"At three o'clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths,
crying loudly, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'
which means, 'My God, my God,
why have you abandoned me?"
Mark 15:34 (The Message)
Have you ever been in a dark pit of despair? Where no matter how hard you look, you just can't see God? I have. It was a very scary place to be. I had no hope at all. And when a person has no hope, what do they have to live for?
(I'm a bit scared to write this post, but I know I'm not the only one who has ever been in this dark hole. Maybe you're reading this and thinking, "That's where I am right now!" It is for your sake that I'm going to make myself vulnerable here. Because the last thing you need to believe is that you are alone, when you truly are not!)
I was drowning in despair and guilt. Why guilt? Because I had children who needed me, but I couldn't be there emotionally. Oh, I went through the motions and did a darn good job. I plastered a smile on my face for everyone on the outside to see, but inside I felt dead. I mean, literally dead. Emotionless. It was a very frightening place to be.
I became suicidal. I'd drive up to a mountain near our house and sit there, fighting with myself not to drive off the edge. I was terrified and felt so out of control of myself. I had SO MUCH to live for - 3 beautiful children, a wonderful husband who loved me so very much. Yet, the darkness consumed me. I felt I had no way out. I cried out to the Lord nearly every day, asking why he had abandoned me and wondering where he was. "Why won't you help me?!" was the cry of my heart.
I don't have any answers as to why he remained silent during this time - other than the fact that I wasn't listening for him. Bitterness and fear had taken over my heart and I don't think there was any room for God in that. I believe it was also a chemical issue with my brain. So many people look at this stuff in their lives and think "I'm just weak". I'm sorry, but it took STRENGTH not to drive off those cliffs! (A strength that, in looking back, I can see was God, pure and simple.)
I don't know why God allowed me to walk this path of depression. But, I do know that he's getting me through it. I ended up checking myself into a hospital - mainly because I just needed help sleeping - there isn't much a person can do with their mental sanity when they aren't getting decent sleep at night. I was able to get some medication to help me sleep and I stayed there for 3 days just resting so I could come back home and really get on with healing.
I started taking an antidepressant medication - something I vowed I would NEVER do! Let me tell you this... I will NOT allow society to condemn me for needing a medication to keep me alive. I have no qualms about needing to take this drug. Did I wake up one morning and say, "Hmmm... I think I'm going to be suicidal from now on?" No, I did not. And no - I wasn't trying to seek attention as some people may believe. I mean, seriously? Do you really think I wanted the kind of attention that suicidal tendencies bring? I see absolutely no difference between needing insulin for diabetes or chemotherapy for cancer and medication for depression. We don't choose to have depression. If I had a choice, I'd choose feeling joyful and exuberant over feeling depressed every day. But, with the medication, and with my relationship with God getting back on track, I do feel joy more often. And that, my friends, is worth every pill I have to take!
If you're struggling with feeling suicidal, please talk to someone. Go to your spouse, a parent, a friend, a pastor, or call a suicidal hotline (I have some numbers listed below). Just please - get it out into the Light. Satan loves what we hide in the darkness - he thrives on that environment and he will do anything to get you to succumb to death. But, God will work when we bring our thoughts out into the Light. In fact, he wants to work in your heart right now! There IS hope. God has not abandoned you! Please, reach out for help. Your life matters to me and to many others.
or to find a hotline specific to your state, visit SuicideHotlines.com