Suicide Questionsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I am stuck between not wanting to live any more, but afraid of taking my own life. Being raised Catholic, I am afraid of commiting suicide for fear of God's punishment. So here I am, sticking it out, depressed and miserable. I have gone to church on and off over the years, and continue to believe in and pray to God.
Reading through the other suicide postings on this website, as well as others on the web, its really easy for people to say "don't do it", "God loves you", "God has big plans for you", and my favorite "suicide is a selfish act", etc. My misery has not been a short term event, its been ongoing for years. I feel like a piece of damaged, unwanted junk, as mentioned in a prior suicide posting on this board.
A little bit of background about me: My dad was an alcoholic and severly abused me, my mother, and other siblings, both mentally and physically, for pretty much my entire childhood. Being the oldest, I got it the worst and the most (my parents divorced when I was 16). If that wasn't bad enough, I was treated like the runt at school, constantantly getting beat up and picked on physically and emotionally there. No one wanted to be my friend, never had a girlfriend, never got to go to prom, nobody would even sign my school yearbook. I had one friend back in jr. high that would kind of be my friend, but only if I never admitted to anyone that we were friends. I ended up being a loner, but I felt that it wasn't by my choice. I wanted to end my life so much and so many times in high school, but I didn't, because of my Catholic upbringing, the fear of hell, and the hope that one day things will get better.
Unfortunately, this pretty much set the tone for my life. In 2 weeks I will be 40. I have done quite well in my career, I have a big bank account, a nice condo, a new truck, but thats about it. Money doesn't buy happiness. I really wanted to have a family by now, doing family things like my co-workers, but I can't even find a woman who will give me the time of day, let alone suffer through a dinner date with me. I still don't really have any friends, my co-workers shy away from me and never invite me out to lunch or to their after work events, my neighbors ignore me, its like I'm a walking plague or something. I try to get involved in activities but I just never feel like I fit in to anything. I have been attending a smaller church regularly now for a few years and have gotten to know some of the people there, but I still feel like an outsider. Attending a social event is traumatic for me. Going to a wedding is especially depressing for me as I never have a date to accompany me. I feel like life has dealt me out a bad set of cards, I'm stuck with it, and I can't break out of it. Why did God bother to put me here? Why would God do this to me if he loves me so much? Wouldn't God want better for me? I have visited counselors and psychiachrists over the years and they all insist that I am normal. I even demanded to be put on Prozac for awhile to see if that would help, but it didn't.
With this big milestone birthday coming up, I have been reflecting on what I have done and where I am going. Its just depressing me more. I really wanted to end my life at 30, but I stuck it out under the false premise that things would get better, but they didn't. I really don't think that I can tolerate much more of this "wonderful" gift of life, I really can't. Life Sucks! I have actually started to consider that if suicide is taboo, perhaps I can place myself in dangerous and life threatening situations in an effort to end my life and hopefully get a reduced sentence from God.
And now I know you're going to tell me that I have been blessed in so many ways..."You got a good job and you got your health, and so on". Thats true, but but what good is all that if I just feel so empty and unwanted in this life. Didn't God want us to be social creatures? Why can't I seem to get my piece of happiness in this life? Perhaps this is my hell down here?
I guess my questions for the group are: 1. What do you do when God just doesn't seem to answer your prayers? I pray to Him everyday for help with my problems. I'm not asking for frivelous things, like winning the lottery, just a sense of purpose and some happiness in my life, and someone to share my life with. You know, I just shake my head in disbelief when I read/listen to the scriptures on how God gave man women because it wasn't good for man to be alone. 2. How bad do you think God's judgement will be on me if I take my own life? I certainly would like to go to heaven, but I do not feel that I can fulfill my "sentence" here on earth without a sense of need and purpose.
Your comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
-- mike (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 12, 2003
Have you gotten to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally?
-- Tryan Guess (email@example.com), August 12, 2003.
Dearest Mike - 1. What do you do when God just doesn't seem to answer your prayers?
It has taken me a long time to realize the truth in what I am about to say - God intimately knows our hearts - He created us and knows us much more completely than we know ourselves. He always hears us when we cry out to him - He always answers our prayers - but sometimes we don't see it - or sometimes we are not patient enough. So what do I do when He doesn't seem to answer my prayers - I chose to continue to be still and Trust that he is in control I continue to be obedient to His call on my life, I study His scripture - I ask Him to reveal Himself to me in ways I don't see Him already - Mike- The more I give of myself, the more he FILLS me up. Completely. HE is completely sufficient. For me, even though so many "worldly" things have gone sour for me - HE has never disappointed me. For me, I believe he has allowed tragedy to invade my life at times so that I might grow closer to HIM and know Him more fully. Mike - trust your heavenly father - do not worry - emmerse yourself in His word, be quiet and alone with Him in the silence of your own bedroom - or come before him in an hour or more in perpetual adoration. Mike HE will fill your soul. To know him in that way - can not compare with the feeling of "happiness" that we seek out from time to time.
Read and pray from Psalms - read Job and Isiah
Will be praying for you .
"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me.'"
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
"For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."
"To You, O LORD, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication: What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
"For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him."
2 Chronicles 30:9
"He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:10-12
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil." Hebrews 6:19
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners." Isaiah 61:1
"He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:29-31
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
-- C.P. (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 12, 2003.
Please don't despair, I'll be thinking of you, and I know others will too.
One thing that might help is to do some volunteer work, and it doesn't necessarily have to involve crowds of people, it can be something as simple as planting trees, or offering to sort donation books at your library. You can be as outgoing (or not), as you like, until you feel comfortable dealing with people. Meals on Wheels might be a good fit for you, with lots of time between clients while you're driving for some reflection. You would be surprised at who you meet when doing volunteer work.
