“I Gave Up and It Saved My Life”

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries


People who have never experienced suicidal thoughts or at least have not seriously considered suicide, often think of it as giving up. They see suicide attempts as attention-seeking and death by suicide as weakness of character.

If you have contemplated, planned, or attempted ending your life, you know they are wrong. By the time suicide has become a plausible option in our thinking, we have already fought long and hard, and failed to find a workable solution. With suicidal thinking comes a deep sense of worthlessness or lack of purpose. We often feel that others we love will be better off if we are gone. 

At this point, suicidal persons are not “giving up”. Quite the contrary, it can seem as if suicide is doing something positive – even the right thing. While killing oneself is never either of those, the suicidal mindset cannot understand options.  Clearly, help is needed to escape this deep pit.

Again, some who cannot relate will call this self-pity and expect us to shake it off. However, suicidal thinking goes far beyond self-pity. It is not normal. People in their right minds can find healthier perspectives. By the time suicidal focus infiltrates our sense of reason, there is an underlying mental health challenge at play – most likely severe depression.  

There is a place though, at which giving up did enter the picture before my suicide attempt seven and a half years ago.  It happened three months earlier.

For thirty years I had placed my hope, and sense of value, on my husband. I spoke in “we,” rarely “I”. My identity was as Mrs., not Nancy. One could say I had little sense of me. 

One day, all the excuses I had made fell apart. Fake light I’d shined on our relationship went permanently dark. Truth hit hard. From that point it was, in my opinion looking back, a matter of time before all reason for living was lost. 

That is because I gave up. Hear me now, I did not give up on life! Quite the opposite. I looked for mental health care, and fought valiantly against growing despair.

What I gave up was hope.  

Decades of hope in a single temporal and fallible source of love left me with nowhere else to look. I did not know how to use a healthy support system.  My understanding of God’s love remained skewed since childhood.  Instead of discovering the wisdom of these relationships, I had poured energy into a chasm of few returns.   

Once hope was gone, survival seemed the right choice, yet there was little motive left.  This is how giving up ultimately saved my life. 

The suicide attempt was not the catalyst to health. Suicide attempts are never the answer. Once medications and therapy raised me to more reasonable thought processes,  the attempt did force me to acknowledge that how I’d been doing life was not working. Anytime we can come to that conclusion without a life or death crisis is great! 

Finally,  there was no other choice but to look elsewhere for hope. That long exploration led me to safe and healthy friendships,  a new sense of purpose,  a sense of value, and to a deeper understanding of God’s endless love.  Leaving make-believe behind, my heart found a permanent home. 

Yes, I gave up on false hope,  and that saved my life.  

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 33: 18-20 (Amplified Bible)

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him [and worship Him with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], On those who hope [confidently] in His compassion and lovingkindness, To rescue their lives from death And keep them alive in famine. We wait [expectantly] for the LordHe is our help and our shield.


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

*no through road by TACLUDA ;  shadow by RWLINDER, both on rgbstock.com


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