A national suicide prevention group emailed me asking if I had any video blogs about this issue for Suicide Prevention Month. I didn't, until now, but it's certainly an issue I can speak of. I've never known anyone who has ever committed suicide. BUT the truth is that I have personally dealt with the feelings of wanting to for most of my adult life.
Perhaps it wasn’t always on a determined level, maybe it's just a "Why bother wearing my seatbelt?" or "I wouldn't mind if I died today," kind of level. For almost all of my adult life, the feeling was there, whether the thought was or not.
I grew up in a really confusing and abusive home. A lost kid who turned into a troubled teen who eventually became a very broken adult. My life has always been this perfect balance of good and bad, which sounds great when you say it but sometimes you get exhausted from the highs and lows. Balance is not actually what we seek in life.
The truth is that I've done some amazing things with my life. I've met some amazing people, been to some amazing places, and have some really cool accomplishments behind me. BUT I have also fucked up my life on a level that used to seem overwhelming. Here’s the “balance” we don’t actually want. Along with all of those great accomplishments I have also, and equally, made some really stupid decisions in my life and done things I feared I would never be able to overcome.
It's daunting and suffocating to realize YOU are your own worst enemy in this life and so I know what it feels like to wonder what the point of all of this is. I know what it feels like to want to start all over. Hit the restart button in life. I used to just want to run away...from everything...
This is where suicide thoughts come in. You want to run away from everything until you realize it is YOU you're running from...and then when you discover you can't run from yourself you consider killing yourself. That's the truth.
BUT HERE IS THE POINT OF ALL OF THIS.
I have been there. I have seen that side of the dark world we live in. I have lived inside the darkness of my own mind. I have been on the edge of death, staring at what seems more like a "new start" than a "bad ending". By the time I was 16 I had ran away from home a dozen times. By the time I was 18 I was pregnant and homeless, literally living on the streets. I decided to give my son up for adoption and that decision broke my spirit down on a level I couldn’t seem to recover from, and when I was 19 I tried killing myself for the first time. By the time I was 20 I was in jail (for stealing something I didn’t even need to steal), just because I was desperate for attention from someone I thought loved me. I felt like I had officially ruined my life past the point of return and so by the time I was 22 years old I took some pills and tried killing myself again.
Here’s the shitty difficult part about life. Once you’ve headed down the wrong path in life it’s almost impossible to break free into a new life because it seems as though every single time you try to get ahead SOMEONE SOMEWHERE tries dragging you back down. And it’s exhausting. HOLY SHIT is it exhausting.
There has always been this haunting following of every mistake I have ever made, and for the longest time that haunting spoke to me.
What I discovered is what actually feels overwhelming is IF and WHEN your past feels more powerful than your future.
THAT is what’s hard to break free from.
But it doesn’t always have to feel that way.
I want to tell you the things that I did, consistently and slowly through time, to help grow out of my depression and thoughts of suicide.
10 THOUGHTS & THINGS THAT CAN HELP CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
1. You have to stop thinking that the world is a fair or unfair place. It's neither, it's both - and it's not personal. It doesn’t matter. It’s the personalizing of the world around you that is weighing you down. I know, because I used to do it. And it’s a heavy feeling to carry. Never measure yourself or your life up against anyone else. Never consider anyone else’s life around you. It’s better, it’s worse, it doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with you. Besides, when we compare ourselves to others it’s wildly unfair because we always and only compare the best of them against the worst of us. We never even do it evenly. It’s not fair.
2. Believe in the order, trust the process. Stop leaving things to “chance”. There are no accidents in the universe. Everything you have ever been through is preparing you for something in your future. There is an order to the universe. Just like there’s a natural order in nature, you are part of the natural order in this world.
3. Look in the mirror and say it out loud “There’s only one you in this world”. On this entire planet there is only ONE YOU and you have something to bring to this world that no one else can bring in the way that you can bring it. There is something unique and special about you. You may be thinking there’s nothing unique or special about you. YES there is! There is actually something that you can do, in the way that you can personally do it, that’s better than anyone else on this planet. There’s something you’re supposed to do, give, sing, teach, be, love, draw, write, play, live…your energy, the energy of your spirit, is attached to one or more verbs in this life. Your job right now is to find it.
4. You have to understand that there is a higher power, something greater than you, that can guide you through this. God. The energy of life. The force within us. The omni-present being alive in this world. Call him/her/it what you will…it IS God. And it is very real. You are part of me, of us all. We are all connected in this world. We are all extensions of the same energy. Allow that energy to guide you, and trust in it, believe in it, and live every day in the awareness of its presence in you and all around you.
5. Be your own hero. You’ll never meet anyone who will save you. Many will help you. Many will pick you up along the way. Some may even nurse you back to life, but no one but you can save you. I am the hero of my own story. Sometimes when I’m having a really shitty day, and I feel like the world is coming down around me, I honestly just look in the mirror and say out loud “It’s just us today”. I have found comfort in loving myself and being my own best friend.
You often times feel alone because you have spent your life relying on those around you to save you…and time and time again they have all, in some way, disappointed you. They’re always going to, and that’s okay, because they’re all supposed to be the heroes of their own stories too. You’re on stage in your own life, front and center. Act like you own it. Make yourself proud. Laugh at yourself more. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Many of you are lonely….and you want to find your “person” in this world? Let me remind you that you cannot ever give that which you do not have to give. LOVE BEGINS WITH YOURSELF. You will never be able to fully love another human being until you first learn how to love yourself.
6. There is nothing you will ever go through in life that someone hasn’t already been through. There is someone on this planet that understands you. And even if the issue isn’t always the same, the feelings usually are. YOU ARE NOT, YOU HAVE BEVER BEEN, NOR WILL YOU EVER TRULY BE ALONE.
7. Most people see the world as they are and not as it really is. The world is not as cold as your life may feel right now. It’s not as lonely as you feel. It’s not as judgmental or as callous. It’s actually an incredible, beautiful, loving place. You’re living in a cold space, with very little love, little to no sunlight…and I’m telling you to step over just a bit and realize there’s plenty of what you’re looking for if you would just move into the light.
We all find what we are looking to find. So if all you’re seeing is the bad stuff, my question to you is, why is that all you’re looking for? Start looking for the beauty in it all, it’s all around you. What you choose to see IS a choice.
8. Don’t let the bad one’s get to you. You can’t rid the world of bad people. Learn to ignore them and move forward. Stop allowing them to get to you. Stop giving them any of your energy. STOP STOPPING on the side of the road for them. It’s like you’re driving down the road every day and you see someone who is holding up a sign that says, “You’re not good enough”. DO NOT PULL OVER FOR THAT GUY holding that sign. Don’t pull over in life for the people holding signs that hold you down.
9. The top 5 people you spend the most time with are the people who are influencing you the most. If those people are not living a life YOU ultimately want to be living you need to replace them with 5 more people who can help guide you. Surround yourself with people you want to be LIKE, NOT people who you ARE LIKE! It’s the number one way to get ahead in life; surround yourself with better people who are already “ahead” of you.
10. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know when you didn’t know it. And forgive yourself for knowing and doing it anyway. Forgiveness is key to moving forward in life. It’s okay, we have all effed up, and we’ve all been “there”. We’ve all fallen and failed. Spend a moment in your life today, write down all of the things you’re mad about, ashamed of, pissed off about, hurt from, and can’t seem to get over and forgive it all. All of them and all of you. That was yesterday, today is a new day, tomorrow’s even better!
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