I was in the depths of a very painful marriage where I never felt like I could do anything right. I was a mess. I knew I wasn’t a good wife, a good mother, or a good friend. All I could see around me were the people I was disappointing. I didn’t just feel helpless. Worse. I felt hopeless.
So I thought about how I would kill myself.
I didn’t want to hang myself – what if one of my kids found me?
Then I remembered that a radio personality I listened to on a regular basis in the Bay Area, Duane Garrett, had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. But I was afraid I would not be able to go through it.
I considered all the possibilities, very rationally, very thoughtfully. As if I were trying to decide between chicken and beef for dinner that night.
I felt sure I would go through with my plan, until I thought about what would happen to my kids. I didn’t think my kids would miss me, but I was concerned that they would be raised without me. So, continuing in what I thought was totally logical thinking, that if we all died, that would solve all of the problems.
And that’s when I felt the snap.
There was something inside my soul that just broke. I remember feeling like I was splitting down the middle of a foggy lane, and I thought to myself, “What the HELL are you thinking? What mother ever thinks of hurting herself, much less her kids.”
That snap got me to run to my therapist, where I admitted for the first time that I thought about killing myself.
The words that were assigned to me were “Situational Depression”. I was given counseling and medication. I was prayed for and I was loved. I went to bible study, and I found hope.
But every time I hear about a suicide, I think about that time some many years ago. What if there was no snap?
What if I’d never ran to get help because I was in such a dark place, I couldn’t imagine that help existed?
I only have two reasons for writing about this:
1. I believe the more people who talk about their own battle with depression, the more we can all talk about it. I know for so long I felt like I had to wear a mask and keep up appearances because things would be taken away from me if I didn’t. My kids, my job, my friends. I felt like normal people didn’t go through what I was going through, and therefore, I didn’t deserve normal people things. So I kept hiding it until there was no me left.
But, if we can say that this happens to people, real people, and share our stories, we can give someone else the courage to safely share their story, their struggle. When we find out that we’re not a freak – that our struggles are real but not rare, we have a better chance of being able to connect with someone who has gone through the same thing, or who can help us get to a healthy place.
2. Each of us has a story. I wanted to cut my story short, because I couldn’t take the pain and I couldn’t see any good up ahead.
But only God can see around the corners.
I would have missed out on so much: my second husband, who is the love of my life,
my two beautiful kids, who make me laugh every day and bring good things to the world,
my bonus kids, who I can’t imagine my life without.
A job that makes me excited to get out of bed every. single. day.
And a life that God sets before me every day and and says, “I’m crazy about you. Come alongside me. We have great things to accomplish today!”
Your story is not done. God had great adventures for you. Only he can see the ending to your story.
If you’ve been in that dark place, would you do me a favor – could you share below what God had for you on the other side. Someone needs to read about it.
If you are in that dark place? Would you please, please, reach out to a safe person? A friend, a counselor, a doctor. Please. You don’t feel it now, but you are precious. You are irreplaceable. There are things that need to be done that only you can do. God says so.
And I’ve found that he turns out to be right over and over again.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.