? Please know there are other options. Suicide is not the only way out. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please consider this alternative:
- Tell someone about the thoughts inside
- Call a mental health provider or primary care physician
- Make a plan for living and list goals, hopes, and dreams
- Get moving and exercising
- Invite people in instead of shutting them out
- Join a support group (Celebrate Recovery in Madison has a group just for suicide, Tuesdays, 6-8:30pm @ Fellowship Baptist Church) https://fellowshipofmadison.com/get-involved/celebrate-recovery
- Journal and write about feelings
- Recognize these feelings are temporary and there is always hope
- Remember you are valuable and that you matter, even when you feel like you don’t.
YOUR LIFE MATTERS. Never forget that.
(Call 988 or text 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor nationwide)