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No such thing as progress

I just want to scream and never stop! I truly don’t want to take another second. Knowing I’m probably one of the oldest people on this site I want to go through every thread and tell you all it will never get better, because it won’t. You might have a good day someday but it will be followed by so many bad days you won’t be able to remember anything good in your life.

There should be easier ways to ctb in this country. If you look up [edited by moderator] it’s a group of people who believe we have the right to die as and when we want. They are pro choice, the difference is that they are pro choice for their own life no someone else’s. I have joined the site and am looking at their stance on things and agree with what they are doing.

How many problems of poverty resource depletion etc. could we save if miserable people like me were able to get help ending our heartache. I believe our overpopulation problem could improve dramatically and all of the people like me that just drudge through every day spending nearly every hour thinking about ending it all could finally be free of heartache.

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Hey @Cookchj,

I’m sorry that you’re still hurting so much. It should be so very different indeed, and it makes sense to feel hopeless when you’ve spent a long time experiencing the same pain and struggles over and over.

From a personal standpoint, I can tell that things do get better, but that healing is not a calm path as we might envision. It’s more complex, and it surely brings its share of pain at times. I have myself been through traumatic situations that still hurt me decades after. But as I am learning to understand more how this is affecting me, I’m also learning to discover who I am. Healing really feels like walking in the mud. It’s ugly and our hands get dirty. But oh goodness none of this will ever erase the good memories that I have and hold dearly. They will never be overshadowed by the pain I feel at times because they are too precious, and such a tangible reminder to me that life is so much more than hurting, also that I am more resilient than I credit myself.

I would like to hear your story, if you are willing to share. What brought you to those feelings and thoughts about life? About your life, since this is about you and each individual experience is absolutely unique.

There is hope. Even if for some of us it requires more work to feel alive and embrace joy. It’s not fair - to that, I agree wholeheartedly. Many times I have cried tears that made me want to rip my heart with my own hands. However, suicide is also an injustice made to yourself and to the people who love you. Choosing life is how you bring justice in the face of the struggles you are facing.

Have you been helped throughout your life? Have you got a support system? Do you have one right now? Again, I’d love to hear your story and about your situation. If you’d like to talk, we have an entire community willing to encourage you and support you in taking restorative and healing steps for yourself. I have no doubt that you’ve tried many times and might be tired of hearing this. Although we are here, still.

PS - I’ve edited your post because we do not share specifics about places that could be very harmful for people who are struggling. Each individual is responsible of their decisions, but we are not going to debate about the legitimacy of suicide here nor such organizations/ideology. I’m drawing a very straight line here already, and I hope you will respect it. If you want to talk about how you feel and your story, that is of course completely fine and the purpose of this place.

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Hi there,
This post shows much pain you’re in. I wanna echo Micro and say that the good moments when they come can be so bright and so precious, we cling to them and use them to help us float when life comes crashing down. I don’t know your age, but I wanna say that everyone has their own struggles, what you have from longevity, someone may have in intensity. It does sound like you have had a rough time for a long time, and we’d like to hear your story, if you wanna share it.

One of my favorite things said here by @Wings is that you don’t have to die for your old life to end - you can make changes that opens you up to a new life, by making different choices. When we feel a certain way, we look for information that supports that stance. This is why you’re being reinforced by this group. There is less mental resistance because it already resonates with the feelings you have. One radical way to “do something different” is to find groups that say quite the exact opposite - those views will be 180 deg opposed to what you’re feeling, and they will be foreign, and it’ll be a challenge to get yourself to think like that.

This is a fallacy, overpopulation is not solved via this ‘strategy’ and it also creates the mentality that some people are “less” than others and hence disposable. This negates all the positive changes that mental health practitioners are capable off, that time itself, meditation and mindfulness, meds, and better social support systems can have on an individual. This negates one of the best parts of humans - adaptability, resilience. We don’t say get rid of people who are struggling. Some struggling folks go on to be some of the greatest people you’ll ever know, they just needed time and support to get there, along with some hard work of their own.

