Multitude of Counselors

My Brush With Suicide

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jennifer Jill Schwirzer (Host), Aron Crews, Christina Ceccoto, Dr. Jean Wright II, Paul Coneff


Series Code: MOC

Program Code: MOC000015A

00:27 Welcome to a Multitude of Counselors
00:29 where we hear the silent cry of the broken.
00:33 We're going to be talking about
00:34 a particular kind of brokenness today... suicide...
00:37 suicidality is defined as the desire and... or... intention
00:42 to take one's own life.
00:44 Let me share with you some statistics on this,
00:47 the annual rate of suicide in the US is 13 per 100,000 people.
00:53 We know that it is also the tenth leading cause of death...
00:58 in 2013...
01:00 for people 10 to 24,
01:02 suicide is the second leading cause of death.
01:05 Women attempt suicide three times more often than men
01:10 and men complete suicide three times more often than women
01:13 because they generally use stronger methods...
01:16 more effective methods, if you can say it that way,
01:18 there are 121 suicides per day in the US...
01:22 seven out of ten of them are white males
01:26 just some kind of random facts.
01:29 What about the causes of suicide?
01:32 As I see it... maybe you guys can confirm this,
01:35 there are two main causes,
01:37 one would be: major life events that are extremely upsetting...
01:41 the loss of a job... breakup of a relationship...
01:43 divorce... health problem developing...
01:46 a diagnosis from a doctor...
01:48 or something that upsets life
01:50 and a second cause would be any kind of mental illness
01:54 such as major depressive disorder...
01:56 psychotic disorders... and so forth,
01:58 it seems that most suicides come from one of those two things
02:01 in my experience, would you... what do you think?
02:04 Jean: I agree.
02:05 Jennifer: Yeah, okay, what about prognosis and treatment?
02:08 Suicide is preventable... interesting fact...
02:10 4 out of 5 youths who attempt suicide
02:13 have given clear warning signs...
02:16 4 out of 5 have given clear warning signs.
02:19 People think that if they suspect that someone is suicidal
02:24 they should not say anything because they fear
02:27 that by planting that thought in that person's mind
02:29 it's going to actually increase the chances
02:32 of that person acting out, this is false...
02:35 when we suspect someone to be suicidal
02:38 or in danger of hurting themselves,
02:40 we should broach the subject with them
02:42 and we want to equip you to do that
02:44 here at A Multitude of Counselors
02:46 by directing you to our web page and on the webpage you will find
02:50 a tool called: "Tip Map"
02:53 when we are concerned about people
02:56 wanting to hurt themselves,
02:57 we want to tip the map of their lives
02:59 in the right direction, so, "Tip Map" is an acronym
03:02 that helps you remember
03:04 the series of questions you need to ask
03:06 when you fear that someone is suicidal
03:08 T... Thoughts...
03:10 I... Intention...
03:13 P... Plan...
03:15 M... Method...
03:18 A... Access to the Method
03:21 and P... Prior History...
03:24 you can find that whole tool on our website
03:27 on: AMultitudeOfCounselors. tv
03:29 we urge you to go there, download that Tip Map
03:32 so that you will be equipped
03:33 in dealing with this very difficult issue,
03:35 we also want to give you an 800 number
03:37 for the National Suicide Prevention Life Line,
03:41 anybody can call this number at any time,
03:45 it's 1-800-273-8255
03:48 if you or someone you know is in danger of suicide,
03:52 call: 1-800-273-8255.
03:56 We have with us today a young man
03:59 who actually grappled with suicide
04:02 and we are going to unpack that story in just a few minutes here
04:05 but let me introduce by name first... Aron Crews...
04:09 Aron with one "A" is from Michigan...
04:11 you're a pastor in Michigan, correct?
04:14 We also have with us our Panel of Counselors,
04:17 we have Marriage and Family Therapist, Paul Coneff,
04:19 we have Dr. Jean Wright who is...
04:21 what do you call yourself?
