One day can change the rest of your life. For example, if you were to go out, buy a firearm on the black market, fire it at an innocent person, and murder them, you would most likely be caught by the police and duly punished, being locked away for the rest of your life. Murder, that one evil act, can turn the rest of a person’s life upside down.
But that is obviously an extreme example. Let’s think of something that is more likely to happen. Let’s pretend that you are driving down the highway, going the speed limit, when some insane motorist starts driving up behind you in his sports car. Foolishly, he is driving almost twice as fast as you are. He wants to pass you, but he doesn’t estimate the distance right; he ends up hitting you, shoving you into the vehicle in front of you. You then spin off the road. The accident is really bad, and you end up paralyzed. The rest of your life is changed. You will be paralyzed the whole time you are on this planet, all because of some jerk who acted like he owned the road.
One day… In one day, you can wish you had never been born. Your life can seem unlivable. You can decide that you cannot go on pushing through even one more day. You can decide to end it – to end your life.
You can sit staring at a bottle of pills, just getting up the nerve to do the deed and have it done. You can write a note, trying to explain…or you can decide that a note is pointless. And then you can reach for the water and the pills, and slowly drain them both. You can go to sleep, and never wake up again. In one day, you can choose to never live another day.
But if you make that choice, and if you kill off your future, you’ll never know what the days down the road might have held. You’ll never know what good things were waiting down the road, or if relief was right around the corner.
If you believe you are ready to choose – in one day – to bring your life to an end, then you should know about the people who have regretted that choice. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most popular suicide sites in the world. A few of the people who have jumped from it have survived. They tell us that after jumping, they have regretted their decision. They have wished that they did not jump.
I had my own moment with a stash of pills. I had my own one day of wanting to end my life. But I didn’t. I can’t tell you how many times over the years since then I have experienced happy and wonderful moments and days. I can’t count the times I have thought to myself “This would never have happened if I had taken those pills and managed to end it all on that day…”
And yes, there have been hard times too. There were reasons why I wanted life to end. But relief did come. It came in the form of hope. It came in the form of reasons for living. It came in the form of joy. Yes, those things are still possible! For me, they came through the kindness of loved ones, the healing of time, the help of good doctors and a good counselor, the compassion of friends, and, most important of all, the help that came from my God. (You can read more about him in the about section of this blog.) And yes, relief often takes a while. It would be unwise to give time limits to all of these good means that can help in the journey toward relief, which is what we are often tempted to do as we consider ending our lives. Rather, we need to live days beyond just this one day called “today”, because all of these good things listed above have to be mixed with living life, not ending it in one day.
Living life can be hard. There are those who do not realize this, but there are also some of us who grasp it. Yet, though it be hard, life is meant to be lived. It is meant to be lived one day at a time. It is meant to be lived embracing the help we need, and accepting that not everyone wakes up to face life bright eyed and bushy tailed. But we still wake up. May your life wake up to more and more true hope! (You can read more about true hope in the about section of this blog.)