I think the first time I thought about suicide was when I was about 11 or 12. My single father who'd had custody of me for years, had remarried and had twin boys within 11 months. All of a sudden, the sweet little only child (me), was frantically trying to get some attention from a father that was never home. I rebelled by mouthing off, swearing, getting into trouble at school, etc. Dad came increasingly abusive about then, not knowing how to handle the stress of being a Ministerial Servant, a new husband, with a rebelling teenager, etc. He'd beat the tar out of me for disciplining me as well as for taking out his aggression. I was always required to be naked during those "spankings". That was until I was 16 years old. At one point I was beaten so badly that blood was coming out of the whip marks on my back, bottom, and legs from his leather belt. I remember thinking at that point that the whole family would be better off if I were dead. It's a grim thought for a little girl to have. I still cry for her.
I struggled with suicidal thoughts for years after that. They increased triple-fold when I was disfellowshipped. I had no God, no religion, no family, no friends. What was there to live for??? I attempted it twice, both unsuccessful due to the very loving "worldly" friends I had around me. Once unbeknownst to me, a nurse in the mental ward I was at, was a JW. She called my step-mother and dad to tell me I was checked in to have my stomach pumped from overdosing on sleeping pills. Did they come visit? No. Did they even call? No. I didn't even find out until years later that they even knew I was there. When my step-mom told me she knew I'd attempted suicide, I wished she hadn't told me. I couldn't bear the fact that they wouldn't come see how I was. It put me into another depressive spiral.
I attempted again about three years ago. Within a period of 10 days I was laid off from work, broke up with my then boyfriend, and found out I needed emergency lung surgery when I had no insurance. (They thought it was cancer.) I was about to attempt again with pain pills and vodka, only to have the phone ring. It was 11:45 pm. Who was calling me that late? It was my Sunday School teacher just checking on me. He didn't have a good feeling about me and wanted to see how I was. He stayed on his cell phone with me until he had driven to my house to be with me. He helped me pack a bag and my pillow and took me back to his and his wife's home. His wife was standing in her bathrobe at the front door when we arrived. It was near 1:30 am by then. They somehow knew something was wrong with me and just called out of the blue to see if they could help. The next day they helped me get to a doctor and I stayed with them for several weeks just so I wasn't alone all the time. I have no question it was divine intervention.
It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I experienced a reprieve from those thoughts. I still struggle with depression, especially during stressful times (wedding, unemployment, etc.), but at least now I know the triggers. And I have tools to get me out of the situations that trigger the spiral. It can be very, very scary. But the peace that death would bring is always so welcoming whenever I've been depressed. So yes, I've considered suicide. And yes, just not living has been very appealing to me in the past.
For those of you who have lost loved ones to suicide I may have some things to help you. If your loved one has tragically caused their own death, it's because of what Big Tex said earlier. They probably didn't really want to die. They just didn't know how else to get the pain out of their hearts. They haven't been equipped with the right coping skills to handle whatever is causing their heartache. And the pain is VERY REAL. And it is VERY DEEP. Most suicidal people do not allow themselves to think of the devastation they would leave in their wake. They HONESTLY think their loved ones would be better off without them. Yes, it would be painful, but they are so much stronger than me and they'll get over it. That's what I thought anyway. Suicide. It gets rid of the pain for ME and the people I love. How can I go wrong?
These are just my opinions, but I am firm in them. I think I will have to deal with depression off and on the rest of my life. But at least now I have the tools to not let it slide into suicidal thoughts.
I thank God today that I have Him to help me through the dark times. And I think He uses people around me as tools to heal my heart. My dear, dear husband. My best friends Elisa and Casey. My other friends at church. My husband's family. People I've met here like Megadude. I am so grateful for all of them. And I'm grateful that my new God is so loving as well.
Sorry for the ramblings. I'm just very passionate about those who experience depression and suicidal thoughts.