An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Friday, January 20, 2012

Suicide Considered

This week I was asked via email a question I’ve been asked probably fifty times or more: “Don’t you ever just want to give up?”

I’ve thought about this a lot, as the pain that started the day after Thanksgiving has turned into 24/7 severe migraines in addition to my regular rather awful burning pain and sensory sensitivities, and continues to respond poorly to medication of any kind.  For this dreadful season of pain upon pain has provoked an unwelcome question to niggle at the edge of my thoughts …  “Is it going to drive me back to that place?”

That place means where I was almost five years ago, when I came very close to committing suicide.

Don’t be shocked.  The thought of living with worse and worse pain is almost impossible to imagine for most of us.  However, there was I time when I was naïve enough to believe that my faith in Christ would protect me from the temptation of suicide, regardless of how awful the pain might become. This, despite my pain disorder, trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is commonly known as “the suicide disease” among members of the medical community. I even knew a few people with my disorder who had chosen suicide, yet I convinced myself that they must not have faith like I did. (I wonder sometimes how God must cringe at what he sees in my heart!)

All  my delusions about who I was and wasn’t came crumbling down on me in March of 2007, just one day after my second neurosurgery had been declared a “resounding success”.  Pain exploded inside my face in the middle of the night as though I had been struck with an arrow by a master bowman.

I found a smidgeon enough of faith in Christ for my future to not give into temptation on that day, though.  I am grateful beyond words that I chose the way out he provided.   I have lived to see my son marry a wonderful woman and I’ve become “Mimi” to two practically perfect grand-babies.  I’m so glad to remain a wife to my husband, mother to my two other adult children, and friend and family member to several.

However, I feel no shame about having come close to ending my life; actually it enlarged my faith, as odd as that sounds.  It caused me to place all my proverbial cards on the table so that here were no more illusions about my supposed strength. Yet, God, my Father, did not respond with judgment or condemnation--no lightning bolts or fiery flames burst from His throne. Instead, He responded with just the thing that would capture my heart, because He knows me better than I could begin to ever know myself.

I do not know what the future holds, so I can't promise I will always say “no” to the draw of suicide. However, I believe, Christ will be present if and when it does, and he will offer me a way out just as he did that first time. I hope I will choose it, because the consequences of choosing a course contrary to God’s plans always results in hurts much greater than we can imagine.  

I have seen this at work in the lives of three people I know who have chosen suicide, with heartbreaking results.  However, if I make such a mistake myself, overwhelmed by fear and irrational thinking, I believe that Christ’s redemption still holds, and I will wake up to find myself safely in his arms.

You may disagree with my beliefs or my theology.  I hope you will study the bible and seek the Lord with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength.  I will pray for you, and hope you will pray for me.  One thing is for sure: Your life (and mine) matters... always has, always will.  

I have written a story about this whole experience. I've put in the "Judi's writings tab of my blog." I pray it will speak for the hopelessness that tempts us, and the hope we can find to turn to keep from giving up.

Until Next Time, God Bless You--

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