04:23 A Clinical and Forensic Psychologist.
04:25 Oh, that's fancy... and he's from Philadelphia,
04:27 my hometown, kind of...
04:28 and this is Christina Cecotto, Professional Counselor...
04:32 Christina Cecotto who is from Wildwood
04:36 and we're so thankful to have each one of you,
04:38 I'm real excited about unpacking this issue...
04:41 it's an intense one...
04:42 but we're going to do it in the context of Aron's story,
04:45 so tell us Aron, upfront here,
04:47 where you someone that struggled along the journey of life
04:50 with depression and with a desire to die,
04:53 was it something you were familiar with
04:57 or... or had experienced?
04:58 Hmmm... hmmm... actually no...
05:01 my entire life... I've always been
05:03 and people will tell you
05:05 that I've always been a very positive upbeat person,
05:07 one who...
05:10 myself personally... I never thought
05:11 that I would actually ever have to deal with this issue,
05:14 I remember, I would have friends...
05:16 that would be like, "Oh, I'm going through a hard time"
05:18 I would try to sympathize with them, of course,
05:20 but there was always... to a certain degree
05:22 some sort of dissonance... where it was like,
05:24 "Man! if they were just more cheerful or... "
05:26 or something like that that would be magically fixed.
05:29 So the million-dollar question is,
05:31 "How did you get from being a basically positive person
05:35 with no history of depression
05:36 to the point of wanting to take your life?"
05:40 Like, that's pretty extreme.
05:41 Yeah, well, it was at the end of my college experience,
05:48 I was going into my last semester of college...
05:51 excuse me, let me back up a little bit...
05:53 I was entering the summer,
05:54 right before my last semester of college,
05:56 where I began to take a drug called "Accutane"
05:59 and it was...
06:01 Accutane is a drug that has to do with your skin...
06:03 in particular... Acne... to help cure that...
06:06 and make your skin look really nice and stuff...
06:09 so that... coupled up with another thing...
06:12 there was a relationship that was in the works...
06:15 sort of developing there and that ended up not working out,
06:18 kind of falling apart...
06:20 so the two things coupled together... kind of compounded
06:22 with the side effects and the result of this drug, "Accutane"
06:27 plus the relational dynamics that were at play.
06:30 Did you have any clue, like, percentages...
06:32 like, could you make an educated guess
06:35 about how much of it was the Accutane
06:36 and how much was the relationship?
06:38 I don't know if I can give an exact percentage,
06:41 I might say, 50... 50... it just kind of both compounded.
06:44 Jennifer: It set off each other.
06:46 Aron: And I thought through a million times
06:47 what if one wasn't there
06:48 and... it was just one of the factors...
06:50 and would I still have gone through what I did?
06:52 And it's just too hard for me to kind of parse out.
06:55 So, tell us what happened, like, what did you start...
06:57 like, obsessing about wanting to die
06:59 or what was going on?
07:00 Well, it didn't happen all that fast
07:03 but basically, I was working at a summer camp,
07:05 at the beginning of the summer,
07:06 right when I began to take the drug,
07:08 I was on it for about a few weeks,
07:10 and the beginning of summer camp...
07:12 and this was a summer camp that I grew up at,
07:14 I was there for 11 years, I had a...
07:17 I loved this camp... super happy...
07:19 and so, this was the first time at life,
07:21 I was getting to be a Staff Member there,
07:24 I was going to be a Counselor, so this was like, awesome...
07:26 I had, like, a lot of friends, really good friends
07:28 that were going to be working there
07:30 and so, as the summer began I remember one evening,
07:33 very specifically, it was a great day,
07:36 everything was going just swell
07:38 and all of a sudden,
07:39 I just began to have a crying spell
07:42 I was there by myself and I just began to weep...
07:44 I mean just... totally... just weep and weep
07:47 and I was like, "Why am I crying?
07:48 This is really weird... "
07:50 Jennifer: Were you a weepy person normally?
