If you’ve never heard the song Life is Beautiful by SIXX AM, you’re missing out. It’s one of my favorites. Did you know that your heart rate rises and falls with the tempo of the music you’re listening to? The human body is fascinating like that.
When I listen to this song, I am reminded of all of the times that I’ve wanted to die. And then, at the same time, the lyrics “Just open your eyes and see that life is beautiful,” make me grateful to be alive.
Go ahead and groan: ughhhh another fucking gratitude post?!?
I’ve been on this gratitude kick for like three months now; sorry.
Ok so just to recap what we’ve discussed in previous posts:
- Suicidal thoughts are the norm for me and I first started writing about wanting to kill myself when I was 8 years old
- Until getting through some trauma work, I thought about killing myself almost daily
- I don’t think about dying daily now, but sometimes it’s still there
- I’ve had three failed attempts when I was much younger
I’ve always had a really difficult time picturing myself getting old. And ever since I was maybe 9 or 10, I’ve always thought that I’m going to die before I get old…probably in a car accident. I don’t know if there’s any “truth” behind this gut feeling, but it’s there nonetheless. I am not afraid of death, and (depending on the day) I sometimes welcome it.
I don’t understand what goes on inside of my head to make my mind think that killing myself is such a great idea… Have you ever seen the move Inside Out? My two year old is currently obsessed with it and we watch it at least once a day. I imagine in addition to “Saddness,” I have “Crazy Self-Destructive.” And that guy is the one who plugs in the “suicide lightbulb.” It’s also probably the guy who reaches for the $2.48 box of double edge razorblades when I’m in Walmart. Every fucking time – I swear Walmart brings out the worst in me!
I’m not thinking of killing myself every day anymore, which is awesome! But those thoughts still come up…probably more frequently than they would for “normal” people. And to be honest, I don’t believe those thoughts will ever cease completely.
Do you know what it feels like to look at your hollow reflection in the mirror, with a handful of pills, wondering how many you’d have to take to go to sleep forever? Hand shaking as you start swallowing – one at a time – counting each pill as it goes down.
What about how much OxyContin you’d have to snort before your heart explodes? (Side note: I’m not really sure if that actually happens, but during that attempt, that’s what I thought would probably occur)
When I reflect on the craziness inside of my head and the years of suicidal thoughts and attempts, I see this teenage girl sprawled out on her bedroom floor shaking and wanting to die while her whole family sleeps peacefully. And I wish it stopped there. I wish I didn’t have the images of the 25-year-old me, with her successful adult career, house, and husband, sitting alone on the bathroom floor with a handful of pills – just wanting the Crazy to shut the fuck up. In so many ways, I identify with that girl that I used to be; but at the same time, it feels like it is someone else.
I wish I knew what makes someone’s mind be this destructive. I feel like if I knew what caused it, I could fix it or prevent it. Instead, it seems like I just continue to use reactive strategies to get through it.
And before I continue, I want to go ahead and throw out there that I DO NOT HAVE SCHIZOPHRENIA. I don’t “hear voices” or “see things that aren’t real.” I might have a slew of other diagnoses, but that’s not one of them 🙂
For me, my suicidal thoughts stem from two things:
- Feeling like I’m not worthy of living
- Wanting the craziness in my head to stop
I’m pretty sure that my shrink once told me that everyone thinks about dying sometimes. I remember being pissed off at that – no, don’t try to “normalize” my crazy thoughts! I’ve since decided that maybe everyone does think about dying from time to time, but the frequency and duration is what sets my mind apart from the minds of “normal people.”
Today in yoga, the teacher talked about Chitta Vritti. This is Sanskrit for “Mind Chatter.” When we are being physically active, it shuts the mind chatter down. This is why it’s important for me to do more than just restorative yoga. It also takes us back to “you can’t think about killing yourself when you’re doing cool yoga shit.” I have such a hard time controlling my mind chatter sometimes. It’s like my mind races with all of these horrible dark thoughts and I can’t make them stop. But when I’m physically active (like in a vinyasa class), I can push the mind chatter out of the way.
So what about when you can’t be in a yoga class?
The bulk of my suicidal thoughts probably occur between the hours of 8pm and 8am, when there aren’t very many yoga classes. There’s a quote that I love and I’ve made it the feature image for this post. There aren’t yoga classes at 3 in the morning (at least not where I live). And it can be hard to practice self-love at 3am when you have a toddler and husband. For me, it’s coming up with a gratitude list; it’s breathing exercises and meditations; and it’s allowing myself to cry and feel sad and scared and lonely. Being suicidal is lonely. I don’t care if everyone in the world feels suicidal at some point, it is still the loneliest fucking feeling. Reaching out to a friend; painting my nails; drawing a butterfly on my arm; and coloring. Those are all things that help me when I feel like I can’t escape the crazy mind chatter that’s taking over at 3am.
I hope if you’re reading this, and you’re struggling with Chitta Vritti, or “Mind Chatter,” you know that you’re not alone. And if you’re suicidal right now, go do something nice for yourself and try to see how life can be beautiful (even though I know it doesn’t feel that way right now). I can’t tell you that it gets better, because I don’t know if it will or not. What I can tell you is that if you practice self-love on a daily basis, it becomes easier to show self-love on the days when your mind tries to convince you that suicide is the best option. 💜