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Suicidal Thoughts and the Way to Overcome Them

How to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts and Find the Strength to Live?

a young man in dispair

Question:  I am writing from Brazil. Officially I am Protestant. I grew up in a Protestant church but was not baptized. 6 months before the pandemic I moved with my parents and brothers to the city where I am now. Here, we visited a Baptist church but since the beginning and end of the pandemic we have not visited any other church. I'm not saying it was the only cause, but moving to another city diminished my hopes and my will to live. I cut ties with everyone I knew, I no longer like studying the things I used to like like philosophy, I dropped out of philosophy school, I'm lost in life, without a job, without a girlfriend or friends, I feel very lonely. I think I have become more misanthropic in the last two years. Because of my resentment, I feel angry at my father because he is the cause of our change, but I also feel angry at him for many other things. I have a certain taste for reading and also a penchant for writing. I have always particularly liked Russian literature, which is why I became interested in Russian history and am now writing a prayer request for the Convent of St. Elisabeth. Because in recent years I have been collecting information for a novel about the life of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and that is the reason for my interest in Orthodoxy or, at least, in the Christian faith. I doubt I will be able to write this story. The faith of the martyrs is something that fascinates me and that I will never achieve. Because even though I am sure that God exists, I myself have always had little faith in him, my faith has always been much smaller than a mustard seed, but I have strongly believed in the martyrs. Every night I go to sleep thinking about how my day was wasted, how I wasted time on my cell phone and the time when I should have been doing something productive, like reading, writing and studying, was not productive enough because these things I did poor and unwilling way. I keep thinking about how there are many young millionaires nowadays and how I suddenly have the desire to be a millionaire too. I find that my hope is "resurrected" when I buy lottery tickets. I like to imagine what things would be like if I won. I'm 23 years old and maybe it's funny to say these things as if I've already lived a long time. When my parents were my age, I was already born, they already lived in their own house. My father built his family, worked and studied. As for me, in a generation where everything is supposedly easier, I achieved nothing in life. I can't help but think that I disappoint them day after day, that I'm just tolerated in the house. I have absolutely nothing besides a cell phone, a computer and some books. I tried philosophy, I failed. I tried psychology, failed. I went back to philosophy and failed again. At the moment I study programming and Russian, but I no longer have the motivation for anything. Every day I think about suicide. I often ask myself the question "Why want anything?" and I can't find an answer. I think that, because of my lack of will, I convinced myself that life is a burden and it's not worth wanting anything. Deep down, I would like to live, I would like not to have to commit suicide, I would like one day to observe my wife and see in her all the beauty in the world and love her above all other women, I would like to put my daughter in the lap and read her some funny Chekhov story, but with each passing day it seems like suicide is my only option. Sorry for writing so much. I remember a story that says that two men were in line for a confessional and the third man, the one who confessed, took around 15 minutes to finish. The two men then whispered to each other: "Who does he think he is? Hitler?"

Answer: This will not be your way out, but rather your end. You have made a good start; you have discovered Russian literature, all of which is fully spiritual, all the Russian classics. You hold the passion-bearers in high respect. However, Baptists will not aid you. There are Orthodox churches in Brazil. I believe you should find your way to a church, choose one for yourself, attend, and take holy baptism. However, it should only be in the canonical Orthodox Church. Then a new life will begin for you, and you will not be looking forward to a tragic conclusion, but rather to a new beginning, the dawn of a new life in the spirit.

We have a nun from Brazil. Her name is Nun Rebecca. You can contact her. She might be able to assist you and give you some guidance on your journey. In the age of information technology, anything is possible. You write, and we will reply.

Now is the moment to begin a new life. You simply couldn't do that without taking baptism. You might hear something in a Protestant community, but it's not a church, and that is a problem. You need to be in the Church. You must enter the Church and become a member of the Body of Christ. The Church is the body of Christ. Then you will find the strength to live and get your life back.

January 25, 2024
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