But tell us your story. If we can’t understand the exact situation, we may understand the feelings and thoughts you are having and be able to relate to those. You matter, as do we all, and you are loved, simply for existing. And you are deserving of all the things we tell folks they deserve - peace, happiness, safety. Tell us your story, let us help you carry your burdens, friend.

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Gtw was

I’ve always had them. I didn’t like myself from as early as I can remember. I “tried to cut my wrists at age 11. I stopped eating to the point I was vomiting up bile at age 13.

None of this is anyones fault I’m just broken. My parents were/are great caring, supportive. I’m not addicted to anything, never had any severe trauma. I’m above average intelligence. I’m the hardest working person everywhere I’ve ever worked. I try to make all the right choices, college, I’m honest I donate my resources. I just hate life. I hate the fact that now matter what we do or what choices we make bad things happen bad luck happens and I can never get ahead. And they just keep happening over and over every day. Life isn’t with the effort.

The “good times” are never that great. They’re fleeting moments of laughter that can serve as a momentary distraction from the fact that you’ve got everything falling apart. No good is ever sustained but pain and problem come in over and over multiple times a day.

I’m not saying anyone is less than someone else I just think that if others feel the way I do for as long as I have it may be better for people like us to have a way to end it. Because I’ve thought about killing my self for ~30 years.

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You and I aren’t so different. I had a “good” upbringing, went to “good” schools that “prepared” me for college and life. Only the second I faced any real adversity, my illusion of success and achievement came crashing down. I didn’t do drugs, I made “good” choices, I worked hard and prided myself on that, but things still sucked.

I am also above average intelligence, as are a lot of people here. That’s part of the problem. There’s a strong correlation between above-average intelligence and mental illness. The ability to make microscopic observations and find patterns in all the noise of the world means 1. we are prone to neuroses that make it hard to function “normally,” and 2. we can see through the rose-colored glasses and can’t escape all the things that are wrong with the world. Objectively speaking, there is so much more wrong than there is right, and we can’t delude ourselves as well as people who are less analytical and observant. As much as we may try to ignore it, the noise seeps in; and gifted as we are, we can’t help but passively analyze the noise, which passively affects us.

What has worked for me, what by all accounts seems to be the most successful strategy, is to counter the passive negativity by actively choosing to see the good. It’s HARD. It’s unnatural, and it takes practice. It feels trite and sophomoric at first. If you think about it though, there are good things that happen to you, around you, and out in the world. Even the bad things have silver linings. If I hadn’t dropped out of college, I’d be a “real” engineer, running calculations instead of doing design work. If I hadn’t had some really shitty relationships, I wouldn’t appreciate my wife. If I hadn’t gone through a decade of depression, I wouldn’t have anything to offer here. Yeah I still struggle. I’m not perfect. I hurt people, I give advice I don’t follow, I take my blessings for granted; but after practicing positivity, I can catch myself doing those things and redirect my thoughts–even if it’s hard, even if it feels superficial.

Sometimes it’s not enough to just think happy thoughts. Sometimes there is “little t” trauma that needs to be addressed. My life started turning around when I did EMDR. It sounds like quack psychology, but it has worked for a lot of people here. It involves targeting bad memories and reframing them. I suggest going to https://www.emdria.org/ and finding a provider. This is a good start if therapy isn’t your thing, because EMDR isn’t a long-term treatment. You have absolutely nothing to lose by trying out 3 sessions.

Lastly, I’ll echo @micro. Recovery isn’t twirling in a field of daisies. Life and all its responsibilities don’t become weightless. Recovery is ongoing, it can be exhausting, and sometimes it sucks. Recovery is finding reasons that life is worth it. It’s walking through the mud and choosing to keep fucking going because, the further you go, the better the view is. Recovery is a choice, followed by effort. I hope you choose recovery and positivity, because if you look up from the mud, there are good things out there. Hold fast :hrtlegolove:

P.S. for what it’s worth, there are as many people here in the vicinity of 30 as there are younger folks, and we’re by no means the oldest ones here :slight_smile: It’s never too late for redemption. Never.

