Strongholds

Strongholds
Illustration by Ann Lee

In light of the recent news over the past few months of suicides both of celebrities and those not even mentioned, I am reminded of what my past supervisor has told me about anxiety and depression. “When an individual feels hopeless and everything in life is hopeless, they no longer want to live. What’s the purpose of living when it’s hopeless?” There are multiple circumstances in life that could lead an individual to believe all hope is lost, whether that be family relationships, healing from trauma, terminal disease, a disability, grieving a loss due to death or broken relationships, or battling your own inner demons. Each of these situations, and a multitude of others, makes an individual doubt themselves and their sense of worth – well at least it makes me doubt these things, hopefully I am not the only one. These circumstances make a person question whether they made the right choices, have any regrets, if they were at fault for what happened, and then they begin to doubt their sense of worth because they do not see things or themselves getting better or going away.

The person may also believe that no one will understand what they are feeling, because no one has gone through exactly what they are going through, and they are alone in their distress. And they are right. I do believe no one will truly understand another person’s pain or distress. I was told by my supervisor that we will never understand the depth of what our clients are experiencing so we shouldn’t tell them “I understand”. Family, friends, partners, and others can support and empathize, but they cannot understand, and at times they cannot provide that comfort or healing. They feel alone and hopeless.

Oh how I wish I could tell my clients and those who believe things are hopeless that they are not alone because there is this savior that has literally been through it all, and knows the deepest pain and suffering that no human has ever experienced. And so, my heart breaks when I hear individuals die by suicide or are suicidal because they lost hope. But even if I cannot share about this hope I have in Christ with my clients, I can definitely show them there is hope by working with them, being there with them, never giving up on them, encouraging and strengthening them to battle those stubborn strongholds, the negative thinking, the lies in their mind and replace them with truths about the value of their life. Then they can begin to believe there is hope, and they are good enough to do everything in this life they are called to do.

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