I have lived with severe clinical depression my entire adult life. I was raised in a family where suicide attempts were a form of communication. Over the past week, a dear friend lost his life to suicide. “Coincidentally”, another friend of mine showed up on exactly the same day completely distressed when a member of her family also attempted suicide (thankfully unsuccessfully) the very same day. Ironically, my daughter and I had just finished a long talk about the wave of suicides we are hearing about from all channels in our world. We are perplexed, concerned and deeply saddened.
The most frightening thing right now is that I know I have friends and people mixed into my world who may be considering suicide as an option for their own life situations. How terrifying. So if that’s you – here’s is a letter. Please read, share and keep it – if you think suicide is an option, I’d like you to consider the alternatives. Someone loves you. Now – YOU need to love YOU.
We are together, you and I, on this planet, in this life at this time trudging the “happy road of destiny”. We are here for a purpose – you, me and us and them. Every day we wake,we work, play, love, cry, sing, laugh, eat and sleep – all beside one another; house to house, country to country – we are together – there are no divisions. We make those up. Maybe we don’t talk, or maybe we haven’t even met – but at some level deep down in our cells, you are my family and you are loved. .
When I was suicidal I had thoughts like…”My family would be better without me”- I can’t do this anymore” – “Life is too hard” – “No one loves me – I am not worth loving” – THIS will never get better…and so on.
You know the thoughts -the ones that run through your mind unbidden and seemingly of their own volition.
I have had thoughts like this. My mind has managed to trick me so many times.
And if you are feeling this way – having those thoughts – rest assured it isn’t you – it’s your mind.
We can create all sorts of science around emotions, the mind and our behaviour – but the bottom line is that if you are thinking that life isn’t worth living – you are suffering from a disconn3ection from your very basic nature – your most awesome nature – you’re divine and amazing SOUL.
I know I know – you’re depressed and you don’t want to hear about your soul. BUT – it’s your soul that isn’t being heard by you – you are listening to your mind…and the mind is a scary place! DO NOT visit that neighbourhood without a friend – my mother used to tell me.
Smart lady. She was suicidal too – her first suicide attempt was when she was nine years old. By the time she passed away, she was my great6est teacher on being kinder to myself and avoiding such deep despairing thinking. The most important thing she taught me, the thought that hold my head above water is this
Whatever your problems are – they are changing, shifting right here and right now as you read this. They are becoming something else. Just another living situation. THAT’S LIFE!
You have to know how amazing you are. My sweet little friend Patrick never even got a chance to discover this.
When I was a high school sub for a while during one of my first years I had a grade seven science class for a whole year because their regular teacher had to take leave for chemotherapy. That year, I had quite a rowdy bunch of kids, my6 daughter included.
In the back of the class were three boys – the non-listening party boys. But they were sweet and I enjoyed their enthusiasm. Every day, the class would com3 in and we would do a lecture and then science experiments.
Of the three boys in the back of the class, Patrick was the “upcoming engineer” I always said. That year for science, he created a giant catapult for the fair. For a kid that was getting 20% when I started teaching, I was so proud of him.
But Patrick was often sad, bummed out – and angry. I would spend time with him outside the classroom talking, sitting on he floor. The year passed. Patrick missed allot of school and came in high too often – but passed his class anyways and we were all proud.
Then disaster. One day, the following year, I got a panicked phone call from my daughter – Patrick had killed himself by hanging the previous night. He was 13 years old. My heart shattered. He had broken up with his girlfriend, and in a frenzy of mismanaged emotions he consumned alcohol excessively and hung himself. AT the hospital, he awake and said how he hadnt really wanted to die – but the injuries were too much and he didnt make it. His best friends were there to see it all. Im sure we all think the same things…
Could I have done more? Why didnt he call? what the hell??
My best friend had committed suicide when I was 17 – I was so sad that my daughter had to have this sad experience.
Segue to Mike… A brilliant artist, teacher, and philosopher a friend shot himself in the head this week. Like Robin Williams, creative, smart and capable. I have things I would have liked to tell all them – all of them – Mike, Patrick, Dale, Valerie, Robin – all the people that have touched my life and have taken their own way out. If you are considering the worst option possible please take a moment. I hope my words can have some effect on someone somewhere…
- You are unique to the universe. THE UNIVERSE is HUGE! Nothing has ever been like YOU- AND NOTHING EVER WILL BE. Only YOU look like you, talk like you, think like you. Every single choice you make from the moment you wake in the morning – affects the world. Think about It’s a Wonderful Life when George Bailey gets to see what his world would be like without him. One person = an entire universe just inside of you. Wow. YOU are AWESOME.
