Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Talking Myself Out of Suicide

Don't be alarmed... I am out of the woods. What I'd like to write about is the turning point when I stopped thinking about death as a way out of pain and despair.

For a brief recap, I've had suicidal urges twice. When I was 43, the pain in my body became so overwhelming, I could no longer work. I had no one who could take care of me, and I lost all hope. I was a single mom of a teenage boy. How would I support him? In addition to the usual amount of depression I endured, I decided I couldn't live with intense muscular-skeletal pain, and my son was independent and could survive without me.

I never got as far as figuring out how I would end my life. I just had a death wish. The new pain management doctor I found nipped this in the bud with a cocktail of medication. The trouble was, without a sense of purpose besides being a patient to my doctors, and without meaningful relationships which I lacked the skills to develop, I lost the will to live on this planet in a physical body. Medication could not provide those for me. They only sedated me, further separating me from the people I wanted to be in relationship with.

In 2011, the year after I stopped taking 11 medications cold turkey, I began to accept medication again. After swallowing the first Cymbalta tablet, I disassociated and became suicidal in addition to everything else. All I could think about was walking up to the road at night and getting hit by a truck. (I was able to walk at the time.) The only thing that stopped me was the possibility I might survive and be in worse pain than I already was.

With bouts of depression consuming huge chunks of my life with no access to adequate counseling or solutions along with relentless chronic pain, I began a personal quest for solutions of my own in 2013, once I became aware there was another way of BEing.

I could not forget how I felt during the three-month manic high I experienced in 2010, when I felt no pain, could walk, enjoyed going to social events, and saw a vision of the amazing life I could have... one that provided me with PURPOSE. I could not forget the spiritual voice that telepathically told me to use the talents I was blessed with, and I've been writing about what I discover ever since. I also could not forget the experience I had when I totaled my GMC Sonoma (more below).

That rare and only manic high I experienced included a huge vision that dissipated after a few months and hasn't returned. In my big dream mind, I was going to be a famous (well-known) author who traveled, got paid to speak, met other famous people like Louise Hay and Greg Braden, had the ability to donate to many different charity foundations, and was a catalyst for enriching the lives of many people. The vision also included meeting famous singers who wanted to sing the songs I wrote. I yearned to do much more in making a difference on the planet.

Stress, depression, pain, and fatigue put the breaks on. Losing my ability to walk again did, too. Lack of adequate transportation didn't help, so I became isolated. As time went by, I withdrew into myself and developed phobias of the outside world.

In the meantime, because I am a perfectionist and have unrealistic expectations, I've been hard on myself for being a 'slow learner.' I have at my fingertips a wealth of knowledge to absorb via the internet and all the books I read and have read... all of which I can do from the comfort of home. Perhaps there is an alternative vision I am to pursue. What will I do with all this knowledge besides blogging about it?

In 2014, I found the book, God Is A Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism. What I still remember in this book is the part about our purpose: RAISE HOLY SPARKS... in any way we can. Even one person can do this. Even me. Even from bed. But how?

Meditation.

In 2015, I found Dr. David Burns' book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy which gave me an introduction to psychology with the ten cognitive distortions. I learned how to challenge my thoughts once I became aware of them and reframe, but it didn't help with pain, fatigue, and the limitations I was faced with. Maybe there would be something I could do that didn't require as much energy.

Meditation.

At some point I realized I had guardian angels who were keeping me alive... so I concluded I must have a purpose for being here. But what? Religion didn't give me reasons to be here... and most described heaven as the place I'd rather be. No amount of medication alleviated the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain I was suffering from. No amount of medication alleviated the isolation and loss of purpose when I spent most of my life in bed.

In 2018, I came across the book, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers. I found a new friend who was experiencing what I had been experiencing. She had learned Buddhist principles which helped her deal with her challenges. I learned more about acceptance and surrendering through...

Meditation.

(By the way, I resisted meditating in case you haven't figured that out yet. I only did relaxation exercises to fall asleep at night and fall back to sleep when I woke up in the middle of the night.)

When I found videos on YouTube by Abraham-Hicks, followed by reading two of their books, I came across this reason for being here:

"It is with clear and deliberate intent that you decide to project Consciousness into this time-space reality--and it is with great enthusiasm that you come forth into these bodies. You are filled with eager anticipation for a number of reasons: (including) You are a master creator, and you know it. You like the experience of creating. You know that this is an environment with a tremendous variety of interesting components. You enjoy the sensation of a fresh new desire. You know that is is through your interaction with contrast and variety that your own desires will be formulated."

I must admit, I do enjoy creating and how it feels when I manage to complete something. And every so often, I experience creative explosions. Words such as clear and deliberate intent; with great enthusiasm; eager anticipation; master creator; tremendous variety of interesting components; enjoying the sensation of a fresh new desire all resonated true for me. There was also the part that because of these reasons, if we commit suicide, we will just choose to come right back again. Sigh.

