When I was a teenager, I regularly helped with a Catholic retreat called Quest. At this particular Quest, there was a skit called the "Turn Around Skit". It basically goes something like this..
(Click here to see it, this is not the exact way Quest does it, but it's the closest I could find)
First, you have a happy girl playing with Jesus, then Satan comes in and forcefully grabs her away from Jesus and introduces her to vices. In order: Alcohol, drugs, money, debt, sex, abuse, depression, and suicide. She goes through each of these trials and they are demonstrated.
Alcohol - she is offered beer and "drinks" it.
Drugs - she smokes a cigarette.
Money - she is given $100.
Debt - the person playing this vice takes away the money forcefully.
Sex - the girl and her "boyfriend" are dancing, and then they hug, to say they had sex.
Abuse - the girl and her "boyfriend" are walking, the boy wants to go one way and the girl wants to go the other, it turns into a fight and he pushes her down.
Depression - at first this vice helps the girl up, but then pushes her down. This happens three times.
Eventually, the girl gets up on her own and walks towards Jesus, who is now on the cross. The girl then picks up a hammer that`s on the ground and "hammers" Jesus to the cross out of anger with everything that has happened to her.
Eventually, she steps back, looks at what she has done, and nods in satisfaction. She then puts the hammer back on the ground and turns her back to Jesus. She takes a few steps forward and then turns around.
Suicide - The girl sees suicide and screams, out of fear. She then starts running and suicide chases her.
Eventually, all the vices grab hands and encircle the girl. She screams out for Jesus and He comes down from the cross. He snaps his fingers and all the vices fall down except suicide. Jesus then pushes suicide down Himself.
At this moment, the girl is on the ground, closed up, Jesus reaches towards her and helps her up. Jesus then brings in virtues, the opposite of vices.
This is one of the skits that hurt a lot when I saw it. All of these things have affected me in some way, shape, or form. The one that affected me the most out of all these vices - alcohol, drugs, money, debt, sex, abuse, depression, and suicide - is without a doubt, suicide.
I have seen this skit three different times. I have been the girl in it. The last time I saw it, however, was different from all the other times. It was different because of Blake.
Blake was a friend of mine, I knew he was depressed and I helped him when I could, but there's only so much one person can do. He eventually ended up taking his own life by overdosing on September 10, 2017. I saw this skit again about four months after his death.
By the time Blake took his own life, suicide has had many effects on my own life, I didn't think it could affect me in any other way. When I was texted the news from Blake's sister, I was in mass on a Saturday night. I had driven to my friend's house after mass, I checked my phone, and there it was.
I immediately started crying, and it felt like it for hours. Thankfully, I had my best friends with me and they were able to take my mind off of Blake.
For Quest, the team comes down on Friday night and sets up. Apart from this is practicing the turn around skit. A deacon that had been there asked me to be the girl, as the person who was going to do it injured her knee. I practiced the skit two times and between the second and third time a debate came up on how we should do certain things.
It eventually became too much and I started crying, I couldn't handle being the girl. Another girl came in and learned it, I watched her and when it got to depression, I left the room, I couldn`t handle it. I didn't see a girl with the same name as me up there, I saw Blake.
Later that night, I prayed to God, I knew He would give me the strength to get through this trial. In prayer, God told me this skit was going to take everything out of me if I was the girl.
However, if I watched it, it was going to take everything out of me. I watched the skit, and did I cry! After the skit we had adoration - I was healed during this. For the first time in four months, I was actually able to talk about Blake. There was freedom in it.
At Quest, there was a candidate who lost someone from suicide just over a year ago. There was a woman on prayer team who lost her brother to suicide. There was someone there who also went to counseling for suicide. God placed these people in my life to help me. Thank you, God!
When I started this article, that was before I attended Quest, now I am writing after I got done attending it. Through seeing this skit and healing, suicide did not remain my biggest fear. In fact, it became my biggest strength.
My biggest fear became my greatest strength through the loving power and mercy of our beloved Father in Heaven.