07:52 Aron: No, not at all, I mean,
07:53 we're all emotional... more or less,
07:55 but I usually have a direct cause or something
07:59 if I was very emotional and so, I was trying to think,
08:00 "Well, why was this happening?"
08:02 The only thing I could come up with was,
08:04 maybe it's an extreme case of nostalgia...
08:06 where I'm just like, "Wow, I really... this is so cool,
08:09 I used to be a camper here... "
08:11 that's the only reason I could give at that time,
08:13 and as the summer progressed,
08:16 the person that I was sort of getting to know...
08:19 developing a relationship
08:21 was also working out at the camp at the same time as me
08:23 so throughout that summer,
08:24 it kind of began to get worse and worse,
08:27 where I began to notice myself,
08:29 the person... I began to change a little bit,
08:30 I began to get a little bit more sad
08:33 and I didn't want to admit it because,
08:36 "Oh, I'm sad... no, I'm not... " yeah...
08:39 and then finally,
08:40 once that relationship finally didn't work out
08:42 and kind of crumbled apart,
08:43 that's when all of a sudden, everything fell...
08:46 like it just fell apart.
08:47 Jennifer: Did the sadness impact the relationship?
08:50 Aron: I would definitely say that it did... to a degree
08:53 where I felt like there were certain things
08:56 that I was doing and saying sometimes
08:58 that just didn't feel like myself,
09:00 and I'd question myself, "What... what am I...
09:02 why am I acting this way,
09:03 why am I doing these things sometimes,
09:05 and, yeah, it was a very difficult situation.
09:09 Did you get to the point of thinking about suicide,
09:11 like, where you were actually...
09:13 So, yes, early on, at the beginning of the semester
09:17 now the summer was ending, I began to...
09:19 once this thing was all just taking place,
09:21 I actually looked up on the internet
09:22 the most pain-free way to kill myself... numerous times,
09:25 I probably spent multiple hours doing that
09:27 and one time, I was just so out of it
09:30 that I just couldn't handle being on campus anymore
09:33 and I just had to be with my parents,
09:36 that I actually just drove home ten hours just to be home
09:39 and as I was driving home,
09:41 basically, every truck that I saw... I imagined myself
09:44 just crashing into a bridge, just driving off
09:47 and so, I was calling my parents and I was just crying,
09:50 I'm like, "Dad, I can't believe I'm feeling this way,
09:52 I don't even know if I can make it,"
09:54 and they said, "Aron, stop, pull over...
09:55 we're going to drive half way, we're going to pick you up,
09:58 don't drive anymore, it's not safe for you. "
10:00 Oh my! that's incredible, you know,
10:03 it's a tragedy in a way that
10:05 we have the internet, in this regard,
10:07 that people can find information on how to build bombs
10:10 and how to kill themselves.
10:12 And there are real websites out there
10:13 that are like... help you do it,
10:15 it's kind of scary, that I look back and think about it.
10:17 Did your family drive all the way out to get you?
10:19 About half way because I was driving
10:21 and they said, "Pull over... "
10:23 and they drove about half way, yeah.
10:24 When did the light go on that there was a medical explanation
10:28 for what was happening?
10:29 Yes, there was one time where I was back in my apartment
10:33 and I was there by myself
10:35 and I was just literally rolling on the ground
10:37 just intensely crying and just weeping
10:39 and just like, "I can't handle anything... "
10:41 and I remember crying out to God and saying,
10:43 "God, you promised in Your Word
10:45 that you will not let us handle anything
10:47 you will not give us anything that we can't handle. "
10:50 And I'm like, "It seems like it's passed that point...
10:53 I trust you but I need help here... "
10:55 and all of a sudden, something clicked,
10:56 it was like a voice that said, "The Accutane...
10:59 have you considered and thought about the drug?"