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25 years ago I went into the woods with a .38 and wanted to shoot myself. I sat in my car for probably an hour trying to get the courage, putting the gun in my mouth and to my temple over and over again. I had the hammer pulled back the whole time.

Having never shot this gun before I had no idea how sensitive the trigger was. One of the times I was moving the gun out of my mouth it went off and went through my thigh. The bang left me disoriented and I questioned why I hadn’t noticed the hole in my pants before. After the longest probably one second of my life my jeans began to show some blood and I realized that hole was new and where it came from.

Naturally I got scared and self preservation was all that could go through my mind. I attempted to start my car, which proved to be unreliable. My car wouldn’t move. I took the belt from my pants and it became a tourniquet around my leg. I began to walk what would turn out to be the 2-3 miles back to an old farmhouse. Around those parts people don’t lock their doors (although they probably do now) so I went inside, where as a 16 year old boy, I called my mom. I didn’t know where I was or how bad it was. I was just scared.

My mom had the police trace the last call made to her work and they sent an ambulance to get me. They put my entire leg in this odd suction cast and took me to a little hospital in the middle of nowhere. I never met the people whose house I went into, but I believe my dad had to replace their couch and perhaps their carpets.

This shot didn’t hit anything of any importance. In the ED The people seemed very anxious for what this outcome would be like. There were a lot of people in the ED room but quickly it was realized the my injuries were insignificant, just like me. Two band-aids was the treatment I needed, one for the entry wound, one for the exit. Obviously we didn’t have hollow point rounds or I wouldn’t be still wasting others time. The police asked me some questions and I went home in just a few hours.

Back home everyone knew what had happened, I was living in a town of 175 people, but no one ever said a word. It was like it never happened. There were 2 friends besides my parents that met me in the hospital that had been crying. No one uttered a word of the events that transpired. I guess that is a good example of how valuable my life is. Two people were the only people, not genetically forced to care about me.

There are (or were if I get the courage to send this out) few people in this world that know what happened that day, and even fewer that care. Those 2 friends are long gone from my life but still probably the same number of people, not required by genetics to care, would be left altered if I were gone.

I think about that day a lot. It was a day I wish ended differently. If only 1 cm further lateral I would have hit my femur or femoral artery and wouldn’t be here today.

I don’t remember much of my childhood. I have never known why but my memories of everything before middle school are all missing. However, I do remember always thinking that the world would be better off if I wasn’t in it. I know now that isn’t quite true, it would be no different. I’m not some heinous person that lowers the values of society, I also know that I don’t increase it. I’m nothing.
I’m not looking to have people care about me, although the reasons I don’t want to live today are very similar. Back then I just wanted someone to care, I think looking back now I wanted to matter to matter. Now I know that I have no purpose and know that life is nothing but struggle and pain. A constant downward spiral of health, time, and failure. the whole time trying to find a reason to exist while knowing there will never be one for most people.

Each day I look back at that day being my biggest failure so far. Failing that day has allowed each passing day go forward adding up to more and more failures in all aspects of my life. I’ve failed as a husband, a father, in my finances, at my career and all my hobbies. The hopelessness of the future, personally, nationally, globally leaves no other emotion than complete despair.

It is so hard knowing I’ll never have a purpose and also knowing I’ll probably never get the courage to come that close to taking my own life again. Always wishing I had succeeded, dying alone in the woods, no more struggle, worry, pain or heartache.

God doesn’t reveal himself, he doesn’t enlighten and free me from bondage he continues to allow more pain than I can handle he continues to be silent and absent.

I’m hoping that the understanding that God controls everything and knowing how meager I am is enough to be spared from an eternity of hell. I believe God sent his son to earth to die for those he chooses but I can’t believe for another minute that God is with me. I’ve been begging and pleading for God to grant me wisdom and peace for a long long time and o just can’t continue. I am sitting here now weeping and just pleading to be taken out of this world. I don’t want to be here another second. I just want to di

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but no one ever said a word. It was like it never happened. There were 2 friends… No one uttered a word of the events that transpired. I guess that is a good example of how valuable my life is.

this is interesting. Was it then not only to end your life, but having not done that, you wanted to be seen? You sound like you actually wanted not quiet acceptance but loud proclamations of affection and happiness that you were still around!

