You Are Resurrected and Seated Together with Christ

Social IssuesReligion

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published December 14, 2023
  • Word count 3,243

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You Are Resurrected and Seated Together with Christ

For some, life is no longer worth living. The reasons are varied. All of us are only here for a short period of time, and yet when we hear reports of someone taking their own life, we wonder what could have caused such a paramount decision. Contained here is an article about such.

MICHELLE'S STORY

[It’s not about being brave in sharing; it’s] about being real and hoping to end the widely stigmatized thoughts regarding an illness.

Mental illness, the vast array of judged, [shunned,] and misunderstood group of stigmatized illnesses. Suicide, the part of mental illness [that’s even more judged, misunderstood,] and stigmatized. The people and families who deal with mental illness need to feel safe to get help and to discuss [what’s considered taboo subjects in order for acceptance, so they don’t] fear asking for help. [It’s possible in time to have healthy, open dialogue about these subjects, and it’s] time the world learns how. It is a [life,] or death situation. There are many organizations dedicated to educating and creating [awareness;] please research them.

I suffer from mental illness and all of its ugly, painful effects. My hope is to inspire others to come out and share their stories without fear and to inspire others to educate themselves and try to understand. This [isn’t] my way of trying to get sympathy or play [the] victim. This is the most real I can be in summing up a lifetime of [pain] about a subject that needs to be discussed openly and publicly in order to save lives and end stigma.

I suffer from major depression that [doesn’t stem from situational circumstances,] and I have suicidal tendencies. Not to say some [life-changing situations didn’t affect my depression, but for the most part, it’s] biological. As it stands now in society, mental illness becomes a label, a directive of how some people may judge [you] before even meeting you or knowing anything else about you. Some people resist treatment [because they’re scared that an employer, school, doctor, or other important life guides] may deny or judge them.

Many people [don’t] understand how to deal with a depressed friend or relative or acquaintance. [It’s easier to pretend it doesn’t] exist, title them as the crazy one, or say things that actually minimize the disease, that [suggests] it will just magically go away. Ex: just work out, eat healthier, do yoga, snap out of it. The cycle [begins;] nobody feels comfortable hearing about depression or [suicide,] and then the depressed individual hides their pain, fearing judgment, [embarrassment,] or being labeled.

[I’ve] dealt with depression since childhood; it took years for me to understand what it was and why I was different. I fought [it for years;] I never gave up. Many never knew I struggled. From the exterior [I’ve been perceived as outgoing, approachable, and fun; it wasn’t] a facade, as my personality [isn’t] my depression. It has even gone so far as overhearing a psychiatric nurse say, “[She’s so pretty;] how can she be depressed?” The way I look is not my depression.

My junior year of college was my first suicide attempt. [I’d] classify it as a cry for help, not a true attempt. I had no [plan. My roommates were home, and I was intoxicated. I didn’t just want attention;] I needed it. I went into the bathroom with a [razor, and when my roommates broke into the room,] I cried in relief.

My mom drove out, picked me [up,] and put me right into intense therapy. I had also been suffering from bulimia since age [fifteen which] had been escalating while away at school. I turned to working through my eating disorder, not realizing at the time that it was all related. I was always doing anything to escape the pain of my emotions. From that point forward, I had this deep nagging voice inside that told me suicide would ultimately be my demise if I ever got over the fear of the [act. Thankfully] I was always too scared as I still had hope.

Fast forward, after years of medication trials, different types of [therapy,] and reaching a point where the side effects of medications outweighed the problems they were prescribed [for, my life became a] slew of side effects and more medications to treat the side effects. Those of us with mental illness like to refer to these as “med cocktails.” I started to [get tired of all the doctors, therapy appointments, and side effects] while still struggling with low moods regularly. The day Amy Winehouse [died, I was watching the news coverage,] and all I could think of was how lucky she was that she was finally out of her pain. Impulsively, I took an overdose of sleeping pills and benzodiazepines. I sent a few “I love you [texts,]” and someone who knew of my struggles and had family experience with suicide took that random text as a hint and called [the] police to do a wellness check on me. I was taken to the ER. It turned out I [didn’t take enough pills to do the job;] the ER actually let me leave.

A month [later, I sunk even lower and] I gave up. I was done fighting [the] inner demons that tried to hold me down and hold me back. I was so tired of fighting. I felt I was a burden and saw no other way out of the pain. It was not [selfishness. In my mind,] it was truly the answer to alleviate my pain and the pain I burdened others with. I wrote a suicide [note, surrounded myself with photos of people I love,] and took a much more intense overdose. I lay next to my cat, crying that he would never see me awake again.

I attempted suicide. There was no turning back from that act. I sent one friend an “I love you” text once the drugs had reached a point of [intoxication,] and I passed out. He had learned from my [previous] attempt what to do. He called the police. My doorman knew me well and [witnessed] my first attempt and let the police in. Thirteen days later, [two on a medical floor and eleven] on a locked psychiatric ward, four years later, countless therapy [sessions, and I still haven’t] fully recovered. My depression actually got worse and was combined with shame, [fear, and embarrassment that created a deep,] oozing wound that never [seemed to fully heal. It’s] hard to look in the mirror daily knowing that the person staring back at me tried to kill me. Imagine that.

Look beyond for a moment from the pain it causes loved ones, but the pain it causes to oneself when [you’ve] already suffered most of your life. Knowing that you woke up when you wanted to die and now need to rebuild your own belief system [regarding] yourself. Rebuild the ability for others to trust you not to repeat your actions; try to protect the hearts of loved ones. Rebuild the strength to fight the unending battle yet again. While feeling like Bambi and feeling like you have to hide what you did.

I googled “help for suicide [survivors,” and] all that came up was help for the loved ones that survived someone who had [completed suicide] and how to help them cope. I [couldn’t believe it. I was a survivor; I survived self-murder; I was the one left like a newborn] with open raw wounds and wanted the help of others like me. I found nothing. Thankfully in just the four years since my attempts, this is changing. People are starting to come [forward; organizations are realizing the importance and it’s changing. I’m slowly reaching out to them, and they’re giving me the] courage and strength I never knew I had. That is such a huge step forward.

I believe that suicidal thoughts and suicidal actions are different. I believe that once you cross that line into [action, it actually becomes an option in the future, that it’s] never truly safe to have the thoughts again without having a safe support system to openly express the thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. The actions become an [answer,] and the thoughts can evolve into action. Thoughts are thoughts. [Actions,] however can change the world. Change life.

This is why [it’s] so important to open up dialogue publicly about suicide and mental illness. The statistics show that many completed suicides are not initial attempts. Those that need help [aren’t] just those with the thoughts, but those that have already tried to end their lives. Being one of these people, I know firsthand that [there’s more shame and more fear after an attempt than] when I was having just thoughts.

Surviving my attempt backfired on me and made me feel like I [didn’t want to overutilize my long-developed support.] I had put so many loved ones through [hell, and I didn’t want to seem overly needy;] I isolated myself more than ever. I put the people who supported me through so much that I feared letting them know I was still struggling to heal. I wanted everyone to think I was ok, back to normal. [However, I’m] still not ok.

[I’m blessed with a strong mother who asks me daily if I’m] ok. My boss checks on me [daily. I] have a small handful of friends that know my silence is a queue to call and check on me. Sadly, many of my friends and family do nothing unless I bring it up, which [isn’t easy when I don’t] know how they feel about it.

Once the shock and initial responses occur, life for others tends to go back to normal. Many have no idea how to behave or what to believe. Some think it was just a moment of bad [judgment. They don’t understand that it’s] an ongoing illness and just because you survived, [doesn’t] mean the illness disappears. This is the ideal time for family and friends to take time to educate [themselves] instead of going back to acting like it never happened. Yes, some suicides are [impulsive, and due to circumstances, and] this is also where education is so helpful.

When discussing my intentions of openly discussing my suicidal tendencies with a few people in my support system, I was met with positive [reactions,] until the questions were asked. You [don’t] mean posting it on social media or putting the information somewhere [where] total strangers could see this right? This [isn’t going to be shared with people you know,] right?

Wow! Had the past several years of my discussion of how important it is to take away the stigma gone unheard? When I said publicly, I meant publicly, not partially [public,] except for those that may judge me. It saddened me to hear that the very people I rely on, even if for that moment in [the] conversation, judged my decision to share such personal details. If [I’m] to become an advocate and help others like [me,] it has to be open and real. The most important thing anyone can do for someone expressing suicidal thoughts is to listen and not judge or minimize what [they’re] saying.

Open dialogue has to start [somewhere,] and my somewhere starts now. [I’m still a good person. I’m still kind and intelligent and reasonable. I’m] also gifted with insight, the ability to forgive, and admit [wrongdoing]. I appreciate my ability to relate to others on many levels and be open-minded. I also have [a mental illness. It doesn’t define me, but it’s] part of who I am.

[I’m] relieving my conscious of the secret I held due to fear of being judged or misunderstood. [I have a lifetime illness; I struggle in some way, almost daily, and it’s] real. A suicide note is real. Quiet struggles are real. A beautiful smile may or may not be real. Talking openly is not just real; [it’s] necessary.

Please rethink your ideas regarding mental [illness and ask those you love if they’re ok. A] simple smile can change another person’s day and learn the symptoms, the signs. It [isn’t contagious. It is,] however deadly.

I can sum my experience up in a poem I wrote:

My silence is an echo of my repetitive pain,

Reminding me of demons that live in my brain.

They haunt my days and stir my fears,

They have been there living for all my years.

Some days are bright, some weeks, a month,

[Eventually, though,] they come to the front.

They scream so loud I cry in shame,

But only I can hear this pain.

My silence protects the demons from showing,

People often judge me but [they’re] really unknowing.

To think that depression has a sound or first [name] is as ignorant as thinking two think the same.

If you hear nothing but [silence,] beware,

Ask before assuming the person [doesn’t] care.

Silence is my prison that mimics [I’m] okay,

The demons are [there,] and I fight them every day.154

The least I can say about this article is that it’s intense. Some might say that there’s no easy fix for mental illness and recurring thoughts about committing suicide. However, I know of someone who’s business it is to work deep within our lives. He gets beneath into our core nature, beliefs, desires, etc., and provides us with the help we need to be able to address any disturbing aspects of our life. And not only so, when it’s our time to depart from this earth, he has also prepared a place for us where all hurts, illnesses, regrets, etc., are gone. Let’s find out more about this eternal realm and how it relates to us right now. Please turn to the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 2:6

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

God the Father had raised up the Ephesians’ believers from spiritual death to spiritual life in heavenly places at a point of time in the past when they responded to the gospel. And not only so, but they were also made to sit together with Him. This means that while they reside on the earth, their spiritual position is in heavenly places.

Like them, you’re positionally resurrected. [Your] vital union with [Christ] is the ground of [your] present spiritual and future bodily resurrection and ascension.155 Conversely, you have assigned to both your body and spirit a place seated together with Christ in heaven, which in due time you’ll take possession of. And as you learn how to set your heart on things above, you’ll get a glimpse of what’s waiting for you when you get to heaven.

If you’re someone who’s having difficulty living your life whether caused by biological, circumstances, abuse, addictions, etc., there’s someone who wants to help you. You see, there’s a God, a personal God who can change you from the inside out and help you learn how to be an overcomer no matter what difficulty you’re facing. Take a look at some of the verses of Scripture contained below that clearly reveal God’s heart and how He can help those who come to Him.

Psalms 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

The Lord healeth (makes healthful) the broken in heart (miserable heart), and bindeth up (cures; bestows peace; comforts) their wounds (mental sorrows; griefs and troubles).

Psalms 107:9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

God satisfieth (makes provision for the needs of) the longing (thirsty) soul. He also filleth the hungry soul with goodness (that which imparts strength and happiness).156

Matthew 11:28-29

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Believe in me, you that labour (work) and are heavy laden (tired; weary), and I will give you rest (refreshment and rejuvenation).

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Take my yoke (an obligation to do a particular thing, i.e., submission to Christ) upon you, and learn of me (to learn the truths that He teaches). And if you do this, you’ll find rest (relief, peace, quietness; have a proper fellowship with Me) in your souls.

Did you know that this God can change your life right now? He can provide you with a new nature, i.e., a divine life. He can change your desires with new ones. He can change your weaknesses and become your source of strength. He can change destructive thoughts into uplifting ones. And He can do so much more. So, what about you? Do you want to stay where you are or enter into an entirely new realm, i.e., a spiritual one? If your answer is yes, then here’s your remedy. It’s a confession that you can express right now. You can read it silently to yourself or out loud.

God the Father, I acknowledge that I have sinned in many areas, such as slandering others; having sexual relations outside of marriage; being jealous; having participated in alcohol or drug abuse; having sex with others of the same gender; committing adultery; taking money from others in a deceitful manner; committing rape; engaging in pedophilia; etc. I don’t want to continue in these mental, verbal, and overt sins. I need a new nature.

I believe in your Son Jesus Christ as one of the members of the Trinity, who, as God pre-existed time; came to the earth and took on the form of a man, being born of a virgin (no sin nature); lived a sinless life; listened to and obeyed the directives of his Father; went to the cross and paid for the penalty of and forgave the sins of the whole world; rose from the dead after three days, never to die again, walked the earth in His resurrection body for forty days witnessing to over five hundred people and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father.

And according to your promise, send the Holy Spirit to come and indwell my body, thus imparting to me a new nature along with all of the additional benefits promised. Thank you!

Now, one of the members of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has come to indwell your body. He will serve as your counselor, guide, teacher, comforter, etc. You have become a new creation. Over time, He’ll give you glimpses of His working in your life. Ask Him whatever it is that you need help with. He’s always there for you.

Of all of the spiritual blessings that we’ve looked at up to now, this next one is probably the most controversial. Let’s find out why.

Endnotes

154“Michelle’s Story,” nami 7 December 2022

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155Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary.

156Barnes’ Notes.

My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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