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Suicide: The Fight for your life

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide takes more lives than guns, drugs, and car crashes. It's time to do something.
At this moment, people are fighting for their lives.
 
You may be fighting for your life. The only reason you haven’t told anyone is because you are afraid of what they might think.
In reality, this battle is not seen on the outside. It is an internal battle that rages and rages. A battle that goes unnoticed. A battle that is as strong as any physical battle.
 
It is the battle of whether you will commit suicide or not.
 
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide takes more lives than guns, drugs, and car crashes. It's time to do something.
 
I was 15 years old when I made an attempt on my life.

I remember the pain that I was feeling. It felt as if the entire world was coming down around me. I needed an escape. All I could think about was ending my life to escape the pain.

I thank God that I had a close friend who helped me through it. That isn’t the case for everyone. Some people do not have anyone to turn to.
Suicidal thoughts are dangerous. When you do not have anyone to support you they can be deadly.
It seemed so long ago. I attempted to take my life a total of 3 times. They were all made through the ages of 10 and 17 years old.
 
I was going through a lot of pain and personal trauma at that time.
It was hard to get a grounded sensation that I was going to be ok. Every day was a battle for my life. I don’t know how I made it through those years.
 
Around age 17 all those thoughts and feelings seemed to go away. Since then I haven’t struggled with suicide or thoughts of suicide.It is possible that I am one of the blessed ones. To be resilient enough to make through the most difficult times and not look back.
 
Then I am confronted with a truth.

People are fighting for victory over their thoughts.

Every day the battle for their lives begins again.

My wife is one of the fighters.
 
This last week was very challenging for my family. My wife spent time hospitalized for her thoughts.
 
This makes the 3rd incident where she spent time hospitalized. 2 of those stays have been over the last 5 months.
 
There has been a diagnosis given to her. The diagnosis isn’t as important as the battle she fights. You can call it whatever you want. It doesn’t change the fact that she fights for her life every day.
 
The raging thoughts are almost too much. Sure, she has periods of time when she isn’t fighting as hard. The medicines help with that. Yet, the medicines are not meant to remove the issue.
Medicines are useful for managing symptoms. Medicines do not completely remove the symptoms.
One of the biggest symptoms that she struggles with is suicidal ideation.

She is not alone.

As a matter of fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide was more deadly than car crashes, gun violence, drowning, and so many others.
 
That statistic doesn’t include attempts.

For every suicide that ended in death, there were 12 attempts.

That only includes the recorded attempts.

There may be a lot more unrecorded attempts.

The number are both staggering and heartbreaking.
 
Google it and see for yourself.
 
No one wants to become a statistic.
 
My thoughts are that YOU do not want to become a statistic.
 
But,
 
The fight to stay alive is exhausting. Don’t stop fighting. You are needed.
 
Having to explain yourself to so many people is also exhausting. Together, my wife and I have been battling this for 17 yearsShe has battled with this longer.
 
Then I start to think about you.

How long have you been battling?

When did the fight start for you?

Have you found any help?

You are most likely exhausted as well.
 
I want to encourage you!
If you are fighting against suicide. You are not alone. There are others out there that are fighting as well. #suicidefight
Don’t give up hope!
For those of you who want to know more about the struggle. Allow me to give you 4 myths that are common when talk of suicide comes up.
 
First, a myth is a held but false belief or idea.
 
With that understanding let’s look at the myths.

4 Common Myths About Suicide

Myth #1: Suicidal thoughts are a choice.

Many of the thoughts are a result of a mental or emotional disorder. They could be the results of years of trauma.
Suicidal thoughts are not voluntary they are often part of a condition.
Every person who I have spoken with wishes the thoughts would stop. They would give anything to make them stop.

Myth #2: Those who attempt suicide are weak.

My wife is my hero. Why?
Because she is facing incredible odds, but she keeps fighting. No matter how bad it gets or how often she has to go to the hospital she keeps fighting.
That is not weakness.
 
There is a strength there that is beyond me. I would like to think I am that strong, but I do not think I am.
 
