A few times in my life, since I was very young… depression and anxiety gave way to suicidal thoughts. However, in August 2013, after the devastating loss (by suicide) of someone very dear to my heart, those thoughts turned into actual PLANS. I researched all methods of suicide. Had plans to purchase what was necessary to carry out the method I chose. A date was set. My birthday, 2014. The stipulation in my mind, was, if things did not considerably improve by then, that would be “the day.” I would bring the necessary items with me, drive to a location away from family and friends, and that would be that.
One thing to understand about suicidal thoughts, plans, and deeds… it’s not always something that happened in that moment or that day that makes a person think about, plan, or succeed in taking their own life. That one thing may have been the feather that tipped the scale. Losing my beautifully unique and wonderful friend was that feather for me. But not in the ways you may think.
I was devastated that we (a huge family of people that love our friend tremendously) lost such a sparkly person from this earthly plane; of course! That is a given. There’s a hole in all our lives that will never be filled. But, I was also envious of his freedom. I could feel him at peace, free, flying on the breeze, basking in the glorious sky. I could feel him loving all of us at once. I wanted that relief for myself. I wanted the deep, constant emotional pain I was in for years, to stop.
Decades of life issues and depression had been weighing me down to the point of breaking. Life was overwhelming with many things. Childhood (and into adulthood) issues kept rearing their heads, namely, verbal abuse that has scarred me for life. That saying (I wish I knew who to credit for the quote): “It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult” hits home with me so strongly that it makes me want to cry whenever I see or hear it. Being told how worthless you are, what a stupid-ass you are, among many other hurtful things, takes a toll on your soul. No amount of material things, vacations, or external anything repairs that damage. Forgiveness and acceptance help, but don’t erase what happened. Internal work has to be done to heal.
The fact that I became my own abuser in many ugly ways. Verbal abuse became the familiar cloud in which I lived. It became my inner voice, as well as something I would allow from others. Additionally, I abused my body with destructive behaviors. When you’re told you’re worthless, sometimes you live as if you’re worthless. I truly did not know any better.
I was diagnosed with a vertigo/migraine condition, which took me out of work and productive life and resulted in an extreme lack of finances. I lost everything I ever had (including my independence) and that prompted the move into a difficult living environment.
Without going on and on with what sounds like excuses to me now, I’ll get to the feeling. It was so crushing… the despair. It got so detrimental, that it even scared _me_. I tried reaching out to people I thought were friends… and some family. To my amazement the response from a lot of them was mean, uncaring, avoidance, or something similar.
Somehow in all that gloominess, someone who had been one of my best friends when I was 14 came back into my life, and SAVED MY LIFE. I call him my “Lifeline Angel.” As teenagers we’d been the best of friends for a time. We reconnected at our too-soon-departed friend’s Celebration of Life event. On that day, it was as if 30 years had vanished, and the bond we had forged as teenagers was still there, stronger than ever.
The way that he helped me was by being available, validating my feelings, listening intently, reminding me of all the good things in life, the good things he saw in me, and the abundant love of the universe. He walked me through that excruciating time of sorrow and surrender. He never once judged me or my plans. He simply poured love and care out to me. He gave me reasons to STAY. He asked me, every day, to try something else in a long list of ideas he had, in order to keep me here for one more day. Gratitude is too small of a word for what I feel toward him.
During that time after our friend’s departure and my own suicidal plans, there were also few but WONDERFUL friends who remained by my side through it all, with love, understanding, and support. Blessings, they are. While we may not have been in daily contact, as I was for a time with my Lifeline Angel, they have always been there whenever I needed extra support. They are true, genuine friends.
The thing I did during that dark time was borrow the love and faith that those few beautiful beings had for me… until I could find it again within myself. No easy task, I assure you. It took DAILY reassurance for the better part of at least six months for me to be able to catch more than a glimpse of it for myself.
Finally, I was strong enough to endure the pain and cry in desperation, on my knees in a prayer, “I feel like my life has no purpose, what good is it that I’m useless here in a bedroom, trapped in a life where I’m not LIVING. If I’m supposed to be here… give me a clear sign of my purpose. PLEASE!!!” I was emotionally drained and exhausted after that, so I went to sleep.
Here’s the wild part. When I woke up, I logged into the computer. Got into email. There was a message about a Writer’s Workshop coming to San Francisco. As a “wow wouldn’t that be cool if I could afford it”, almost joke, I forwarded the email to someone I call my Helper Angel, who lives near the city. They made it possible for my attending that workshop to become a reality. Along with that, I was given strong intuitive feelings about the calling on my life. My purpose for being here. It is to help others by vulnerably sharing my experiences, my healing, my loving energy, and sometimes, tough love. My light grows brighter with each light that I help another find within themselves. They shine brighter and help others too.
I realize that many people may not feel they have the type of support I describe above. Believe me, I totally understand that depth of loneliness because I’ve been there many times before. The comforting news in this case, is that there are a multitude of resources and kind, loving people available to help you through.
Prior to being reconnected to my Lifeline Angel, I was already looking online at a couple of websites: Lost All Hope and Suicide Prevention Lifeline; both of which were extremely helpful to me. For one thing, they kept me busy reading, and gave me a twinge of feeling “not alone.” There is only respect there, and understanding. I also found Project Semicolon and the Facebook page, Out of the Darkness Walks.
Back to my purpose, my calling. It’s such a blessing to know and embrace your passion. The Universe truly does conspire to bring you what you need when you are ready for it. Last year, I not only bought my “Mental Fitness is the new Sexy” t-shirt and took the pledge, I am honored to have become a contributing writer for Let’s Get Mentally Fit – a wonderful site and community of empowering, loving people who all have that passion to help as many people as possible to live not only happily, but mentally fit.
Important to note here, is, the majority of conditions in my life have _not_ yet “considerably improved” as was my wish. What HAS changed, is my own perception, and not allowing what I call the Bully of Depression to bully me into those thoughts any more. Self-work, acceptance, and faith in the future helps tremendously. Giving to others in this way (blogs, life coaching, etc.), too, is a huge part of my healing.
I’ve been in the darkest, most unbearable grip of despair. I now have light to hold on to. I have a beautiful vision for the future. I have deep knowing of who my tribe is, and who is not. I have a passion to bring others out of the grips of hell that depression and low self-worth is, into the glorious sunshine! What I know now, is, we ALL deserve it. We’re ALL here for a reason. There are NO accidents or mistakes. I hope that I can honor my beautiful friend’s glittery memory by living in this way. I hope that I can help many others feel hope again.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your unique & beautiful spirit. There’s truly no one like you.