Mental Illness, Suicide, and the Church

Someone I knew from the recovery group at my former church committed suicide this week.  He had been dealing with mental illness for a while but everyone thought he had it under control.  Tragically, that was not the case.

I found out about his death this morning and I’m still trying to process it.  My friend, whose husband also took his life, warned me that the next time I encountered someone who had committed suicide, I would be transported back to Paul’s death.  A kind of survivor of suicide PTSD, if you will.  I didn’t believe her until this morning.  Upon hearing the news, I sat in my recliner wavering between anger and extreme sadness.  Memories of Paul’s suicide began to weigh heavily on my shoulders.  I went through the rest of the morning burdened, unable to think straight, barely getting out the door to go to work.   Continue reading

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

This question starts getting asked when you’re young enough to understand what it means and continues, albeit with different wording, until you graduate from high school or college.  I work on a college campus and I find myself asking my student workers what they want to do after they graduate.  And now that I’m back in school, people have been asking me the same thing.  And up until about a month ago, I didn’t have an answer for them.  And then everything changed. Continue reading