Life Isn’t Fair
We packed up everything in the middle of the night. Pulled the girls out of their bunk beds and quietly left Flagstaff and our Labor Day weekend vacation in the middle of the night. 7 year old Reese was struggling to breathe. We needed to get out of the altitude quickly. Sometimes, life isn’t fair.
Our three older girls had plans to make pancakes and eggs with their cousins in the morning. Olivia and her new neighbor friend had planned to play a game the next day. Those plans were stripped bare suddenly when we peeled them away from their bunk beds and the cousins that night.
On this particular night my heart was aching. One more time, they had to miss out on something they looked forward to because their medically fragile sister needed immediate attention.
The reality of raising a child with medical needs is it’s just really hard sometimes. I’m sure that’s obvious to most people. But we also worry a lot about the siblings. We worry about how to give them enough attention, how to make them feel important, we worry about them growing up bitter and angry. We worry about having the time to teach them all of the important things. Also, we worry about worrying about them.
It’s difficult to the mall, take a trip to Hawaii, or even run out to get toilet paper without scheduling it. It’s just the way it is. The siblings sometimes pay a great price. Life is not as carefree as I wish it were for them.
They worry about their sister dying. And I hate that they worry about that.
We were driving back to Phoenix that night in the quiet darkness. Nobody else was on the road. My heart really hurt for them. And I was really worried about Reese.
Olivia teared up as she said, “I didn’t get to say goodbye.”
“I’m so sorry you guys. I know you had plans. Thanks for getting in the car,” I told them, choking back my own tears.
They were great sports about it, but all I could think was it’s really not fair.
After a minute of silence, I heard Faith whisper, “Thanks for being a great mom.”
“What do you mean?”
It was kind of the opposite of what I felt and what I was expecting. Pulling children out of bed in the middle of the night didn’t seem like it qualified me for such praise.
“Thanks for doing whatever it takes for Reese.”
Not what I expected. I was expecting disappointment and maybe some complaints from a 15 year old. But I got to see unselfishness and understanding. And also some gratefulness and compassion. Those were hard-won after years of living a life watching her sister struggle. It was a life changing moment for me.
Can the worst thing actually be the best thing?
A few days later, while driving 13 year old Mia to a rehearsal, I peppered her with questions about her childhood.
“Would you say it has been awesome…good…or just OK?”
[Can you tell I’d been worried about them since our middle-of-the-night drive? Yeah, just a little.]
“I’d say it’s been awesome.”
“Oh really????” [huge mom smile]
“What would you say has been the best part of your childhood?”
Without hesitation, she answered, “When Reese was born.”
[Mom’s mouth hanging open, speechless, amazed at God, really]
That part really got me. The thing I thought would be the hardest thing for her turned out to be the best thing. That blows my mind.
Is God Actually Good?
I listened to an interview with an author I admire the other day. In it, he recalled how his best selling book came to be. It had been a really difficult year for them. They’d lost everything financially, he was working 3 jobs to try to rebuild, and Christmas was coming.
His wife asked him to write something for their kids instead of trying to buy gifts. He said she was thinking he’d write 4 pages. Instead, he wrote a book, took it to Kinko’s, printed 15 copies, gave some to his friends and the rest to his kids. Subsequently, his friends sent it to a publisher and it’s sold 20 million copies since.
What really stood out to me in this story, even though he didn’t say it directly, was that the book wouldn’t have been written if God hadn’t allowed him to lose all of his money. He wasn’t an aspiring author. He never planned to publish the book. But God allowed a painful, difficult situation in order to move him toward something bigger.
I think this speaks to who God is. He really is good. He really is love. That’s actually who he is, not just what he is like. So we can know that everything that he allows to happen to us will turn out to be good for us. That is just who he is. That thinking changes all of our thinking. It has changed my life.
When every thought is framed with the truth that God is actually working things out with goodness in mind, and he actually is involved in my life, there is absolutely nothing that can shake me. The truth is, if we really believe that God is good. That God is who he says he is. Then whatever happens in our lives, whatever disappointments, devastations, discouragements, we can choose to look at them as something God is allowing in our lives for some good purpose. Hang on and find out what the goodness is. Aren’t you at least totally curious to see how your painful stuff turns into good?
It Can Still Be Good
You know what? Just because life doesn’t look the way you thought it would doesn’t mean it can’t be good. And sometimes those things we think are the hardest are the very things that are pushing us toward our destiny. Refining us toward unselfishness. Teaching us to overflow with compassion and love for other people. I wouldn’t have designed my life like this. I wouldn’t have chosen the pain. But in retrospect, seeing all the ways that my pain has allowed God to work out beautiful things, I would not change one thing. The most beautiful things in my life came as a result of the things I thought would be the worst. It overwhelms me as God unveils pieces of his mysterious ways when I least expect it. Hold on for the good stuff.
