Finding Your Personal Mission
Pandemic Stress and Suicidal Thoughts
James McNeil pt 2
For many of our military veterans and for our police officers and other first responders, suicidal thoughts are real. Every one of us, I’m both prior military and law enforcement, every one of us knows more than one person who has decided to make a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
My guest today, James McNeil, is a two time attempted suicide survivor. He has written a book that details the obstacles he faced – and overcame – on his journey to eliminate suicidal thoughts from his life. In this book he shares how you can do the same.
The book is titled, “Finding Your Personal Mission,” and here to talk about his book is the author, James McNeil. James, thank you for joining us on the program today.
In your book, you talked about not having a transferable skill when you left the military, I can relate to that.
It took me over 10 years to be able to discuss my leaving the military without being consumed by anger. I did not even realize I had issues until I was taking Psychology classes and they were discussing anger, stress, depression, etc. It was only then I realized I had been “pinging” every one of the symptoms for clinical depression. Severe depression. Including thoughts of suicide (this was 1997, five years after my decision to commit suicide).
Even now, 30+ years later, I realized it has only been a few years that I actually “forgave” those that had, in my opinion, wronged me. I held on to that all of those years.
In your book, “Finding Your Personal Mission,” you go into this. Tell us about the relationship between anger and unforgiveness and how that relates to suicidal thoughts.
You work with people who have attempted suicide. I have always said, “It takes one to know one.” It takes a former alcoholic to minister to an alcoholic effectively. It takes a former drug addict to minister to a drug addict effectively. If someone who has never taken a drink in their life tried to talk to me about giving up alcohol, I would not listen to a word they would have said. Same thing with suicidal thoughts.
How did you get started ministering to those who came back from the edge?
And have you found they can listen to you and relate to you because you are able to relate to them?
It is kind of like the military. People who have never been in the military cannot understand some, or most, of the stresses we are talking about when veterans leave the military and try to adapt to civilian life. If I try to share some experiences with someone who has never been, I just get the “whatever” look. And, although my combat experience was nowhere near the level of what our troops have been going through for the last 20 years, I got out in 1989, I was in during Grenada, Panama, etc. Although the experiences were different, there is still that “understanding.”
That is what you bring to the table in your efforts to help those who have had, or are having, suicidal thoughts.
You use a term called, “Pouring from an empty cup.” Can you explain what it is you mean by that and how someone can apply it to their life?
James, your book, “Finding Your Personal Mission,” is awesome. I know this is going to help a lot of people. YOU are already helping a lot of people. Just by coming on this program today, you are helping a lot of people.
Your book is available on Amazon, correct?
If someone wanted to get in touch with you, to ask a question, get some guidance on things we talked about today, etc. How can they do that? How can someone get in touch with you?
Folks, suicide rates are increasing right now. This pandemic has created new stresses. Some people that were barely holding it together are suddenly finding themselves isolated, unemployed, broke, etc. Many are making that permanent decision.
As James said, he just wanted to go to sleep until the pain left.
There are people, veterans, first responders, who have had to deal with so much in recent years…and now this.
You need to get this book. You need to get multiple copies of this book, “Finding Your Personal Mission.” Two, three or four copies. Pass them out. If you know of someone who has been hurting, possibly someone exhibiting some of the signs and symptoms James McNeil has described today, give them a copy of this book. Or give their spouse a copy of this book. Do whatever it takes to get this book into their hands.
Get a copy for your pastor. Your doctor.
This situation is real. The threat is real. The ultimate decision is real. And once made, it is a rare occurrence to have someone come back from the edge. James did. I did, with a direct intervention of God Himself (which is why I’m in the ministry today and interview people such as James McNeil).
Go down into the show notes. Reach out to James. Go to the Facebook group link and join there. Use the book link to order a copy of James book, “Finding Your Personal Mission.”
As I said, order two, three or four copies. Sow it into someone’s life. Do it right now, while you are thinking about it. Don’t wait. Do it now.