What do you do when you feel like you just don’t want to live? Like, you know if you trust in God and stand on His promises that things will get better, but that’s not the point…you just don’t have the desire to live anymore. How can that feeling change? I mean, it’s not like I don’t enjoy life sometimes, because I do, I’m just tired of it.
I completely understand you and I used to feel this way everyday. An old friend used to tell me, “I’m just living ’cause I can’t die.” As morbid as it is, this is how we felt for a long time, and most people just didn’t get it. They would reply, “Life is a gift” or “God is good” or “Live everyday like it’s your last,” but even knowing all that didn’t change anything.
I thought that because I felt this way, my life was worthless and there was no point to waking up and it would end without much significance in a vaporous whimper. I’ve tried to kill myself. I drank, a lot. I’ve never really told anyone, but I once went through a season of cutting. A few times, I gave away all my things because I was for sure I would go home and end it.
Finally, in a hospital bed with a stomach full of half a bottle of pills, that was rock bottom. The doctors were sure if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up. It was too late to pump my stomach. They fed me liquid charcoal to neutralize the acid. I waited.
I fell asleep. You can feel death, you know. It’s like someone is unraveling a thread at the back of your skull, like sinking into yourself. It felt like my legs were dangling in water. But in that moment, hanging over the abyss, there it was. Not a neon sign or a grand eloquent vision, but a simple expression of something beyond this world. You’re not done yet. You have more. You have ME.
I woke up. I was later Baker Act’ed into a mental hospital for two days, then released back to the world. I had lost thirteen pounds in three days and had roomed with horribly tragic mental patients who had far worse problems than I. Back into the sunlight, I suddenly didn’t want to waste my life anymore. I couldn’t stand the thought of having died in that hospital bed.
My dear, dear friend. I know there are no magic words to make this any better, and I don’t mean to compare my story to yours. I just want you to know it’s okay to feel what you feel. I never thought life would get better, but it can, and does.
I really wish I could convince you that life does have meaning, that a purpose awaits you, that you were wired to save a corner of your universe, that our God in Heaven grieves with you and is in love with you, and you are much more than what you feel. I did not realize this until inches before death, and for nearly nine years God has shown me over and over: when I should’ve died, He kept me alive for a reason.
If it does not profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, that means your soul has infinitely more value to God than the whole world. Think of that. Maybe it won’t make anything better right now. But for every person who is tired of living, God says, You’re not done yet. You have more. You have ME.
Please also consider that maybe you just need a break, or time with friends, a place to vent, some good old fun, some time to heal, and all of that is totally good with God. No one should ever rush you into a magical place of self-imposed happiness, and you can take your time. Find a mentor, a pastor, a safe zone of rest. Talk it out. Write, draw, sing, eat, read, express, and exercise — and don’t ever feel like these are filler. That’s all life, too.
In the meantime, walk slowly through the fog of your feelings and recognize: for even your honesty right now, you are doing much better than you think, and you are incredibly loved by me and anyone else with half a heart who reads this. Most of all: you are loved by your Creator, who is going to be with you through this. If you can hold on to even a fraction of that truth, you will make the next step into sunlight.