How do I say this? How do I start this?
I want to write my story because I’m sure there are people out there who are caught by the title, and who feel like committing suicide as I once did. The desire to go hacked me up to the age of 43. Then, one fateful day….. thanks be to God…..
It was taken.
This is the story of how I was freed from this terrible force to leave the earth – permanently. I understand – it’s a long piece to read – but it is my story and must be told in it’s entirety.
I wanted to get out; out of this place I was in, from about the age of five. I dealt with a dreadful depression from about that age. My up-bringing was, to put it mildly, a difficult one. I was never liked by anyone in my family; my school; my neighborhood; let alone “loved” by anyone. Love. What was that?! And, though I was surrounded by all these people, I remember feeling entirely alone from this early age. And so there was a lot of pain there, and I wanted to be freed from it.
And I felt worthless. Lots of neglect. The “get out of my face!” kind of neglect, which brought me to a sense of worthlessness so intense, I’d feel it as physical prickles in my body. A pressure pressing on me hard – to want to be away from this horrible world. I remember at that young age, I was sure I shouldn’t be taking oxygen from others “who could make better use of it”.I was a nothing. I was a worse-than-nothing-lump-of-flesh-and-bones. Useless. Even a detriment. A taker. Taking from the earth and not giving anything back to it. The only reason I didn’t commit suicide back then was because, since I was so young, I didn’t understand that this was an available avenue to take.
However, later on, when I discovered that suicide was a viable option for relief from the pain, I tried to take my life three times – unsuccessfully, as you can see. Not that these incidents were the only times I thought of killing myself. You see, I was fixated on suicide. Like an addict coveting the object of their addiction, I coveted my obsession to end my life. I thought about it from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. The only plug in the dam was fear of death. Thank God I was afraid of that. It held me back from this potential means of stopping the suffering.
The first time I tried it, I was in college – age of 23. I have to say this strictly because it needs to be said…. I was recovering from a mental breakdown involving a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia, which was later re-diagnosed as Manic Depression (Bipolar it’s called it now-a-days). At that time I was given a medication for P.S. that was unsuitable for bipolar and, when I dropped from the high into depression, it was the last thing I needed. Two weeks after being released from the hospital, I took the whole bottle.
I should have died – but I didn’t.
When I tried again I was in the middle of some terrible stressors. While moving; trying to find a new job; and dealing with a difficult husband. I came down with a severe case of Ulcerative Colitis. A chronic condition which brings pain so fierce it practically destroyed my body so that I lost 50 lbs in six weeks. One more time I was shipped off to a mental hospital as I wasn’t being co-operative enough for the doctors to deal with. While there, I attempted it again – this time in a way I will never reveal to anyone. Only God will ever know what I used as a weapon against myself that time. Through that experience, I’d inadvertently discovered a quick, non-violent, and painless way to get the job done. Something a suicidal person should never be privy to. Again, I should have died…
But I didn’t.
But the pressure pulled hard in me; so hard in both directions it was putting me into physical shock. My head whirled. I wanted out – badly. I took the plunge again.
The last time was during another bout with bipolar depression. Like any addict, I was torn. There was a fear of death, yet a craving for it. The pressure during that time was hellish so that I finally gave in.
I used the same method I’d discovered from the last attempt. But this time it was different. Something stopped me during the process. I didn’t know what that something was at the time but, later on, I came to believe that this something was the Holy Spirit occupying my body. You see, I was a re-born Christian at that time – but this only made the desire to leave more urgent. I wanted to be “home”; in the place where I knew I was accepted just the way I was. Where there was peace – and unconditional love.
This is the scenario surrounding “the experience”.
So, I was stopped mid-act. In this condition I drove to my church and flung myself at a pastor there, begging for help. He got in touch with a woman who took me to her house where she fixed me some tea and spent the afternoon putting a puzzle together with me until my husband got off work and could pick me up. It was on the way home that I had this experience.
While being driven home, I suddenly heard a voice say;
“Cut it out Robin!” It yelled this at me. “You belong to me now, and you will leave when I say you can leave, and not a minute before! If I want you to stay here another forty more years, then that’s how long you will stay! If you try it again I will stop you! You can try it a thousand times and I will stop you! So Cut It Out!!”
Even in that pathetic state, the voice go my attention. It was undeniable. I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. But behind this scolding,I felt a ripple…
“I love you Robin. But I must be stern with you about this problem.”
You could be thinking; “This girl’s crazy” , and that might be true. But as a result, my suicide obsession was ripped from me – and has never returned.
Was I ok after that? Hardly. I was in shock for quite a while. The suicide obsession was torn from me; true, but replaced by the thought that I might have to stay on this planet another forty more years! Before this I always thought of life in terms of days, weeks, or at most – a year. It was just a matter of waiting until the pain got so bad I’d be courageous enough to take the jump. Now, it was forty more years I would have to endure in this god-forsaken place. Forty more years! I could barely wrap my mind around that concept. I sat in front of the TV and ate cheese sandwiches so that I gain forty pounds in a matter of several months.
That happened on May 7th, 1997. And now, as I look back I can see a picture. A before and after picture. I saw life on this planet as a sort of dungeon experience. I was trapped in a dungeon room with nothing in it but a dank, cold, windowless room with a door to get out. The door had a handle on my side so that, as soon as there was enough pressure, to make me courageous enough, I could open that door and escape at my own will. But after this experience, the handle to that door was moved to the other side, so that it could only be opened by someone on the outside. I felt trapped and, because of that, went into shock.
It’s been fifteen years since that happened. The suicide addiction was removed. It has never returned.
But God didn’t desert me. Not by a long shot.
Today, 16 years later, I have become accustomed to the idea of “forty more years”. You see, God did not leave me alone in the dark to struggle by myself. After I calmed down some, I began hearing His voice again. This time soft and loving. Little bit by little bit, He began showing me how to live this life here, as I see it, “for the long haul”. It was a matter of learning how to “decorate my dungeon home”. To turn my cold, dank, dark dungeon room into a nice, comfortable place to live. There were many things He taught me about how to decorate it. One of those things was to get on anti-depressants – and to stay on them – everyday. Another thing was to learn how to focus my attention on the little treasures I could find as I traveled on this plant. I’d find a little treasure and bring it home with me to decorate my dungeon with. A lamp to chase away the darkness; some furniture; a plant or two; Just the way one would decorate any cold, dark, and empty house. One adds cherished things to the cold, dark rooms – and they warm up.
What are all these decorative items? you might be asking. They are mostly little odds and ends [as well as some bigger pieces] of what could bring joy into my life. Each thing I’ve added was bought with a God-supplied bottomless purse of, dare I say this horrible word?
Now, in 2012, you should see my dungeon home. Filled with a thousand little trinkets of gratitude, and some comfortable larger pieces for repose and light, it has become a very warm and comfortable place to live. And I’ve found… it’s not so bad living here…..
For the long haul.
ps – And one of those beautiful pieces in my home… is writing this blog.
ps #2 – One time I put together a gratitude list. It has 243 things on it. The post is here:…