Question: I Don’t Want To Live Anymore

Anonymous asked:

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. :/

 

Dear friend,

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.

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Are Depression and Anxiety a Choice?

Anonymous asked a question:

A lot of hurting young people on my dash. Is depression and anxiety a choice? My pastor believes it is. “Generational curses”, “biblical strongholds”, etc. Thoughts?


All right, dammit: Who is this pastor? I’m a fifth degree black belt and I can break into a house by scaling a wall, so give me an address and a picture and I’ll have a friendly interrogation with him. I’m trying to see what he means — but no.

Seriously though, most people who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety just don’t get it. It’s like telling someone you have a migraine and they offer you a glass of water. You sort of want to punch their face off.

Pseudo-biblical language that doesn’t even speak to reality only shortcuts a huge issue. You can tell me to “rebuke it in Jesus’ name” all day long, but I need some freaking help.

Let’s get this part right: while not all our emotions point to legitimate choices, having feelings is NOT wrong. You’re allowed to feel your feelings, all right? It’s okay to be a human being and no one should ever blame you for that.

If you’re denying your emotions, you’re also denying your humanness. Even the spoiled little princess on the latest reality show gets a fair hearing on why she flipped a desk about getting the wrong-colored car (hint: it’s not about the car, but her emptiness). What’s important then is to examine why this is happening and how to react in the moment.

People go through different seasons and occasionally experience severe internal weather patterns that you don’t just “choose” your way out of. There’s no easy off-button for those cloudy emotional fogs that suddenly overtake you. A lot is at work here — upbringing, situations, spiritual warfare, personality — so blanket-answers will not help.

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The Warfare of Discouragement

One day you’re smooth-cruising through the halls, high-fiving random strangers and yourself and soaking in the standing ovation, and the next minute you’re in the valley of a fresh oozing wound inflicted by the ugly, brutal weapon of words. You’re playing the endless loop of that three-second sentence, a fishing knife scooping out your guts, forcing your chin down like it weighs the size of the world. At any moment, in any place, discouragement can uppercut your soul and keep you down way past ten.

The occupational hazard of ministry, a wise pastor once said, is discouragement. That’s true for all of us. It’s unavoidable. It’s a fog that seeps into all our work, our words, our interaction, even the taste of food and the vibrancy of colors. There’s really no dancing around it, so we must deal with it.

At the center of this fog are truths and lies that fight for our sanity, and that war will be brought to the battleground of our emotions. We must, kicking and screaming, bring that fight up to the doorstep of our mind and in light of God’s Word. Regardless of how we feel, there’s a truth that exists. We press into it, or don’t. Press in.

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Question: The Ground War Against Depression and Anxiety

Facingfugue asked:
Hello! Your posts are a blessing. I see that you come from an area of knowledge in the psychology area as well spirituality . I have been struggling with anxiety attacks for the past two years. Do you have any advice coming from a perspective of a Christian as well? I have been doing C.B therapy but it really is not helping a lot. I used to be very depressed because it made me feel helpless, but Christ has been my refuge and HE has been my joy. The anxiety has been much harder to work out though

Thank you for your kind words!  I’m not sure I’m too knowledgeable about psychology but it does interest me a lot.

I’ve also suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. There was a suicide attempt in 2004 and I have cut myself before. CB therapy (Cognitive Behavioral) can be good for pointing out certain patterns and schemas, but may not be as helpful for treatment as you already know. 

Both therapy and the church can be really bad at handling depression.  Some people stuff it with drugs and others will say it’s “all in your head, get over it.”  Those who do not go through depression have no idea how debilitating it really is. 

There’s probably no formula/advice/plan I could give that’s 100% effective, but I can try to help from experience.  I’m also assuming that you already highly value prayer, reading the Bible, relying on the Holy Spirit, and attending church.  Medicine is also totally appropriate. That’s all the air warfare; here’s the ground war.

1) Be as honest as possible. Without being a victim about it, let people know what’s going on. Tell somebody. I made the mistake of hiding it too often.  Not that you want to announce it with trumpets, but even one or two close friends or your pastor should know when you’re feeling depressed or anxious. Some people will definitely be uncomfortable and ungracious, but then those people aren’t the ones who get you anyway.

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