*I am not a licensed counselor and please DO NOT use this information in place of seeking professional help.
My heart is so so heavy. News from my hometown came yesterday that a sweetheart from my high school days died, most likely from suicide. Oh man. She was a couple of years behind me in school and while my contact post-Waseca was primarily Facebook, the impact of her death is nonetheless jarring.
As I tried to settle my mind last night, I was overwhelmed with an intense desire to quantify and make absolute sense of suicide. AND PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN! Impossible yes. A method of coping, yes. In my own life, primarily in my teens and early 20’s, I wrestled with my own existence, so much so that I was hospitalized twice for depression and anxiety and not feeling safe in my own head. It has been a journey, a worthwhile journey, to uncover what those thoughts were asking of me and then collaborate with food, yes food, therapists, psychiatrists, massage therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, family, friends, God/Source, and ultimately have a plan for when these thoughts of ending my life may show up. (I absolutely feel safe so please don’t be alarmed. I share this mostly for context.) My thoughts were a reflection of my comprehensive health. They were begging me to slow down, connect with Source, and develop a strategy for being a hyper-aware soul in a sometimes harsh world. It was imperative for me to find a way to express my creativity and desire to be a connector of people and ideas. It’s a work in progress. And I don’t do it alone.
As Mike and I were having coffee this morning we were talking about the fact that many, many people will consider ending their life at one time or another. I do think it is a normal question. I think it’s a healthy question. I think the answer is always, always NO. When I say normal and healthy, I understand that that may spark some controversy. And yet I think it’s essential to normalize this question. Making the conscious choice to live or die is a fundamental reckoning in my opinion. Let’s bring it out of the shadows where it’s draped in shame!
When one is wracked with pain, relief is an appropriate vibration to try to find. And when pain seems permanent, like there’s no solution, no way out, the idea of death can provide that relief. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE TIME TO ACT. I sincerely believe that any feeling of relief is okay and THEN A PLAN MUST TO ENACTED. The relief is a signal, A GIANT SIGNAL, that you are NOT TO ATTEMPT THIS ALONE. This is the beacon that you’re on a permanent path with temporary feelings. WAIT! Feelings won’t kill you. Acting will. Wait.
If you’ve ever grappled with suicidal thoughts, have a plan. When a major player in your life leaves the planet in such a painful way, it’s understandable that you may be triggered. Please, please know that your time is not up and this pain, while unimaginable, will shift. If you’re triggered today because of a loss, have a plan. If you’re in crisis:
- Breathe. In. Breathe. Out.
- Feel all the feelings. Trying to stop them is why you want relief. Feel them. Let them pass. They will. The feelings will not kill you though they may feel unbearable. If you have the capacity for the depth of the feeling, you have the strength in you to let it go through. You are the sky. The feelings are the clouds. You will integrate.
- Call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741. SOMEONE IS THERE!
- Call someone and tell them how much you love them. LOVE IS A VIBRATION AND YOU WILL FEEL IT AS YOU GIVE IT. Any shred of LOVE may bridge you to the next feeling where you are more safe, less volatile.
- Commit to yourself that NO decisions are made in the middle of any of the feelings. They WILL pass even if they seem pervasive. THEY ALWAYS PASS. WAIT.
- Move. I MEAN IT. Move. Go for a walk. JUST MOVE.
- Eat. Seriously. Your brain is in desperate need of nourishment when thoughts like this take over.
- DON’T DO THIS ALONE.
When the crisis period passes, it’s essential to develop a team. WE ARE MEANT TO BE CONNECTED. It is imperative to have a support system that is a combination of professionals and loved ones.
- Seek out counseling.
- Make bodywork a priority. Touch is integral to healing.
- Walk. Every. Damn. Day. Or find a way to move daily.
- Find a practitioner like an acupuncturist or naturopath who specializes in herbs and supplements. Minerals matter!
- Make a pact that food will be a piece of the solution. Food is medicine.
- And speaking of medication, it is NOT a failure. It can be a major necessity while you’re learning coping skills.
- Surrender and practice meditation & prayer. Every. Single. Day. Create a refuge for pausing. It. Is. Essential.
- Treat your comprehensive health as though your life depends on it. It does.
Today, if you’re struggling, know that you are loved, oh so loved. You matter. You are imperative. For those hurting from this loss, know that I share this pain. Seek refuge in BIG LOVE. Feel it. Huddle together today.