3 Ways to Find Courage when we’re Suicidal.

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“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”~ Albert Camus

There is no way around it—we have to take responsibility for our own happiness.

I have been plagued with thoughts of death and suicide my entire life. I attempted suicide once, 25 years ago. And more recently, my first thoughts in the mornings have been how to kill myself.

These thoughts are not new; what’s new is my aspiration to address them—authentically and publicly.

This is not a suicide note. Instead of driving to the hardware store, getting a ladder, and trying to figure out what to do with my dogs, I am writing this article. I have been thinking about writing this for weeks.

As it turns out, I am an expert on not killing myself. Reflecting on this awareness, with 37 pounds of two soft and incredibly attached dogs holding me down, I am encouraged by some weird calling to share.

Over the course of my life it has become increasingly clear that just because people who love us surround us, we are not necessarily emotionally or mentally okay.

Significant life changes, loss, and hardship are a regular experience of mine. I know firsthand, change is difficult. Those of us with emotional and mental struggles are especially susceptible to the turmoil that comes with change.

It is within the fear of the unknown that suicidal thoughts roam.

Seeing the state of the world, I know I am not the only one struggling. I have high-functioning depression, a constant feeling of two heavy weights pulling on my heart, holding me down, and making me late for everything. My passion for life and all its pleasures are a regular disappearing act—magically coming and going, I am always hopeful for an encore.

As one who has fought the suicide battle and seemingly won, I have three immediate suggestions for anyone who is fighting the desire to end their struggle.

Spiritual connection.

Somehow, over the years, I have found a way to cope and stay alive. Some days, the suicidal thoughts are louder than others, but thanks to my daughter, dogs, and supportive friends, I manage to not succumb. After my attempted suicide long ago, I learned to meditate, and began studying and seeking God.

When my mind takes over I find the power to restrict feelings and thoughts of death. I find relief when I am studying esoteric wisdom. Moses, Buddha, and Jesus have all come to my rescue, and while out in the world I’m doing my best to share as much love as possible.

For the last 10 years I have been scanning and studying the Zohar, a book written for the purpose of decoding the Torah—it is said it carries with it great protection and light. When I study the Zohar the thoughts of death always go away.

The courage to continue in a world that seems increasingly bleak is not always easily found. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are two public figures who unfortunately did not find their way out. My daughter lost five people last year—four of them under the age of 17.

I have found, through years of study and experimentation within religious, philosophical, and spiritual wisdom, the darkness in my mind only subsides when I focus on the light and the teachers and sages who know where, and how, to find it.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings, try looking to a figure who has spiritual wisdom. The blessings spiritual wisdom has to offer will provide the love and support we need to remain human.

Write.

Writing has helped me find my voice and make sense of who I am. Don’t be afraid to publish, but know it’s not necessary. I have pages and pages that have never been read by anyone.

Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Together, the dark thoughts and feelings I have had all my life, and the understandings and epiphanies I receive when my thoughts come together in words, allow for deep healing to occur.

I have been enrolled in a course with Elephant Journal for the last six weeks. The original intent was to learn how to write meaningful and appealing copy for my business while learning the ways of social media and posting.

What’s happening instead? I’m finding a plethora of healing with a new awareness of my mental and emotional paradigm.

Although I have accepted that I will always be plagued with thoughts of death and suicide, I have found that, through writing, I bring my damaging thoughts into captivity, not letting them win.

By putting the words I hear in my head on paper, I have allowed myself to carry a lighter load. Those thoughts that have always been on repeat are now incarcerated on paper. Writing offers freedom from the demons we want to put behind bars and lets the light shine in.

Pick a cause and volunteer.

The need to find purpose is imperative for human fulfillment. Through helping and sharing, we will find solace and peace. Environmental, political, and social movements all need people to step up and help.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” ~ Fred Rogers

To share ourselves and lend our individual presence to a collective mission is something we all need to do for our individual health and the well-being of humanity. Especially if we are having a hard time with destructive thoughts, helping others will inevitably help us.

For those of us who are hurting, standing for humanity and our precious planet is an act of empowerment that can empower us to move forward. When we find something we care about, our heart opens and we can show up with courage, allowing the importance of the mission to permeate our experience.

Suicidal thoughts are difficult to deal with, more so if we keep them bottled inside. Through writing this article I have released some pain and have found a way to share it, hopefully benefiting someone who may need words of encouragement and support from someone who understands.

Through my battle to achieve mental health, I have learned to cultivate a deeply spiritual relationship with the universe, while keeping my focus on being a helper in the world, and following the call to write my pain.

I know all too well how difficult it can be to keep going—not allowing the darkness of our inner world to take over our hearts. We must rally strength and turn it into courage, engaging our human responsibility to support each other and our mother earth.

When we intentionally and compassionately open a dialogue about our mental and emotional health, we help our society heal.

Every person on this planet is important, and we are all in this together.

Please, if you are in immediate need of support, call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

~

author: Jenni Lynne

Image: Kristina Tripkovic/Unsplash

Editor: Naomi Boshari

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Jenni Lynne

Jenni Lynne is a social entrepreneur, spiritual aficionado, small business owner, used to be single mom, now empty nester turned writer, mama of two furry babies, Darwin and Bernice, and an almost grown daughter. Transformative social change is her organic necessity. She’s an environmental steward with deep roots in both Colorado and Oregon; she knows well the power of trees and good music. Quiet contemplation of humanity’s nature is her favorite mystical pastime, always determined to love water and her neighbor. Her mission: to aid as many humans as possible in understanding their individual and unified magnificence. You can connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.