11:01 And all of a... I had not correlated it to that point,
11:04 I was just thinking, this all had to do with this relationship
11:06 but it didn't really make a lot of sense
11:08 because it wasn't a super well-developed relationship,
11:11 I'm like, "I'm really taking this hard"
11:12 so that's when I immediately called my dermatologist
11:15 and told him what I was going through
11:17 and he said, "Drop it right now,
11:19 don't take one more dosage, you need to stop right now. "
11:21 And the thing with these things that can affect the psyche
11:25 is that you never know how it's going to affect a person,
11:28 there are people probably that take this very same drug
11:31 that don't have that reaction,
11:33 the same thing is true of psychotropic drugs...
11:35 sometimes, "Lexapro" with one person works great
11:38 another person... it backfires tremendously
11:40 so, if there's brain chemistry involved...
11:43 but my thought is that...
11:45 were you engaging in kind of like, emotional reasoning
11:49 where... we call it, "Secondary Disturbance"
11:52 where you're disturbed
11:53 and then you're disturbed about being disturbed
11:54 where you're upset and you start putting a construction
11:59 on your emotional distress, like, you're thinking,
12:03 "Maybe I'm just really upset about this girl...
12:06 but I can't figure out why
12:08 but maybe I'm just getting to become so fragile,
12:11 I'm not going to make it through life...
12:12 every relationship trouble I have,
12:14 I'm going to melt down... I mean...
12:16 I'm going to become unfit for relationships... "
12:18 can you see how it just...
12:19 it would just snowball after that point
12:21 if you start believing your emotions
12:23 but here those emotions were largely caused by a substance
12:27 and that's why it's so important that we teach people
12:30 how to take a step back from their feelings
12:34 because they are just feelings
12:36 and they are caused by a variety of things
12:39 including medications
12:40 or the music that's playing on the System
12:42 or the traffic jam you just went through
12:44 or the time of the month that it is,
12:47 or physical problems you may be having,
12:49 they can be caused by all of these things
12:51 and emotions are not character
12:54 you know, it's a profound statement
12:56 in the writings of Ellen White, she says,
12:57 "Thoughts and feelings combined make up moral character"
13:00 I work a lot with clients,
13:02 I try to help them back off of their feelings and say,
13:04 "You know what?
13:06 It is a feeling... it isn't who I am... "
13:08 and I think if someone had been able to help you with that,
13:10 maybe it wouldn't have been so upsetting.
13:13 Yeah, well, I did begin to see a Counselor
13:15 for the first time in my life,
13:17 I was like, "Man! maybe I should see a Counselor"
13:20 of course, I'd tell my parents, my mom...
13:21 "I'm going through this, I'm feeling suicidal... "
13:24 and they're like, "Go, go to a Counselor"
13:25 so I sat before one of the scary people like you
13:28 for...
13:29 Jennifer: And now you've got four of us.
13:31 Aron: And now we've got four of you... yeah...
13:32 that was quite... quite the experience.
13:35 Jennifer: What would you guys... go ahead... sorry...
13:37 Aron: I was just going to say, during that time
13:38 there was...
13:40 I know people define guilt and shame in different ways
13:42 but the way that I understood it during that time and now, still,
13:44 was that guilt is when you make a mistake...
13:47 and shame is that feeling when you are a mistake...
13:51 and so, there was a lot of...
13:52 because I wasn't acting like myself at different times,
13:54 and so there was a lot of "shame messages"
13:56 that I was feeling where it's like,
13:58 "Man! I'm doing these things, I'm acting this way,
14:00 I'm so low in my life,
14:01 I feel like I can never get out of this... "
14:03 this is just who I am... this is a permanent identity,
14:06 and I really needed a lot of people that were there for me
14:09 like my Counselor, like my parents,
14:11 like my older sister and my roommate
14:12 and lots of other friends
14:14 that were affirming to me and saying,
14:15 "Aron, this isn't who you are, you...
14:16 I know who you are, you're a bubbly person... "
14:19 I was a Theology Major,
14:22 I was a Theology Major and that's why I'm a Pastor now,
14:24 and I was asking questions like,
14:26 "Is it even okay to be a Theology Major
14:28 and be this depressed?