“Hi, I can’t do this anymore. I’m hurting and life doesn’t seem to welcome me, I’d much rather die and not exist. No one cares at all about me. Nobody does, that’s not an exaggeration. I would love your help. I try to reach out to friends and family that are supposed to love me with nothing in return. Tears soak my shirt. This shit must stop, I just can’t and don’t want to do this anymore. Can you possibly persuade me? I’m open. I don’t even no why I’m here, I guess it’s a dream to believe that someone can care for me.” – Sara, 12
I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE
Have you ever said it? I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. Have you thought it? We hear that a lot. Is this a soundtrack that repeats in your mind? It could be for any number of reasons, but if you’re saying it to yourself regularly, it may be a sign that something needs to change. Those thoughts may be like background noise in your mind, but those are powerful words. Let’s not ignore them together.
WHY ARE YOU SAYING THIS?
Maybe you feel like you just can’t stay in a certain relationship one more day, you can’t deal with your financial pressures, your family is placing unrealistic expectations upon you, your daily duties are pushing you to the edge, your emotional pain is more than you can handle, or life just sucks. Whatever it is, your emotional capacity is on overload. We all have a different capacity, or ability to manage what is going on in our lives. You may look at someone else and think, why can’t I handle what she can? Because every human being has a different capacity. You will not have the same capacity as your friends and family.
YOUR THINKING DOESN’T GET TO CONTROL YOU
If you’re reading this, you probably sense that something is not right. That’s actually a good thing because the first step in overcoming it is acknowledging it.
Sometimes we allow thoughts to run rampant in our minds. But it is important to remember that you get to choose how you think. You get to determine what you think about, but it will take some practice if you’re not used to thinking about your thoughts.
“The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon.” (Dallas Willard). I love that–it’s freedom. You do not have to allow every thought that enters your mind to have its way with you. In fact you shouldn’t. You get to decide. Where will you set your mind and keep on setting it?
HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO HELP
1. Pay attention to your thoughts and stop that particular thought in its tracks.
I have a child who needs to be on an oxygen concentrator overnight. The swishing hum of the machine has become soothing background noise. So much so, that I don’t even hear it anymore. Every morning, while she does one of her chest percussion therapies, I do Pilates on a mat next to her bed. (Too much info? I want you to know why I’m on the floor:):)). It’s often when I’m down on the floor, next to the oxygen concentrator that I realize it is still humming, an hour after I have taken the nasal cannula out of her nose. The hum of the machine is such a familiar noise to me that I don’t even hear it anymore. How have I not heard that noise and remembered to turn it off?
That reminds me of my thought life. We all have thoughts that we’ve been thinking for so long, patterns developed years ago, that we don’t even realize we are thinking them, nor do we realize they are destructive to our emotional well being. Start paying attention to the background noise in your mind. When you hear yourself say, I can’t do this anymore, just stop it. Stop in your tracks and make a decision to turn off that soundtrack starting today.
2. Replace that thought with something that is true.
OK, you might be rolling your eyes. But the truth is we can’t just stop thinking. We have to replace the destructive thought with something that is actually true. And healthy. The truth is that you can still do this. You may need to change some things but you can still do this. Instead of telling yourself you cannot do this anymore, what is something that is true and also constructive?
Here are some ideas of truths to intentionally set your mind upon. “I may be having a hard day today but tomorrow will be different.” “I am a beloved child of God. Beloved.” “I care about people.” “I am doing my best.” You can train your mind to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with constructive, true thoughts. Take a moment to write down a true thought that you will use to replace “I can’t do this anymore.” Then start practicing that discipline every day until it becomes a reflex.
3. Ask yourself, does something in my life need to change?
We all have bad days. Have you ever had a day where everything seemed overwhelming, but you woke up the next day with a whole new attitude? You felt completely different? It’s remarkable what a difference a day can make. Sometimes. But sometimes, we can go weeks with that nagging thought. If you’ve been saying, I just cannot do this anymore for several weeks, there may be something that needs to change. Ask for help. Talk to a counselor (talk online now at d2lrev.com).
Or maybe you need to get out of an abusive relationship. Make a plan to change your spending. Get help in your home. Ask someone to take one of your responsibilities off of your plate.
