Join Date: Apr 2009
Let me first tell you why I am posting here. I believe firmly in raising the level of positive energy in the world. Right now, you are not enriching my quality of life. However, if I can help you become a happier individual whose actions have a positive influence on others, that positive energy will spread from person to person until it finds me again. Thus, my goal here is to make myself happier by making you happier. Selfish, isn't it? I see nothing wrong with that.
Another reason I am on this forum right now is that I have been suffering from depression and a whole plethora of various psychological pain for over half of my life. I am 24, and it's been more than a decade since the suicidal thoughts began. I am here seeking insights that will help me learn about my emotions.
A lot of people commit suicide each year in America, where I live. This year, (and last year, and the year before that), I survived a suicidal episode. I am not afraid to say that my suicidal attempts were not whole-hearted- I do not want to die. I am fortunate that the precise set of influences the universe has had on me has allowed me to come back from some very dark places.
At first, I didn't understand how I could be standing at the brink of suicide even though I didn't want to die. But suicide is not something people choose, it is the result of their PAIN -outweighing- their RESOURCES for COPING with their pain. I was overwhelmed, and suicide was the only answer I could rationalize. Now, armed with this revelation, I see that I can work to lessen my pain and increase my sources for coping with the pain I cannot eliminate.
Like you, BlackWigger, I could never quite kill myself. I am assuming that this is because neither of us deeply wants to die. Your presence here, and some of the things you have wrote about enjoying certain moments, and the fact that you consider your predicament vicious and undesirable, are evidence to me that you wish you could be happier. In order for that to happen, you MUST be willing to swallow your pride and admit your true feelings. On some level, do you wish you could live happily, free from the crushing pressures you feel now?
I will not say that you shouldn't feel the way you do right now. You have every right to your emotions. In order to deal with emotions, we have to embrace them and try to understand them. How can you possibly act appropriately to a situation if you don't really know what the situation is? Don't try to deny the things you feel, but do try to remember that they are only emotions. They are not reality, they are only YOUR response to an event that is inherently neither good nor bad.
When I am in a state of depression (which is as often as not), I am almost totally numb, especially to positive feelings. I hate waking up; nothing seems worth getting up for. I can't remember any of the things that brought me pleasure in the past, I just seem to zone out behind a veil of internal thoughts that separates me from reality. In an instance like this, where motivation and ambition are severely lacking, replaced by a sense of distant longing and self-pity, the key to improving my situation lies in self-discipline.
People argue that self-discipline inhibits the very nature of what makes us human. I disagree. Without self-discipline, we become slaves to our emotions, moods, and appetites. Self-discipline helps us overcome difficult, though surmountable obstacles to achieve things that are truly rewarding and important to us. Self-discipline is what separates humans from animals, and therefore is an integral part of human nature.
My own self-discipline is still weak. I am whimsical and capricious. But, I have had some success in that area and have felt its benefits. "You achieve success when you take your first step toward a worthy cause." Start with something arbitrary and simple, like establishing a waking or bedtime ritual that is easy to accomplish, like journalizing for five minutes, or stretching. As you develop your self-discipline and can deny your impulses or laziness in order to achieve your goals, your confidence and power will grow. This is an important step because it allows you to take action in moments of hollowness, despair, and depression. Often times, activity can loosen depression's hold on our spirits, as a physiological effect of metabolism and respiration.
It is also possible that certain kinds of anti-depression medications can correct chemical imbalances in your body, and even temporary prescriptions can permanently fix the problem. I am still too proud and biased against the pill-happy culture that runs rampant in America, so I have not sought this approach. Additionally, I have a severe sense of shame about my depression and am afraid to let other people know about it. However, I have been gradually opening up to others with remarkable results.
Sharing my pain with other people might at first sound a bit contradictory to the idea I started out with about sharing positive energy. However, it is a necessary step in the healing process. Ultimately, by improving the state of my spirit, even bit by bit, I am able to bring ten times as much happiness to others than the worry and concern that I brought to my confidants. Plus, as they see my improvement, feelings of accomplishment and growth will blossom from the seeds of our relationship. However, some people are afraid of suicide and will not be able to help you. Do not be discouraged if you are dismissed or even affronted by those to whom you self disclose. You will find somebody, somewhere, if you proceed with an openness to growth and an earnest desire to change. Just be conscious and realistic of their ability to help you. Some people don't know how to help somebody who is depressed, and it is often a good idea to seek professional help from a therapist. Again, some therapists don't know how to help somebody who is depressed, so be prepared to shop around until you find someone you like.
There are some very deep subjects that you brought up dealing with philosophy (you seem to be in a nihilistic mindset right now), religion, and human nature. Nobody can tell you the formula for happiness, and these are areas that will take time to explore. However, if it will not insult your pride for me to make a suggestion, I advise that you focus on areas that directly touch your life. Most of our worries involve ideas so abstract that we can never find real proof one way or the other, yet we place so much importance on them that we are paralyzed by their immensity. I try to live by rules I can see and understand. Logic is my morality; my religion is reality. With this approach, I can always find something meaningful to be dealt with, rather than depressing myself by wasting time and energy with imaginary concerns that have been vexing humanity for eons (like the existence of god or afterlife). There is a reason these are called eternal mysteries.
My last bit of advice is that you listen to yourself. If you are feeling hesitant about suicide, there is still a part of you that hopes. Nurture that part: find out what you value, what evokes your feelings, and take real steps to increase your caring attachments to these values.
I hope that something I said struck home with you. Let us know how you are doing.
Last edited by JLewisReich; 04-26-2009 at 06:15 PM.