In July 2016, I drove up the coast of California to Monterey, inland to I-5, then down to LA. During those 10 days, I stopped to see many friends and family that were available. At the time, what they didn’t know, was this was meant as my goodbye. No one knew I had lost my practice, my entire savings, my health, and felt completely beat up and alone.
Worse, I had lost all desire to rebuild, to fight, or to figure out how to survive. Beyond tired, beyond exhausted, I just wanted it all to end. Suffocating by my life’s facade, the duality of making life look successful and perfect on the outside, while my heart had no space to exist, threatened my existence. Smiling happy and pretty to convey, “I’m fine”, no longer a sustainable way to live.
My final driving day, I set out at 4:00 am. The highway felt peaceful. As the sun began its ascent, the most vibrant red, pink, purple, orange, and yellow hues began to light the sky and the road. Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” came through the speakers and my entire body began to shake. I pulled to the side of the road and began to sob. A primal, guttural wail. ” I don’t want to die, I just want this to stop.” This, my life the way it was, was not working. The constant fight to figure out how to survive, finally took its toll.
“I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to live like this anymore”. I sobbed for an hour. Then I felt the shift. ‘I didn’t want to die, I just didn’t want to live this way anymore’. From that moment on, I knew I would be okay. Not that life would feel easy or good, but that I would be okay. In that moment, on that day, that was enough.
Suicidal urges are not about you wanting to die, they want you to get out of your life, the way you are living it. Suicidal urges come when WHO you are (in your deepest heart self ) and Who you have become is so dissociated that you no longer tolerate what or how you’ve become. Your life force surges through you as the deepest, most intense call for help, to get you out of the situation that is killing your soul.
Beneath the surface (conscious or not ) the turbulent forces of rage and terror suffocate your desire to live. Your acquired coping actions and behaviors, designed to avoid pain, have reached their limit.
When you can confront your darkest (most heinous) feelings, you can use the intensity to break free of the soul-crushing behaviors and situations you find yourself in.
Emotional Literacy is learning to interpret your painful life events and circumstances to move through your emotions without getting stuck IN them.