Don’t End Your Song Too Early (For Those Contemplating Suicide)

guitar hands
Pain in the present can blind you.

It can obscure the future so fully that you’re no longer able to believe anything beautiful is still possible, that joy is ever going to be within reach, that tomorrow is even worth waiting around for.

Suffer long enough and you begin to think the only direction left for you to go—is out.

If you’re there right now; if exiting is all that you can see from where you are, may these words give you breath and pause and rest.

I know that you might be holding on to the very last strand of your rope in these moments; so tired, so completely worn out from this day and all that you’ve carried through it to even think about going on another minute more—but I hope you will.

I know from where you’re standing right now it feels like far too much to ask that you would keep going, but I’m asking you to because I know how much there is to lose, because I know what your life is worth, because I can see the massive void you would leave if you left.

And most of all because I know there is music still left in you.

There is nothing sadder than a song the fades out too soon, one whose melody is left unresolved. The volume suddenly dies and you strain to hear it for a bit longer but it’s gone, and you feel cheated out of the beautiful music that was coming.

And as difficult as it may be to believe it right now—your song is not yet finished, my dear friend.

One of the biggest lies tremendous sadness tells us is that this is how things will always be; that this darkness is fixed, this hopelessness forever, this pain permanent.

This simply isn’t true.

With every second and every beat of your broken, battered heart, there is change and renovation happening around you and within you, even when you’re oblivious to it all. These are possibilities waiting to be discovered, new days waiting to be walked into, hope waiting to be unearthed, a brilliant sunrise that has not yet broken the horizon.

This is the music that you haven’t yet heard but deserve to; the song you get to co-write, the one that only exists with your presence.

I grieve over so many unfinished songs in this world and in my life, so many conversations interrupted, so many relationships severed, so many people who didn’t wait around for the good that was coming (or that was already there but temporarily hidden from them). Their pain would have turned to celebration, had they only stayed.

Yes my friend, sometimes the minor key dominates and the melancholy has its way for what seems like an eternity, but hold on long enough and there is a sweeping major key resolution that will redeem the whole thing; a gorgeous melody that uses the sadness as a springboard for defiant, jubilant glory.

I really hope you’ll stay and make that music.

I hope you’ll wait and let this melody play out until its full conclusion. 

Don’t end your song too early.

The world deserves to hear it all.

You deserve to hear it all.

Keep singing.


(Note: If you’re struggling with depression, desire to self-harm, or suicidal thoughts, talk to someone.

Help can be found here and here and here now. You are worth fighting for.)








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37 thoughts on “Don’t End Your Song Too Early (For Those Contemplating Suicide)

  1. As someone that is very familiar with deep, hopeless depression; I can say that John is correct. Keep hanging on. Don’t give up. Things will get better. Get help if you are struggling. You will be grateful you did.
    Thank you John. I enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Thanks for a beautifully written piece. I have been to that dark hole aftyer the loss of a serious relationship. The depression grabs you and holds tight. Even praying to God I could not find peace or answers. One night – the darkest – I decided I could not handle the pain anymore. I couldn’t even hear Gods voice anymore. But by his grace it was unsuccessful and I began to rebuild. Life isn’t perfect but I understand those that are in it. Someone said to me “you are not as alone as you think you are” and that’s what people need to know when they are in this place. Thanks for sharing your message John. I get so much out of your posts

  3. This is where I am now. The emotional pain I have is excrutiating. I am not suicidal but the pain is too much. I keep pushing the bad thoughts out and hoping for better. But it’s not happening. I have doctors therapists ect.. But they don’t help. I just want it to stop.

    • dont stop fighting it Mike and reach out. Like my aunt told me – you are not as alone as you think you are. Peace my friend

      • mike, it’s impossible to do this alone. I have been in the hole and tried suicide. I HAD to find friends to help me. we are not to be islands. we need each other. there is no other way around it. please find some people that you can be with. please stay with us because you WILL see that John’s post is correct. you will be so glad you did. your life with take a turn and you will be happier than you have ever been. I know the pain seems as though it will never end. but it will. surround yourself with positive people. participate in positive self talk. YOU HAVE SELF WORTH BEYOND WHAT YOU THINK. someone needs you! you may not know them right now but there is someone that NEEDS you in their life. this will end! I know it will.