If I'm going to come right back again after I die, I might as well study, learn, and evolve as much as I possibly can, so when I DO come back, I don't have to start in the same place I am now, or worse, all over again from scratch. Even if reincarnation isn't real, I'm not going to take a chance.

Making this decision was followed by new books, new courses, more videos, meeting new people, and taking on new uplifting volunteer assignments I can do from home at my own pace... so I can continue to feel like I can make a difference in small ways between creating.

I completed the iRest Yoga Nidra program which includes...

Meditation.

It alerted me to the disconnect I still have between my body and my emotions. The task of differentiating the difference between feelings and emotions... and coming up with its opposite has me feeling like I am trying to learn physics. I wanted to reach beyond the examples listed in the workbook. I still don't get it. I sense this concept is a key to cut through the anxiety I experience... so I am determined to figure out what it is. But I couldn't figure out the difference between a feeling and an emotion, so I Googled it. I found:


So far, the explanation is just words. Between iRest and this article, I got that feelings are created by the senses; learned behaviors that are usually in hibernation until triggered by an external event. Emotions are physically measurable, physically-based reactions (like when my pulse starts racing, and I am so anxious I can't think straight). 

"An emotion is a physiological experience (or state of awareness) that gives you information about the world, and a feeling is your conscious awareness of the emotion itself."

"Many people are honestly unaware that they're having an emotion. For them, the emotion and the consciousness of it are not strongly connected, and they don't even realize that they're fearful, or angry, or depressed. Their emotional state has to become so persistent that it drags them into a severe mood, and then they can realize, 'Oh, I guess I've been really sad about...'"

I downloaded Your Emotional Vocabulary List from this site. You experience the emotion first, then determine what feelings are involved (naming), and act on the information the emotion provides. 

Intrigued? Read the rest of the article.

I suspect this is the missing link for me as I would just get overwhelmed with the emotion and haven't been able to 'name' the feelings involved in order to act on the information the emotion provides, never mind identify where in my body I feel it.

Like a treasure hunter, I 'felt' the anticipation of stumbling on a new clue to what to seek next. My goal is to name what comes up for the sake of information vs. shutting down (with overwhelm, illness, and adrenal fatigue). I've only listed the ones I identify on the list pertaining to Depression and Suicidal Urges: 

Soft Depression and Suicidal Urges: Apathetic; Depressed; Discouraged; Disinterested; Feeling Worthless; Helpless; Isolated; Purposeless; Withdrawn
Medium (or Mood-State) Depression and Suicidal Urges: Desolate; Empty; Hopeless; Miserable; Overwhelmed
Intense Suicidal Urges: Anguished; Bleak; Devastated; Suicidal

Noted at the end of this section: "If you can learn to catch your suicidal urges when they're in the soft state, you can often stop yourself from falling into the pit of anguish. In the territory of the suicidal urge, your capacity for emotional awareness and sensitivity can literally save your life!"

In the meantime, I've been reading, Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience. I don't think I've had any NDEs as defined in books of when you remember leaving your body when you die and see what is going on from the ceiling... such as when a surgery goes wrong... or you've been a car accident... or suffer a fatal heart attack... followed by a decision you make to come back after you're told by a divine being it is not your time. I wondered if I could have been close to dying during one of many apnea episodes... or one of several surgeries I've had. 

While reading about NDEs, I thought about the trip to somewhere I went to when I totaled my GMC Sonoma in 2008. At the time of the accident, I was depressed as well as lethargic due to being over-medicated. There was the block of time that disappeared while I went from being in motion on the road to resting in the ravine. When the truck came to a full stop, everything in it came flying at me... and I was filled with a sense of awe, surprise, and joy. I felt like I had gone somewhere in another dimension... I felt like I was told everything would be OK. If I had a life review, I felt like I had seen an amazing future. The truck was totaled, but I didn't even get a scratch. Was this some type of NDE? If so, why can't I remember where I went? What I do know is I didn't lose consciousness... at least the physical kind. 

After writing this draft, I continued to read more of the book. Something told me I might find an explanation in one of the next chapters. There on page 229, I found what I needed to read:

"It is important to realize, however, that the healing balm of the Light is available not just to NDErs, of course, but to anyone who finds him or herself in a deep spiritual crisis or on the verge of suicide. In my years of researching NDEs, I have in fact heard from many persons who, though they clearly were not physically near death, nevertheless had a kind of NDE, which in its properties and effects was indistinguishable from those that are triggered by an actual condition in which one's life is at risk. Thus, the Light seems to come to those who need it, regardless of the individual's physical state."

Then this in a letter the author received... "My experience happened at a time in my life when I wanted to die."

Bingo. At the time of the accident, I did. But unlike the time before, this time something magical happened. I wish I knew where I went.

I believe I have learned enough with all my studying to keep myself out of getting suicide urges again in the future. In the meantime, what if my life purpose is merely to learn how to be HUMAN? 

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