How I bounced back from the brink of suicide
Photo by Scott Abraham on Unsplash
I can?t talk you out of doing something you want to do, but I can tell you what clicked for me after living in darkness for over two years and suffering from suicidal ideation.
I calculated the number of pills I had to take to trigger a total organ failure, figured out the dosing over a 24 hour period so my body wouldn?t reject them, and I set them next to my bed to desensitize myself to them.
In the evenings after work I would be at the gym lifting weights and getting in enough cardio so I could wear my body down to the point where I would just fall asleep as soon as I got home.
Not to mention I was afraid of being at home with those pills.
While at the gym I would put my hoodie over my head so no one could see the tears streaming down my face as I pedaled on that damn bike.
On one evening in particular I felt the need to reach out to a friend of mine, someone I had known for half a decade and who I love dearly to this day. She had been present in my life long before the darkness descended upon me and she was a solid source of support and blunt feedback when I needed her.
A year prior to this night she confessed she had feelings for me and wanted to explore those feelings with me. I didn?t feel the same way about her so I was upfront with her and after a few months our friendship returned to normal.
When I reached out to her on this night I asked her,
?When you wanted to date last year? Did I not seem broken to you? What was it you saw in me??
Her response was prompt and simple, as usual.
?I never saw you as broken. You are complex, Rick. High highs and low lows.?
In that moment my entire perspective changed. I had been trying to ?fix? myself for years when I was never even broken to begin with. I let external circumstances and past mistakes determine who and what I was and all it took to change that was using a different word to describe the underlying reason I felt my emotions so strongly, and why I would also feel so empty, and why I would sometimes feel nothing at all.
That night changed everything for me
Had I not been given that gift I might not be here to type this, but once that gift was given to me it was still up to me to use it. She had no idea I was getting ready to kill myself, all she did was answer a question ? it was my decision to replace ?broken? with ?complex? to save my life.
Do not wait for someone else to save you.
You have all the power in the universe to alter your perspective on life, your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Start taking action today
With that being said, you can start taking actionable steps today to improve your mood and trigger the release of certain chemicals and hormones that will help.
- Download Headspace and start meditating for 10 minutes a day every morning. You are not your emotions or your thoughts. You simply experience them. The sooner you get into the habit of daily meditation the sooner your emotions and thoughts will lose their grasp on you.
- Go to a gym. Preferably choose a group fitness style gym like CrossFit or Orange Theory, something that uses a community atmosphere for encouragement and accountability.
- Eat a healthy diet of fresh food ? I don?t care if you?re vegetarian or vegan or a carnivore ? avoid processed garbage.
- Do a Google search for volunteering options nearby and find a way to give your time to someone or some organization that needs it.
- Think of something you?ve always wanted to try and take a class in it (cooking, a sport, improv, writing, public speaking, etc) that is going to force you to be around other people and get outside your comfort zone.
- Spend time with friends. Don?t just text or call, be physically present around other human beings who love you.
- Write. It doesn?t matter how shitty of a writer you are, when you have dark thoughts just write them down. Start a note in your phone and record them. Plain and simple, but you have to get those thoughts out of your head so they?ll stop banging around up there.
- In addition to writing, find a way to express yourself creatively that you love ? painting, drawing, singing, playing music ? I don?t care, just find something and don?t make excuses.
Have you been through a similar experience? How did you deal with it? What did you do to pull yourself out of it? Comment below and share if you?re comfortable doing so, you never know who you might help.
If you enjoyed this please hit that ?? button so more awesome humans like you can see it as well (did you know you can clap up to 50 times for one post?), and I would super appreciate it if you shared it with the first person who comes to mind .
FYI: I originally posted this on Quora.
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