    • Sometimes it helps to talk it out Mike. The first question to ask is: “What is making me feel so angry.” Depression is often just internalized anger at something—often anger that goes way back into your deep childhood past—anger that needed to be tended to long, long, long ago—but never was. The basic psychology principle is that if whatever you feel right now is that intense and that excruciating,as you say, then the depression and suicidal thoughts are not about what is happening right now in the present. It is about some unresolved thing that happened in the deep past in your life. If your therapist is not operating on that basic principle and not tapping into it, then you have a bad therapist that you need to ditch for someone better—and do it right away. Talk to your current therapist about what I have said here. Print off this comment and take it to him/her. Some event in the present may have triggered all that bad stuff in the past by appearing to mimic that very old, bad experience—but if the feelings are that intense—it is really all about that bad, unresolved thing in your deep past.

      Hang in there, God bless you. If you need to talk, you can e-mail me at [email protected]. See my other comments here for other advice. No. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I just know a great deal about the subject of depression.

    • Mike, those thoughts are spiritual. I too have been struggling and this message is ripe for me. I have never been one to want to leave this world but the past few months and the past month I have told the father I want to go. He keeps breathing light and life after the darkness. He seems to be telling me that I can’t see the light unless I first taste of the darkness. I always see a BRIGHT light after a night of deep darkness. He has been showing me that the thoughts are all spiritual and they are “birds of heaven” that are planting them there. Tell them to go AWAY in the name of Jesus The Nazarene. They have to leave but it may take a spiritual “hour”. I am with you on this journey my friend.

      • Mike Roberto, there is a program I went through that helped me tremendously. I believe that every person on earth could learn a lot from this program. its called, Dialectic Behavior Therapy. it teaches how to over come our depression. there are books on it in most book stores. The original is from Linehan not sure if that’s spelled correctly.

    • Mike. I hear your pain and I am in and out in the same areas. I can be on a mountain top one day and in the darkest valley (all alone) a couple days later. The past few months the darkness gets deeper and the valley lower. Where are you at in your spiritual walk? The only thing that constantly breathes hope back into me is reading his ORIGINAL and true words he gave us. I am not talking about man’s (translated) version that is taught on Sunday and the world tries to believe. I mean his actual, true single meaning words of scripture. These words will NEVER change and he has to fulfill everyone of them. Again, I am not talking about the ones translated by man with 30 different flavors and meanings. Please consider downloading this free program and begin reading the actual words and ask him in your heart what they mean. Contrary to what man tells us, each word he gave us is a single truth that CAN NOT CHANGE nor can it have more than one meaning. This program is based on a LOT of hard work where some non-religious men spent years defining a single, specific meaning to each of the original words. This makes so much sense because Hebrew words also have specific numeric value. We know that numbers can not “sometimes be 3” and “sometimes be 10” right? The truth is that each word means ONE SINGLE truth and it NEVER changes. Truth (who is Jesus) can’t change. Only the “shadow” which is the flesh AND NOT THE TRUE SUBSTANCE Hebrews 10:1 (times, circumstances, ages, etc.) can change. I am telling you my friend if you can muster up some hope and start reading the ORIGINAL words in that free app or the online version they supply and listen within what you hear and see what is REALLY going on, you will be floored! All this will begin to make sense. You and I are suffering WITH him right now and thus we will also share in his glory! 2 Cor 4:10 The darkness my friend is actually HIS SPIRIT of truth that manifests as darkness in the natural flesh. the ones who go through the most darkness also get to receive the most light! And it is so powerful. I have seen SO much darkness from an abusive childhood to a painful divorce, rebellious teen children, to other personal struggles. This walk with him is a SOLO journey. I have been seeing the truth and when I share, all my friends (religious or otherwise) RUN! I am stumped. It’s so good and they hate it. But that is the way he says it is supposed to be. If we love him and he is the truth, he will CIRCUMCIZE all the rest from you. We are alone with him right now but he is also in our words that we share. WE just have to learn to listen with our hearts as that is where he is and cut off the people who feed us lies. There is a reason for this … and we will soon see. The ones who are laughing now will morn. The ones who morn now will jump for joy. Luke 6:21 If you ever want to hear more or discuss anything, feel free to email me at [email protected] I have been hearing immense things beyond what I can describe yet at times I want to exit this world. I hear this is the “testing” we must endure when he blocks his spirit within us. This is the very testing of Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Don’t worry though, we don’t answer him, Jesus does. We just ask him to help us. God bless my friend.

