I met a girlfriend for dinner and then we went to a suicide awareness program, and I heard it clearly--write.
Write, Ashley, write.
Be honest, be transparent, be real.
So, here I am, at almost 11 p.m. on Thursday, or what I like to refer to as Transparent Thursday, finally submitting to His will and writing what is on my heart.
It's a terribly hard subject to discuss.
It's hard on people experiencing the desire, and on those that are wondering whether someone may take that action. It's just simply hard.
It's even more difficult to talk about than it is to understand. If we're all honest, life can be extremely dificult and at one time or another most people have had at least one thought of not wanting to not go on anymore. The desire is small, and just a passing thought in most, but it is a real thought it many at least once. Understanding can be easier sometimes; but talking about suicide, that seems to be extremely difficult for people.
People don't use the word, people shy away from asking questions or getting invovled because the very idea that someone might kill themself seems preposterous. But, people are feeling this way. Many, many people are currently feeling this way and have struggled with feeling this way.
I have. I have struggled greatly through various seasons of my life with the desire to not go on any longer. I have wanted to die, simply not wanted to live one more day. I have thought about it, desired it, and talked about it. I have handled myself poorly, been ashamed of what I had done, hidden the truth and various other things in order to deny that I was "the crazy one" who had struggled with suicidal thoughts.
Last year, roughly this same time, I last struggled with the very real desire to end my life.
We were living with my mom and sister, and as I share in the book, less than Three, our time there came with many difficulties. My sister was struggling with her own affliction, Bipolar Disorder, and I was suffering from severe depression coupled with social anxiety disorder. I felt disgusting, I felt like everyone in my life thought I was worthless, I thought my family hated me and felt they told me so, and despite the loving husband and 5 beautiful children, I heard and saw only the criticsm, only the negative talk about me, and I wanted to end the pain. I thought, "they would all be better if I was gone".
That is not true. No one is better when they are the ones that are left by a suicide. No one is better when someone's life is taken far too soon because they found no worth in their life.
We ALL have worth in our life, and we are all dealing with immense pain at times. Pain runs deep, and affects each and every single one of us differently. Just because one person is strong, and doesn't easily think they want to end their life, doesn't mean that the person that is struggling with the thoughts is somehow "less than" or not "worth" investing in a realtionship with.
We need to invest in each other's life. We need to engage, and walk through this life with one another.
I wish I had known this truth last year. I wish when I was so weak, that I contemplated slitting my wrists, that I had reached out to God first, and was filled with peace that transcends all understanding.
But, I didn't. I didn't reach out to God, and when I did reach out to those that were in my life, I was met with very real, and unfortunate responses. Responses that I understand when I look at them through human lenses, but when I look at them through Holy Spirit lenses, I realize the responses responses made the situation more difficult to handle.
When we hear that someone wants to die, that they are possibly suicidal, far too often we call that person selfish. Far too often we ridicule and demean the person in an attempt to get them to see how ridiculous they are being. The problem with this is--it tells the person that is struggling that the person they are opening up to, thinks they are above them.
We need to desire to walk through life together, hand in hand, always pointing to a Man on a cross along our way. We should always point to Him, and always want to walk with each other, admitting we can all fall victim to the sin of not finding worth in our life.
I am fortunate that something within me desired to live more than the desire to die, because I could very easily have succeeded in ending my life. But, God pulled me through that last season, He lifted me off the bathroom floor as I the blood trickled down my arms, and He gave me the strength to reach out to my husband. Brian was there, he embraced me, and he promised to walk with me as I got better. He never brought it up afterwards, and when I felt shame afterwards, he only pointed out how sinful he was, but in different ways. He continuously points to that Man, upon a cross, and reminds me that I am not crazy, I am simply a troubled woman, drawing closer to a perfect God.
My hometown has been hit recently with this very real situation, and my own family has walked this road again with another family member, and my heart simply breaks for each and every single person that is struggling with this very real sin.
I don't mean sin as in "they are just disgusting sinners", but it is an affliction that they are dealing with, and one that overwhelms their entire mind and can seem impossible to overcome.
But, He can deliver. And we can join in His fight to walk with His children here on earth. We can join Him; I want to, do you, friends?
I want to admit to anyone that needs to hear it that I too have struggled with that feeling, and they can feel safe and loved enough to admit the truth if they are struggling as well.
If you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, I urge you to reach out to a friend, a family member, and first and foremost, Jesus. Call out to Him, and pray that He bring someone into your life. He will answer, and He will bring help!
If you have previously had suicidal thoughts, and know that someone is struggling but you don't want to admit that you have too, I urge you to be honest.
If you are a survivor of suicide, I urge you to use your story to tell others of what you walked through.
And, if you have attempted suicide or previously had thoughts of suicide, I urge you to feel NO shame, and speak out! Be a light, and draw the darkness out!
Be well, friends, you are less than only Three.