Please give me a reason to live.

Hi,

I have been clinically depressed since 1989. I am 30 years old. I have attempted suicide several times by overdose, have been hospitalized about 5 times, have tried various anti-depressants, seen many psychiatrists (main one for about 6 years) and am currently seeing another psychiatrist. I'm currently taking anti-depressants (2), anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills (for insomnia), pills for high blood pressure and even anti-seizure medication.

I was recently in the hospital for non-psychiatric care. I had a seizure from one of the medications I was taking (didn't overdose) and as a result, I have not worked in about a month. After recovering, I planned to go back to work, but before that happened, I had a bout with shingles. I can go on and on about my ailments and I know it's tiresome, so please forgive me for writing as much as I have already. But anyway, I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to "get better." I want to die, but I guess a little part of me wants to live, or at least I'm scared to go "all the way."

I do believe in God, but I guess I have turned away, and have not had a relationship with Him in a long while. I know it's wrong, but I realized that most times, I turn to God and ask for his help when things are not going well. When things are running smoothly, I don't give Him a second thought. I just feel that I know what I "should" do, but I don't do it. I should go to church and be with other christians, I should rekindle my relationship with Jesus, I should do a lot of things, but I'm so tired and beaten already. I actually wish I had the courage to just "do it." I feel like I'm going crazy because I keep going back an forth between wanting to live, and wanting to die.

I'm sorry for being so long-winded. I am just taking a chance in writing and hoping that you will help renew my desire to live, and hopefully help me open my heart to God and the Holy Spirit. I want to try, but I'm finding it so difficult.

Please help me if you can...

My response is in Green:

I am not sure if I can help or not. I think you already know what the answer is and that is God. You need a real relationship with Him. I sure understand when you say you are tired. I use to feel that way too. I still do physically but mentally I am much more refreshed now that I have given it all to God. Let me give you one of my favorite verses: (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. {29} He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. {30} Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; {31} but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

You know the reason most of us don't get the help we need and want from God? Because we don't really have a relationship with Him. If you had a friend that you loved dearly, but the only time you ever heard from them was when they needed a ride to work because the car was broken down. Or they only called when they needed money to pay the rent, or when they needed a shoulder to cry on because the kids did something terrible, etc..., what kind of relationship would that be. How quickly would you respond after while?

God gave us emotions, but we should not think that He just made those emotions up. I believe He gave us a copy of His emotions. We read in the Bible that God is a jealous God, He gets angry, He loves, He hates, He is merciful, He is compassionate, and He can be grieved. So why don't we ever think of His feelings when we treat Him exactly like we hate to be treated?

My point is that we often just run to God when we need or want something, yet these are the things the drive us nuts about our friends and families. We even make statements like, this or that person is not really my friend they just call when they want something. Or that our kids don't really love us they just need our money, etc...

God wants a real relationship with us. A real relationship means loving that person and wanting to be with them and talk to them in the good times and in the bad times. That is what God wants too. He wants to hear from you when things are good, because He deserves to be praised for the good in your life. He wants to hear from you when you are lonely, because He wants to comfort you. He wants to hear from you when you are mad and upset with Him, because true friends are truthful with each other. I would caution that we must remember He is God, but yet I think it is okay when we go to Him and tell Him we don't understand why He is allowing the things which are happening in our lives. A friend with whom you are never honest is not much of a friend.

A friendship is built and maintained through contact and truthful communication. Why do we so often forget that with God? He speaks to us through His word, but we seldom find the time to read it. We speak to Him through prayer, but we don't talk to Him, we give Him a laundry list of things we want Him to do for us.

I wonder sometimes how much pain we carry ourselves because we are too slow to go to God and maintain our relationship with Him. Take a look at this passage: (Amos 4:6-11 NIV) "I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {7} "I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. {8} People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {9} "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {10} "I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {11} "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.

It makes me wonder if a lot of the pain and suffering Christians go through is God trying to draw them closer. Unfortunately many do the opposite and get mad at God for allowing them to suffer. Yet as we both know it is even harder to stay close to God when we don't have a care in the world.

Well I got a little side tracked but my point was that you are right you need to rekindle that relationship with Jesus Christ.

You said that you hoped that I could renew your desire to live. I am not sure I can, but I would like to give you a couple of things to think about. You have been clinically depressed for years, and you have major medical problems. Now think of this. There is an angel in heaven who is praising God day and night. God loves to get heart felt praise from His creatures and these praises are truly heart felt from that angel. Now you praise God, and tell Him that you love Him.

My thought is this; which of those praises do you think is sweeter in God's ears? The angel has seen God face to face. The angel has never had so much as a headache. He has never been depressed, he would not even know what that means other than intellectually maybe. He has never had an itch or a rash, much less the shingles. He has never had any kind of illness, or had to take any medications. All the above only scratch the surface in reference to you. Now let me ask again, which praises do you think are sweeter in God's ears?

God created us, He knows us better then we know ourselves. He knows what it takes to praise Him when we don't even want to take another breath. He knows that we don't really understand who He is. He even understands that there are times when we wonder if He is real. He knows how much faith it takes to praise Him when we feel terrible.

Let me put it in human terms. I don't know if you have children or not, but either way, you can understand my point. If you have a child and you buy them something and they smile and look at you and say "I love you." That makes you feel good. Now think of taking that same child to the doctor when they are sick. The doctor says they need a shot. The child does not understand and is frightened. Your child looks to you for protection and to make sure that they aren't in any pain, but you tell them they have no choice they have to have the shot. As the doctor gives the shot your child looks into your eyes with tears and says, "I love you." Both times your child used the same three words, but there is no comparison.

It takes love to praise God when we don't feel like it. (Proverbs 8:17 NIV) I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. So do you still need a reason to live? If so then you need to realize that one day your suffering will be over and if you have endured you will spend eternity with God. The past (this life) will seem distant, but I have to wonder if there is one thing we will miss and that is being able to show how much we love God by praising Him and worshiping Him in the good and the bad times.

I am not a mental health professional, but I will tell you something that I have found through my own experience. I find it hard to stay depressed when I am singing praises to God. Put on some Christian music which you enjoy and sing at the top of your lungs, and from the bottom of your heart. Ask God to help you and strengthen you. If the depression continues then praise God even more and even louder. Paul tells us that we are in a spiritual battle. We are also told that God inhabits the praises of His people. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize you are winning the battle when you are praising God with all your heart.

Well that is my feeble attempt to help. My words are useless, but I pray that God will allow you to read and comprehend what He wants you to know. I know He loves you and that He wants you to love Him and have that true relationship with Him. Until we are in His will we will never be truly happy.

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