The silence of pain. The solitude of suffering. This lays the groundwork for a heart that gets weaker and weaker as it struggles and suffers alone. It is time for shattered silence.
Someone who considers killing themselves as an option to stop their pain feels hopeless. Feeling hopeless is THE worst feeling in the world.
It is not a cliche nor is it a flippant idea to stop right here and say that TALKING to someone is the first step out of the darkness. There is something truly significant for the human soul in realizing you are NOT alone. It can be that simple. No, not a total quick fix of course – but, it is a head-turn – it is a pause – it is a split second mind change.
Each story in this documentary is shared by the person who experienced it, so all true stories. They are raw, authentic, painful yet hope-filled. The thread that ties them all together is the sharing of their pain, and how shattering their own silence, saved them. In retrospect, their pain became their story, which in turn became their purpose.
The mental health issues presented through the true struggles of real people are as follows: depression, PTSD, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, sexual abuse, and suicide. The film itself is divided into chapters. In the DVD version, you are able to click on whichever chapter would interest you if you did not want to view the whole film. (for a free copy go to our website). We have the full-length version which is 82 minutes but also a specially crafted version for young people that is 33 minutes (one for public school use and one for church youth groups.)
Shattered Silence: The Stories
We interviewed people from all walks of life – war veterans, doctors, funeral home directors, parents, young people, artists, well-known people and people lost in the cracks of society. People are all the same. We all feel the same aloneness. We all face the same struggles that come with this journey called LIFE.
The difference for someone in whether or not they survive may be the presence of one other person. Are we our brother’s keeper? Yes, yes we are. It matters that you pay attention to those around you. And that you go the extra mile. It matters that you do not become so self-consumed that you cease to notice the pain of humanity. “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)
What IF there is no one there for you? Can you still make it? Yes. This is a hidden truth that has been lost in the noise of our society and victimized culture. We CAN be our own heroes. Nobody really wants to hear this. It is easier to blame someone else and wallow in our suffering than to try to save ourselves.
I myself went through an extremely dark place in my soul. And in the middle of one particularly dark night, I heard the voices – I heard the lies – I considered the option. But for a moment. I quickly knew at that moment the choice was mine and mine alone and no one was riding in on a white horse to save me. I had to save myself. So I pulled the brakes – I stopped myself from sliding down that slippery slope – I literally just changed my own mind in a simple split second.
“Through our pain and suffering we must fight to survive, taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions so that out of the darkness we will rise to our true potential.” (Joseph Channell/Shattered Silence)
Final Words: Shattered Silence
Yes, we need each other. We need to talk and confess and vent. Yes, we need to shatter and annihilate the silence that suffocates us. But we also are stronger than we have been told – we are stronger than we even know ourselves. We can choose to live, and not die. As we choose life, we will inadvertently be turning our eyes to our Creator. And then HE will show up in the split second of our decision to live, and He will replace sorrow with joy and change hopelessness to hope.
“Jesus Christ answered and said, I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE.” (John 14:6) All of our hope is found in Him. It’s that simple really – talk to someone, talk to yourself, talk to Him. Just talk and shatter the silence.
Shattered Silence. For anyone you know (or you yourself) who needs to know that they are not alone in their suffering, and who needs to be reminded of how strong they are and how much they matter.
Watch more here.