Research Blog

I have a close friend who almost died.

Posted on Jul 20th, 2009

I had this sent to me and I just had to share it with you. It was written by a passionate man named Larry Drain. He has his own blog Hopeworks Community
Check him out...

I have some great news I will be posting soon so keep checking back.

Thanks, Michael

I have a close friend who almost died.

She used to describe for me what a day was like when you were suicidal. She said it was like a prison, but she could never leave. Everywhere she went it came too. It was like a thousand voices telling you to do something you really didn’t want to do and when you looked to see who was talking to you all the voices were yours. She didn’t live just in depression or discouragement. She lived in terror.

She told me about how many times in a day she would think about slitting her throat or walking in front of a car. The desperation in her voice come through clear with every word. She felt like death was the best answer for her—but she didn’t want it to be. In the end I think the only thing stronger than her passion for death was her passion for life. She held strong and ferociously to the idea that what was happening was not her, but something that was happening to her.

She has searched diligently for the right medication and so far hasn’t really found it. She seems to be a walking side effect. Most of her meds have serious side effects and she always seems to have the most serious of the side effects. She often wonders if the cure stops the disease what will cure the cure. She has gained a lot of weight and with that has come a lot of health worries. On a good day she feels bad. She has had significant dental problems from years of anticonvulsants. Many of the everyday stresses that she deals with are described in the medication packages where it starts with “side effects include.”

She has been in the hospital before and may well have other visits ahead for her. She hated it, because she felt like her dignity as a human being was disregarded there, but it was a safe place in an unsafe time and may well serve that function again.

She is a prayerful person. She turns daily to Him and in her weakness has found His strength. She is grateful for the many blessings she has gotten and told me once that even this overwhelming depression that seemed cloak everything she said or did was at bottom an opportunity to get closer to Him. Even when the worst of things seem to occupy every inch, every breath, every beat of her life she tries to rejoice in the opportunities ahead.

She is in many ways a miracle. In her illness she has tried to find a path to what she can be instead of a complaint about what she can’t be.

Sometimes she is very much afraid. She knows terror well. But hers is a terror ultimately of herself and the edge to which her strange brain chemistry drives her. She loves life and loves God with all her heart, but knows the terror of that which tries to entice her, to browbeat her and threaten her until she finally gives up on what she loves and buys their counterfeit truth.

She has won no wars, but fights many battles. Some days are better some days are not. One day she may die. The illness will not go away and constantly demands more of her life. I asked her once what she had learned and what she could tell other people and I liked what she said.

“I have learned what it is like to live in a prison of one. I have learned to keep other people close so that the walls don’t rise. I have learned that there is wisdom sometimes in fear and to always be open to it. I have learned that no matter how much I feel like doing something I don’t have to do it. I have learned I am not my illness. I have learned that I do not prosper in the denial of my illness, but in knowing that my freedom, as much as I have it, is in deciding what of its demands I listen to. I have learned I can decide not to die, but I must decide so every day. I have learned that God is with me and I matter to him. And I have learned when the demons come upon me and their chorus grows louder and louder, I can say with His help, “No. No, not this time.”

She remains each day in my prayers. I hope now she will be in yours.

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