Are you a Christian and feeling suicidal?

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by IWantToBelieve, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. IWantToBelieve

    IWantToBelieve Active Member

    This is only my second post, and I wanted to touch on something that is a continuous source of struggle in my life of late. First of all, I'd like to clarify that it is not my intention to exclude anybody from this conversation. As a matter of fact, if somebody who is not a Christian can relate this post to their own experiences, I would love to hear from them.

    I was raised a Catholic. Going through my younger years I used to pray. By this I don't mean that I followed a routine program of reciting verses by memory, but that I actually talked to God. I asked for forgiveness, thanked Him for my blessings, prayed for friends and enemies, or when something stirred me (like the suffering of somebody I saw in the news.)

    As probably all of you know, life has a way of getting in the way. Toil, suffering, struggle, sometimes can erode your soul. People often go into crisis of faith, and so did I. I went through times where I blamed God for my life. I eventually came to the conclusion that God couldn't possibly exist, for if He did exist, he couldn't possibly let so much injustice, so much pain, happen in the world. My father died in a car accident. I was devastated. I blamed myself. And I blamed God (and sometimes I blamed Him for not existing.)

    I eventually grew out of this phase, but I didn't regain my faith (or any semblance of it) until recently, when I encountered even more struggles in my life, and a good friend of mine guided me back to believing by sharing his own views and thoughts.

    I am very grateful that I have regained my faith (or at least that I am in the path to do so.) There is something that I have struggled a lot with recently though, because of this fact. I have been feeling suicidal for a long time. It is not something constant, but even when I do not feel the full force of depression and despair there is still a deep dissatisfaction with whom I am. When I feel like killing myself I feel the conflict of those feelings (caused by a life filled with pain) with the teachings of Jesus. I know in my mind that committing suicide is something terrible, something that God can't look upon kindly, something akin to returning the most precious present you can ever receive (the gift of life.) At these times, I try to convince myself that, if God is truly all-knowing, if He knows the depth of my mental and emotional suffering, He will have pity on my actions. He will understand that I tried to live and be happy. That the pain was too much to bear and that I did my best, but because I am human (unlike Him) I failed and succumbed to the pain.

    Does anybody feel this conflict in their life? I would like to know how you deal with it, what your struggles are.

  2. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    Some thoughts from someone on his own spiritual journey. Not from a Christian background, but developing a relationship to God.

    *If God is omniscient, then he is aware of the pain we go through and is understanding of that. We are at the end of the day only human.

    *WARNING: The following point may upset some Christians - but speaking as a Christian of sorts I hope you read this* The word of God is written down in the Bible. The Bible was written hundreds of years after the event and translated by monks into other languages. It was used to explain how we came to be. Had the Bible been written down today and evolution not mentioned - it would have been laughed out of the office...therefore not everything written in the Bible can be taken at face value.

    I believe in addition to this that the Bible can be of great help - in that like God it is a form of conscience - sometimes right and wrong is not black and white - and we have to go on our instinct.

    * As the old adage goes - 'these things are sent to try us' - if they are and you succumb, does that neccessarily make you a bad person? You fail a test yes, but if you failed without malice - then is that a strong judgement against you?
  3. IWantToBelieve

    IWantToBelieve Active Member

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    I understand what you say about us being only human and God being able to understand our limitations. My problem is: If I am aware that suicide is morally wrong, how much pain am I obliged to withstand? If there is even a remote thread of logic and reason in my being, wouldn't I want to hold on to life? In this case, maybe I would only succumb when the pain was so severe that I couldn't control my own actions, when my desperation was so unbearable that I couldn't even think about anything else but a way of ending the pain.

    I have thought about suicide a lot. I have never actually tried to commit suicide, but in my mind I have carried it out many times, as if I had been rehearsing the real act. I also struggle with this fact, because Jesus made it very clear that our thoughts are almost as important as our actions.

    I struggle a lot. There is constant pain and contradiction in my thoughts. I want to stop suffering, but I don't want to offend God. I want to believe there is hope, that pain is temporary and that it will end.

    Regarding taking the Bible at face value, I think it depends on what you mean by that. I think the Bible is, in essence, correct as far as it is a book about morality, spirituality, and God. I never took Genesis as a guide in cosmology. I think Catholicism and some other forms of Christianity are very different in this regard. I think that Evangelical Christians, for example, advocate for the infalibility of the Bible (in a literal sense.) I think this is a very serious mistake, because it unfortunately has turned many people away from their faith unnecessarily. The bible is written by human beings (inspired by God.) How was somebody 3000 years ago going to write about DNA, evolution, and the Big Bang, no matter how inspired they were?

    Thank you very much for your answer, as what you say resonates a lot with me. Many times I wish I could truly believe that God would forgive me if I really killed myself. Then those times go by, and afterwards I'm glad I'm still afraid of offending God. Happiness and joy in my life do not happen often, but they do happen from time to time (at least if I try hard enough to look for them.)
  4. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    I was also raised Roman Catholic. There is a special emphasis on suffering while in our physical state and in this life before our eternal lives. Our religious symbol is not just the Christian crucifix but a man hanging in agony on it. Mental, physical, emotional torments are all to be expected and endured to the bitter end and suicide is virtually as bad as homicide in Catholicism.

    I suppose expecting suffering as part of living makes an intolerably burdensome life ultimately bearable and escaping this world supposedly only continues the suffering into the next. It all sounds like a raw deal :mad:
  5. IWantToBelieve

    IWantToBelieve Active Member

    Do you find comfort in thinking about Jesus, about the torment he endured to bring us eternal life? I do, but when I'm feeling truly desperate I can't think of anything by my own agony and how to end it.

    Thinking about Jesus' sacrifice and the promise of everlasting life (true life) after this existence always brings me comfort, but sometimes I am too weak and distraught to even seek that comfort. That's what really scares me and what I really want to avoid.
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