Girl sitting in field sad - smallWritten by: Melissa Watson

Robin Williams is a man most would characterize as joyful and funny, and yet who in some way will now be forever a face of tragedy, of suicide.

I don’t know if Robin Williams had any sort of religious affiliation but one may ask can Christians or Catholics be depressed? Can they have suicidal thoughts? Don’t they know only hope and light and life because they know Jesus? I would say “yes” to all three questions minus the only.

This week I have been having a tough time getting up in the morning, doing the regular chores and activities of my day, and it is directly a result of Robin Williams’ suicide. Not because I am related to him and not because he has had any distinct impact on my life but because his death has reminded me of a dark place I was once in, of a time in my life when it seemed pretty dark, and of a person I lost to suicide who was much closer to me then Robin Williams ever was.

Several years ago I found out that one of my high school teachers committed suicide. He wasn’t just one of my teachers though, he was my English teacher throughout most of my high school career (small rural school) and he was my mentor in many ways. I even babysat for his kids once or twice. It was rare to see the man without a smile on his face and no one would have ever thought he would be in a place to take his own life. He was even the teacher advisor for the anti-suicide group.

And then there’s me, a practicing Catholic but someone who also struggles with depression and someone who has had suicidal thoughts.  Yes, I know the hope and light that belief in Jesus can bring. I want to tell you to go running to Him if you are feeling like the world is overwhelming and you feel like you are sinking in the blackness. But I also want you to know that you are not alone, you are not strange for feeling this way, you are not less of a person, or of a Christian, or a Catholic because you struggle with depression. You just have a greater arsenal of weapons at your disposal then someone who doesn’t believe in God, who doesn’t believe that there is a life beyond this one.

Pray: Even if it is just repeating “Jesus help me!”  He knows what we can’t say, what we are feeling when we can’t quite wrap our heads around what we want to say.

Read: The Bible, a prayer book, a devotional, and journal if that helps pour out all your feelings to God on paper. You don’t have to show anyone else but it can be cathartic to let it all out in that way.

Ask: For prayer, for help, for an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. This can be the hardest thing but it is also the most needed. Find someone who can be that safe person for you when you are feeling the most down, who can just be there for you.

Peace be with you – to all those who have committed suicide, to their families and friends and to all those who have struggled and continue to struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

______________________

If publishing article online please attribute source Serviam Ministries with link to original article.

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