Both Nine Inch Nails and Johnny Cash have done a version of this song Hurt. The opening lyrics say, "I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel." That, my friend, is where I have been the past several days. The ache in my soul went far deeper than the ache in my stomach. I deprived myself of food, just simply to know I am still alive. Sounds crazy right?
This past week I finally understood something that I have railed on celebrities for doing. I have forever yelled at the t.v. when you hear of a death occurring because someone was dumb enough to mix Valium, pain killers, sleeping pills __________ (fill in the blank.....) with alcohol. This week I understood why people do that. I am sure there are times when suicide is the intention but I don't think it always is. I didn't do it, nor did I feel that I was ever at a point of danger with it, but this past week when I was debating if I wanted to take my Valium or have a drink I realized something. Valium helps calm the anxiety and nerves, alcohol deadens the pain. I can see how someone takes both and maybe even too much of both/either. Sometimes hurt actually does hurt that badly. I think that sometimes the effort is to not feel but the amount it takes to stop feeling is also the amount it takes to stop breathing.
Yep, it is selfish. Yep, it does cause others to hurt. But let me tell you this of suicidal intentions, they are not intended to be selfish. Sometimes hurt is so deep and chemicals are so imbalanced that you can convince your mind that what you are doing/attempting/contemplating genuinely makes sense. Few understand a depression so deep that death makes sense and even seems welcoming. Few can come to a place of giving grace to the ones who "could possibly be THAT selfish." I can give that grace. In the midst of pain and anger when I hear about a suicide, I still feel sympathy for anyone who has to deal with that amount of pain.
We all deal with pain. Some of us have learned healthy ways to do that. Many of us haven't. I quit eating. I punish my body. Someone else shoots up, drinks till they pass out, engages in sexual addiction, cuts, eats compulsively, over exercises, gets lost in the t.v., is a workaholic, etc..... Today I have hope in my pain. Today I know that nothing touches me that hasn't first passed through the hand of God. I know that though I hurt, God is still good. Today I am so grateful that even when I am unfaithful, He remains faithful.
Today in the midst of my hurt, I will give glory to God. Today I will bring a sacrifice of praise to my creator. I finally understand that old song, "We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord." Praise isn't always from a happy place. Sometimes praise comes from the depths of darkness. Sometimes praise is a sacrifice, something that actually costs us. Praise, like love, is a choice not a feeling (though you do also often feel it). Today I choose to praise the Lord.