Like many, many people I have been suicidal. As a teenager, but most severely with post partum depression after Ainsley was born. Though last year was pretty rough. Maybe the best way to say it is that every time I’m experiencing it is the worst time because it’s happening to me right then.
But, today I’m not. And it’s important to note that between these episodes there are years in which I am perfectly fine, happy and optimistic.
Thankfully each time I’ve had the mental wherewithal to realize that my suicidal thoughts were not normal. And to seek help. Of course, more than once I was prescribed the wrong medication, making me more suicidal. Gladly, I recognized that too and quit taking said medication.
After 38 years, having bouts of moderate to severe to crippling anxiety and depression I have finally found a mood stabilizer that works for me. I’ve also realized that my brain can’t handle not exercising. I also know that every time I drink, even a little bit, I can expect to have a down day the next day.
I have also learned to ignore my depressing and anxious thoughts. Not entirely yet. But I now know that if I entertain them, they will do me great and terrible harm. So, I dismiss them quickly. Sometimes I make lists of things that are awesome to quiet them. I keep a little box with compliments people have given me, so I can look at them and remember who I really am.
Also, I know that filtering the types of media and entertainment I allow into my brain has an impact on my outlook on life. Meditating is essential, not just when I’m depressed, but to keep me out of it. Listening to my inner voice can not be undervalued.
I also know that while it’s easy to isolate, that’s the worst thing I can do.
The best thing to do is to act as if I am not depressed and to continue to make myself do the things I would normally do: exercise, work, hang out with friends, show up at book club, call someone who loves me, accept help in any form it comes in, etc.
I’ve learned not to freak out when an emotional dip comes. I just do what I need to do to take care of myself and remind myself that it has always lifted and will again. In fact, I now recognize it as a clear warning from my soul to slow down, get quiet, and now, finally, I listen.
I’ve come to a place, finally, that I have learned to manage my natural tendencies and chemical imbalances. Some of it is inherited, a fair bit of it has been hormonal, some has been situational, but a lot of it is manageable with good habits and paying attention to my environment.
I’m lucky. When I get into a dark place I know I’m in a dark place. I’ve taken advantage of help available, even when I didn’t think I could. Some people don’t know they are in a dark place, they just think it’s a normal place. Some people don’t know how to get help.
Hang on. Get help. If that doesn’t work, get help from someone else. Don’t give up. It will clear, it will. One day you’ll wake up and feel a little better. Get your body moving and shift the energy in it. Make lists of your good attributes, make lists of people who do love you, make lists of things and people worth living for. Lists give you perspective – and something to do with yourself.
Don’t do it. It’s a trap. LIVE.
Help me change my life? That’s exactly what Tracee Sioux does every day for her clients. You can find out more by subscribing to her newsletter.