So here is my Ebenezer Rock Jar!
(Maybe not as professional as the picture that I posted from pinterest.)
. My first rock in the jar has inscribed "I've been free of suicidal thoughts for three months!" and then the date on the back. This is the longest I have ever gone without suicidal thoughts. Before, I struggled weekly; sometimes daily. In my memory I have 4 distinct times in the last 8 years that I actually thought about it, planned it, and praise God that I didn't go through with it. Suicide has been a word I haven't really used, mostly because of the Christian stigma; that "real Christian's don't feel this way." Well that is a lie that can be thrown right back at Satan.
To bring someone to such a hopeless place that would lead them to even thinking about suicide is real and sadly an increasing reality in our world. For me it is coming to a place of emotional pain that it becomes unbearable. You hear stories of people in war that have been so badly injured that they beg someone to kill them, for if they could they would. Look at the end of King Saul's life in 1 Samuel 31, "3 The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. 4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me." But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it." The pain was so fierce that he killed himself.
In my experience as a Registered Nurse of cancer patients and as a person that has struggled with depression, I have seen pain that can lead to such desperation. It may be physical, spiritual or emotional. For me I would have so much emotional distress that I couldn't deal with, at those particular seasons that I felt like it truly was my best option. The pain is so intense; hopelessness sets in and it is hard to think past stopping the intense ache. The ache is in my heart; and it sometimes feels like 200lbs on my chest, and a chill that is all the way in my soul.
On tuesday of this week I had one of those terrible; I can't take care of myself days. The thought of taking care of my children seemed impossible. But in feeling those same strong, terrible feelings I realized that I have started to learn to be okay with intense pain. In learning this lesson, I have been able to deal with a lot of life better.
How do you learn to deal with pain? Well for me it has been through intense, uncomfortable, sometimes I feel like puking physical exercise. Exercising of course has great benefits such as releasing endorphins (which fight off depression), regulating blood sugar levels, and keeping body fat low.
Try holding a yoga move called a "Plank" for lets say two minutes...no really get down and try it. Even if you are in the best of shape you begin to feel your arms, abs, and legs begin to burn. Now if you are physically able to hold "plank" for two minutes you are in pain, true physical pain. In addition to just the exercises of yoga, you learn to breath through it and talk to your self in positive ways. ie: "this will only last 1 more minute or 30 more seconds," in turn I have learned to talk to myself and become more comfortable with pain.
I went running today. My left knee was sore and my abdomen was cramping. Instead of quiting while feeling bad for myself, I pushed through and survived to write about it. I don't know what you are struggling with, but I do know that even if the circumstances or feelings don't change there is hope for learning to lean on Christ and learn some new skills.