Content warning: Article discusses suicide.
"You don't deserve to live anymore." Those fateful words came at the peak of my depression. On a warm June night my junior year of high school, that monster that plagued my mind finally beat me. It had ruined my relationship with my family, hurt the people that I loved, and most of all, destroyed my self-worth. I walked into the bathroom, took 30, 300mg pills of my back pain medication, hobbled into my room, and passed out. I was broken and I didn't care who I hurt in the process.
My depression finally won, and for me, I thought that was the end.
But it wasn't. The next morning I woke up with tears flooding my eyes in shock of what I had just tried to do, and yet I chose not to tell anyone. Instead, I moved on, pretending it had never happened. I started letting depression and anxiety run rampant in my life, spiraling me into a chaos of drugs, alcohol, women, or anything that could help me feel something. I was desperate, and I sought the pleasures of this world as an answer to my inner emptiness.
Of course, this didn't work and I attempted suicide two more times.
I was lucky that I had someone looking out for me. The last time I tried to end my life I remember writing a note telling everyone that I was so sorry and that they will be better without me. Then, I looked up and audibly said, "God if you are real, don't let me kill myself." I was an atheist, and if God didn't make himself known at that moment my life would have come to an end. I couldn't kill myself that night. It isn't that I stopped on the spot or decided not to do it, I was determined. What happened was every knife, rope, key, pill, or chemical was miraculously gone or hidden from me. I sat down and wept until I fell asleep.
Two weeks later a girl from Antioch Community Church met my best friend from high school. She invited us to church and on the first worship song I felt something I had never felt before. I'm not talking about judgment or religion. I felt the true love and presence of God come over me and I knew in my heart it was real. So I dove in, I tore my suicide note to pieces right in front of my church leader, I signed up for everything I could, and I was saved from depression and suicide forever. The moral of this is that I couldn't save myself, I wanted to die with everything I had, but he had a different plan for me.
So now you may be asking, is this the answer to mental health? Do we just need God and all of our problems will be solved miraculously one day?
Well to answer that I frankly don't know what you need. Depression is a beast that plagues millions of people all over the world. It comes to kill and destroy the life that you want to live and it doesn't matter if you love God or not. I tried the suicide hotline, the self-help books, and I read every article I could to find the cure. They just didn't work for me. I needed Jesus, and I can speak only on behalf of myself when I tell you that the cure to my depression wasn't church pews or the Bible. It wasn't some eloquent sermon that a pastor preached to me while I was in a button-down and slacks. It came when I asked Jesus to come and save me while in my sweatpants and slightly stained grey shirt. He came when I had nowhere else to go.
I know people reading this may be skeptical, and that is OK. I was skeptical too. The only form of Christianity I had seen are hypocrites who judge others, hate everyone who thinks differently, and go to church on Sunday to thump their Bibles at the "sinners" of the world. Jesus isn't like that, and neither are a lot of his churches, he is alive today and he loves you. If the medicine isn't working, and the therapy isn't working, and you are at the end with nowhere to go. Ask God to reveal himself. He is faithful to answer those who ask and mean what they are asking. He saved me, and He can save you too.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255