If you are still alive after everything you have been through and you continue the fight then you are a hero.
 
Keep fighting. You are still needed here.

Myth #3: People who talk about suicide are trying to get attention.

People who die by suicide usually talk about it first. Learn to listen.
People who are in pain oftentimes reach out for help because they do not know what to do and have lost hope.
They are not trying to get attention they are trying to get your help.
 
Do not ignore the suicidal conversation. It is a subtle cry for help. Listen to the cry and take action.

Myth #4: Those who try to commit suicide want to die.

There has never been a point where my wife said she wanted to die.
 
We were sitting in a session with her therapist when my eyes were open to this.
 
The therapist looked at my wife and asked her two questions.

#1: Do you want to do?

Her answer? No, I do not want to die.

#2: Then why are you trying to kill yourself?

What she said brought so much realness to this subject.
 
Her answer:
 
I am trying to escape the pain.
 
A thought floored me. She isn’t trying to kill herself, but suicide is the only option she thinks she has to escape the pain she feels. The pain of the past, the racing thoughts, and the stress of life.
 
It is all too much for her. She doesn’t want to die. My wife wants to rest and relief from the constant struggle.
 
At this point, I wanted to cry.
 
It must be so tiring for her. There may be some of you who are reading this finding yourself in the story.
 
Her story hasn’t ended and neither has yours.
 
The story doesn’t end here. Not at this juncture. God isn’t through with you.
 
I know that you the pain is very intense for you. I watch my wife go through it.
 
But,
 
She is a fighting with the heart of a lion.
 
I am willing to bet that if you are reading this then you are as well.
 
You are a fighter with the heart of a lion. So keep fighting. 
 
Whether you are the one fighting or someone fighting for someone else you have to keep fighting!
 
No matter what happens there is ALWAYS hope.

Let me give you 3 practical things to help you in your struggle.

1. GET HELP

If you are someone who struggles with suicidal ideation please seek help.
 
Find a doctor or therapist that you can see on a regular basis.
Suicide is not a joke. It is serious. We must treat it as such. #gethelp #suicide
If you do no feel safe then you need to call 911.
 
You can also call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours every day.

If you are someone who doesn’t struggle with suicide you can still help. Help connect your friends to the right people.
Have the above number programmed in your phone.
 
Your help and support could mean the difference between life and death for someone close to you.

2. FIND SOMEONE YOU CAN TALK TO

 Everyone needs someone to talk to.
 
If you are struggling with suicidal ideation then please find a friend you can talk with.
 
The person has to be kind and understanding. They also have to be able to give you hard truth. You don’t want someone to agree with you. What you want is someone to support you and help through it.
 
If the person asks:

1. Why are you being so selfish?

2. Are you even thinking about anyone else?

Then they are not the right people to be in your life.
You want someone who will be supportive and honest with you. Don’t open up to people who do not have your best interest at heart.
 
If you do not struggle with suicide, I encourage you to be the kind of person that can walk through this with someone.
 
Be open and kind. Learn to be honest. Be firm in the decisions you make (Like baker acting them). Above all else, be understanding and loving. They need it.

3. DON’T FIGHT THIS ALONE

My wife will not have to fight this alone. She will have me by her side.
 
I do not plan on ever leaving my wife. I made a commitment. My wedding vows mean something to me me. So no matter how hard this gets I am standing by my wife. I am fighting for her and with her.
 
If you struggle with this then find someone healthy enough to struggle alongside.
 
If you do not struggle with this then be that someone who is willing to struggle with someone.

REMEMBER:

You are not weak for feeling these things.
You are not feeble because you struggle.
There is something on the inside of you that needs healing. Don’t run from it anymore. Face it.
fight each day.
Always take talk about suicide seriously. Always. #suicideisserious
 
People still need you.
 
My prayers are for you!
 
Here is what I want you to do next.

1. Subscribe to this blog.

It would be an honor to continue this journey with you.
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2. Comment below.

