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How to commit suicide

It’s Christmas, peak season for suicides and I have this to say to you if you find yourself anywhere near that God-forsaken place. First of all, don’t do it, at least not without having a conversation with someone you know and trust. Taking matters into your own hands is selfish. You leave peop…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
It’s Christmas, peak season for suicides and I have this to say to you if you find yourself anywhere near that God-forsaken place. First of all, don’t do it, at least not without having a conversation with someone you know and trust. Taking matters into your own hands is selfish. You leave people behind you who may live the rest of their lives shattered, asking “why?”
Yes, your life may seem intolerable. As M. Scott Peck said in “The Road Less Traveled,” life is difficult.  For some people, it is so darn painful, it’s hard just to keep going.  Maybe you’re one. Every year 30,000 people kill themselves, but 40 times that number attempt suicide.

I had two friends who struggled with suicide. One periodically would ask me if I thought God would let him end his painful life.  Living was hard work for him. The other, Daniel, I met when he tried to commit suicide by crashing his car into my fence.  His numerous suicide attempts were calls for help.

A few years ago Daniel called me up to say goodbye after having swallowed 26 pills.  I was having a quiet evening all to myself.  When I picked up the phone, Daniel’s voice on the other end was weak.

“I just wanted to make sure that there’s nothing between us.”
“We’re fine, Daniel.  What are you talking about?”
“I just wanted to make sure we’re OK.”
“Daniel, what’s going on?” 
“The voices are back, Seth, and they’re winning.”
“Are you trying to commit suicide right now?”
“I took some pills…” 
I could barely hear his voice.  “Hang on, Daniel, I’m coming over!”
I called 911 and raced to his house just three minutes away. A plain clothes cop had beat me there.  And a few minutes later, the EMT guys came racing up.  Later they pumped his stomach…

When Daniel showed up on my porch later that day, I asked about the voices.  “What do they say?” 
“They tell me that I’m worthless and a failure and I should just kill myself.  I hear them just like I can hear you right now.  And when I choose not to listen to them, I feel a sharp pain.  Some people might say I’m crazy, but I don’t feel crazy.”

Daniel may be an extreme case, but the thoughts he heard are fairly common. A lot of people feel like they are failures. Life stinks sometimes. And in response, we need to be tender with one another.  Who knows what private hell another person may be battling through?  Who knows what the voices in their head may be saying?  Be gentle with those people in your life who always seem depressed. 

And if you find yourself wanting to escape life’s pain, recognize that there may be a better way to do it than you’ve thought about.  A few ideas:
  • Share your pain with someone.  If you don’t have a friend who you can trust, email me and we’ll figure it out.
  • Get someone to pray for you.  You may be fighting a spiritual battle by yourself. You need prayer.
  • Ask God for a miracle.  He’s in that business.

Comments (23)

  • This was a timely word for a particularly seductive season for Satan who has an agenda quite simple–steal–kill–destroy.

    In some very hard years of life I have to admit I have never been tempted to snuff life out in a terminal way.

    Slow killing has sometimes been a temptation but that is a different story.

    But it does make me sad to see so many who parade pious paradise but are quietly killing their souls with self promotional aggrandizing acts and secret addictions. I know many.

    Jesus tells us all to “COME” and at the foot of the cross and at the opening of an empty grave we find–HIM.

    He knows and “smells” it all.

    That makes Him God and we are not.

    And that is what makes me so glad to be on of His sons.

    Blessed Adevent Seth and Karen.

    The journey and the story is not over.

  • The devil works in the dark. It’s the secrets- even the secret thoughts that will kill us.Your encouragement to tell someone and seek prayer and seek God, will change the course of someone’s life who reads this.

    Whether it’s mental illness, addiction, or hopelessness born from disease or circumstance- inviting someone in before the darkness descends is as important as life and death. It’s about self-checking and Being your own witness- observe it and speak it- before Satan gets you alone in a dark alley.

    Thanks for this blog, Seth. And thanks for being there for Daniel.

  • Amen, Seth. This is a very difficult season for many people. A friend and I were just talking about that the other night, how we are brought to prayer almost everywhere we go for the heartache. Thanks for sharing that encouragement towards life and reaching out.

  • Great blog address such a subject that is often not talked about. You know the interesting thing…. numbers are up for things like this but people withdraw more it seems during this time more…. as a mental health professional I can’t get a soul to visit with me during the holidays but yet we see an increase in needs…. if that is not Satan I don’t know what it is….help at the fingertips just waiting to help but yet feeling like no one is there.
    Lies right from Satan.

    Thanks for addressing such a subject.