Do you still live in the same area? I would say that you should probably try joining a group or doing something that makes you be loud and expressive of your emotions! Scream and shout out, dance around too maybe, basically be a hippie and be wild and unrepressed! Sometimes this sort of radical change can benefit us by showing us a different way to “Be”.

And are you only around 41 years? You are in no way one of the oldest ones, or even in a separate age range at that age! You’re still really young friend! Since you’re Christian, why not join a new church that is loud in singing their praises and loud in their uplifting of the members?

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I think at that time I was wanting to matter. Now my desire to die is mostly related to the fact that I don’t have a purpose. I think the presence of so few just reinforced my feelings of insignificance.

Definitely no hippie!

I do not still live in the area.

42 going on 43. And I’m guessing that >70% of the members are under 30? Just curious.

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why not try being a hippie for a month? If you got nothing to lose, and no real reason, why not do the stupidest looking thing you can, do the things that you’d never have thought would be fun or appropriate? wear some crystals and chant under a full moon, camp by a river in an camper van for a month, train to climb a nearby mountain.

If you don’t have a purpose, why not do some random stuff that’s outside the norm, since the norm seems to be too boring for ya? Yeah, u super young still, great age to be a new hippie though :wink:

PS/Disclaimer: no offense to meant to crystal wearers or hippies, just using example of things that are certainly things outside the usual in this context!

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I’ll be 70 in a few months, so don’t worry about being the oldest.

So, your primary source of unhappiness is lack of purpose. Humans don’t come into the world “pre-loaded” with purpose, other than the basic one we all have. I’ll say more on that in a bit. It’s more like looking at a menu and deciding what, among the available options, you want. Some people are fortunate. Their aptitude in a specific area urges them to align their purpose with it. Others are like me, with diverse interests, and it’s difficult to remain interested in any one thing. Here I am retired, and still have the feeling that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

The upside of that is that I can still find new things to be interested in, and choose that pursuit to be my purpose. The reality is, humans are made to have multiple purposes and interests. Some people shovel shit all day, in order to fulfill their chosen purpose during non-working hours. A huge number of musicians do that.

It’s important to realize that purpose comes by choice. There is a basic purpose we all share, but when it comes to how we make our living, or express ourselves, it’s not automatic or pre-destined. Even talents and aptitudes change or evolve over time, therefore it’s a good thing we can choose another purpose when we need to, that more closely aligns with the person we’re becoming.

The over-arching purpose - the reason we exist is to share love. That’s accomplished in countless ways. Invest love and integrity in your work, which is evidence that you care for those who’ll receive your work product. If your interest involves art, expressing it shares love with yourself and others. Many years ago, I was a janitor at a high school. The students loved me, and often came to talk to me about their problems. In that situation, my purpose was to clean toilets and help students navigate the changes they were going through.

Talking, and more importantly, listening to people has been a theme and purpose throughout my career, regardless if I was rebuilding an engine, cutting down trees, or sweeping floors.

Providing supportive interaction, regardless of the setting is a noble purpose. Someone once wrote, “just as you can’t whistle while chewing crackers, you can’t be depressed while sharing love.” I’m not sure if that’s entirely true, but in my experience, caring about and for others took my mind off my troubles, and a sense of fulfillment also offset my depressing thoughts.

For five years, I worked as a security guard in a steel mill. The mill workers hated the guards. One of them tried to kill me. Every single day before I left for work, my wife would say, “be a light.” Initially, that exhortation seemed ridiculous, but over time, it lingered in my thoughts more and more. I worked on accepting the workers’ hostility without reflecting it. I became genuinely respectful, regardless of their attitudes. I just kept thinking about being a light.

The relationship between the guards and workers transformed. I didn’t really take notice while it was gradually happening, but by the time I left, it was a safe place to work, and I was sorry to go.

Was my purpose to be a security guard, or “be a light?”

Sometimes purpose will gently tap you on your shoulder. Sometimes your heart will inspire you. Sometimes purpose calls to us while we are pursuing a different one.