It would love to have you join the conversation. I love hearing different perspectives, tips I did not cover, and how I can add more value to you. I reply to every comment 🙂

3. Share

[bctt tweet=”Medicines are useful for managing symptoms. Medicines do not completely remove the symptoms.” username=”Jim_burgoon”]
[bctt tweet=”If you are fighting against suicide. You are not alone. #suicidefight” username=”Jim_burgoon”]
[bctt tweet=”Do not ignore the suicidal conversation. It is a subtle cry for help. Listen to the cry and take action. ” username=”Jim_burgoon”]
[bctt tweet=”Suicide is not a joke. It is serious. We must treat it as such. #gethelp #suicide” username=”Jim_burgoon”]

About the Author Jim

  • Andrea Broom says:

    This is a really powerful, moving post. I have suffered from bipolar disorder and also anorexia and bulimia. I also tried to take my time multiple times and for me its a wonderful feeling when people talk about mental health. it makes me feel like we are heading in the right direction and these topics wont be so taboo in the future making it easier for people to talk about and not feel so alone. I know a lot of people think suicide is selfish and what they don’t realize that at that moment you aren’t thinking about anyone else. this is such a hopeful message you are sending and I literally got chills as I read it. thank you so much. sending you tons of warm and positive vibes.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! Thank you also for your kind words. My hope is that people find the help they need.

  • Tamsin says:

    Thank you for writing about this topic, I know it’s difficult. It’s so important to speak about mental health, whether it’s stress, anxiety or harmful thoughts – these things can be prevented with EARLY help.

    • Jim says:

      I agree! With the right amount of help there is a great chance to manage the emotions with the great chance to prevent it from happening. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jacquelyn says:

    Wow, very personal and very powerful. I’m glad you were able to get through that tough time in your youth. We all have the potential the be a fighter in life, just like we all have our down and out moments. Reaching out to those we love recharges us and helps us continue on. Thank you for writing this post, it was a great read!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. This was a great post and I am sure it will help someone.

  • Amy says:

    Such an important post. Having dealt with suicide tendencies myself it is so important to raise awareness so that others can understand too. Thank you for sharing.

  • The first time I tried to kill myself I was 11. I really appreciate this post. I truly hope that this helps save lives.

  • Rhoda says:

    Hi Jim!

    I love the candor and honesty in your blog. I am so thankful you are speaking up about mental health and especially about suicide. I know the pain and hopelessness all to well. I never wanted to die either I just wanted the pain to stop. There are lots of times I can think of that I too would have been hospitalized if anyone was paying attention. Mary is blessed to have you watching out for her and caring for her. You are correct, she is fighting for her life every day. She is amazingly strong especially in the the hardest part of the battle. It is so very hard to think the pain will end when you are in the worst of it but it always does, eventually. The depression was hardest on me while I was caring for Becky and Garrett at their lowest point. Yikes! The grace of God is all I can say. What a mess we were!
    I can put myself in caretaker roll along with a suffer.
    Now I am feeling emotional and at a loss for words. Thank you for this blog Jim.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. Your story matters. It is something that will help a number of people in the years to come!

  • Connie says:

    I sincerely appreciated this article. My sister committed suicide in August of 2015. She shattered my world. I’m so angry at her for leaving all of us. I started a blog about how much my life has changed since she decided to end hers.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for sharing the realness of your post. I am sorry for the loss, but I know the story isn’t over. My prayers for you and your family!

  • Whimsy says:

    Such an inspirational post!

  • A good discussion with much needed information. Some folks just don’t know what to do or where to turn when dealing with a person with suicidal tendencies. This is a very cohesive and helpful article.

  • Arien Smith says:

    A very powerful blog, filled with many hopeful messages and ones that break down the stigma around suicidal ideation. As a survivor of long term trauma and now a coach working with people with mental illness, I’m really passionate about this topic too, so I was glad to see such a comprehensive blog about it. Thank you for pouring your heart out here.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I am planning on writing a lot more on about our journey. May they encourage you. I would love to connect with you at some point.

  • This is a serious matter. When my dad passed away, my eldest two daughters had taken it pretty rough. They were required to do therapy at least 1-2 times per week. One of them still goes through therapy 1 x per week. The other graduated and moved to another country.
    I’ve seen what suicide can do to a family and what a person can do to themselves. I’ve also got a friend that tried and was actually able to be revived. I love her dearly, and am glad that they brought her back.