    • Mike – you most certainly are not alone. I am feeling the same, off and on for 30 years. I’m so tired and also just want it to end. I stopped seeing doctors and trying meds, as nothing worked. I feel I am out of options and really just don’t want to try anymore. I pray that you will find peace on earth.

  4. Reblogged this on bpnurse and commented:
    I’m reblogging this post from a great blog called Stuff That Needs to be Said. This man is a genius who really captures the essence of depression. Read it and be amazed.

  5. This is one of my favorite subjects—having been a life-long depression patient. I know from personal experience how bad depression can feel sometimes. Been there. Seen that. Felt that. But suicide is never the answer, and I have never felt suicidal for one very good reason. I learned early on that the depression really is temporary. It always is. It never lasts forever. And some of the brightest, happiest, longest, most satisfying, and most productive times in my life—long stretches of time—came right after an in-depth bout with depression. If I had wanted to do so and had killed myself, I would have missed some of the biggest and best life-partying on planet Earth—rich, deep, and abiding things to savor. You would not believe—and even if I had been in a wheel chair—much of that rich life could have still happened, looking back with 20/20 hindsight.

    Depression is extremely treatable with medications today—and they are powerful medications that people respond to fairly quickly—despite what the label says. Talk therapy helps a great deal, and the two together are fantastic.

    Please also remember the famous 20-minute Window in clinical psychology. If the strong urge to kill yourself comes on, you have about 20 minutes to act against the urge and survive. If you can make it through that 20 minutes, the urge should dissipate. Most people do not know WHAT to do when that urge first comes on. The best medical advice is to immediately call an ambulance to come to your location or somehow get immediately to the emergency room at your local hospital. Suicide as widely recognized as a legitimate and true medical emergency—and you will be welcomed with open arms and treatment that will get you past the 20-minute window and over the hump.

    God bless you, and have a nice day.

  6. Thank you John for your words. Having dealt with depression in the past and being lucky enough to be in a time and place in my life where I don’t need them, I hope that they give whoever may need them all the strength and hope to carry on.

  7. I can only echo what John, dover1952 and the others– it does get better!
    I have struggled with depression for most of my life; since adolescence, so I have 40+ years of experience now. Beauty can seem to be only a faded memory and even a moment of respite from the pain seems to be complete fantasy. The very idea of happiness seems like a cruel myth, designed to keep us struggling to reach an impossible dream. Life itself seems be nothing but a black pit of despair.
    When I was at rock-bottom, every time I had to pull onto the highway without my 2 sons, I thought of pulling out in front of an 18-wheeler. One day drizzly day, I again refrained so as not to place that burden of guilt on an innocent driver and successfully turned onto the highway. In the 3 minutes took to get from my home to that highway, a perfect and complete double rainbow had appeared behind me, undiscovered until I made that turn. I pulled over to the shoulder, to stare in childlike wonderment. The sheer magnificence of it filled my eyes with tears. Another car pulled over behind me and I could only point at the vivid arcs of color painted across a wet, grey sky. By the time I could compose myself and leave, there was string of vehicles behind me, all sitting alongside a busy federal highway, staring at the sky. Not only was there beauty, I was not alone in seeing it.
    My prayer for all those who are struggling against the darkness of despair today is that they will not only make it through that 20 minute dover1952 spoke of, but that beauty will blazon itself across your path with such wanton abandon that hope becomes not only a tiny spark on the horizon but brilliant sunrise on the path to recovery.
    You are not alone, there is help. It really truly does get better. As John so often says, be encouraged.

  8. Below a failed suicide attempt, is a realm of darkness and depression that is extremely peaceful and comfortably numb. It is a solid rock to rebuild on if you don’t have Christ. I like to think it is the comfort for the utterly lost.

  9. I’ve lost two friends to suicide, in their 50’s, in the past month. Thank you so much for this timely post. I hope your words resonate far, and that the Love that inspired them reaches to all who struggle. Blessings, John. I wish I lived closer to your brick-and-mortar congregation.

  10. Pingback: Don’t End Your Song Too Early (For Those Contemplating Suicide) | Social Stigmas

  11. Hiding in the bathroom at work and reading this with tears and nose running down my face. I’m standing at that door, hand poised to knock. It’s hard when you can’t sing, to imagine your song worth hearing.

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