I saw a photo the other day of an attractive black woman wearing a shirt that read, “A blogger saved my life.” I had been wrestling with the idea of sharing such intimate, unattractive truths about my life but after seeing that shirt I realized sharing my secret could very well save someone else’s life. After all, sharing my secret with a close friend and my husband while I was in the thick of it saved mine. I have suicidal thoughts.
I’m an outgoing and relatively happy woman. I like to play pranks and make people laugh. I offer a smile to every face that passes me in the grocery store and I LOVE all things pretty and fashionable. My favorite thing is to dance to loud music and joke around with my husband. Sarcasm drips from my lips until I sense it’s not the time or place. I am passionate about teaching the Gospel to youth and women and I enjoy podcasting and writing. I love to encourage people while also stirring their heart towards holier living. I’m obsessed with animals and have my own menagerie of farm and domestic pets. My finances are fair (hey now, ya girl wouldn’t turn down the chance to make a dollar, ya feel me?) and my marriage is pretty great. My kids are still fun and the oldest is super helpful.
But I have suicidal thoughts.
But I don’t want to die.
Maybe this article isn’t for someone struggling with suicidal thoughts, maybe it’s for the spouse or parent, child or friend, of someone who has lost the battle against themselves. I want you to know, as a person who battles her own mind…
It’s. Not. Your. Fault.
The brain is a fascinating organ that man cannot figure out. It changes and does all kinds of funky stuff, all on it’s own. Mine, lately, has been super wonky and I’m writing this on the other side of a Twilight episode (and I don’t mean vampire or werewolves, more like circa 60s). I knew it was coming. It’s like watching a train derail and seeing the trees it will wipe out before careening down a cliff and exploding into a ball of flames. Or like watching the radar and seeing a cold front collide with a heat wave, ingredients for the perfect storm.
My hormones were out of whack due to a menstrual cycle, I hadn’t been taking my meds on time and even skipped some days due to the busy season of travel, weddings, and field trips. On top of that, my sleeping habits haven’t been the healthiest and neither has my eating habits.
Naturally, the compilation of sleep deprivation, wacky hormones, imbalanced chemicals, exhaustion, and sugar crashes all lead to a combustion of rational thinking.
My brain buzzed with annoying, degrading thoughts.
You’re so busy leading women to Christ you’re sending your children to Hell. The cruise is coming up and you haven’t weight lifted since August; you CANNOT wear those cute swimsuits. You’re always snapping at your kids and your husband; they’d be better off without you, you’re bringing them down. You talk to much. You don’t cook enough. You slacked on the laundry and now look at this pile. Your car is disgusting. You are a horrible secretary. Your friends are tired of your complaining. God can’t use you, you’re too insecure. God doesn’t want you, you’re too proud.
And that’s only a few. And they don’t stop.
I didn’t want to tell anyone. I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me, pity me, or think I am crazy. But something inside me, probably The Spirit, told me to tell.
So I did.
I told a dear friend and she held me and prayed over me and I felt a little better, a little braver.
So I told my husband.
We cried and held each other. He wanted me to promise him I would call him if I was ever having those thoughts again. I refused to make that promise. Because I know, if I was to call and he wasn’t to answer, if I lost my battle with my mind, he would never forgive himself.
I told him everything I just told you.
But I also told him I was scared.
Because I am.
The secret about suicide is that the person who has suicidal thoughts doesn’t want to die.
We just want the thoughts to quit buzzing around like annoying house flies and in those moments when the buzzing is so intense it seems like the only way to kill the flies is to burn the house down.
But for the person who is fighting the flies, don’t burn the house down, just open the window.
You’ll save a valuable, precious life. Your own.