Sunday, July 21, 2013

Don't Give Up!

My Dear Friend(s) Who Believe Suicide is Your Only Option,

You have shared with me your desire to be free of pain, depression, loneliness and anxiety.  I know that the release of death beckons you - that you believe it is the only way to find any kind of relief.  I hear in your words the desperation and hopelessness that you feel - I know that you are overwhelmed.  I know that you don't believe that there is any hope for a different or better life.

I pray and pray that God would give me the right words when I speak with you.  I share with you my own struggle with wanting to die and how I came through that to a life of hope that I never imagined.  I talk like a cheerleader on steroids trying to convince you that it's going to be okay; that it just takes time; that you can do it!  Yet I know that those words are hollow to you right now because all you can see is the darkness.  I become like a manic minister, citing every promise and verse of comfort that I can, but I know to you that they are just words.  I try to reason with you, reminding you of how important you are to your loved ones and to me.  I try to get you to see the difference you have made in the world and can continue to make.  But again, I know you don't believe these words because you believe that you are a burden and have nothing to offer and all you can see is the depth and darkness of your pain.

At times, you intellectualize suicide with the conclusion that it would be better for you and better for others if you weren't here - that it would be quicker and more merciful.  I wish you could see that for the false thinking that it is.  Do you really think we would get over you that quickly?  Do you really think that our lives would just go on as if you never existed?  I know you fantasize about heaven and the permanent relief from pain.  I'm not going to tell you that you are selfish, but I do want to ask "what about me?"  "What about the others who love you?" "What about our pain?"  You do know, don't you,  that we won't hurt just over your death, but over the fact that we will have to find a way to live without you.  There will be a void that nothing and no one can replace.  You aren't forgettable.

I know you need to see and feel hope, and I would give anything if I could do that for you.  I won't give up trying to do that either because the truth is that I care for you deeply.  As I speak and write to you, I fight back tears.  I cry because of my fear that I will lose you, my friend.  I cry because I am so powerless over this darkness that you are living in and my words seem so hollow.  I cry because I feel your pain deep within my soul.  I also cry because you just seem to have lost all fight.  I need to see you care about yourself!

I've never even met you in person, but you have made a difference in my life.  My life would be emptier and less meaningful without you.  I wish I could come to you and sit with you in the darkness.  I wish I could come to you and keep you safe, but I know I can't.  The reality is that there is really only one person who matters in this and that is you!  You have to be willing to fight; you have to be willing to believe in hope.  You have to be willing to search for meaning in your life. You have to be willing to turn off the fantasies of death and plant your feet firmly in this life.  As much as I want to, I cannot do it for you.  

I wish you knew how many people there are in your life who wish they could do this for you.  I know you can't feel it through the fog, but you are surrounded by love.  You need to know that we don't love you in spite of who you are and how you feel, but because of who you are.  You really do make a difference in our lives.

So, basically, this letter is my plea to you to keep on going.  Please do whatever it takes to cross through this valley of darkness into fields of hope.  There is nothing I wouldn't do for you....can you please feel the same about yourself?  Whatever it takes....medication, counseling, a safety contract, a safe place, calling a crisis line, meeting with a pastor, calling a friend to be with you, entering a therapeutic program either as an in or out-patient, asking for resources that you don't have.  

I KNOW it's hard work, and I know you are tired, but please don't give up.  I go to bed at night praying you won't give up; I wake up in the morning praying that you won't give up.  There is an army of people who don't even know your name(s) that are praying for you right now.  Please, please, don't give up.  You are important to me.