One day, Romans 8:28 popped into my mind, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I had no idea why, but these words prepared me for something I least expected–an attack of depression and suicidal thoughts like I’d never experienced before.
While I was normal and cheerful that day, the next day I was not. My appetite dropped. I struggled to eat even one spoonful of rice and felt nauseous. A few days later, as I was trying to sleep, suicidal thoughts bombarded my mind out of nowhere.
What’s going on? I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to have depression. Again.
The attacks increased in intensity which added fuel to the urge to kill myself. I drowned myself in Psalms, Christian music, and confided in fellow believers. They prayed for me and diverted my mind by chatting with me until I was exhausted enough to fall asleep.
The bombardments were so bad, I told my friends if they texted me and I didn’t reply within ten minutes, something had probably happened to me. I told them to check on me each day while the attacks were intense. If I hadn’t done these things and hadn’t leaned on Jesus, I could’ve surrendered to those thoughts by killing myself that very night.
I wanted to close myself off from the world, yet I refrained from doing so. Besides the thoughts, imaginations of committing suicide bombarded my mind. I was not imagining them on purpose, but I couldn’t seem to stop them. And soon, I was hit by endless waves of hopelessness and sorrow.
Headaches blurred my focus and getting up in the morning became a struggle. I wanted to sleep more to escape the attacks. But when I slept, I was met with nightmares, distorting reality into terrors and truth into lies.
My arms and legs weighed heavy, and I lost the motivation to start the day. Even to engage in two of my passions, writing and playing piano, was trudging through a swamp. My favorite music lost its appeal. Still, I forced myself to listen.
Going outside was walking in a daze. Even the sound of a drop of pin was loud ringing to my ears, overwhelming me. I wanted to flee back to serenity. When I did, the thoughts screamed until numbness froze my mind.
It was an incessant battle against the flesh. Against the sin of murdering oneself. A fight to go through each second and moment, and do normal tasks. Even writing this article was a struggle for me.
I believed Jesus was fighting for me (Exodus 14:14), yet I had my own part to do. To trust Him, to do activities to distract me, and to have joy in the little things.
Little things like the birds chirping, the rain’s rhythm, the color of the sky, and even small moments that tickled me. When they happened, I allowed myself to laugh more than usual. As Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” It eased my head, but it didn’t take the suicidal thoughts away.
A close friend of mine told me to take things easy. That it was all right if I couldn’t complete certain tasks in a day. She also recommended taking short naps when my head is worn out. So, I rested when my head exhausted itself.
This wasn’t the first time I’d had depression. Going through it again, however, appeared more difficult than before. If I struggle to get through one moment, how could I survive an entire day?
Yes, I busied myself, played cheerful music, and tried my best to not be alone. Yes, I immersed myself in the Bible, trusted God’s grace, mercy, and strength. Yes, I reminded myself of His promises.
Yes, I knew that He was making something good out of it and that He was always with me. Yes, I knew that God still has a purpose for me on earth as I am still alive. Yes, I rejoiced in Him. And yes, I gave thanks and appreciated each moment He brought me through.
Through it all, it was an arduous mental, emotional, and physical battle for me to persevere through one moment. Until one day, a vigorous attack pushed me to the edge. I began to close myself from the world and my relationships, wanting to give up on life.
Then Jesus told me to live.
“Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19b
One word: “live”.
That was all I had to do. Live.
The suicidal thoughts may suffocate me, but His Word breathed life into me, giving me hope when I had none and instilling purpose when I lost mine. So to the teenager with suicidal thoughts:
By simply living, you win the battle. And it’s all because
“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.” Psalm 118:17 (emphasis added)
Editor’s Note: If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out and tell someone you trust. This is not something to walk through alone. You can also call the suicide hotline number: (800) 273-8255.
For more articles and encouragement for those battling depression or suicidal thoughts, check out:
Please know that you’re not alone and that your life does matter. God has a plan and purpose for your life. Please don’t struggle alone, but reach out for help.