I have been praying and felt God ask me to write this story. This part of it is so difficult I thought about leaving it out. But I think it might help those who are in the pit-so despite my fear of what people will think of me, I'm going to put it here. After all, it is not for me to be concerned over what people think.
As I reached my teens my life was a mess. I had no proper relationship with God. I did not know who He was and I did not know who I was in relationship to Him. I sensed that everything had a purpose-a reason to exist-but I could not see how I fitted into that.
Transcendental meditation takes you deeper into yourself, and when you are as broken and hurt as I was-that is not such a good idea.
I cannot begin to describe how bad I felt.
Suicide became the obvious option. It's a bizarre state to be in. I became obsessed with the idea that I had to die-that it was my only option and that all I had to do to take back control of some part of my life was work out how to do it.
I did not speak to anyone about these thoughts and plans.
But God reached out to me-though at the time I couldn't tell.
I was told quite coincidentally that suicide is a mortal sin-an act of selfishness-an act of cowardice. I was told that all those who commit suicide go to hell.
Those who were telling me this were the very ones who had led me into the pit so it was difficult to listen, but despite the malice these words were spoken in, there was a grain of truth.
Finally the day came when I decided it was time to do it-to make the decision once and for all.
At that point that speech from Hamlet just ran through my head. I never studied Hamlet so why I knew that little bit is beyond me;
"To be or not to be, that is the question,
Whether it is better to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against the seas of troubles and by opposing end them
To die, to sleep-to sleep perchance to dream
Ah there's the rub."
I have no idea if this is even an accurate rendering-but it was what went through my head that day- what would the dream be?
My fear of hell overcame my desperate need to die.
I decided to try and leave it up to God-whoever He was.
So each night I prayed not to wake up in the morning.
And each morning to my utter annoyance I woke up.
I cannot remember exactly when I came across Ebed Melech. (Jer 38). I think it might have been in the David Kossoff Bible Stories. But he is a friend.
I don't think he is really thought of as one of the OT saints-but I can't see why not.
He is one of those genuine quiet people. They don't say much, but they do what is right.
He knew it was wrong that Jeremiah had been put in the pit and he went and pulled him out. He made no comment on the smell of the old man or what he looked like. He didn't shout advice from his advantage point of being up there in the sunlight. He just got on with pulling Jeremiah out of the pit.
And I am quite sure his prayers for me helped pull me out of the pit.
SUICIDE and the Church.
Not so long ago I read a column written by a priest which essentially said God understands and not to worry about suicide.
I have not read anything this priest has written since.
He was, I think, trying to comfort those who have family and friends who have committed suicide, but what he actually did was -and as a priest-give permission to go ahead. God is a big softy and he wont mind.
Dangerous and errant nonsense. Thank God I did not read this when I was contemplating such an act.
The Catechism says this:
2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
But it goes on to say this:
2282 ....Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
So God does not say it will be okay. It is indeed a mortal sin, but God is merciful and we can never be sure who is in hell.
Those of us who have friends, family and patients who have committed suicide can and indeed should pray for them.
At last I began to crawl out of the pit and I knew that it was God helping me.
I began to see Him in my life and with that came a little light and hope.
I wanted even more to know who He was.