That Time When I Wanted to Die

**This post was written by and republished with permission from Angela Garvin. Visit her here.**

A piece of my heart breaks off a little every time I hear of another celebrity death, and for the second time this week we heard that someone took their life. I don’t always know who they are, but I know for every one we hear about there are so many that we don’t. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are an average of 123 suicides every day.

… I mean… no words. So many people suffer from this, and so often we don’t see it. So many hurting people, so many broken lives. So much hopelessness, helplessness.

Each time I hear a story of someone taking their precious life, it brings me back to some of the darkest times of my life. I know those feelings all too well, and it breaks apart my insides knowing that anyone has felt those same awful feelings and gone to those same dark places.

I have so many memories from my high school years, laying in my bed and praying that God would give me the strength to end my life. Even then I knew how that sounded, but I didn’t care. I wanted everything to end.

I wanted to end.

I was convinced back then that I would be dead by the age of 21. I thought it was possible I would perish because of some rare, mysterious disease, but I knew more than likely if I did die by that age, it would be by my own doing. Death was always somewhere on my mind. I couldn’t shake it.

I attempted to take my life once my junior year but thankfully bailed at the last second.

I was driving home from a basketball game, and I had decided that this was the night. I don’t know what happened just before that that made me feel like there was nothing left to live for. The trigger for this night is something I cannot remember.

What I do remember is making a clear decision that I was going to drive on the wrong side of the road up a small hill and just wait for the impact of another car hitting me head on.

This was it. I was done.

I was tired. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was tired of being a burden. I was tired of struggling. The hurt felt like too much, and I didn’t want to deal with it anymore or make people deal with me.

Luckily I had a moment of clarity and pulled back over to the right side of the road before reaching the top of the little hill, and suddenly a car zoomed past heading in the opposite direction.

Suddenly realizing what I had almost done, I had to pull to the side of the road to compose myself. I sat there in my little red car in the dark, shaking and crying, and in shock.

Eventually, I was able to get myself back on the road, and I headed home.

I continued to struggle with depression and anxiety for the next few years. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that things began to head in a positive direction.

It was June 2003, a few days after my brother’s wedding, and I had just woken up deep sleep. I remember how I was holding my covers all the way up to my neck and just stared at the ceiling, having the clearest thought I had ever had in my life:

If I don’t do something, if I don’t seek help, I am going to be dead within the next year.

Without even realizing it, I was coming close to carrying out my own prediction for my life. I was so helpless. I was completely without hope. I had nothing left in me at that point, and I knew – there was zero doubt – I knew it would happen if I didn’t take some steps towards LIFE.

But God was right there. I truly believe that in that moment when I was completely empty, He reached down and let me know He was there, that He hadn’t abandoned me and never would. That no matter what, He was going to be with me on the journey back to healing. The journey back to the life of the living.

It has taken years and work and tears and help and prayer and counsel to get me to where I am now. It hasn’t been a perfect journey, and it hasn’t been easy, but I now think of all the things I would have missed if I wouldn’t have been here. I wouldn’t have met my nieces. I wouldn’t have carried out my dream of moving to Oregon. I wouldn’t have met some of the most amazing people in my life.

I used to describe my depression as “steel upon flesh” – like that knife that was always at your throat wanting to draw a little blood. And honestly, that is how I would still describe it.

Depression is torture, and is so real and so brutal, especially if you go through it alone.

It is the loneliest place to be inside your own mind without hope.

I debated about whether or not I should write this. I mean, opening up and sharing stuff like this isn’t easy, but I haven’t been able to put it out of my mind all day, and I really wanted to say two things to you.

YOU MATTER.

Your life matters. Your contribution matters. No matter what other people are telling you, you have value. You have something to offer the world that no one else does.

YOU ARE PRECIOUS TO JESUS.

There is hope; there is grace. He is holding out His arms to you right now. Though He may feel far away, He isn’t. He is there with you and waiting for you to reach out to Him. To lean on Him. To trust Him.

If you are depressed or not, if you are struggling period, PLEASE reach out to someone. And don’t stop with one either. Talk to a counselor, a pastor, your best friend, your parents, your siblings, your grandma, your coworkers… SOMEONE!

You and I may not know each other, but I want you to know how much you matter to me. My heart is breaking for your heartbreak, and I am praying that you will reach out for help – and reach out to the one who saves. The one that heals the broken.

My heart goes out to anyone affected by the loss of someone they love to suicide. You are in my prayers.

**This post was written by and republished with permission from Angela Garvin. Visit her here.**

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