A short while ago I was praying with Toni who was having a bad day.
Since coming to London we have been staying mostly in hostels, eating mostly McDonald’s and barely survving financially. Support has been a minimum and our limits have been tested!
Whatever about myself who is at this stage a professional in suffering and being rejected but poor Toni is young!
At 22 and giving his all to God and to living a clean life it is heart-breaking the lack of support and at times it all gets to him and brings up all the pain of his life when suicide seemed like the only answer!
And here am I helping him, at 36 with multiple breakdowns behind me, a family who were never there, a church who doesn’t really want to know, I am well trained you could say!
And as he was in the middle of his crisis I said to him. Toni, 12 years ago I didn’t know God, I lay curled up in pain on a beach in Ireland, I’ll always remember the man with the dog that passed me by, my mum was in hospital again and every single thought in my mind was to commit suicide. It was not for another 3 weeks that I would experience God and yet that day I made a blind act of faith …
I didn’t know what the answer to my life was or who God was but I did know what it wasn’t. Suicide was not the answer.
Every muscle in my body screamed in agony, no amount of sleep helped. Food was impossible and I had no friends.
Every thought of the future was blacker than black, I saw no hope of ever recovering and yet inside I said “suicide is not the answer’!
Even when they refused to hospitalise me because my health insurance expired, I said “suicide is not the amswer”. Even when I overheard phonecalls of how I would never recover I said “suicide is not the answer”.
And when I did meet God, when they didn’t believe me, when they called me crazy, left me penniless, threatened my life I still said “suicide is not the answer”.
Even when my mum threatened she’d take her life because of me I still said “suicide is not the answer”
When I was rejected and silenced by religious community after religious community I still said “suicide is not the answer”.
When I lay in bed for days without food or friends in foreign lands with migraines I said still said “suicide is not the answer”.
And when I broke again at 33 and was worse than ever before and found myself back in Ireland with nothing, I still said “suicide is not the answer”.
When I appealed to priests and bishops for help only to be ignored and sent away I still said “suicide is not the answer”.
And when I visited Medjugorje for healing and they ignored me, talked about me, mocked me and eventually called the police in an effort to get rid of me, I still said “suicide is not the answer”!
And after all that when I arrived in London with almost nothing and can’t afford to eat properly I still say “suicide is not the answer”.
So what is my message today?
1. It is an urgent appeal for prayer and support as I am giving my life to help people like Toni and I can’t do it on my own or without your help.
2. It is a message of hope to all those of you out there struggling with suicidal ideas and feel like giving up.
3. It is a plea to fellow christians to bring the healing power of Jesus through prayer and community to those who need it the most.
And so once again today as I feel very disheartened by the lack of love and support, as my eyes are tired from crying and as things seem bleak, I say to myself and to you “suicide is not the answer” but that I do need practical help and support with my mission as well as prayers.