This week marks five years since I nearly died by suicide. The truth is, I’m not alone. This year, approximately 44,000 Americans will believe they have reached the end of their rope, and die by suicide. And for each person who dies, another twenty-five will attempt. You might think my story is a bit rare […]
Sometimes trusting God isn’t triumphant or glorious. Sometimes trusting God isn’t even a desire. It’s a stubbornness that cries in the middle of the night, but attaches firmly to my faith. Sometimes trusting God isn’t a praise song with the full band on a Sunday morning, but rather it’s a stick-to-it-ness that says I know there is something deeper than my pain and a Power higher than anything I can rationalize, so I’ll give this another shot tomorrow.
“If we don’t have a theology that embraces mental illness, our God is too small.” —William Paul Young, author of The Shack I was a pastor when I nearly died by suicide. I was 28 years old, married five years, and the proud father of a tiny baby boy. No one saw it coming (usually […]
“According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people suffer from depression, yet at any given time, we can feel alone.” That’s the opening line for the Giving Voice to Depression podcast. And it’s true. At times, those of us who live with mental illness, feel like we are suffering all alone. It was true […]
According to the Miami Herald, 14-year-old Nakia Venant hanged herself in the wee hours of the morning on January 24th, while broadcasting her suicide on Facebook Live. Less than a month before that, Katelyn Davis, a 12-year-old from Georgia, killed herself during another live broadcast. Each news report shows the image of a beautiful young […]
The world is full of people who feel hopeless. While the holidays may be a favorite time of year for many people, for others, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day only compounds the pain. For many people, the cold and cloudy days of winter triggers seasonal depression. For other folks, the thought of gathering with family and friends spikes anxiety, anger, and sadness.
It seems that sucky days are a universal experience. We can’t survive on an island. Isolation is miserable, especially for someone who struggles with depression or anxiety or self-esteem issues. Finding the guts to say, “Today sucks. Can we talk?” sometimes changes everything.
I hate when I feel this way. I hate the semi-permanent knot in the back of my throat, the avoiding eye contact with co-workers and the constant urge to go home. But the feelings persist. I hate the shame that comes along with it, whispering, “What a loser. Get your shit together. What’s wrong with you?” I hate the shame that comes from years of being raised as a religious kid, the lies that tell me I’m not a real Christian or I wouldn’t have these struggles.
But then I remember the words our pastor spoke Sunday…