14:29 Is it okay to be thinking, am I even fit for the ministry
14:32 if I'm borderline suicidal?"
14:34 I mean, there were just lots of things going on
14:37 with my future and like my identity
14:39 and all these things during that time.
14:41 So, he comes to you guys' office okay,
14:43 and he doesn't know at this point... that it's the drug
14:47 and what do you say to him?
14:49 What would you have done?
14:50 Not to put you on the hot seat or anything.
14:52 The first thing that I would want to ask is
14:54 and I think you described it quite well
14:56 is the cycling that he went through
14:58 and you mentioned that it wasn't quick...
15:00 it wasn't a quick process...
15:02 it was a gradual kind of thing
15:03 but as Jennifer mentioned, one thing led to another
15:06 and before you know it,
15:07 they started stacking themselves up... on top of themselves,
15:10 it's kind of like you have a stack of books
15:11 and eventually they just keep getting higher and higher
15:14 and so, although it may have...
15:15 originally it may have been something like a drug
15:17 or a relationship,
15:19 you started catastrophizing everything
15:21 and that's the thing I was struck by your testimony
15:25 is that you became someone that you were not used to,
15:28 you didn't know who this person was
15:29 and your friends didn't know who you were
15:31 so that's what I would do first,
15:32 is help him to help me understand...
15:34 and drill down to the cycle that he went through
15:36 because that would tell me a lot
15:38 and we can identify the different areas...
15:40 I'd also want to do a timeline because...
15:42 I'd want to know, "When did it start?"
15:44 Because once you know when it starts,
15:46 and then, you see this cycle
15:48 and you get back to when it started,
15:50 then we can begin asking,
15:51 "What happened at that time that's different...
15:55 that's out of the norm for you?"
15:57 Jennifer: That would be really super helpful
15:59 and I often ask my clients to do a lifeline...
16:01 a timeline that the major events in your life...
16:04 and when things developed...
16:05 and that could be so helpful to us
16:06 who are trying to track with them...
16:08 you know, you have some...
16:09 Paul: And we might start with the relationship
16:11 because that's where he's focused on
16:12 but that question creates an opportunity to say,
16:15 "What else is new, what is different... "
16:16 what's happening
16:18 that he could actually, maybe, bring that up.
16:20 Jennifer: One of the variables, one of the new variables
16:22 that were introduced into your life
16:23 that brought about...
16:25 potentially brought about this decline.
16:26 Paul: Because he wasn't aware,
16:28 it didn't click for him for a long time
16:29 until he's saying, "God, what do I do,
16:30 what is the next step, what do you...?" And then...
16:33 Sounds like both of you are talking about
16:34 getting to the cause of how this... why this came about...
16:38 and I noticed what Jennifer was saying
16:40 that... it sounded like,
16:42 you were disturbed that you were disturbed...
16:43 and that's kind of like, grief upon grief...
16:46 and it caused it to actually become worse,
16:48 and I'm wondering, after you stopped the Accutane,
16:51 how did you feel after that?
16:54 Yeah, well, after I did more research in correlating,
16:57 "Hey, a lot of these symptoms have to do with this drug... "
17:00 I found out that the drug doesn't go instantly
17:03 out of your body... it takes at least a week
17:05 and mostly up to a month before it completely flushes out
17:08 and so, I was like, excited... "Now I'm off of it... great...
17:11 I should magically get better... "
17:13 Well, I found out that once you get into that cycle...
17:15 once you're down there,
17:17 regardless of what brings you there...
17:18 once you're there... it's just hard to get out...
17:21 if you're thrown into a pit that's muddy...
17:23 it's hard to climb out...
17:25 so I was still down there for quite some time.
17:27 Jennifer: For how long?
17:28 Aron: How long? Probably the worse into it
17:30 was about two months... a two-month period
17:32 but kind of the entirely,
17:34 with maybe like 4 or 5 months of it being pretty intense.
17:38 Jennifer: So, the drug is out of your System,
17:40 in a week or two...
17:41 and you stayed down for 4 or 5 months...
17:45 so, it was because of the momentum
17:47 of all that had happened
17:49 that you stayed that long because the drug had just
17:51 pretty much gotten out of your System by then... true?
17:54 Aron: True, but then when I look back,
17:56 there was still a lot of damage
17:58 that was done during that time
17:59 and that feeling of being distressed
18:01 about being distressed and looking back
18:03 and really dwelling upon it,
18:05 because a lot of what was happening
18:07 I felt that really wasn't healthy at the time
18:09 and even looking back on it
18:11 was... I kept trying to figure out everything.
18:14 "How can I stop this? How can I get better?"
18:16 And then, dwelling upon the past...
18:17 like, "This happened... and that happened
18:19 and what if that didn't happen and da... da... da... "
18:21 and trying to really control it all myself...
18:23 micro-manage my own thoughts and all these different things
18:26 instead of, of course, throughout the entire time
18:28 which I'm going to really expand upon it here a minute...
18:31 really surrendering it completely over to God
18:34 instead of trying to micro-manage everything
18:36 and every thought that's going through my mind.
18:39 Jennifer: Hmmm... hmmm... I love that
18:40 because we, as Counselors, can often, take up with a method
18:43 or we have an idea of what needs to happen
18:45 for a person to be well
18:47 but we need to realize that those are human constructs
18:49 and ultimately, God is the healer...
18:51 and we have to be willing to turn people over
18:53 and ourselves over to Him,
18:55 this is why I pray with clients, you know,
18:57 I'm not sure exactly how God is going to heal this person
19:00 I have an idea and that's why they've come to me for help
19:03 because I have some experience and some idea
19:05 but it may go very differently,
19:07 we were just talking about a person we both know,
19:09 we just are amazed at what God has done in their lives
19:12 so, this is important... that we need to keep our eyes on Him
19:16 and that's really powerful.
19:17 Jean: For sure, I think something important
19:19 that Aron said was that once he was down in that pit,
19:22 if I can use that same metaphor that he used,
19:25 that it was difficult to climb out,
19:27 so, how you got there is one thing,
19:29 getting out is a totally different thing
19:30 so what came in my mind was,
19:32 your self-worth and value that you placed on yourself
19:34 had been disturbed, it had been tweaked...
19:37 it had been changed and, you know, Jennifer,
19:39 we talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
19:41 and we talk about the negative thought patterns
19:43 those kinds of things... those things can continue
19:45 even when the drug is out of your System
19:47 and so what Aron is sharing with the audience is that
19:51 the fact that the impetus was gone... did not change...
19:54 where he had cycled down to
19:56 and I think that's an important thing to share with people.
19:58 So, I've a question for you,
20:00 was there some element of... "Hey, I've always been Mr. Happy
20:04 I'm not allowed to have a bad spell...
20:08 this is so shattering to my self-image... "
20:11 and could it be that now you've broadened your self-image
20:15 to allow yourself to have a difficult time
20:19 as a result of this experience, you know what I'm saying?
20:21 Did you have a little bit of circumscribed
20:23 definition of yourself that didn't allow you...
20:25 was that part of the impact of this whole thing?
20:28 "I'm not an unhappy person... I'm a happy person... "
20:30 you know...
20:32 Yeah, definitely there are emotions that are multi-faceted
20:37 and once you experience depression and suicidal ideation
20:42 you begin to realize, "Whoa, I am frail...
20:44 this is a reality that I've gone through,
20:46 I can't cover that up, I can't hide that...
20:48 this is something that's real... "
20:50 and now, the way that I talk with other people
20:52 who have gone through something similar,
20:55 it's a lot easier for me to understand
20:57 and sympathize... and even empathize with them...
20:59 during that time there were a lot of people
21:02 that really...
21:03 that I would kind of open up to a little bit...
21:05 and they've shared...
21:06 "Wow! I've gone through the same thing... "
21:08 Wow! it's almost like God allowed you to experience
21:11 what it's like to have an organic brain disease...
21:13 except that it was medically induced... so to speak...
21:16 but can you imagine being a person
21:18 with psychosis or schizophrenia,
21:20 where your brain chemistry won't work for you
21:23 the way normal people's brain chemistry works for them
21:26 so God really kind of gave you...
21:28 maybe you didn't see it this way
21:29 but God gave you an experience
21:30 that will increase your empathy
21:32 for people with organic brain disease, if nothing else.
21:35 Definitely, yeah, I like to think
21:37 that I can sympathize at least this much more
21:39 in understanding that
21:41 and really the ultimate bridge that helped me get through it,
21:45 there has been a talk, I've heard, about,
21:47 "How to get past your past... "
21:49 well, that's great... I'd like to know,
21:51 "How do you get past your present
21:53 when you are in the thick of things. "
21:55 Jennifer: Yeah.
21:56 Aron: How I got through that was that the idea of sympathizing
21:58 is that, when I studied the Bible
22:01 and, of course, I had a background in theology
22:03 and studying the Bible and a love for Christ
22:05 which I believe firmly that if I did not have
22:08 a pre-established and ongoing relationship
22:11 with Jesus and God during that time,
22:13 I believe with all my heart I would not be here
22:16 in this chair today.
22:17 It's that going back to Christ and His sufferings on my behalf
22:21 that really propagated me to go through it,
22:24 that Jesus is the real panacea for all of our maladies...
22:28 mental, physical, emotional, everything
22:32 and so once I realized that, He... He...
22:34 when you look at the "cross experience... "
22:36 and all the pain that He went through...
22:38 the mental agony... everything like that...
22:41 that's incredible...
22:42 and then you take it even a step further
22:44 and realize that the exact pain that I was going through,
22:47 was the same pain that He was right there with me...
22:50 and there's a particular quote
22:52 that I read just about every single day
22:55 during that time that meant a lot to me
22:57 and it's by Ellen White found in the book,
23:00 "The Desire of Ages... " and she writes this,
23:02 she says, "Through all our trials
23:05 we have a never-failing helper.
23:07 He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation,
23:11 to battle with evil,
23:12 and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow.
23:15 Though now He is hidden from mortal sight,
23:18 the ear of faith can hear His voice saying,
23:21 'Fear not; I'm with you.
23:24 I am He that liveth, and was dead;
23:26 and behold, I am alive forevermore.
23:29 I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles,
23:33 encountered your temptations.
23:35 I know your tears; I also have wept. '"
23:40 And here's the line that I just read over and over again.
23:43 "The griefs that lie too deep
23:47 to be breathed into any human ear, I know.
23:51 Think not that you are desolate and forsaken.
23:55 Though your pain touch no responsive chord
23:59 in any heart on earth, look unto me, and live. '"
24:01 Wow! Hmmm... Amen...
24:03 And that was my go-to every day.
24:05 And as Counselors, we need to bear that in mind
24:08 that the best thing we can do for our people
24:10 is connect them to someone
24:12 who can hear things that even we,
24:15 their Counselor, cannot hear.
24:17 Griefs that lie too deep for even us to hear...
24:20 even in our position in their lives,
24:22 there is someone who can hear them,
24:23 His name is Jesus... and we need to be leading them to Him
24:25 and that is so beautiful, Aron, that is so powerful
24:29 and an inspired statement like that... can be like,
24:33 you know, when you're rock climbing and there's a hold...
24:35 it can be a "hold" that keeps you from falling into the pit
24:38 and that's exactly what it really is.
24:39 And I think it's important because
24:41 one of the things about suicide is... it's often a loss of hope,
24:44 it's hopelessness... if we were to beget...
24:46 it's not the only reason but a major umbrella
24:48 that would be hopelessness,
24:49 if we can help them have hope
24:51 and here... he's talking about the cross
24:54 and how powerful that is too
24:55 and part of that is that time in Gethsemane,
24:57 when He's overwhelmed in His soul
24:59 to the point of death, that's what Scriptures say.
25:01 We're not saying, "He was hopeless... "
25:02 we're saying, "He went into the darkness
25:04 of where He couldn't see any light beyond Him. "
25:07 There was actual trauma, it wasn't...
25:09 He wasn't play acting.
25:11 Paul: He was sweating blood... this is real blood
25:12 the blood that was in His brain are breaking...
25:14 coming out of His forehead...
25:16 so He understands incredible stress,
25:17 He understands darkness,
25:19 He understands being tempted to have no hope
25:23 and that's where He gets the power
25:25 to be that sympathetic High Priest in Hebrews 4
25:28 that says, "I can sympathize with you...
25:30 I can identify with you because I was tempted...
25:32 and that gives you confidence or boldness to come to me. "
25:35 Hmmm... hmmm... and on the basis of that,
25:37 we can look at people in the eye
25:39 who want to die and we could say,
25:41 "There is life beyond this... there's a future here...
25:43 it gets better... " so to speak...
25:46 "someone understands
25:47 and someone can carry you into the future. "
25:49 I can remember a conversation I had with a suicidal person
25:53 where all I said to them was,
25:54 "All I'm asking is that you live...
25:56 please... just live... you don't have to change...
26:00 you don't have to get off your addiction...
26:01 you don't have to do anything different...
26:03 just live... "
26:04 and they knew exactly what I meant
26:06 and they said, "No... "
26:08 and I said to them,
26:09 "If you die, I'll be left with a broken heart"
26:12 and they said, "I won't be here to notice it"
26:15 and I said, "Do you really want to be that way?"
26:18 Please... just live... "
26:20 and they said, "Okay, I'll live... "
26:22 finally... and sometimes that's all we can say to people,
26:25 it's just... "Live... there is...
26:27 God can get you through this,
26:28 there's a future, it gets better... "
26:30 Paul: And if they're open,
26:32 you have to meet people where they are...
26:33 and if they're open to spiritual resources...
26:35 I want to move in that information
26:37 about Jesus' story in Gethsemane...
26:38 in the darkness on Calvary...
26:41 and I want to take their story into Jesus' story...
26:43 turn it into a prayer
26:44 because when they start talking to God,
26:46 and identifying with Christ,
26:47 I find that God does some healing and gives them some hope
26:50 and Jesus went through with these experiences
26:52 being tempted to not have hope,
26:53 to not have joy, to not have trust in His Father,
26:56 so they can receive His hope, His trust in His Father...
27:00 so we're not even asking them to have hope
27:01 that they can't generate,
27:03 we're not asking them to do something that they can't...
27:04 we're not saying,
27:05 "Do something you're already unable to do. "
27:07 Jennifer: You receive from Jesus the hope that He had.
27:08 Paul: And the word, "receive" is in the King James
27:10 in the New Testament... 257 times.
27:12 Jennifer: Wow!
27:13 Paul: So that's a fairly solid foundation
27:15 to say, "Let's pray Jesus' story into your story...
27:19 and receive His hope... "
27:22 as opposed to telling them,
27:23 again, "Here's a key,
27:25 try and do what you're already unable to do"
27:27 that is... that's stealing their hope... that's robbing them.
27:30 Christina: Well, it sounds as if Aron was actually doing
27:31 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
27:33 He was replacing that hopelessness with hope
27:36 by reading that quote every day
27:38 so really, that is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
27:41 that you were doing.
27:42 Jean: That's right.
27:43 Paul: Christ-centered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
27:45 Christina: Exactly.
27:46 Aron: And in John chapter 6, Jesus says,
27:48 "The words I speak to you,
27:49 they are Spirit and they are life. "
27:51 Christina: Amen. Jean: Amen.
27:52 Jennifer: Well, this is a powerful conversation
27:54 that we're having here,
27:55 we just want those of you that have been listening...
27:57 and those of you who have struggled with suicide
27:59 and know someone that has, live...
28:01 God's message to you is, "Live... it gets better... "


Revised 2017-07-31