- Go for a walk, preferably with a friend
- Write for 20 minutes and throw it away, preferably first thing in the am
- Watch an inspiring TED talk and share that
- Do a 2 minute power pose
- Express gratitude, journal that
- Read something healing
- Do the 4 activities from SuperBetter
- Use my power name from SuperBetter - Pi the Water Warrior
Thus, at the end of that first week of October I hit a new rock bottom. I had hit several before, and then was always surprised when another one came along, thinking I had already sunk to the depths I could sink. This one was different. Many times over the previous months I had asked the universe to please end my suffering; a car accident, heart attack, something that wasn't my fault because I could not abandon my son and leave him alone with a legacy of suicide to carry for the rest of his life. But over a few days that gloriously sunny fall week, I decided how I was going to kill myself, and one very emotional night, I started writing a note. And one or two sentences in, I acknowledged what I was doing, stopped, and went to bed. I again begged the universe to end it for me.
I have five sticky notes up around my apartment with positive mantras on them. That is not a new idea to me, and I have used this trick several times over the course of my life.
I also have a sticky note by my keyboard with a challenge to conduct a mindfulness exercise five times a day:
1) notice a sensation in your body
2) become aware of sounds in your vicinity
3) take a very deep breath all the way to your stomach and release it slowly
4) find one thing to observe that you have never noticed before.
This mindfulness exercise takes about one minute, but the exercise slows me down and empties my mind, essentially resetting me to a calmer place.
Those three different tasks were all quests from a game I am playing on the internet called SuperBetter. You will find a link to the website on the right hand side of my blog. In fact, Pi the Water Warrior is my avatars name, and the four activities that I am to complete daily are from SuperBetter. I recommend this website, and the TED talk from the creator of the site, Jane McGonigal. I recommend you watch the TED talk first so you understand where the creator was coming from herself during her struggles with depression and suicidal ideation.
For today, I can only encourage you to start exploring the vast options available to us in this day and age for healing. I had always avoided the self-help section of the library or bookstore, but there are good books out there, and the first I recommend you read is After the Affair, which is noted on the right hand side of my blog as well. Borrow books from the library, your friends, or just google some key words and you will instantly find information on your computer screen that validates your feelings. Appreciate yourself for showing up and trying your best.
What I have realized is that my healing is so incremental, when I allow myself to become absorbed into my daily struggles and triumphs, I don't see the progress. When I look back over time, I am amazed at the leaps and bounds I have made given the circumstances. My psychologist says I am doing just fine. And my girlfriend gave me a great card that I just love so I have it at my computer desk where I can read it when I need a reminder: