Thursday, November 16, 2017

I'm Still Here

Once this posts, I will close the "suicide chapter" of my life.
At least that is my plan. 

I am writing this on November 8. It's about 4 am. I am at peace. The demons that have tortured me for months...maybe even years...are silent for now. 

I am going to enjoy this reprieve.

As I struggled to not want to die, 2 women distantly connected to me succeeded in their suicide attempts. I wonder if they had time to regret what they'd done, or if they welcomed the pain that came with the relief of knowing that their struggle was over. Seeing the pain that their family and friends are suffering breaks my heart and I can understand how easy it is for people to think that suicide is an act of selfishness, arrogance, self-absorption, and carelessness...even hatred. 

I know that, in most cases, suicide is not selfish. Most people who kill themselves make the decision to die because they truly believe that they are a burden, a screw up, flawed, and broken. Most people who actually try to die do so in an effort to free the people they love from the burden of being chained to them. Their motive, albeit twisted, is far removed from "selfish." Most people end their lives either feeling that no one loves them or that they do not deserve the love they have received. I also know that this is almost always not the case. Our feelings are so terribly unreliable. I have learned to stop and examine the FACTS apart from my feelings about things. 

In fact, I've learned much these past months

I've learned that there is little healing to be found in looking for someone to blame for wanting to die. The desire to die is within us; the healing needed goes far beyond what casting blame can accomplish. While it does help to sort through history and identify unhealthy relationships, history cannot be changed. As an adult, you cannot get the love and acceptance you wanted as a child but did not receive. No amount of finger pointing and blame casting will heal you. Healing is found in looking forward, not back. 

I've learned that you have to fight for healing. IMO-This is something that isn't really discussed enough. Just like with any other disease, you must take action and get the help needed to fight depression. This help comes in many forms including medication, group therapy, a strong support system, inpatient and outpatient care, and counseling. Healing requires you to take care of yourself physically; you must eat well, rest well, and balance work and play. Healing does not fall in your lap. You have to go after it. Some days, no, MOST days, you have to fight for it. You have to want healing. Every moment of the day and night, you have 2 options, fight or give up

I choose to fight.

I've learned that healing is incomplete unless your spiritual self is included. I know for an absolute fact that my true healing began when I remembered who I am in relation to God. When I remembered the great lengths Christ went to in pursuit of my heart, remembered that God knit me together, remembered that God works ALL things together for good for those who love him, and remembered all the many times God has already proven Himself faithful to the promises in His Word throughout my life...I started to heal. Without the hope of Heaven, I have no hope. Without the promise that God works ALL things together for good...I have no hope. Without the understanding of the glory God gets for a life lived for Him, I have no hope. Without HOPE, healing is incomplete. 

I have also learned that, just as with the desire to die, the desire for healing is inside you. No one can give it to you. YOU have do decide that you want to be healed of the agonizing pain that makes you long for death. Just as blaming someone for your desire does't heal you, looking to some person to save you doesn't work. The ONLY one who can give you the desire in your soul to live is God. He is ultimately faithful. HE is trustworthy...even when we cant understand WHAT He is doing. No one can make you seek God, but I do know that there is a "God sized hole" in all of us. There is a longing, a never-ending heart ache, that can only be soothed in the arms of God. 

I will close with this promise from Jesus Himself...

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

If you find yourself in the depths of despair; if you believe that the world is better off without you, know this...THAT is an absolute lie from the pit of hell. SATAN comes to ONLY to steal, Kill, and destroy. 

If you have thoughts of suicide, you DO have a choice. You CAN choose to fight. Get the help you need. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. 

Don't cut your story short. 


Big hugs and Much love!
K




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)


I believe that every piece of this journey has been important and necessary. I am not and will never be one to say the you "just need more faith" to get well. I am not and will never be one to say "just get over it" if you are depressed or anxious or suffering from any form of mental bondage. I am eternally grateful beyond words for my medication, counseling, and yes, even hospital stays. I will say that these things, though good and necessary, were not enough to truly heal me. God drew me back to Himself, and THAT is when I became whole. These other things treated me physically. Let me say again, they were and are necessary. HOWEVER, they were not able to bring complete healing.

This may (or may not) be my last "suicide survivor" post. 

In every "bad" situation, I try to understand what good God is bringing from my pain. In 2 battles with cancer, God allowed me the distinct privilege of sharing the love of Christ with people I would not have come in contact with had I not been a cancer patient. I will not bore you will all the skeletons in my closet, but will say with complete confidence that GOD does not waste a single hurt. Not a single one. Every terrible, earth shaking, crippling event in my life has given me opportunity to relate to, minister to, and share the love of Christ with at least one woman. Many times, so many times, God used a valley I've traveled through to be the very thing that allowed me to gain the trust of a woman who otherwise seemed quite different from me. This has turned my greatest hurts into treasures...only God could make that happen.

I have a completely new appreciation for Romans 8:28. This verse says "ALL things work TOGETHER for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (As I'm typing this I realize that there will be future posts on this verse)

ALL things (not most things, or SOME things) work TOGETHER.

If I believe Scripture (and I do) then I have to believe that GOD uses ALL things for the good of those who love HIM and are called according to His purpose (that's me).


So


If I believe God's word to be true, then I HAVE to believe that God will use my suicide attempt and my major depressive episode for my GOOD.


MY good


MY good...not someone else's....Mine.


What in the WORLD could POSSIBLY be good about a suicide attempt?  How on EARTH could that work together with ANYTHING to be for my GOOD? 


Oh Honey, Let me tell you.


Through all this...mess...God gave me the one thing I needed more than anything else...the one thing that only HE could give me...


God gave me Himself.


True to His word, He worked all this together for MY good. 

God allowed me to drift from His side. He allowed me to turn away to the point that I could not feel His presence. He allowed me to fall. He allowed all the things I trust in to fail me. He allowed pain so great that my only desire was to end my life. He allowed Satan to deceive me. He allowed darkness to envelop me and steal my breath. 

But HE did not allow me to take my life. If you want to get completely "in the Battle" with me...He did not allow Satan to take my life.

God will allow terrible things. He will. He does it out of His undying and overpowering love for us. He KNOWS that MY greatest need is HIM. My soul CRAVES my Savior. I need Jesus like I need air to breathe. 

I forgot how GOOD it feels to FEEL God's presence, to KNOW that He will absolutely NEVER leave me or forsake me, to TRUST Him with every breath I take. I forgot. I just forgot. I forgot how much I need Him...Because He has been a constant in my life for so long...I FORGOT how desperately I NEED Him. 

I became religious. To be honest, I became quite legalistic. Over time, I lost sight of the NEED I have for a Savior. I came to depend on people, on rules, on systems and..on myself. I believed I had a pretty good grip on life and how to make things work, so I figured God could focus on someone who "really needs" Him. 


Oh... forgive me. 


God, in an act of unconditional love, allowed me to remember what life is like apart from Him. Out of His LOVE for me, He allowed me to feel the ache in my soul that comes from being distant from Him. HE allowed me to feel His absence so that I would REMEMBER how much I LOVE Him, how much I NEED Him, and ONLY Him.


HE allowed me to go through the deepest darkest valley I can imagine... so that I would understand my need for Him, so that I would ask Him to save me....

again

And, when I finally asked Him to save me from the darkness that was drowning me...


HE DID



Much love and big, big hugs...
K




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Perspective

I give a lot of power to my thoughts and feelings. This is my downfall, if you want to call it that. I over analyze every thought and feeling and easily frighten myself with the "what ifs."

  • What if I'm not strong enough to fight the desire to die today?
  • What if this darkness doesn't go away?
  • What if I feel this way forever?
  • What if I'm always this broken?
  • What if I really am crazy?
It's amazing how quickly our thoughts can become twisted...and how equally quickly they can be straightened out.

Perry has taught me to look at the "What Ifs" and answer them from the perspective of faith. What did Daniel say when threatened to be burned alive?

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)

Yes, God CAN deliver me from this torture that is my mind...but He may not...and if He does not, I will do my best to bring Him glory in the struggle.

Perry reminded me that it's easy to give God glory AFTER a dark season. Anyone can do that. We show the world our FAITH, our TRUST, and our OBEDIENCE to God as we travel through the valley. NOW is my opportunity to be used by God. NOW is my opportunity to build my testimony and witness. NOW is the time to live out my faith. 

It's all perspective. 

When I am focused on myself, I am sad, depressed, wishing that things would change. When I am focused on myself, I feel cheated, like things aren't fair, and that I deserve more. When I am focused on myself, I want to find someone to blame for where I am, I worry about my future, and embrace darkness. 

When I focus on others, I feel insignificant, weak, and out of place. When I compare myself to other women, I come up short because there is always someone prettier, sweeter, more helpful, happier, more self-assured, and smarter than I am. When I focus on others, I feel that my life is lacking ... I want what I don't have...and there is ALWAYS more to want.

When I turn my thoughts toward heaven, and the hope I have through Jesus Christ, my mood lifts. When I focus on Christ, I have hope, purpose, and meaning. When I focus on Christ, I have peace. I am comforted by stories of God's faithfulness in Scripture and the memories of how HE has walked with me thus far. When I focus on Christ, I am reminded of the value I have as a Child of God. When I focus on God, I realize that I am part of a story much bigger than myself. When I focus on God's Word, I am comforted in knowing that HE has a plan and a purpose for me and my life. He has numbered my days perfectly to accomplish what HE desires to accomplish through me.

I so easily forget that this life simply isn't about me. There are people God puts in my life every day who need to know that God loves them, that this life isn't all there is, and that there is hope in Christ. Life is hard. I am comforted knowing that, because of Christ, my worst days here are as bad as I will ever experience, because I have Heaven to look forward to. 

Others need that hope. 

Every "bad" thing that has happened in my life has opened the door for me to relate to someone who needs to know Christ. Every struggle has added to my testimony. Every dark night has added depth to my story. That story is, and always has been, the story of Christ's endless pursuit of my heart. When I consider the lengths He has gone to in order to win my love, I am left breathless. 

I have said many times that I cannot WAIT to hear "Well done Kristyanna, welcome home."


It strikes me that if I end my life, I will have to stand before God and tell Him that the life He gave me wasn't good enough, that I didn't like the story He gave me. I'd have to tell Him that He didn't do enough. I cannot imagine looking at Christ who gave His life for me and saying these things...but ending my life would say just that. 

I'm okay. I can trust myself even when I'm NOT okay, because this life is not just about me. God has a plan and a purpose, 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8:28 (NIV)

So I can finally say that I am okay. I really am. I am excited to see how God will use this valley. I hope that He allows me to witness Him work through it.

Much Love and Big hugs!!!
K

Friday, November 10, 2017

yes, this is another post on Psalm 139...



I'm still stuck on Psalm 139. 

I'm trying to make sense of where I am, where I've been...trying to figure out what to do to stop the ache in my soul. now 3 months past my attempt to end my life, I'm trying to figure out WHO I am, where my worth is found, what about me is valuable, and what purpose I have for being here. 

I keep asking myself "Who did God create you to be?" It is terribly difficult to dig beneath the surface where I am bombarded with the thoughts that have haunted me for years: 

  • You are a failure
  • You never get anything right
  • You just aren't good enough
  •  I don't love you
  • You aren't what I want/need
  • You have no purpose
  • You are worthless
  • You are a disappointment
  • Why can't you just get your act together
  • Why do you always have to be so "much"


(sigh)

This morning I am trying to silence those thoughts. I'm trying. The only way I know to silence them is with God's Word. Scripture is Truth. It does not change with emotion or circumstance. It just "is."

I am listening to Kevin Kern on Pandora and reading Psalm 139...trying to remember who I was before I started changing everything about me in an effort to be who I thought I "should" be. 

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16 (NIV)

ALL the days ordained for me were written in Your book before ONE of them came to be. 

  • the days I failed
  • the days I sinned
  • the days I cried
  • the days I was mean
  • the days I was hurt
  • the days I fell
...the day I tried to kill myself?


If all the days were written, then all the days were written. Nothing is a surprise to God. 

So then, all the days that led up to the day I tried to die were also no surprise to God. Please understand, I am not saying that I believe he CAUSED any of my pain or that He tempted me to sin. I AM saying that I absolutely believe that God is ALL KNOWING and that he KNEW what I was going to do before I chose to do it. 

My thoughts are racing faster than my fingers can type.

If I believe that God knows all my days before I was even born (and I DO believe this), then God knew what I would need before I needed it. 

God knew...and He allowed all sorts of different things to make me who I am today. 

Maybe I don't need to figure out who I was BEFORE I changed. 

Maybe I need to figure out who I am BECAUSE I changed. 

Maybe God didn't stop "Knitting me together" once I was born. MAYBE He has been knitting me together all this time. 

Another verse comes to mind...Romans 8:28
For we know that with God all things work together for the good of those who Love Him, who are called according to His purpose. 

Maybe I am not as broken as I feel. Maybe all these things that I feel are flaws are really the things that God is using to work together for Good. 


Maybe I am who I'm supposed to be.

Could it be that I am exactly who God has created me to be in order to accomplish what He wants to accomplish through me... and Satan is the one telling me that I am broken and flawed? Could the voice that is constantly telling me who I "should be" be the voice of the enemy of my soul? 




The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)...

Oh wow...

Going to have to process this...

Much love and big hugs...
K




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Committed...part 2

Yesterday I revisited my first hospital stay after I tried to die.

Today I will share a bit about my second hospital stay.

Before I delve off into this, let me clarify a few things. 

First, I do believe that every part of this journey was important and necessary. I think that every piece contributed to where I am today. 

Second, I have recently found out that there are hospitals better suited for a suicide patient than either of the ones I was admitted to. The two I stayed in are local, and logical choices. Even though I do not need inpatient treatment now, I am glad to know that there are better options. 

If  you find yourself in this valley, please seek professional help and seek help from a place that focuses on depression and suicide specifically. I didn't know to ask for this. I do now. My time in the hospital the second time was counter productive to my healing, but it made me realize that I am my best advocate; I am my best hope for getting the help I NEED.

Like I said...every piece of this journey has been important and necessary.

My second hospital stay was the result of me not agreeing to sign a contract with my first counselor stating that I would not harm myself. I wrote about that earlier and will not revisit it now.

Actually, all I want to say about this is that it is unfortunate that the powers that be think it is "good" to put someone who wants to die and who is not in any way shape or form addicted to alcohol or drugs in with patients who are being monitored while they "detox" so that they can be moved to long term care.

As with anything else, it wasn't perfect. I encountered staff who loved their job and were very helpful..and I encountered staff who treated me like a crazy drug addict (again...I do not drink or do any sort of drugs...at all...none). 

All in all, the only thing truly "wrong" with that stay was that I was in with drug addicts who were being detoxed. They were aggressive and angry. They acted out and yelled and screamed and turned over tables and chairs. They got in fights. They cursed and made threats. 

There were only 2 others in with me who were there for depression and I was the only one on suicide watch

Like I said, every part of this journey has been necessary. When I got out of the hospital the second time I knew I had to speak up fir what I needed. This is when I told Calvin that I wanted to see Perry for counseling.

As I have said before, that was a great decision.

I don't want to discourage ANYONE from being hospitalized. I wish I'd known to seek out a facility focused on failed suicide and depression. Of course every hospital will tell you that you can be admitted there. Make SURE that you do your research and find a hospital that will help YOU.  You are your best advocate to get the help you need. 

Let me close with this...
Wanting to die isn't normal or okay. If you feel this way, you DO need to seek out help. Seeking out help yourself will help you get the care you need since you KNOW yourself. IF you are struggling with addiction, you absolutely need to get help with that. You wont get well if you are addicted. If you do not drink and do not do drugs, you do not need to be in a rehab facility. 

The worst thing you can do is nothing. Get help. Find a counselor. If you truly want to kill yourself, commit yourself to a facility that can help you through this. Whatever you do...get help. Nothing is worth killing yourself over.


Much love and big hugs!
K