If you like hiking, join a hiking group (Sierra Club comes to mind, but many find their politics a little extreme), or see if your local community education center has someone who regularly leads hikes--many people go on these from year to year.
Also consider joining a group like Toastmasters, where you will not only meet people, you can brush up on your public speaking skills. There are always opportunities to volunteer in the Church as well--soup kitchen, hospitality, musician, lector, etc.
Being busy will gradually take your mind off your past, and give you new purpose in your life.
I hope these suggestions help.
-- GT (email@example.com), August 12, 2003.
Try this book: Feeling Good by David Burns.
Another great book by the same author: Intimate Connections on how to improve your relationships. But you probably want to try "Feeling Good" first.
If you are feeling suicidal, you might want help from a therapist. It may be a biochemical thing that can be treated with drugs. I would strongly suggest the cognitive-behavioral variety of therapist, which has proven success in curing depression. A therapist can also prescribe drugs if necessary.
Here is a list of suicide helplines.
Don't feel like a loser, there are several clues in your post that you are very far from being one (I'll let you find them yourself). Very many people find that they're very successful in one area of life but have neglected another (I'll plead guilty myself). It's never too late to make an adjustment if necessary. It's certainly not too late for you.
I don't believe that the Catholic Faith or worship does a good job of providing chicken soup to a depressed soul, that is not their intent. However, saying the rosary or the penitential psalms ("de profundis") regularly may help. The rosary is particularly recommended.
-- __ (__@__.__), August 12, 2003.
mike, first off, ignore the posts from mark todler and theresa above, they are from our great con artist tryan guess (short for try and guess his real name) trying to make others out to look like fools. second... you are not alone. some of the greatest saints spent a great deal of their lives in the terrible pain of not knowing their purpose. but perhaps i can offer some assistance. first, your questions... 1. What do you do when God just doesn't seem to answer your prayers? stop trying to change God's will and start changing your will to the will of God. perhaps you are distraught because while you are successful it is not what God has planned (ultimately) for you. why dont you try volunteering at a shelter, or helping out at a convalescent home. do what my stepmom did when she was having a hard time drying out from alchohol and visit the sick to deliver communion. find a passion which involves helping others... there are people who need your company and compassion as much as you need theirs. dont give up your current life, but change it to make it a life lived for the right reasons. 2. How bad do you think God's judgement will be on me if I take my own life? very bad. dont do it. imagine the pain that you feel now, multiplied by 100 and extended to last all time. we are all inclined to sin, be it premarital sex to lying to taking our own lives, but the sin is in acting on that temptation, when it is our duty as human beings to rise above our human impulses. now, i told you i would help you, so here goes with a good old parable: a master sat teaching one day when a disciple approached him and asked "what can i do with my life that is pleasing to the Lord?"
the master thought and replied "how should i know, moses led the israelites from pharoah into the desert, david was a king, john the baptist was a poor traveler who baptised, and paul was an apostle writing letters?"
dismayed the man said "can you not tell me what it is that i may do to make my life pleasing to the Lord?"
"yes," said the master, "find the deepest inclination of your heart and follow it in Gods name"
-- paul (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 13, 2003.
Bye, bye italicize!
-- - (-@-.-), August 13, 2003.
i know what you feel like. I too was somewhat of a loner in school as a kid; my family moved a lot and I was always a newbie. I used to think that no one would ever like me.
It all began to change when I wasn't so self conscious. I used to worry about what people thought of me, when I stopped that ( I had to constantly force myself at first) I began to be myself instead of worrying about how or who I was. People then actually became my friends & I became in many ways a favorite tohang around with.
I think that also I realized thaqt it doesn't matter what other people think of me, but wether ofr not I am doing what is right in God's sight. Once I forgot about what others thought of me, I gained a confidence in myself which was attractive to other people.
Please feel free to write me and please dont give up! Praying for you...
-- jcbiltz (email@example.com), August 13, 2003.
St. Paul once said "I came not to please men, but to please God". We can not care what people say about us (for good or ill) and serve God properly. What God thinks is what matters. The imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis is an amazing book that has a lot to do with the death of the ego and living our new lives in Christ. Your past has left you with a lot of baggage but that does not determine who you are going to become(even though the world would tell you differently). You must walk confidently in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and hide in his wounds whenever things seem to become difficult. He suffered for you, so don't go on suffering for yourself by worrying about how people might not like you. Love as Jesus loved no matter the outcome and your reward will be great now and forever. Be a friend and open yourself up to others and let them into your lives. They need help just like you. I would recommend finding a charismatic Catholic church that believes in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and getting filled with God's burning charity. I do pray the Father of love and all mercy will shine His Grace and Mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-- J.D. Brabant (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 02, 2003.
Mike- I know how deep and endless the despair that you describe feels. My heart aches to hear you say that you feel unwanted and unloved. I, too, have suffered similar pain for much of my life. Suicide does seem like the only option for ending the pain. I struggled with the same quesions about salvation. What helps me? Giving my services completely to those who are less fortunate than me. Seeing that some small action on my part can change one other person's day. While I still suffer and struggle with depression, volunteering to work with children or the mentally handicaped gives me a feeling of absolute goodness that I cannot deny. I hope that this has helped you in some small way, and I again encourage you to seek some small personal satisfaction through service to others (i know that it may seem insensitive to ask you to help others when you need attention, care, and nuturing yourself, but these things will come to you as you help those around you). You are in my prayers.
-- Ashley Kuhn (email@example.com), October 25, 2004.