I’ve looked suicide in the face. And other secrets of the good church girl.


This post was originally posted September 2013.

I have been asked recently to tell part of my story again If for the only reason for one person to know they are not alone. You see when we start live in truth others don’t feel so isolated. When we live in truth we stop placing people on pedestals and expect them to remain there. It’s exhausting to live there. To know within your soul that you will never be the image other need you to be. When we live in truth we get messy and real. Let’s be messy women. Truth telling women.

*I understand that this topic and subject are very sensitive. Everyone’s story is different with many different outcomes. I completely respect differing opinions and value your story. I just ask that you respect my story for what it is as well.-sheli

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. Which if you think about it may seem a bit bent. Why would we want to have a day that recognizes suicide? Others might argue that we should not draw more attention to it. I actually feel the complete opposite. I believe that we should draw attention to it. I believe that we need to quit saying that people we love died of “unknown causes” because we ourselves cannot look in the mirror and say the word suicide. I believe we do need to talk about it. We need to quit being silent about it, looking the other way, keeping it in the whispers. Because do you know what that does? It gives it more power. It gives the darkness more control over our lives. Over their lives. Over all of us.

I wish I could say I have no experience with suicide. That no one I loved and adored took their own life. But this is just not true. I remember at a very young age watching as my parents grieved the death of close friends. And the aftermath that ensued for years. I have lost those I have worked with, worshipped with, been in school with and even called family.

But the hard reality of it is that suicide itself has looked me in the face.

I have battled depression since I was a teenager. Using any chemical I could get into my body to make it go away. The demons have at times seem to have a tighter grip on me than not. When I became a mother I was sure that it would all go away. Yet as I soon discovered that postpartum depression and even psychosis is an ugliness that invaded my soul and mind. There were many times that I dreamt of running away. Far away and starting over. I begged God to take me in the middle of the night because I could no longer take the darkness that had assaulted my mind. I was hopeless. I wish I could say that when I became a Christian I never had to deal with this. Yet it was even more when I became a Christian. I knew that the spiritual battle for my soul was real. I feel like it still is. It is and always will be a battle. This is not a war we are fighting here on earth; it is in the spiritual realms.

This is what I know from my situation. Talk to each other. Be real with each other. Get in each other’s business .If you know of a friend or even an acquaintance that is withdrawing. Go to them. Now. Don’t worry about invading their space or being politically correct. Go now. Be the voice for them. So many times we don’t know what to say. We don’t want to ask for help. We don’t know how to ask for help. We think that no one will understand. We think that we will be called a freak. We don’t want to bring shame to our family. We think that no one will ever forgive us. We think that this will make it easier on everyone else. So this is my plea to you. Be invasive. Open the door and walk in. Get them help. We will many times deny it. We think it’s not that bad. We are scared. We don’t want to get locked up. We think it will ruin us for life. We are embarrassed. We think no one will believe that we are really sick. Do it anyways. I beg of you. Open the door.

I have been on the journey of healing for years. Months at times I can carry the darkness and no one can see it. I learn to hide well. I have learned to ask for help. I have learned that I am nothing without clinging to Jesus’ feet every day. I have learned that medication and therapy are a must-have for my well-being. I have learned that exercise and calm need to be a part of my every day. I have learned that my family and friends will get me help, hold my hand, and give me grace. I know that they and we have all messed up. It is messy and painful but they are not giving up on me.

I know the pain of loss and I know the pain of darkness. I pray that wherever you are on the journey, that you know you are not alone.

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  1. Me too.

  2. Thanks, Sheli. Praying for grace. I texted my son through his plan to take his life, and in the end he didn't. So close. So hard.

  3. You are a champion for writing this. I love the vulnerable insistence of your words. Keep writing!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Sheli. As Christians, it IS difficult and embarrassing to admit depression and suicidal thoughts. I suffered from post partum depression for three years after the birth of my third child; then again during my fifth pregnancy; and yet AGAIN FROM September 2012 until May. Of this year. Wondering if it's SAD because of the timing, so have been walking on eggshells since school began. I don't want to walk in that darkness again…when my only words/prayer were "Jesus…Jesus…" But with LOTS of prayer, exercise, and time, I was able to overcome that mini battle. For now, I'm depression-free. And it's comforting to know that I'm not a bad" Christian because of these struggles. XOXO

  5. Thank you for your brave words, I just read todays devotion from "Proverbs 31 Ministries" As we fill our hearts and minds with Truth, we can defeat the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies Satan whispers in our thoughts ~ ~ It sometimes feels like a daily struggle….

  6. Thanks for sharing, you are stronger than you know, "As we fill our hearts and minds with Truth we can defeat the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies Satan whispers in our thought" ~thinking of you 😉 ~Proverbs 31 ministries , daily devotion 9/11/13

  7. me too. I have been staring it in the ugly face for months. trying to run and hide but it is always there. The evil is always there. Your reminder today along with a few others is that reminder to keep going. to keep moving. and to keep my eyes from its eyes. Knowing this is a challenge for many and thankful there are people that choose to not hide. It is scary and hard and so many people turn away because they don't know how to deal with it. Thank you for giving it a voice today. Thank you for being real and sharing your story. me too, beautiful girl, me too.

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