Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I GOT PERMISSION FROM MY DAUGHTER TO SHARE THIS


The other day I received an emergency call from a friend who was feeling suicidal. I did my best to communicate with him based on what I knew his problems were and I decided to be very straight with him about the fact that he kept pushing God away because of his misconceptions about God.
Today, my friend messaged me and basically said he has a new, positive outlook on life. I know he is still in need of conversion, but I've sent him a Bible verse and told him to offer his suffering to God for the sake of others (both via text), and he didn't ridicule me for it, so that's a good sign.
I brought this up for this reason: I wanted to share how I came to realize what my distant-from-God, suicidal friend needed to hear from me and see me do. I hope you find the following outline helpful when you face a similar situation:
1) I prayed for him right in front of him at a point when I felt like I had run out of things to say.
2) I told him to stop sabotaging himself with negativity and making the same mistakes. He ended up pausing and then saying, "Tell me how to stop. Please. Because I don't know."
3) I told him that he was rejecting knowing more about God than he'd learned in childhood, or through his personal opinions.
4) I asked him if he believed in hell and the devil (even though he said he did, he still toyed with the idea of heaven or hell not really existing). But I asked him this so that I could point out that the devil was attacking him and that the devil hated God. He admitted that, since the devil hated God, the devil hated man kind as well. Even if my friend didn't fully accept God's true nature in that moment, what's important is that my friend was using logic to realize God might actually care about him.
5) I couldn't dwell on just one thing with my friend. He was always trying to find a way to justify his feelings, so I kept pushing, and I called him out every time i sensed him denying mercy or sabotaging himself.
6) Finally, I got to the point when I asked him, "Don't you want to be happy? Don't you want to be happy after you die?" I asked him this because he kept saying that he wanted to be happy, but never seemed to be abel to get ahead in life. He answered, "Yes." I also said suicide could land him in hell, where he would be unhappy, and that it was a sin to bet on God's mercy in the process of contemplating suicide.
7) After that, I had to switch gears and dig a little deeper, so I asked him, "WHAT do you WANT?" He said "I don't know... What do YOU want?" I said I wanted to go to heaven and I wanted my friends and family to go to heaven. And then he said, "I actually want to make sure my family and friends go to heaven, too." And then I said it was our job, as friends whom God most likely brought together, to get each other into heaven, and he seemed to agree with that.
8) Throughout it all, I kept deflecting his "I have no hope" attitude by making him see that, if he indeed had no hope, he would never have called me. And he was never able to deny that I was right about that. And with that in mind, I was able to get through to him and talk to him long enough for him to get through a really tough few hours.
9) I told him that i wasn't just trying to come up with smart answers to his objections, and he nodded and said, "I know." So I knew he was really taking in everything i said.
So, I told him I would help him clear up some clutter in his life, and after that we ate spaghetti!
Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!

26 comments:

  1. God bless you, Jessica Rohr and your friend.

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  2. I will pray for you too. What a beautiful example of Christian love

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  3. A Friend in need is A Friend indeed. Especially when they bring us back to the path of God. Make Peace with yourself and Trust in Him. Thank You Jessica and God bless.

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  4. That is ministering, Jessica. God Bless.

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  5. Prayers for Jessica's friend and for Jessica as she helps him at this stage of his life's journey. Truly an awesome account of God working through His creation, Jessica Rohr. Thank you Jessica for sharing your story with us, and thank you Tim for posting it here. All of us can learn from this.

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  6. Darlene L.G. PerezJune 3, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    Jessica, you are a beautiful, kind and loving friend, indeed. This friend of yours is so lucky to have you as a friend. The holy spirit was working through you and with you to help this young man see how our Lord loves us all. Your parents and whoever your teachers were should be very proud of you. I only wish that more of our young people on Guam can be trained to recognize suicidal signs and know what to do and say. Most young people turn to, listen to, and heed the advice of their peers more so than to the caring adults who surround them. This is why the educational, health, and the various religious organizations on Guam need to do more to combat the high suicidal rates on here in our island by training teens and young adults. God bless you, young lady. A friend in need is a friend indeed (this goes both ways).

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  7. Thank you. Jessica, for time, efforts, and care in helping your friend.

    I would counsel anybody else approached by a loved one contemplating suicide to ask these questions before asking any other questions:

    1) Are you thinking of hurting yourself or taking your own life?
    2) If so, have you been making specific plans, including methods, to do so? If so what are they?

    This is absolutely critical, before any discussions of religion, God or the afterlife, because if the answer is "yes" to the questions above, especially #2, you absolutely must help your friend get professional and medical intervention.

    Talking about suicide does not make a person more inclined to attempt it.

    I will say one more thing about suicide: the despair that drives somebody to try to take their own life is very often the result of a mental illness, and that illness is a medical condition that can be treated. We hate to talk about mental illness, and we've certainly stigmatized it, but I urge everyone who is reading this not to ignore the medical aspects of depression.

