This is the hardest blog post I’ve ever written. Though I strive for transparency and authenticity in everything I do, I am going to share something I’ve not discussed publicly before in a three part series.
Now that a few weeks have passed since Robin Williams’ death, and the media hoopla is settling down, I feel like the time is right to get real in a raw way about my own past struggles with thoughts of suicide. In the off-chance maybe one person who needs encouragement, enlightenment, or empowerment might read this post.
Like many of you, Mr. Williams made me laugh when I was down, and lifted my spirits when I needed a boost. My heart has a hole in it when I think about his sacrificial giving from the depths of the darkness in his soul. Knowing he privately struggled against demons for years, makes me wonder how many of us keep the black secret of pain so intense, we would do almost anything to make it go away.
In this moment, you might not think you would ever take your own life, but thoughts can change when you are handed the unexpected. What would it take to make life seem like it’s no longer worth living?
What one thing could trigger you to consider suicide?
At one time, I would have fallen into the category of the incomprehensible. Until in an instant, many years ago, I learned my worst fears had become reality. I suddenly understood how someone could do something that moments before seemed impossible.
This is not a religious or non-religious thing, it’s a human thing. We might not believe we’re capable of suicide when we feel strong, especially we Christians, but when the rug is ripped from beneath our world, checking out permanently is a temptation we often face. No matter what faith we professed moments before.
So what nearly pushed me over the edge?
Some are afraid of cancer or another life-threatening illness. But disease wasn’t my trigger.
For others it is the perceived failure that comes with financial ruin. I grew up poor, have faced adversity my whole life, so was conditioned to work hard and do more with much less. Money and possessions didn’t offer me security.
The mere thought of physical debilitation makes some want to end it all. As an athlete in my younger years, I knew the power of push. Doing more than what you or others initially say you can.
There are many sets of circumstances, different for each of us, that can throw us into a pit. So deep we can’t reach the top. So slimy, we slide back down when we try to crawl out. So onyx black, it seems we’ll never see light again.
For me, it was relational. My greatest fear, due to things I experienced in my childhood, was betrayal and abandonment.
I thought I knew how I’d react if it ever happened to me as an adult. But what I thought, and what I did, were two very different things.
And so, on a bright, sunny summer day outside, I sat in my dark, lonely basement inside with a gun in my hand. Afraid of putting the cold metal against my temple, but equally afraid of facing another day.
Confused, overwhelmed, in despair, with a slight sense of relief over the possibility of controlling my own ending, I struck up a conversation with God. On my next post, I’ll let you listen in. But I’ll warn you, I didn’t hold back — and I’ll promise you I found fortitude and hope that proved real.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to go on? Even if you didn’t contemplate suicide, like me many years ago, have you asked God to just take you home?
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is an international speaker, Business and Inspirational Coach, Communications Specialist, Certified Personality Trainer, and Certified Training Facilitator. In addition, Anita is the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Her latest book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, releases through Barbour Publishing in April, 2015.
Anita also co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business consulting firm. Member of the National Association of Professional Women, Christian Writer’s Guild, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Toastmasters. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita is passionate about work with integrity, healthy relationships, healing hurts, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Follow her FreshFaith blog www.anitabrooks.com. You may contact her via website www.brooksanita.com/contact/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.