  • Missy says:

    It’s crucial that in our darkness we affirm the strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him. The apostle Paul thought of his own strivings. He said, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” – Phil. 3:12. Paul’s efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in Christ are secured by CHRIST’S GRASP OF HIM. Never for­get that your security rests on Christ’s faithfulness to us first. Our emotions rise and fall, with great degrees. But our secu­rity does not rise and fall, it is set firmly in stone. The best news in all the world to the those who grieve under the cloud of darkness, is the news that God, by faith alone, counts them as righ­teous because of Christ. This is the rock where we stand when the dark clouds overcome us. It is by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. We need only look to the cross to know that Jesus Christ knows the full extent of each and everyone’s individual pain and suffering.
    The only true care for the soul is in Jesus Christ. “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” – Psalm 62:1 God is the lover and maker of our souls. In Genesis 2:7 when the breath of life was breathed into the nostrils of man, man became a living soul. “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you” – Psalm 63. God has promised not to turn you away. “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” – John 6:37. By this act of faith God will unite you to Jesus. The light will rise in your dark­ness in due time. God will hold onto you – Jude 24. God bless Mary, she is in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have lost a few friends to this struggle and it was heartbreaking each time. I hope that someone who needs this finds your post. ♥️

    • Jim says:

      I am sorry for the loss! I am praying for you on your journey. I am hoping the same thing. My wife and I desire to help people find encouragement and healing.

  • Scott says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you and your wife are going through. Just know there are many out there ready to help whenever necessary.

  • Ashley says:

    That you for sharing you journey. I hope that it helps someone else to reach out for help.

  • Alana says:

    One of my husband’s cousins committed suicide several years ago. He had struggled with bipolar disorder for years. The wife of another cousin is hospitalized on and off and goes through swings in mood. Her husband has been at her side for over 45 years. And an uncle, with a disabled son and a diagnosis of a serious illness, decided to end it all while his wife and son were out of the house. Can you imagine for this last one, that a close relative to his widow told us not to send a card to his widow because…it was suicide??? I was left speechless. Thank you for bringing your personal struggle and your wife’s out in the open. Why do we as a society leave such families with out support or hope?

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for sharing your story! Your last question is an important one. I believe if we took mental illness and depression more serious we would have the right tools in place when something is about to happen.

  • Joely Smith says:

    this is a very serious topic that needs more attention! Thank you SO much for spreading the truth about depression and suicide! My daughter suffers from severe anxiety and depression and we are doing everything we can to get her the help she needs. It is not easy! It is not easy to get on the right meds, find the right therapists, psychologists, counselors etc and so on. Then the expense keeps many from getting help at all! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done here! Every bit helps!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words! It is an incredible battle that we are in. I am going to keep posting things like this so I pray they help you!

  • Very important PSA for everyone to share. I’ve never been there but know a couple of people that have done it. It’s always after it happens when you question yourself if you could have done more. Many of those that are thinking about it are very good at hiding their emotions. We have to be better friends and be more social in person. Reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Just tell them you’re thinking about them. A simple act like that can really help.

  • Thank you for being so honest about the subject of suicide. Many people deal with this on their own and I think a big part of fighting this fight is removing the stigma. This post is a great resource for anyone struggling personally or with a family member.

    • Jim says:

      I agree with you. People try to hide this. I think it has a big thing to do with the stimga, but I also think that people don’t want to feel weak. That dealing with suicidal thoughts somehow shows that you are weak. That simply not true. The fact that people are still alive shows the strength they have. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • Angel says:

    Thank you for sharing. I personally deal with depression and anxiety, but luckily I have not been suicidal.

    However, someone I love very much struggles witha disassociative personality disorder, which has led to suicidal thoughts, and it really is an illness unlike any other. It usually can’t be seen on the outside, unless you recognize the disheveled appearance and lack of self-care as symptoms.
    If you have an article on disassociative personality disorder, please send me the link. I’m always looking to educate myself.

