The truth is, there is no magic formula, but here are some intentional steps that made my life better. I am not a professional therapist, and everyone has a different recovery story. I can only share from my own experience. Here are eight steps that helped me recover after my suicide attempt. … Source: 8 […]
As a first-timer on the psych ward, it appeared that we were focusing on basic things,like eating right, getting plenty of rest, and talking with a professional. In retrospect, I see that we were working on a much deeper level. We were engaging with a community of people with similar struggles and similar goals, setting boundaries, and learning about self-compassion.
A failed suicide attempt forced me to face myself. At first, all I wanted to do was disconnect from anyone and anything that seemed more “normal” than me. And everyone seems more normal than you feel when you’ve just been discharged from the psych ward. I didn’t want anyone to know my story, or the details of the journey that eventually landed me in an ICU. I didn’t want my family to know, and I certainly didn’t want to face the Church.
Like so many others, I thought life came with two choices: be a normal Christian guy, or be crazy. I felt stuck. Lost.
I wonder if the Prodigal Son was feeling like me. The parable certainly implies he was humiliated. If the Prodigal Son had been able to work through the smothering lies that come with shame, would he have come home sooner? I’ve heard others ask it this way: “If the Prodigal Son had Xanax, would he have ever come home?”
Since I’ve begun sharing how I went from a being a pastor to being hospitalized in a psych ward, people often ask about my recovery. Everyone wants to know, is there a single solution? Where does the magic lie? How do they get their own lives (or their loved ones’) back? Or, as others have said, “What is the one thing that made you want to start living again?”
The truth is, there’s no magic formula, but here are some intentional steps that made my life better. I’m not a professional therapist, and everyone has a different recovery story. I can only share from my own experience.
Now that the story of my suicide attempt is becoming more public, people are asking about my recovery. The most recent question I received is, “What is the one thing that made you want to start living again.” Since everyone has a different recovery story and I am not a professional, here are seven things that did not make me want to start living again.
Own your mistakes and the fact that they affect other people. We all mess up: some of us more than others and some of us make mistakes that seem “bigger” than others, but we all make mistakes. We can’t blame family history or former friends or employers or the government or God on the choices we make. We all make choices and sometimes we make the wrong ones. The best thing any of us can do is focus on today and the people who love us: those who push us to be our best and love us even at our worst.