There are simple shifts you can make to change your stress level today. Look for ways that you can change what is pushing you beyond your capacity. If your emotional pain is more than you can handle, tell someone. Today. Don’t try handle that on your own or to keep it a secret because of shame or a fear of burdening your friends and family. You are not alone. You are not the only one. You are not a burden. So many people care about you whether you believe it or not.
4. Ask yourself what you are grateful for.
Studies show that focusing on what we are grateful for affects every area of our health, including mental health. What is one thing you are thankful for right now? Think about it. Write it down. Focus on that. Write down at least one thing a day. Every night before I lay my head on the pillow, I write down at least one thing that brought me joy during the day. What I’ve found is that as I’m going through my day, I’ll hear myself saying, that’s gonna make the list. It shifts the focus of my day from just getting things done to looking for things that bring me joy. It’s an intentional way of thinking that affects every part of our lives—physically, emotionally, spiritually.
5. Look for ways to help someone who needs it.
I think that we are made for this. Our selfish nature is to look out for ourselves and think about our own needs, but I believe part of our original design was to actually take impeccable care of each other. I’ve found that I am happiest when I’m doing that.
Ann Voskamp said it this way, “We are always lost until our heart makes its home inside of someone else. Our lives are unfulfilling if we only let our hearts fill us instead of filling other people’s broken places…fulfilling lives happen when we give our hearts to fill other people’s empty spaces.”
Take a moment. Sit in quiet an ask yourself, who has an empty space that I can help fill? Who needs me to help heal them today? I promise you there is somebody. Do you see their face? Send them a text right now and let them know you’re thinking about them.
Listen. I see you. I get it. Life just plain sucks sometimes. Some days and some seasons push us beyond what we can handle on our own. The good news is, you don’t have to do it on your own. Interrupt your soundtrack. Set your mind on something true and constructive. Do you need to reach out for help today? Is there something you can change to remove some stress? You are not alone and you can keep going. I just know it. First things first, set your mind and keep on setting it on something true and new. Remember, never be afraid to reach out for help. Maybe not everyone acts like they care, but I promise you someone does.
By Kerry D’Ortenzio, VP, Death2Life Revolution
“Hello—I don’t no why I’m on your website, I have been looking for different pages to help me with my decision to end my life. I don’t want to live anymore. Have little to zero desire to play the popularity high school games. Believe whole heartily that my death might be celebrated by more than those in pain from the news. Basically, my LIFE SUCKS and i really want to no longer exist. The fact I feel this way at 14, doesn’t encourage me that there is much hope for me. When I attempt to share about the pain in my life, no one listens. They don’t care. My life sucks, period, end of story. I’m worthless and not worth 2 shits. Attempt to help me. But really, I guess I desire help or I wouldn’t be rambling on and on to you. So please help me.” – Kris, 14
Messages like Kris’s come multiple times per day to us.
The bottom line?
I don’t want my life to suck anymore! I want help!
Signs that my Life sucks or I’m depressed:
- Feelings of overwhelming sadness, hopelessness or anger Low self-esteem or feeling worthless
- Crying a lot for no specific reason
- Gaining or losing weight without trying to
- Unable to concentrate or avoiding enjoyable activities or hobbies
- Frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical problems
- Thoughts of death or suicide, thinking thoughts like “More people will love me if I’m dead” or “Everyone is better off with me out of the picture”
- If you feel like Kris, worthless and alone or unheard….this is very common with what we see.
Signs of Depression in others?
If you’ve noticed a friend or loved one acting unusual and suspect they may be depressed, these are common signs to look for:
- Doesn’t want to do things you both love to do
- Starts using drugs and/or alcohol
- Stops going to classes and after school activities Your friend talks about being bad, ugly, stupid or worthless
- Your friend stays alone a lot of the time
- Talks about death or suicide
- Purchases a gun or guns
What are the causes of these feelings? WHY DO I WANT TO DIE?
- Physical causes of depression include hormonal imbalance, medication/drugs, chronic illness, melancholy temperament, improper food, insufficient rest or exercise and genetic vulnerability.
- Emotional causes of depression are internalized stress , often related to family issues or other sources of stress such as problems with school, work, relationships or a personal crisis.
- Suppressed fear , such as the fear of being alone, or repressed anger like the loss of a loved one, are all forms of emotional causes of depression.
- Genetics can increase a person’s likelihood of depression. People with a family history of depression are often more likely to suffer from depression.
Warning Signs someone you love might attempt to kill themselves?
- talking about feeling hopeless
- talking about having no reason to go on living
- making a will or giving away personal possessions
- searching for a means of doing personal harm, such as buying a gun
- sleeping too much or too little
- eating too little or eating too much, resulting in significant weight gain or weight loss
- engaging in reckless behaviors, including excessive alcohol or drug consumption
- avoiding social interactions with others
- expressing rage or intentions to seek revenge
- showing signs of anxiousness or agitation
My Life sucks….What’s Next?