You are free to make choices, and change your mind when it seems like it’s the right thing to do.

You are a light. With whom shall you share yourself?

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I had a job that I loved and I was very good at. Long story short I lost it because I wanted to do what was right instead of what was easy. I left that job because I wouldn’t sacrifice my values. I prayed and prayed and thought it was what I was supposed to do. Then it all came crashing down since then I have had to change jobs 2 other times due to the hospitals I was working for going bankrupt.

We had to move to a different town and sell the house we loved and then had to move back to take one of the only jobs I could find. I had been praying on all these decisions as well. I thought I was supposed to be trying to be debt free so we decided to build. Of course the second we do COVID happened and prices shot through the roof. Our materials went up by over 50,000 just for lumber. Then we were robbed twice, delayed by every inspection, now our house is flooded by the orchard behind us who waters all day and night so their trees don’t freeze. We’re completely broke, can’t move in (aren’t even close). All this and I’m trying to do what I think God wants me to do.

I say all this because even when I try to have a purpose nothing goes well. I seriously just don’t think life is worth it for a second. No matter how hard you work there are people that God just won’t help.
I feel like he isn’t has never been and will never be with me.

I hate being alive. No good day in my life has ever made up for the struggle. You talk about the recovery being like crawling through mud. I agree but I personally don’t think the view is worth the effort. I can’t keep crawling. I can’t even move. I must end it.

I just need to get past whatever is stopping me. I don’t know why it is so hard to just jump. I want to so badly why can’t I just take the last step? I’ve written a note to my kids and have my noose all ready. Just one second of courage and no more struggle.

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Hi Cookchj
What you are going through is incredibly and unfairly hard. Life is not easy and it is not fair. Nobody can force you to go through the mudd of recovery. Its a choice. There are people who go through it and then there are people who dont. Its up to us to decide what is worth the struggle and what is not. A great 20th century thinker Albert Camus said that the only truly important philosophical question is suicide and whether life is or is not worth living. It seems like its the question you are currently contemplating and its a one that no one can answer for us but ourselves.

I would like to ask you about the moral choice you had to make. The one that made you leave your job. What was it about? It is just my curiosity and you dont have to answer if you dont want to.

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The only thing I’m reading in here that has anything to do with your worth is leaving your “good” job to stand by your morals, and that is far from worthless. In fact, I’d say that was a very purposeful move.

Everything else in here sounds circumstantial. I will not dismiss how hard it is. Circumstances are what we live in and through, and it sounds like things suck for you. It’s easy when we’re overwhelmed to look for anything that makes sense, and in doing that we may try to define ourselves by our circumstances. Your world is on fire. Everything is broken and falling apart. It’s not fair, it’s not easy, it sucks. I can’t imagine losing 2 jobs due to my employers going under. I can’t imagine waiting over 2 years for a house to be built, bleeding money into it and watching setback after setback keep you from bringing your family into a permanent home. How does any of that define you though?

Who is @Cookchj? Are you a serial job loser? No, that wasn’t your fault. Are you a shitshow of a home build? No, that’s happening to you. It’s external, not internal. Are you someone who has lost hope? Yes, but after everything you’ve been through no one can blame you. Are you someone who has struggled with mental illness their whole life? Yes. That sucks. You seem to have a keen understanding of what’s happening in your world, and the sharper our understanding, oftentimes the worse our mental health. Now, if you were to describe someone who is similar to you, would you lead with “This person is someone who has lost hope and struggled with mental health their whole life”? I think not. Those are internal circumstances, they don’t define people. You are a spouse, parent, hospital worker with strong enough ethics to leave a steady job when it went against your values. You are someone who wants to provide for your family so much that it hurts, and you’re taking a bunch of really shitty circumstances and reinterpreting them as personal failures. I’m not saying all this to berate you, but to tell you truths that have gotten lost in the sewage puddle. You are NOT your circumstances. You are NOT the jobs that have been pulled from under you. You are NOT a terrible home build process.

