Attempted suicide can be a powerful journey back to your own true divine self…
There’s a lot of talk about suicide and I think it’s a good thing.
We need to stop treating it as a stigma.
Instead of making it that medical checkbox to self-identifying as damaged or crazy that jeopardizes your insurance benefits, maybe we can just all agree that most of us have considered offing ourselves at some point in our lives when the shit totally hit the fan?
That way we can have lucid conversations about why depression is the world’s largest health crisis & leading cause of disability, and that way those on the brink will find it easier to find support sooner.
A friend of mine has suffered from anxiety for most of his adult life and has had to rely on meds to deal with day to day existence. I remember a conversation where I said to him,
“Look…Anxiety is a perfectly natural response to the insanely stressful complexities and demands of modern society, that our biological organisms haven’t had a chance to fully adapt to.
Our bodies and minds adapted to a hunter gatherer lifestyle. We lived in tribes. In a tribal society, you would have a place in the community. Capitalism only recognizes what you produce.
Everything changed very quickly in the last 100 years. That’s not enough time for our organisms to evolve and catch up.
We used to spend most of our time in Nature, running around, getting our food. Now, we have Costco. If you don’t experience some level of stress and anxiety walking into Costco, maybe that means something is wrong with you?”
From suicide thoughts to finding self-love and joy
I have an intimate relationship with suicide, trauma, self-hatred, self-acceptance, self-love, and joy. I was dismissed from boarding school for attempted suicide when I was 15. This life event was the outcome of many years of daily racist bullying in an educational system where I was a minority, coupled by growing up in a household where “emotional nurture” was not part of the equation (food, shelter, education) in raising a healthy child, under enormous pressure to achieve. I grew up with the belief that I would only be loved based on what I could accomplish.
I notice how people respond to me when I mention that this experience was a defining part of my life journey. There’s this uncomfortableness. A belief that if a person is “truly over it” there is no need to mention it anymore, let it be buried in the past.
The following 3 decades of my life has been that journey from that darkest point to understanding if it was possible to reach a polar opposite state – bliss, perfection, fulfillment, complete, total self-acceptance and love… what it will take to live and abide in that bliss state ALL THE TIME.
Surviving from the darkest point in life
My experience was a long time ago, and I can tell you as a survivor, it never goes away. This is the main difference between someone who has tried such a thing whereby an intervention had to be made that disrupted several people’s lives, versus someone who thought about and got through it after a week of hermitage at home.
I didn’t really even get very far with it, and I struggled with self-loathing from not having the guts to go all the way. But it taught me so much and still teaches me every day.
If you struggle with mood disorders and suicidal ideation, here’s what I learned that helps or even completely turn things around:
1. Ground zero
Recognizing that we live in a toxic capitalistic culture and that stress, anxiety, depression, and despair are healthy, normal responses to living in a society that values people based on how they look, how much money they have, how much they can produce… and not who they are.
If You are an entrepreneur like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were, understand that the relentless pressure you endure is amplified. That’s why this article went viral in 2013, And give yourself credit for choosing one of the hardest paths of all
2. Lifestyle choices will impact 60-70% of your mood.
Diet, supplementation, exercise and lifestyle choices will impact 60-70% of your mood. Just eliminating sugar, refined carbs, processed food, alcohol, and eating organic whole foods will go a long way. For me, a paleo diet works best in elevating my energy and eliminating brain fog. Some people will swear by the ketogenic diet.
3. Inflammation & gut health
There’s compelling research linking persistent depression and mood disorder to chronic inflammation. Shifting to an anti-inflammatory diet and eliminating DAIRY, as well as refined carbs, alcohol, and sugar can help reduce inflammation.
Poor digestion and imbalance in the digestive system microbiome have also been linked to anxiety and depression. A stool exam can reveal insight into the distribution of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Daily probiotics can improve digestion, gut health, reduce inflammation and improve your mood.
There are so many toxic chemicals in everything, many can disrupt your hormones and affect your mood. So many chemicals are in our environment and we have no idea what long-term exposure will do. Minimize your exposure, get a high-end water purifier, do regular saunas, eat a cleansing diet or go on a detox cleanse once in a while.
Spend regular time outdoors. Sit in the sun for at least 20 minutes a day. Walk around outside for at least 30 minutes a day. Commune with Nature. You will notice a shift.
6. Get enough sleep
For me, I notice that chronic sleep deprivation can trigger feelings of hopelessness and despair (duh). My body needs 9 hours of sleep to feel good. Figure out what your optimal amount of sleep is and give it to yourself as often as possible.
7. Chemical imbalance is real
For women, hormone imbalance can have a big effect on your mood and outlook in life. Period tracking apps can help you identify if mood shifts are linked to your cycle. That’s how I discovered I had PMDD, & it was a huge relief for me to realize that my shifts in perspective from optimism to bleakness were entirely biochemical, and not because I was psychologically damaged in some way.
Get a blood panel and find out what nutrients are missing, and whether your hormones are out of whack. Work with a naturopath on getting back into balance. Just 1 day on the right supplements can result in a 180-degree turnaround in your mood and emotional well-being.
8. Boost your serotonin & dopamine levels.
Practice meditation, mindfulness, yoga and ecstatic dance to boost your dopamine and serotonin levels. Vipassana and other forms of Buddhist meditation, can re-align your relationship with your thoughts and internal dialogue. Realize that you are not your thoughts, and cultivate inner peace and bliss as a life-changing skill set.
9. Make friends
And learn what it means to be a great friend. I’m an empath, an introvert and my work can be really isolating. I can spend days perfectly content and alone, and not speak to anyone for days. However, good relationships are one of the top keys to having a happy, fulfilling life, so I do as much as I can to connect with and spend time with soul-aligned, empowering people who have the capacity to see, know, understand and appreciate who I am. For me to attract great people in my life, I’ve had to learn what it means to be someone you want to have around.
10. Find your purpose
Discover your sacred contribution to the world using your unique gifts in order to accomplish a greater good. Words cannot express how blessed I feel to have met incredible people all over the world who are working on aligned missions. Not only do I get to interact with my favorite kind of people, it is a profound honor to discover their gifts, and it is so much fun.
11. Take a psychedelic reset
I am a big fan of combining psychedelics and psychotherapy. This is the most powerful deep transformational work you can do. Different psychedelic medicines are effective in healing different things. Sadly, this route is illegal in most countries. Many people will self-medicate and then work with a therapist who is aware they are self-medicating, who can help the person integrate. In my opinion, with the right medicine, and the right support, you can accelerate your journey to wholeness.
If you ever dance with suicide, she will accompany you the rest of your life. Reject her, treat her like a pariah, and she will stalk you, ever lurking in the shadows.
If you respect her as a powerful and wise teacher whose wisdom is to lead you back to your true divine self. The beauty, grace, and joy you can receive from your life will vastly outshine that dark night of the soul.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.
Artwork by Salvia Droid