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bdaharley Dec 3, 2018 10:17am

High functioning depression is an interesting term, and one i’ve not heard. Describes me, as I have struggled over 40 yrs with this. Found your thoughts helpful and resonated in ways none has. Fortunate you have a support system, which I lack, making it more challenging. Have implemented your suggestions previously, but will try writing now. But remains baffling why my struggle must continue, why Mother Earth maintains this journey. Thx for sharing with all.

    Jenni Lynne Dec 4, 2018 8:33am

    Hi! Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your struggle. First off, I want you to know you are not alone. If you need support I would love to be here for you. You can PM on either of the social media links below. Although I do have a wonderful support system the pain we feel is ours alone to carry. We are responsible for our own happiness, no matter how hard it is. I know all to well how heavy a load it can be. I firmly believe that writing helps, I’m glad to know you are back at it. This said if you ever need support and want to chat message me. You are important.

shelly Dec 1, 2018 10:49am

Thank you Jenni Lynne for your soul bearing article. As a Registered Ortho-Bionomy Practitioner, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist, I would add that bodywork is also a loving, powerful way to remember that you matter. When internal pain can be recognized and heard, it has the power to remind us all that we are loved unconditionally. Whether though is done by a professional or not touch is a necessity. Even just a simple hug can change someone’s orientation to the outside world. Which in turn can shift internal messages. We all matter. We all make a difference. Love you Jenni Lynne. Stick around. This world is a better place with you in it.

    Jenni Lynne Dec 4, 2018 8:37am

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom sweet friend! I appreciate you sharing what you know so that others can learn from you. <3

kansascwgrl Dec 1, 2018 12:04am

I just want to say thank you, I think finding this article and reading it, is worth so much more than you realize. Thank you.

    Jenni Lynne Dec 1, 2018 6:46am

    You’re welcome. I’m so glad my experience is helpful. No matter what you are going through, you are not alone. Sending big love and lots of courage your way. Keep going. <3

Emily Jean Nov 30, 2018 6:21pm

I found this article just as I’ve started to write again and seasonal existential angst has set in.

Thank you for your frankness

    Jenni Lynne Nov 30, 2018 9:37pm

    You’re welcome. Please keep writing. So good for our soul, and when we share it good for humanities soul. EJ class is pretty special. Big hugs as you brave the winter. Write sister, write. <3

Judy McCord Nov 28, 2018 1:41pm

Thank you for your courage, Jenni Lynne! Your words are so relatable to so many people!

    Jenni Lynne Nov 30, 2018 9:39pm

    Thank you Judy for your friendship and inspiration. Your support is coming back to you 10xfold. Whoop whoop — together, we got this. <3

aprilchase Nov 27, 2018 5:53pm

This is so beautiful! The last point gave me chills. I have suggested to many friends with depression that doing for others is almost an instant cure. I think the reasons are obvious. Bring us together with others for a positive goal and helps us see the suffering of others which puts our own in perspective. I have contemplated the philosophy of suicide, but I have not ever seriously considered doing it. That said I can’t deny the massive anxiety and depression I have been experiencing about mankind’s suicide. These tools are also extremely effective for dealing with the larger existential crisis. Well written and thank you for sharing Jenni Lynne! Onward and upward!!

    Jenni Lynne Nov 30, 2018 9:45pm

    Thank you for this amazing and thoughtful response. Understanding each other regardless of similar experience is by far one the most important qualities to have as a modern day human. You have this gift in spades. Your efforts in other peoples lives, matters, and it is quite special that you share it so freely. Thank you. You are an amazing woman. Keep sharing, your light is powerful. <3

nlturtledove Nov 27, 2018 4:10pm

Oh dear. I have had my own bouts well. When the pain was almost too much to bear. About a year ago due to the self-loathing of not meeting my own expectations related to parenting. And when I was young I couldn’t stand to see my mother’s suffering. Last year I got help from my yoga teacher mentor and had talk therapy for a few months. She reminded me of the vast resources available through meditation. It is amazing how it helps reset my emotional state and realigns my soul. I am glad you have found ways to cope as well. Those are excellent suggestions. You are courageous for coming forward. May the infinite love and strength of the Universe always be at your fingertips. <3

    Jenni Lynne Dec 1, 2018 6:50am

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I think connection and understanding are two ways we can all come together and support one another. I am happy to know you have found solace in meditation also, it really is one of the most powerful tools we have to find fulfillment and peace in a world that is hard to deal with most days. Returning your strength and love, 100 fold. <3

terivannoy Nov 27, 2018 11:21am

Thanks for “putting yourself out there” with such honest testimony for what it’s like battling suicidal thoughts. Your words are so important for so many.

    Jenni Lynne Dec 1, 2018 6:51am

    Thank you Teri. I deeply appreciate you and your support. <3

Melissa Baker Nov 27, 2018 10:38am

Jenni, this is stunningly beautiful and I applaud your courage to continue, to grow, and to share. You are a light in the darkness and a gift to this world.

    Jenni Lynne Dec 1, 2018 6:52am

    Thank you for your support and love. Connecting with others is by far the most healing aspect of this process. <3