I felt like this all through college, when I lost my identity as an effortlessly good student and came to believe I was a fraud who couldn’t hack it and was, in fact, stupid and lazy. I wanted to succeed. I begged God to give me enough energy to study, to give me enough acuity to grasp the engineering curriculum in the brief moments I was alert enough to study. I said while I was in it, that my life was like being in an out of control car heading toward a tree. Everyone kept telling me to let go, but why the hell would I let go of the steering wheel? I needed to FIGHT with all my might against the circumstances leading to a certain crash. Finally, one day I was heading to class, and when I got to the building I turned around at the entrance and went home. I didn’t know what, all I knew with absolute certainty was that I could not walk into that building one more time. I was ready for the crash. Long story short, I dropped out of school and started working low level mechanical design jobs, and I established a rewarding career. I let go of the steering wheel, and the car drifted around the tree. That’s when I found that, in fact, God was just watching me, waiting for me to quit doing things my way so He could work in my life. Life hasn’t been easy. Not having a degree is an automatic disqualifier for most engineering jobs, so I’ve had to work hard for less money than my degreed counterparts, but I’m satisfied.

All that to say, I don’t know what letting go looks like for you, but I hear that you are tired of fighting. I understand so much. If you let go of the steering wheel, what will happen? What is your crash? You don’t have money, you don’t have a permanent home, you’re struggling with work, what else do you have left to lose? You’re approaching rock bottom, seems to me the only direction to go is up. Your wife has stuck by you, which means she sees something in you that’s bigger than all the other shit. Having an ally like that can make the climb from rock bottom a lot less terrifying. What are you holding on to, and how can you let it go?

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Thank you. We do seem alike in a lot of ways, I say that with hesitancy because I know what I think of me and I don’t want to insult you.

What do you let go and do? Stop going to work? Just walk away from the life savings you had hoped would be a home? That is the challenge, quitting isn’t even an option. It’s not even possible to just walk away. The only thing I can even think to do is to keep going every day and keep watching time slip away with no chance of fixing all the problems. We both know God isn’t coming to pay my bills He isn’t sending a fairy to put me in a house. So do I just recognize, ok you lost it all and failed, tell my wife ignore our life savings and learn to love your apartment. . She doesn’t stand by me she stands by the paycheck. There are several times she has told me to go ahead and kill myself. And while I’m certainly not a good influence for my kids she just may be worse.

I hope I’m not sounding like a patronizing butt head, I genuinely don’t know how to quit, without quitting life in it’s entirety. The last person posted that we have 1 choice, to decide if life is worth living, and I would give that answer a resounding NO! The problem is I don’t know how to get past the innate drive of self preservation.

Thank you again. Your insight is very accurate. Unfortunately it’s like my dad calls sometimes and says he loves me but love doesn’t fix anything. Nothing can accomplish the work that needs done and as long as God allows the constant barrage of obstacles to be inserted into our paths there is no other way to be than hopeless.

I appreciate our conversation, I also understand if you don’t feel it has value.

At some point I’ll have to have you explain your handle to me I used to be a classic car guy (sheet metal) and I worked at a steel fab warehouse for a while also.

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:smile: You can’t say anything about me that I haven’t already said about myself.

I’m an engineer who specializes in sheet metal design. It was a dumb throwaway name I picked when I joined this site so I could be relatively anonymous. Now the name has outgrown me :hrtjakelul:

Any conversation where there is real discourse taking place, any conversation where both sides seek understanding, has value.

You don’t sound like a patronizing butt head. Your skepticism is valid. Our survival instincts apply just as much to our way of life as they do to life itself. I don’t know that you can quit on command. My quitting came about with the absolute certainty that something bad would happen if I sat in one more class. It wasn’t that I decided to quit so much as I chose in that moment to let go and quit fighting. “I’m not giving up, I’m giving in.”

No, God doesn’t do that. As much as I HATE it when people say it’s part of God’s plan though, I believe that’s true with you. You can only be miserable for so long before change is somehow forced. They call that a Crucible Moment. Something will break, the walls will come down, and when you’re left with nothing, your only choice will be to rebuild. I believe God will find you in that moment, when your will has stopped and His can start working.