- You are here for a reason – a purpose. Of course your purpose isn’t always obvious to you. Sometimes your “purpose” is just learning how to manage to suffering that naturally comes with life. That purpose is NOT your job, your social standing or how much money you make. Your purpose is not what you DO – but who you are. YOU ARE your purpose. And discovering how you tick, how to deal with your emotions and how to find balance in your life is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB YUOU HAVE. Getting to know your SELF is the ONLY reason you are alive. Every other situation in your life is only a vehicle to gain you understanding of who you are
- I know we all have a problem with the God word – and I am not religious, but I have come to an understanding that we are all a unique experience of God (energy, Source, Spirit, Buddha, Jesus, Yahweh, Allah) – that thing which makes us all and keeps the delicate balance) – in other words, 0 god lives inside of you – you are god – the energy of everything that is alive – is YOU. You cannot disappoint God – you don’t have to pray, worship or throw yourself down on your knees. But the easiest fastest way to really get to know that ETERNAL part of you -is by finding something that you are grateful for. Right here right now – name me five things you have gratitude for. If you can’t find five…keep thinking. You’re not trying hard enough.
- Think about the living. I realize you probably berate yourself for thinking about suicide because you know how selfish it would be to cause so much pain to the people who love you. It’s a nasty cycle – self hatred. Maybe “to the world you are one person – but to one person you are the world.” (again – thanks mom)
- THIS TOO SHALL PASS. LET IT GO. Whatever it is you think is so hard that it will never pass, never change and will ultimately destroy you –let it go. Just for a minute! You can do it. Your “problems” aren’t going anywhere. Let it GO – and discover that when you get back to it – something will have changed. When it does – express that gratitude to yourself!
Absolutely everything is changing every second of your life – NOTHING in life stays the same. Everything is progressing – the normal cycle – birth – life – death – birth – life – death. Not just people, animals and living creatures – but situations in your life also have a “birth – life – death” cycle. The more adamantly you hold on to something – things, thoughts, people, situations, money etc…- The more problems it will cause you.
I’ll say that again
– The more you grasp onto something – the harder it is to hold on to.
People, places and things – dn’t grasp.
I heard a woman once say “I never let go of anything without leaving deep claw marks in it”.
Yup – I can relate.
But know this – anything but the truth will weigh you down like a deadly anchor. And I will define Truth here as Maharishi did “The Truth is that which doesn’t change”.
What is it that doesn’t change? You have to find that for yourself.
What works for me…
Don’t be attached to your thoughts, your ideas, your money, your house, even your people. Just let everything be for what it is today. This is true freedom. In fact – you can’t “keep” anything.
NOTHING is yours. Not even your kids – by the way. They belong to themselves.
Things will change and transition and move and flux and flow – you can go with it – or fight it. But at the end of the day the truth still stands – THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
Whatever your troubles and problems your anxieties fears and insecurities – they will PASS.
If you want that to happen quickly rather than slowly – stop fighting – surrender to the uncontrollable events of life.
Surrender means – not spending energy or time trying to control what is out of your hands.
Here’s the tricky part – you have to decide what is and isn’t in your hands.
Back to the god thing – try the serenity prayer…it really works in focusing your thoughts. And remember YOU are god – so just pray and know that something inside you – the eternal thing – is listening.
ACCEPTANCE, COURAGE AND WISDOM – the ticket out of misery.
I hear you though;
“prayer…I don’t think so”.
I had said the same thing. But, the night I went to bed, after a seven week long extreme depression and made a final decision that I would be done with life that night, a small voice I my started saying the serenity prayer. An unlikely trigger reaction from a non-religious person.
Don’t detail out your problems to everyone. Pick a couple of people you trust, and share with the INTENTION of finding YOUR ROLE in that situation. If something is messed up for you – only you can find what can change inside yourself. The solutiuon is NEVER on the outside. Complaining about other people wioll only add to your misery.
Case in point…
I know a man who every time I have seen him for the last five year, he has talked to me about his anger, his absolute “hatred” of his ex wife, his concern for his daughter – legal struggles, unhappiness. Each time I see him he looks older and older.
It’s hard to talk and to listen to someone who seems t always be in the same messes and never says anything genuinely nice about his life. Last night we had yet another conversation, and he happened to mention “80% of men in my position commit suicide”.
Yes – probably that’s true. But you don’t have to be one of them.
You are loved.
You are beautiful.
You are incredibly unique and valuable
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