What do you think suicidal looks like?
It’s not always what you may think.
People don’t walk around with it written on their forehead. There is no one face to this issue or one way to act. Many people who have suffered suicidal thoughts, or have committed suicide, come as a great shock to others when they find out. Think Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Anthony Bourdain.
Mental illness, depression, anxiety…none of these discriminate. It’s possible to seemingly have everything and yet feel no joy in any of it.
Those of you who have followed me for some time know that I have spoken before about my struggles with depression. Included with that depression were suicidal thoughts that came many times in my life. As a child, I struggled with being overweight, bullying, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. I again struggled with them as an adult dealing with fibromyalgia, a brain tumor, body dysmorphia, and more.
As a high emotional feeler who is empathetic and feels things more intensely and connects to things a little more deeply, I find at times that I struggle with things more than most.
I have often been asked how I got through everything and do I ever struggle now. For those of us who battle depression and have battled suicidal thoughts, discussing the answers to these questions is extremely important.
I have done a lot of work throughout the past few years to get myself to a good place, both physically and mentally but I can’t lie and say that it isn’t still hard some days. There are peaks and valleys to all aspects of life and that even includes depression.
At the beginning of 2022, I made a big change in my life and moved to Costa Rica. I knew I needed a change and needed to get back to prioritizing me again; get back to focusing on all the biohacks that helped me regain control of my health because I could see myself heading down a familiar path of overwork and stress.
And, it was good while it lasted…
Costa Rica provided me with the space to relax, regroup and reprioritize.
I had the chance to prioritize my sleep, diet, and routines.
I saw my stress and anxiety decrease because I wasn’t living the hustle culture. I wasn’t going from plane to hotel over and over.
But, the truth also is that I started losing myself a bit. I skipped events that I love attending. I felt alone at times and while sometimes being alone is good, this was too alone. Don’t get me wrong, I met some amazing people in Costa Rica but there were members of my tribe that I needed and weren’t there.
The feelings of not doing enough also became overwhelming and so I returned to the hustle. BUT, I overcompensated. I love my work and love sharing what I’m passionate about with others and so after feeling like I wasn’t doing that enough, I said yes to everything.
I quickly hit burnout which led me down into one of those darker valleys again after being at the top of a peak just a few short months prior.
The upside to all of this up and down is that I learned it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
I love speaking at events and attending meetings and masterminds, but I also love living at a slower pace.
I can do both! It’s about balance, and I’m ready to start learning how to find that balance.
Part of that balance is going to accept that there are going to be the hard times, the times when things a little busier, and there will be slower times that are
meant to regroup. Either way, it’s really important that we all know that finding balance is hard. Sometimes we won’t. Sometimes a person you think has balance may be deeply struggling on the inside. There have been many times when I appeared happy, fulfilled, and relaxed all the while battling my demons. This picture is the perfect example.
I, like so many others, tried to hide this side of me. I put on a front and pretended that I was happy and successful all the time even when the struggle was very real.
But, don’t run from it. It’s ok to struggle at times. Sometimes life gets hard, busy, stressful, overwhelming and that is ok to say.
One of the most important things you can do is talk about what you are feeling or struggling with, not just in therapy but with family, and friends. It has helped me lessen the burden.
It is so important to realize that no one is “ok” all the time. We all struggle and all of our struggles are different. And that is OKAY!
If you need help or are struggling, reach out to me or talk to someone you trust.
We are stronger together!
The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month and as a community, we simply must do a better job at recognizing the signs and often unspoken words from those around us. It is my hope that continuing to talk about my experience, will help others recognize signs or start opening up to others about what they are dealing with.
The new number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 988 for free and confidential support. It’s open 24/7.
Sending love & virtual hugs to you all!