For most people who are struggling with life, overcoming it is a journey. Depression often lifts gradually over time rather than just “snapping out of it” soon. There are many things those who are depressed can do to help themselves get to a better place emotionally.
- Use the D2L website as a resource. Watch the videos from our D2L partners – Our partner are here for you. Our videos were done by peeps that can relate to your pain, we have been there. Empathy is key. http://d2lrev.com/
- Text D2L @ 494949 and chat with us…it’s anonymous and we have no agenda, just want to chat. – Text us anytime, we are here for you 24/7!
- Stay Connected – Stay connected with the D2L or your emotional support system, especially close friends and family. A common mistake many depressed people make is to isolate themselves from loved ones, making depression difficult to overcome.
- Ask for Help – Ask for help if you are struggling or stressed – often sharing a situation or problem with a friend or loved one can help alleviate the burden. Confide in a trusted parent, adult or friend that you are depressed so they can encourage you and keep you accountable.
- Be Healthy – Keeping your body healthy has a huge impact on your emotional health. Exercising regularly releases feel good endorphins in your brain and builds your immunity, which can help with depression. Go outside for a walk or exercise a few times a week and stay away from junk food.
- Get a Hobby – Find a creative outlet to express yourself, such as writing or drawing, can help you process your thoughts and feelings constructively.
- More Help – If you continue to deal with depression, talk with your doctor to see what options are available for help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273TALK(8255)
- Talk about it! Talking to a trusted adult, parent, pastor, or counselor about how you’ve been feeling is one of the most important things you can do most important things you can do if you are depressed.
“For so long my life was dark and depressed, I couldn’t escape my pain and many times didn’t want to escape my depression. I just thought death would be the acceptable path for me. I was wrong. Life is so worth living. Yes, life shits on you, but to know that an organization life Death 2 Life is out there, gives me hope and I can only imagine so many others. Many thanks for your caring for me and the love you have for hurting people like me.” – Chris, 22
“I love you! Finally I’m in a place where joy is real. I no longer hate me, but, I’m learning to love me even with my scars that saved me!” – Thomas, 17
“Thanks for listening to me. I just needed a place to vent and for someone to listen to me vent. You all did a wonderful job allowing me to do that.” – Sam, 15
“Yes, my life was horrible, but didn’t really want to die. Just wanted someone to care that I was hurting so badly. Your website and the people on your site actually care and that makes me incredibly grateful and happy.” – Kenny, 18
YOU ARE LOVED!
Utilize the resources that the D2L and others have for you. Lean on people that you know care for you! If you don’t believe anyone cares for you, reach out to us first!
Realize that God created you out of love and purpose!
Depression can seem like an overwhelming, seemingly hopeless experience. You may feel like depression will never end but there is hope and help for you, we are here.
We truly care about you and want to help you through depression and those times that suck. Whether you need encouragement, resources or just someone to talk to, we are here for you.
FYI……We are not fans of religion.
All of this has nothing to do with religion….NOTHING!
The freedom and life we share is totally about one reality the D2L truly believes…..
If you have a pulse, you have Purpose!
“I now have true happiness in my life. Definitely have purpose and joy that lasts. I would go to sleep at night in dark depression, praying to god that i wouldn’t wake up the next morning. The help you all offered allows me to sleep with joy now and excitement that joy is also present in the morning. I would hear many say that jesus christ saved them and often shook my head in disgust, now i too am one of those that believe god saved me using you and this website.” – Pammy, 17
“So thankful and blessed for you all. I was lost and now found. just a week ago my life was over and done with. Since I have found you i have purpose and know a God that loves me.” – Scott, 19
“Hello there! I’m a former atheist that hated even the mention of God or Jesus. I didn’t mind other religious leaders, just those two that drove me crazy just hearing. Now I believe and I’m sold out in love with them! Thank you!!!!!” Jared, 20
“Thanks guys for the help. I wasn’t expecting help at all. The largest reason I feel like I have purpose is that I found you all.” – Sara, 20
“This is so rad. I love this and everything you do and represent. Darkness has always been part of my life and I didn’t believe much light would ever help. Your people speak truth and it helps that they have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts to. To know this life doesn’t need to be done only on my own gets me stoked. – Drew, 17
“Thank God for all you do. I love this!!!!! Love you guys!!! This community is awesome and needed by all those like I was that struggle in life.” – Samuel, 25