Friday, September 9, 2011

Migraine and Suicide: Experiences From The Community- Perspective Determines The View



The following is a personal story from someone who is a Christian.

"I don't pretend to understand what it is like to carry the burden of chronic pain - like you do, like my sister in law the hospice minister does. I've got no first hand experience with migraines, but I have attempted suicide - as a Christian.  Too often Christians feel like they have to put a "happy face" on everything, and deny that anything is wrong - and we do a real disservice to a hurting world when we do.  Following Christ doesn't guarantee you a stress free, pain free, rich and happy life...and we need to stop telling people that it does, 'cause when they find out otherwise they get real disillusioned.  Our reluctance to be honest about our suffering also isolates us from those who would come alongside to assist and support us - if they knew what we were going through. 

My conversion experience happened at age 13, but I had little in the way of discipleship.  What I DID have was an overprotective, controlling, dominant father - and a mom who had died the previous year.  Roll the clock forward a few years, make me a hormone-filled undergrad at college, and finally give me some freedom - and the results were pretty predictable.  I found someone to lose my virginity to - and fall head over heels in love with.  When she eventually decided to leave me in order to marry a previous boyfriend who had been physically abusive to her, I fell off an emotional cliff.  Eventually, I had a long talk with God, and told him that I was ready to come home - now.  I wanted no more of the pain I was going through. 

Then I followed through with my plan and cried myself to sleep.

Waking up was one of the strangest experiences...I was both relieved and disappointed.  Eventually, I planned another attempt.  But before I put that plan into action, I ended up spilling my guts to a good friend of mine (my daughter is named after her).  She invited me to a prayer group that she was in - at the time, the "group" consisted of her, and the woman I would eventually marry.  To say that group changed my life is a something of an understatement...

I find myself amazed at all I would have missed out on down here, if I had succeeded in going home on my timetable.  Deep friendships...marriage...kids...a fulfilling career...an amazing church...being used by the God I love - I had no idea of all He had in store for me.  We can only see so far with the tears in our eyes blurring our vision  - at those times, we just need to trust that our Father sees more clearly than we do."  

If you, or someone you know, is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing.

    "We can only see so far with the tears in our eyes blurring our vision - at those times, we just need to trust that our Father sees more clearly than we do." --> so true...

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  2. As another minister who has been to that dark abyss and back, I totally understand this post.

    Thank you for saying what I wish more people knew - that knowing Christ does not create a pain-free life. Faith is not an insurance policy against heartbreak and illness, rather, it is a way to experience the darkest of times and (eventually) know that you are not alone. God is with you.

    Thank you for your candor and faith.

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