No one ever suspected. I worked hard to have a polished smile and on-cue laugh. But several times during my teen years I contemplated taking my own life. Had someone asked me why I was thinking about suicide, I would never be able to rationally explain my reasoning. It's hard to admit that I thought life was so hard that I wanted to end it—especially considering how easy my life has been in comparison with people suffering all over the world. It's also hard to describe the experience of depression. It's like trying to describe living in a room that is pitch black.
Once I became a Christian, I thought I had victory in Jesus, my Savior. Yet within a few months I found myself fighting the demons again. Why did I continue to struggle with this? Why does depression continue to crouch at my door even today?
It can be dangerous to speak generally about depression and suicide, and I don't want to give anyone the impression that such thoughts of self-harm are acceptable. While they are more common than we care to admit, we should not give in to the debilitating lie that death is better than life. This is true especially in light of our overly psychologized culture that too readily qualifies us as victim — and not also a perpetrator in our own mess.
No Easy Answers
Lest you think that I ascribe an overly simplistic approach to depression (by saying it's all about decisions and doing), let me clarify that I offer an anecdotal account and do not mean to prescribe or denounce your experience. But for those going through such struggles, I hope you may find that much of my antidote—listening for the voice of God in Scripture—will speak to your own experience.
I am writing to you who feel like suicide shouldn't even be entering your mind. After all, you have the mind of Christ, and such thoughts seem contradictory to his. You know you have been declared righteous — but you don't care. You just want the world to stop. You want the blur of confusion and numbness to go away. If you could just cast yourself upon the rocks below, you think you would be able to enjoy bliss.