Allie Licona Peters is the daughter of renowned scholar Mike Licona, and wife of Mentionable Team Member Nick Peters. Allie writes at Written In Red
Recently, you may have heard on the news about the deaths of designer Kate Spade and renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. Suicide affects people in such a way that no other type of death does. Last year, front man of the band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, killed himself. When it was made public, the suicide hotline received 30% more calls than normal. What goes on in the mind of someone who is contemplating suicide?
I have struggled with mental illnesses for most of my life. I have had a deep self-hatred since I was around five or six years old. I have wanted to disappear for just as long. The older I get, the more I seem to struggle with my long list of mental illnesses. I have had four suicide attempts since graduating high school nearly a decade ago, and many “almost” attempts. Some people say suicide is the easy way out, but it really isn’t. Suicide is actually a very scary ordeal – even for the person doing it. Suicide is a silent cry for help. You want the pain to end and you don’t see any other way of it ending.
For me, when I’m suicidal, it’s because I want the pain to end and I feel like I’m just a pain for everyone else to deal with. I think, “This is the only way I can rid the world of one less pain.” The pain hurts so much and is often more than I can bare. It doesn’t just hurt mentally, it physically hurts too. Everything hurts. It hurts so much that it’s hard to breathe. I just want the pain to end. I’m tired of being a burden for the world to carry. They say suicide is the most selfish act you can do, but when you’re suicidal, you feel like you’re doing the world a favor by ridding the world of one less evil.
People who are suicidal aren’t always the ones who act depressed all the time. Sometimes they seem happy. We often feel like we have to put a mask on for people. We can often be laughing one moment, and just like that be in complete and utter darkness. We can’t stay in our heads for very long by ourselves because there is a lot of darkness in there. As Chester Bennington put it in one of his last interviews before he passed away, “It’s a bad neighborhood in there and I can’t be there for very long by myself.” We get so consumed by our darkness that it seems nearly impossible to see the light – but there is still a light, no matter how dim it may seem.
There is always hope, no matter how hard things may be. No matter how lonely we may feel, we are never truly alone. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free – including those who are captives to their own minds. He said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest," (Matthew 11:28). I know sometimes it feels like he’s distant, or like he’s not even there, but he is there! You are not alone. I’m preaching to myself just as much as I’m preaching to you. We are not alone. There is a lot of darkness in this world, but there is a light that will never go out, and he will never leave you nor abandon you (Hebrews 13:5). He will wrap his arms around you and never let you go. We have a God who truly cares about us. Run to him. We don’t fight these battles alone, he fights them with us!
The pains we go through, no matter how intense it may feel, will not last for an eternity. I don’t say this to undermine what you’re going through - I say this about my pains as well. There are going to be times where we have joy too. It may seem like that’ll never happen, but it does happen. There are times where we get a break from our distress, even if it’s for a minute. Your life is precious, don’t throw it away for something temporary. There is hope every morning when the sun rises. If you are feeling suicidal, please call 1-800-273-8255. You are worth living.