    • Jim says:

      During this money I am going to be writing on Bipolarism, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD. If I come across something with DPD I will let you know. I am going to pray for you and your journey! Keep fighting! You are not alone!

  • Hien says:

    Jim,

    You’re one of the realest bloggers I subscribe to. I haven’t read everything you post, but when I do — your stuff is always so real. This post gave me chills and I started to tear up.

    I haven’t had suicidal idealization since the summer of 2014. It was such a difficult year to get through. Sometimes I am afraid I will slip back into that dark void. But your tips remind me of all I have done (therapy, medication, self-care practices), and it encourages me to continue. Sometimes I get so tired of having to do stuff to help myself stay alive and healthy, that the idea of suicide idealization becomes tempting. But no, I really *don’t* want to die. I enjoy my life and many things in it.

    Therapy appointments and picking up my medication has become its own process and it’s kind of annoying. I just get so tired sometimes.

    I wish your wife and you the best in her recovery after her latest hospitalization.

    With love,
    Hien

  • Natasha Botkin says:

    I work with at-risk youth and have others near and dear to my heart who have pondered or have ended their lives. Thamk you so much for raising awareness!xoxo

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I am praying that your fight to help the youth has more victories!

  • Wow! What a powerful post. Thank you for the information and for opening my eyes to what is really going on.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for taking the time to check it out! It has been a taboo subject. I don’t want to keep it taboo. I want to bring awareness to people and show them that there is more to it then is believed. With prayer, the proper help, and the right meds there is a chance that people who suffer can live a long life.

  • Michele Etzel says:

    Pastor Jim,
    Praying for you and your Dear Wife! What a great topic to bring out in the open! My youngest sister, Viva died from Sucide on 9/26/2011. She reached out to me for help and I did try to help her, even though in my heart I kept thinking she was going to take her life. I did not see the previous signs or accident that she had where she previously tried, but afterwards, now I know that a gas powered engine she started in her home, but she came too…..called my brother and he told her to call 911 as he lived 45 minutes away from her. I picked my sister up from the hospital and still had no idea she had did that on purpose. Then she tried to starve her self and that’s when she called me a month out of the hospital. When I arrived at her home, she was a pitiful site. Hadn’t bathed or brushed her hair since she had come home from the hospital. Stunk from high heaven. I cried when I saw her. I brought her soup and crackers and made her eat, even though she told me she was throwing up and diarrhea. I wanted to give her a shower and wash her hair but she told me she was to weak. The next day Janice came over from Okeechobee and we both got her in the shower and washed her hair, that was a Sunday. On Thursday I went with her to the Doctors and found out she hadn’t been on her Depression meds for a year, since she switched to this Doctor. On Monday I found her hanging on her back door. My worst nightmare. I had called her that day at 4:00 to see how she was feeling and she told me still throwing up and diarrhea plus hurting all over. She was in pain. Well she had no more pain after that, but what she did to me was so devastating. I never in a million years would have thought she would have had hung her self, maybe overdosed on her meds. She took a lot of meds. Today happenes to be her birthday. I know even though she took her own life she was a believer and she did go to Heaven.
    Michele

    • Jim says:

      What a story! Thank you for sharing. My heart breaks for your family. I will make sure to pray for you guys!

  • Miranda says:

    It’s finally great to see so many that struggle be upfront and open about it. I’ve recently been drawn to write about my mental health issues. Thanks for sharing your story! Many kudos, positive vibes, and good energies sent your way…..Keep Fighting!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your kind words!!! My wife and I have been living through mental health issues for the last 17 years. She has been living with it her whole life. It has been a struggle. I am in the process of writing a book on what it is like to live a life of love when dealing with something so challenging.

  • Dwaine Willard says:

    Thank you Jim for being open and honest about the struggles you guys face. Know that we are praying intentionally for the Burgoon family.

    In Christ love
    Pastor dwaine

    • Jim says:

      Thank you sir! We want out lives to be leveraged to truly make a difference in people’s lives. Prayers are greatly appreciated!

  • Michelle says:

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