  • **mArC** The Schifano Tribe

    Hey Seth, On Christmas of 2003 one my best friends named Jonnie Flowers moved to a new town after the love of his life left him and he chose to hang himself. Here are a few words he left me on a paper one day when we were trying to write a song together.
    “I often ponder why I’m here,
    I often wonder if I care,
    If I live or if I die,
    It often makes me want to cry.
    But in the end it seems so clear,
    I’ll never know why the f*** I’m here.”
    Sorry for the explicits but that’s what he wrote. Man, this rocked my world when it happened. Thanks for sharing.

  • As I read this line, “Be gentle with those people in your life who always seem depressed”, I can honestly say that you are one of few who have done that. I know my battles haven’t been as bad as some, but worse than others. All along the way, you have never given up on me and you have always encouraged me to not give up. And where you were unable to support me, you connected me with somebody who could. I can never tell you enough how grateful I am for the investment and commitment you have made to my life.

    Thank you Seth, and Karen.

  • Kim,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. You are a star and you’ve come so far! We bless you and are thrilled to see all that God is doing thru you. You will continue to bear fruit long after others have fallen by the wayside.

    Hope you have a great Christmas.

  • thanks for blogging about this…i haven’t figured out why suicide is so taboo but i appreciate you blogging about it, i know it will reach out and touch many people.

    merry christmas from antalya, turkey!!

  • Seth,
    thanks for your diligence in sharing Hope with everyone. The world is better because you are a part of it! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Love you,

  • I’m working with kids of abuse and neglect right now and for some of them this is their reality, voices, even “people” that they can see, speaking of unworthiness. I’m finding that sometimes the only way I can battle for them is in prayer, and even that seems hard at times. Thanks for the encouragment of a God who does miracles.

  • Love the last bit! – ask God for a miracle. He’s in that business. It’s so easy to forget that He’s in that business or to think that we need everything to be under our control.

  • Thank you for such hope-filled words. I am reminded to keep my eyes, ears and heart attuned…to notice, even seek out people who may be hurting or lonely.

    But for God’s grace it could be me.

    Love the reminder about our God being in the miracle business. He is that!

  • “Voices talking to him”, we know that’s spiritual straight from satan and his cohorts …even the subtle thoughts that “you’re not good enough”.

    “The Bondage Breaker, Overcoming
    *Negative Thoughts
    *Irrational Feelings
    *Habitual Sins”
    by Neil T. Armstrong

    GREAT Bible-based book on finding freedom from negative thoughts and feelings, etc.

  • Thank you for that reminder to be tender and gentle to those who always seem depressed. Often it can be draining to do so and I know many people who have quite a hardened attitude to such people, saying they only do it for attention, that they need to grow up etc. Regretfully I find my own attitudes heading in the same direction at times. And yet I know that I once was quite difficult to be around myself and it’s only the grace of people reaching out and giving, blessing me, including me, getting to know me and accepting me when I was (or at least felt!) boring, difficult and unlovely, that has changed me and brought me out of that place. I thank God for those people. I thank God for saving Daniel’s life that day and will be praying for him. God bless!

  • i’m tired of the pain of drs the depression from the meds ?I’m ready to end it in 2015. nobody can help me this keep just keep getting worst.now my husband wants to leave or put me out from our house of 25 yrs. i have no more fight. i gotta end this sorry life.

    • Kimmy – you need a break and some encouragement. Have you got a friend who encourages you? Is there anyone who prays for you?

  • Well, that link won’t work. Sorry! You will have to copy and paste the link to read the whole story, but I will repost the poem here:


    It’s gray outside today.
    She shuts herself away
    to hide from the cold
    on the other side of her front door.
    It matches the cold she feels inside
    and no matter how she tries to fight the dark,
    her soul can’t find the light.

    “Just end it all”
    says the voice in her mind…
    A voice so familiar it feels like her own,
    convincing her she’s all alone.
    The voice continues the onslaught of lies-
    locked away in her room alone she cries
    believing still that the voice is her own,
    Never thinking that she could be wrong.

    So Satan continues
    weaving a web
    of tangled lies within her head,
    watching her heart and spirit break
    until she feels she can’t escape.
    Desperate to be free she searches her mind-
    He offers more lies, an escape of some kind:
    “Some pills, a gun, a razor tonight”-
    He tells her that’s how she’ll make everything right.

    Hopeless and broken she sees no other way.
    Desperate to find an escape from the pain
    She takes his suggestion,
    embraces his blame,
    and watches her life slip away.

    And all the while, LOVE watched in tears
    praying and hoping she’d see He was near
    Offering HOPE and TRUTH and LIGHT,
    Ready to fight away the night.
    Arms outstretched to comfort and heal
    with POWER to make the enemy yield.
    Offering life abundant and free
    from the destructive lies of the enemy.

    And still He stands,
    The source of TRUTH
    Above the fight that rages on
    To give you HOPE
    When yours is gone
    So don’t give up
    You’re not alone.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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