Spiritual Life and Leadership
59. How I Survived Suicide, with Steve Austin, author of Catching Your Breath
Nov 18, 2019
While we cover some delicate ground in this episode, Steve Austin’s story of surviving suicide is one of hope. He doesn’t avoid the reality of what led him to attempt to take his life by suicide, but he also doesn’t hide the healing he has experienced in the years that followed. Steve Austin offers a story of hope for all who are looking for healing and wholeness in their lives. And he offers a picture of the kind of healing that I believe God wants for all creation to experience.
THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- Steve Austin is a suicide survivor, as well as the author of Catching Your Breath and host of the Catching Your Breath podcast.
- Steve grew up in a very fundamentalist Christian culture.
- Steve is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His family thought he wouldn’t remember—which he didn’t until he was in high school.
- From the age of 17-29, Steve’s anxiety and depression got worse and worse.
- Steve hid his medication because he didn’t want his church thinking the pastor is taking “crazy pills.”
- At the age of 29, Steve attempted to take his life by suicide. He believed the lie that he was a burden to his wife, his child, his friends and family—and thought it would be a gift to remove himself from their lives.
- Mental illness and traumatic experiences exacerbate one another.
- After his suicide experience, Steve felt anger, grief, and fear of people knowing the truth.
- Steve eventually shared his full story with a trusted friend.
- Steve’s wife committed to staying with him. She said, “I don’t think the worst day of your life gets to define the rest of your life unless you let it.”
- Steve has become much more open to his own wounds and more open to the wounds of others.
- Steve Austin says he is now certain that God loves him—and that’s about all he is certain of.
- Markus and Steve discuss the reality that the way to peace is through suffering.
- The reason Steve didn’t succumb to cynicism or deeper suffering is because he was loved. He also allowed himself to feel all the feelings—fear, anger, doubt, and so forth.
- Steve had to let go of the fear of what everyone else is going to think.
- Steve discusses how leaders can help people struggling with mental illness.
- You can find out more about Steve Austin at www.catchingyourbreath.com and click on “Start Here.”
RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
- Steve Austin:
- Books mentioned: