(September 28, 2009)

I gave the talk to the suicide loss group last night. And they shared their stories of pain at losing someone close to suicide. It was an emotionally charged time of three hours sitting in a circle – 20 to 24 or us. So many tears and I so deeply felt their grief. I still feel the emotions they left me with.

I spoke well, telling them what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder and what it’s like to be so depressed you want to die. I shared honestly, totally myself, transparent.

In the morning at church I prayed over this meeting. I prayed that God would help me share his love. And He did that for me.

Although this was a secular group I did tell the group a bit about my faith and how it helps me to survive. About how I need God. How could I not? But I did not dwell on it too much. We needed to address their feelings more than anything.

They were grateful to me for sharing and I was just as – or maybe even more – grateful to them for their sharing. I needed to hear and see the kind of pain they were suffering because I have considered suicide at times. I needed to see how their lives were forever changed by their losses. And I don’t want to do that to the people I love.

God, please help me not to be so self-centered when I’m depressed that I forget the pain I could cause those who love me to suffer. Help me to remember – though it may be hard – that people do love me, even though my depression might tell me they don’t.

I prayed for God’s presence last night and He was there. His love was there in that circle. He was among us.