Today I was able to speak in church about the importance of suicide awareness and prevention. Please take a listen.
If you feel led to donate you can do so on my fundraising page below
For anyone who might have had trouble hearing me in the video here is a written version of what I said:
Hello, my name is Faith Sylor. On September 8th at City Island and September 15th at the Carlisle Fairgrounds, I will be walking in the Out of Darkness Walks to raise money and awareness for suicide. I have bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. I know a lot of you have prayed for me in the past because you knew that I was struggling with mental illness. I know that to most people “mental illness” is a scary word. I know that the word “suicide” is even scarier. I wanted to take some time today to try and quickly explain to you that loving Jesus doesn’t automatically cure suicidal thoughts.
First of all, the phrase “mental illness” makes it seem like it just exists in our thoughts. But it doesn’t. WebMD lists at least 12 physical symptoms of serious depression. Some that I have had are chronic pain, migraines, stomach problems, and a weakened immune system. There’s a bone-deep weariness that becomes a constant companion; no amount of sleep can shake it off.
There are many people who say suicide is the most selfish act you can commit. But for many of us battling that darkness, dying seems like the most selfless thing to do. Depression often carries an intense, shameful sense of self-hatred. When I found myself in those pits, I truly believed I was toxic and harmful to those I loved. I was certain that taking my own life would be a blessing to others. Since the age of 20, I have attempted to take my life several times and spent some time in the psychiatric ward at Holy Spirit when I wasn’t safe to be by myself.
Our God is powerful and able to heal in an instant. And sometimes depression naturally goes into remission, like cancer. However, people serving God wholeheartedly struggle too. I’m just as grateful that God chooses to work through little pills and skilled professionals as if he waved His hands and healed me instantly. He is still the ultimate source of healing and still glorified by working through medicine and people like my psychiatrist.
Depression and suicidal thoughts don’t care how spiritual I am. What I want my church family and all Christians to know is that we can deeply, desperately, wholeheartedly love Jesus and still be depressed. I have to take my meds every day, spend time with Jesus before bed, and go to therapy faithfully. I tell those closest to me when I have hard days and dark thoughts because I am determined they will not win.
Depressed and suicidal people just need you to enter the dark and sit there with us. People who are struggling may appear to be fine and functioning but still be hurting inside. You could be His arms to hold us, His hands to feed us, His voice to tell us we’re not alone. Your love and kindness are more powerful than you know. Thank you for praying for me. If you feel called to donate I have placed an orange container out in the hall to collect funds, or you can speak with me directly. Thank you.