Monday, September 28, 2009

Love and the pain of suicide


Hi everyone.

I gave the talk to the suicide loss group last night. And they shared their stories of pain at losing someone close to suicide. It was an emotionally charged time of three hours sitting in a circle - 20 to 24 or us. So many tears and I so deeply felt their grief. I still feel the emotions they left me with.

I spoke well, telling them what it's like to live with bipolar disorder and what it's like to be so depressed you want to die. I shared honestly, totally myself, transparent.

In the morning at church I prayed over this meeting. I prayed that God would help me share his love. And He did that for me.

Although this was a secular group I did tell the group a bit about my faith and how it helps me to survive. About how I need God. How could I not? But I did not dwell on it too much. We needed to address their feelings more than anything.

They were grateful to me for sharing and I was just as - or maybe even more - grateful to them for their sharing. I needed to hear and see the kind of pain they were suffering because I have considered suicide at times. I needed to see how their lives were forever changed by their losses. And I don't want to do that to the people I love.

God, please help me not to be so self-centered when I'm depressed that I forget the pain I could cause those who love me to suffer. Help me to remember - though it may be hard - that people do love me, even though my depression might tell me they don't.

The picture I'm sharing here has nothing to do with suicide. But it shows the bond of mother and child and love in the midst of pain.

I prayed for God's presence last night and He was there. His love was there in that circle. He was amongst us.

Thank you, God.

8 comments:

trippinoverkidz said...

Marja,

I was one of the people who was in that circle last night. I feel very fortunate to have met you and to have heard your story. You were so open, honest, and candid. I admire and appreciate that so much.
I spoke up briefly last night about my dad who had bipolar but took his life only four months ago. I was too overwhelmed to continue talking about him at that moment that I didn't say everything I wanted to say.
I wanted to tell you that my dad wasn't open about his illness. In fact he hid it from most of the family. He wasn't honest with his doctors, therapists, or my mom for that matter. He would change his medication, and sometimes just stop taking it because he was "feeling better". I think he never really made the connection that it was the medication that was making him feel better and that he should continue to take it.
I know there were other things going on with him, but it doesn't make dealing with the loss any easier. I am still confused.
However, listening to you last night, and how you explained sometimes "in the moment of depression" you are thinking of no one other than yourself brought a temporary comfort. Kind of like a validation that my dad was thinking of himself and not the pain he was about to inflict upon people who love him so much.
I know he had thoughts that we would be better off without him. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am forever changed by his decision to leave us. I have never in my life ever wanted to change something so badly. The pain is unbearable. Yet, at the same time it's my four young children that have kept me going. If it were not for them, I truly believe I would be grieving differently.
As you have found support and guidance with your faith, I have found it in the faces of my four young children, and I couldn't be more blessed to have them in my life.
You are an inspiration Marja. The way you have tackled your illness and continue to help others is beyond words. Thank-you for speaking so candidly last night at the group meeting, I am forever grateful as you have offered new insight during the aftermath of the loss of my dad.
Thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,

Tera Williams

marja said...

Thank you so much for your letter, Tera. I was touched to receive it. I'm glad my visit with all of you was helpful last night. Must say though, I'm walking around in a daze today, so deeply affected by all the emotions. It will take me some time to get over.

- marja

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I just stopped by to see how your talk went, and read Tera's comment.

I think it's wonderful that you were able to share your feelings, and I'm so glad it helped ease Tera's pain...if only just a little.

I guess that those of us who have suffered deep depressions and recovered, can provide solace to others.

It makes me feel like volunteering to speak at a similar gathering in Los Angeles (but not until the spring or summer).

Love,
Susan

marja said...

Susan,
It would be great if others, like you, did this kind of thing. I really felt I filled a need, more than I had ever thought I would.
I would encourage you to do this, once you feel ready.
marja

Anonymous said...

Bravo Marja bravo!
powerful stuff
brave enough to offer some healing to those who have suffered so greatly-not many would or indeed can, go to these places in the heart.
Thank you God for answering Marja's prayer and enabling her to be so open and vulnerable.

Steve from Australia.

marja said...

You're so encouraging, Steve. Thank you. But, as you know, it's all God's doing. I just have to follow.

Thank you, God, indeed.

More Than Conquerors said...

Marja,

Thank God for answering our prayers for you! Glad to know that your talk went well.

I am sorry to read of Tera's loss. Glad that Tera has been helped by your sharing. I am also helped by Tera's sharing as I too have had suicidal thoughts when severely depressed and I have gone through times when I just want to die. Now I understand a little better how painful suicide can be to a loved one. I pray that God will preserve me from it. I am thankful that now God is using medication and other helps to help me to manage my bipolar.

May God continue to bless and guide you as you serve Him by sharing with others. Take care and have a blessed day!

Thanking God together with you,
Nancie

marja said...

Dear Nancie,

I'm so glad that Teryn's sharing touched you as well. That you too have benefited a bit from that meeting.

At that meeting I learned that we are loved far more than we can imagine. People cannot tell us how much they love us. It's too hard a thing to do. And it's when we're gone that I think they themselves realize the depth of that love as well.

Hope you are well, Nancie. I thank God for you.

Love, marja