You’re not alone

If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about 5 minutes. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional, only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.

Let’s start by considering this statement:

Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.

That’s all it’s about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak, or flawed because you feel suicidal. It doesn’t even mean that you really want to die, it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weight……no matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do with it. Of course, you would cheer yourself up if you could.

Don’t accept it if someone tells you, “Thant’s not enough to be suicidal about”. There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide. Whether or not the pain is bearable may differ from a person to person. What might be bearable to someone else, may not be bearable to you. The point at which the pain becomes unbearable depends on what kinds of coping resources you have. Individuals vary greatly in their capacity to withstand the pain.

You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of the two things: (1) Find a way to reduce your pain (2) Find a way to increase your coping resources. Both are possible.

Now I want to share with you five things to think about……….

  1. You need to know that people do get through this, even people who feel as badly as you are feeling right now. Statistically, there’s a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.
  2. Give yourself some distance. Tell yourself that, “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything”.Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things, just you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal actions. Even if it’s just for 24 hours. You have already done it for 5 minutes just by reading this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment acting on it. That is very encouraging for me, and I hope it is to you.
  3. People turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling, and you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek if you are dead.
  4. Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings. either because they are frightened or angry. They may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reaction is about their fears, not about you. But there are many people out there who can help you in this horrible time., and will not judge you, or argue with you. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now! Use your 24 hours, or your week and tell someone what’s going on with you. It’s okay to ask for help.
  5. Don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.
  6. Suicidal feelings are traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea, so are the various self -help groups.

Well, it’s been a few minutes and you’re still with me. I’m really glad.

Since you made it this far, you deserve a reward. I think that you should reward yourself by giving yourself a gift. The gift you will give yourself is a coping resource. Remember, back up near the top of the page, I said that the idea is to make sure you have more coping resources than you have pain. So let’s give you another coping resource, or two, or ten……!!! Until they outnumber your sources of pain.

Now, while this post may have given you some relief, the best coping resource I can give you is another human being to talk with. If you find someone who wants to listen and tell them how you are feeling and how you got to this point, you will have increased your coping resource by one. Hopefully, the first person you choose won’t be the last. There are many people out there who really want to hear from you, trust me. It’s time to start looking around for one of them

Now:I’d like you to call someone

 

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How to control your eating disorder

The first step to recovery: Reaching out for support

It can be scary and embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder, but opening up about the problem is an important step on the road to recovery. However, it’s important to choose someone who will be supportive and truly listen without judging you or rejecting you. This could be a close friend or family member or a youth leader, teacher, or school counselor you trust. Or you may be more comfortable confiding in a therapist or doctor.

Tips for talking to someone about your eating disorder

There are no hard and fast rules for telling someone about your eating disorder. But be mindful about choosing the right time and place ideally somewhere private where you won’t be rushed or interrupted.

Starting the conversation. This can be the hardest part. One way to start is by simply saying, “I’ve got something important to tell you. It’s difficult for me to talk about this so it would mean a lot if you’d be patient and hear me out.” From there, you may want to talk about when your eating disorder started, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors involved, and how the disorder has impacted you.

Be patient. Your friend or family member will have their own emotional reaction to learning about your eating disorder. They may feel shocked, helpless, confused, sad, or even angry. They may not know how to respond or help you. Give them time to digest what you’re telling them. It’s also important to educate them about your specific eating disorder.

Be specific about how the person can best support you. For example, checking in with you regularly about how you’re feeling, helping you finding treatment, or finding ways to support your recovery without turning into the food police.

Eating disorder support groups

While family and friends can be a huge help in providing support, you may also want to join an eating disorder support group. They provide a safe environment where you can talk freely about your eating disorder and get advice and support from people who know what you’re going through.

There are many types of eating disorder support groups. Some are led by professional therapists, while others are moderated by trained volunteers or people who have recovered from an eating disorder. You can find online anorexia and bulimia support groups, chat rooms, and forums. These can be particularly helpful if you’re not ready to seek face-to-face help or you don’t have a support group in your area.

What emotional need does your eating disorder fill?

The first step is figuring out what’s really going on inside. Are you upset about something? Depressed? