50 questions
50 questions
Why do I have to live
when I didn't ask to be born?

You question yourself because you are unhappy. Your life seems to be unbearable. Surely the reasons for this are numerous: a lack of love or understanding, rejection, grief or sickness, repeated failures or fears of the future. You cannot accept yourself as you are. Tormented, paralyzed, you feel alone... Above all, you don't love yourself and you think that no one else is able to love you. You prefer death rather than living in this unbearable way. Death appears as a means of help and it fascinates you.

At the heart of this distress, I want to shout a message of hope: YOU ARE LOVED! Will you accept to let yourself be loved - just as you are, right now - by someone who gave his life for you? His name? Jesus!

"Jesus died" you tell me! Yes, its true. But he is risen, he is alive. Today, right now, you can talk with him. He will hear you. This is not difficult: turn to him in the depth of your heart and tell him about your distress, your weariness, all that you are living through. Call to him for help... Your prayer is enough. Believe me, it will touch his heart, because he understands you. Like you, he knew terrible anguish, the night before his death, at Gethsemani. This is why he is very close to you. He wants and he is able to console you.

During moments of great anguish, don't stay alone. Call for help, talk with a friend or an aquaintance in whom you trust... Telephone a brother or sister who will listen to you and pray with you or any other organization that would also respect your anonymity.

When we discover that we are loved by God, we are able to be reconciled with ourselves, to accept our weaknesses and our past.... More and more, you will understand that your life has a sense if you devote it to others, if you try to help those suffering around you. You will see that your life is not a drop of water in the ocean or a number appearing by accident as a statistic. (see also Q.42 and Q.43)

Personal Experience

I was 18 and wanted to die.
Exhausted, disgusted, totally depressed, I felt like I was raking so many dead leaves that the rake was stuck in the pile.
But I wanted to die without suffering and I got the idea to use cyanide, thinking that it was fast and painless. How could I get cyanide without being noticed? It was too difficult where I lived. So I prefered to make it myself using the method I learned in high school chemistry.
One February morning, taking advantage of the fact of being alone at home, I went to the bathroom to make the cyanide. A spark was supposed to start the chemical reaction but it failed to do so.
I was in such a bad state, resolved to finish the job, that I started towards the kitchen to turn on the gas....This would be just as good even if it was dangerous for the others.
Just then someone rang the front door bell. Was it the mail man? If I didn't answer, he would ring at the house of my neighbour, who does the cleaning at our house. She'd bring the package over and start to work... and I wouldn't be able to kill myself.
So I went and opened the door. That winter, it was extremely cold outside: the temperature that night had probably fallen to 25 below zero! There at the door was a homeless person. He had spent the night outside. He had been sent to our house because my mom helps the poor in the parish.
But my mother wasn't home. What should I do? I thought about sending him away so that I could conclude my business, but he was shivering. His hands were blue from the cold... I was so dazed that something I had read helped me : let this man come in and give him some hot coffee.
He stayed a long time, maybe two hours, he warmed up and then ate and drank. He asked me for a little money: he had a job offer but did not want to go there with long hair and a shaggy beard. First he wanted to go to the barber shop.
I gave him the money I had. And then, after he had gone, I took some money from the "family purse" to go to the movies to think about something else.
What saved me was helping someone who was poorer than me.

Peter


Personal Experience

My name is Christal, I am 18 and live with my grandmother. For a long time, I hung out with a gang of 20-year-old boys outside of Paris. I was the only girl and perversity and alcohol ran rampant. At the beginning of November, the father of one of the boys tried to rape me. I felt so dirty that two days later I slit my wrist. Failure. I found an outlet in my appearance: black clothes, outrageous make-up, part of my hair shaved off. I was filled with violence and aggressiveness.

December: second suicide attempt, this time with sleeping pills. Another failure. I stop hanging out with the gang.

February 1990, during a fight with my grandmother, I beat her and then attempted suicide by cutting both forearms with a broken bottle. Another failed suicide (but lots of scars!).

In March, I begin to cut myself regularly on my arms or elsewhere on my body. I started to sniff glue and ether alcohol, to smoke joints and abuse myself with sleeping pills and alcohol. I found a violent pleasure in cutting myself.

In August 1990, I went to the Forum for Youth at Paray-le-Monial. I didn't go there to pray.... Yet, over the course of the days, I noticed I was more peaceful.

On the third day, August 11, everything went haywire (turned upside down). During mass, the priest pronounced a word of knowledge... At the moment he started to speak, I was overcome with tears: "There is a 16-year-old girl who has attempted suicide three times this year (...). The Lord heals her of these black thoughts and thoughts of suicide. He calls her to life...."

I felt a real burning in my heart, like when you are in love, and in my left hand it felt as though another hand was put into mine. I was emptied of everything and then filled with a flame, with immense joy. I loved life and I had just discovered it!

Cold turkey, from that day on, I stopped doing drugs, cutting myself, shaving my hair and all other means of degradation and self-destruction. I started to wear colours again.

I did have some tough moments of doubt but prayer has been my strength. From the time I received this grace, I have been going to a prayer meeting every Wednesday; I found a sure and strong love: the love of Jesus. I want to proclaim it to everyone, especially to the young people who live in solitude and delinquency: Yes, He Is Alive and He loves us!

Christal