I hear that you want your suffering to end. I hear that you either want God to intervene, or you want the determination to end it yourself on your terms. I understand. No one wants to suffer. There are no positive connotations with suffering. To say your suffering is a blessing is, in a word, stupid. However, I believe you haven’t really given up. You are hurting so badly because you want so badly for things to get better. You are hurting so badly because your hopes for a better life are going unfulfilled. If you had given up, you wouldn’t be in pain. You wouldn’t feel anything at all. You wouldn’t be here, begging for anything to make you feel better. You haven’t given up, you have hope, and it’s tearing you apart. I’m not sure I have the wisdom to tell you what to do with that hope and pain, but then I’m not sure it’s my place. It’s something to think about anyhow.

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I’m wondering (afraid) if my crucible moment is when I finally do get the courage again. Even more afraid that God won’t allow me to be successful at that either and just end up paralyzed.

For the past 5 years I have been praying and reading scripture (until the last 4 months), asking to do his will, trying to living debt free, trying to build this house, asking what is the right thing to do praying that if it isn’t that He doesn’t let it happen. He’s putting me further into a position that any person couldn’t possibly believe that He is with them, and I don’t believe He is with me. People talk about the peace they have when the Lord is with them. I’ve prayed for peace, wisdom, and purpose constantly for the last 5 years and the empty “answers” have just further enforced my utter despair.

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I really wish I had something comforting to say. There is nothing that makes your situation suck less. Even if God is walking with you, your journey still sucks. I’m not a biblical scholar, I’m not all that “churchy,” but then I think those people are aloof and out of touch with other people’s realities. I’ll always go back to the book of Job though. It’s a garbage story about a godly man who loses everything as God makes a bet with Satan about his steadfast faith. The first couple chapters are about how he continued to praise God as he lost his wealth, his crops, his livestock, his home, and his health. The next 30-someodd chapters are about him sitting around with his buddies, depressed and bitter, having philosophical discussions similar to the ones that happen today–does God exist? How could a loving God let all this terrible stuff happen? What is His end game? What did I do wrong? Finally, God answers from the sky, essentially telling Job that he can’t possibly wrap his human brain around God’s greater plan, that his influence and suffering on earth are infinitesimal, and that he should leave the God stuff to God and quit complaining. Then he got his wealth back several fold, had 10 more children, and lived another 140 years. Did that erase his suffering? No. Could he have seen it coming? No. Was he right to doubt God? Sure. God understands human nature and suffering, and nothing we have to say about Him will hurt Him. Was Job’s story one of epic redemption? Yes. The harder people fall, the higher they bounce. If you lose everything, what do you have left to lose?

My pastor said something interesting once: When you’re walking in the valley, all you can see is the valley. You, my friend, are in one hell of a valley. There is no light ahead of you. You have no concrete reason to have hope. All you have left is to believe that things will work out.

I can’t promise that this won’t be your crucible moment. I believe if you’re praying for the courage to make an attempt, God won’t grant you that. I believe he is giving you the courage to keep going on, a will to live that’s just strong enough to keep you alive. If you’re seeking courage to make an attempt, I believe you don’t want to die. You want your suffering to end, and there’s a big difference. That, I believe, is God working in your life, telling you to hang on. Remember the will to live you felt after your previous attempt. That is what’s real. Perhaps that is what may come of a crucible moment. It’s a hell of a gamble though, one I think is dangerous to make.

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I do wonder if it was as much a will to live or a fear of death. This weekend certainly didn’t help. We were at a baseball tournament out of town and picked up some flowers for my wife who rudely asked my kids “ why did you get those we have no where to put them”. My kids got beat 65-8 over 3 games, and got home and she didn’t even want to open the gifts they got her. I’m afraid and pretty sure my daughter is going to be like me. What do I tell her? Do I lie like my parents did and tell her that things will get better or that her hard work and determination will pay off. What if she is like me and and spends the next 40 years wanting to die. She has already said once that the world would be better off without her. The only thing harder than watching my life suck and get wasted away is watching her go through the same thing. Last night in bed to pray I finally quit and told my kids I that I can’t believe that God is going to help us.

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