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    1. God bless you for speaking so clearly. I pray for you, your wife and your family.

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  8. Jessica, your friend is indeed blessed to have you as a friend, God bless you for reaching out to him. Tim, your children are blessed to have you as their father. You are ALL in my prayers!

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  9. Joseph A. SantosJune 3, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Jessica, thank you for what you have done for your friend. Your friend is truly blessed to have you there in his time of need. I have had too many students who did not have someone to talk to and subsequently were successful in their attempt at suicide. Once again a Rohr child leads the way. God bless you.

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  10. Kudos to you Ms. Jessica. Your friend is lucky to have you. You are an inspiration.
    Tun Pedro Santos

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  11. Every situation is unique. Jessica did what she thought would work for her friend in this instance, and achieved a positive outcome. In many cases the only valuable thing we can do is listen well to a person who has verbalized suicidal ideation. Yes, many of these individuals (it can be any of us depending on our arsenal of coping mechanisms) just need to say it out loud to someone empathetic enough to care. Chuck White is right on, ask those two critical questions first to initially assess the situation. Failure to determine clinical intervention can trigger recurrence and ultimately a successful suicide. To anyone who cares to take heed: please do not take upon yourself what might be fatal to a friend, and what may entail a lifetime of blame on your part.

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    1. Getting a person to verbalize what he or she is thinking when feeling depressed and suicidal is a very important process. It helps the listener determine the seriousness of the person's situation and take appropriate measures. At this stage it is important to be an active listener, paying close attention to what is said and the emotional content that accompanies the words. Be nonjudgmental, caring, and supportive when communicating with him/her. Help that person see a clinician as soon as possible.
      Prayers for those who are contemplating suicide. May they reach out to God and trust that He will replace despair with hope and love.

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  12. I almost thought she was in the ncw.

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  13. Marilu Diaz MartinezJune 3, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    That Jessica’s peers respect, trust and look up to her and regard her enough to seek her out when they feel lost, distraught or even despondent, is telling about Jessica herself, her family life, her upbringing and about her loving and caring parents.

    Thank you Jessica for being an inspiration to many young adults. Thank you too, to Tim and his wife. We see the fruits of your parental efforts and sacrifices -- applied in the Catholic way.

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  14. Joe R. San AgustinJune 3, 2015 at 8:57 PM

    Jessica - I think you have done more than what a trained professional mediator would have done. The Holy Spirit was using you as His instrument. You must have been a true believer of the Prayer of St. Francis of Asassi (Lord, make me an instrument of your peace). We pray that that person now is at peace both with himself, and with God - thanks to God. God bless you, young lady.

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  15. God put you in the right place at the right time with the right tools. What a blessing for your friend! Now that you've established some trust with him, like Chuck White said, encourage him to seek professional, medical attention.

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  16. Now Let's get back at trash talking the bishop

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    1. What's wrong, Arch? Can't sleep?

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    2. Yes, what is wrong with you, 1:06 AM? JW bloggers are simply celebrating an exemplary deed by a young lady. It is one of the few positive bit of news that we have seen here in a while. What, with all the unsavory messes that archbishop and his ilk like luis camacho have done without our help. Quite honestly we will all be served well if apuron just takes off to any neo getaway haven for good. We won't even talk about him when he is gone, just a distant memory. He is not worth our attention at all. Why can you not allow us to relish good news for a change? This blog is not about apuron, akthough he keeps intruding into our lives. As far as we know, there is no archbishop of Guam although there is one neo presbyter puppet masquerading as one. He is simply propped up by his masters to allow neo to thrive in Guam, but he is not doing a decent job anymore.

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  17. Gerald A. TaitanoJune 4, 2015 at 4:17 AM

    Jessica, good job.

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  18. Fine work, young lady.

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  19. Thank you everyone for your kind comments and advice.
    I just wanted to share that before I started doing and saying what described in the post above, my friend had already informed me that his mental health doctor was off island. By the end of the night, my friend was calm and took his medication during a meal. I've been close to this friend for a few years, so I knew about his mental/emotional instability already and could also see how his lack of faith in God was affecting him. So by the time I had the conversation I described above, I had already figured out how to deal with the situation in the absence of his doctor and realized a particular and recent occurrence was the main trigger for his level of depression in that moment. I addressed that trigger and tried to convince him, basically, that God didn't hate him and that things could get better if he changed his attitude.
    He's been doing really good so far, but I decided I'm going to make sure his doctor knows about what happened.

    Please follow Mr. White's advice before you follow mine.

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  20. Now go help all the Neos who feel like killing themselves because of the constant bullying and shit-talking you guys do :)

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    1. Diana will take care of them. She knows evetything.

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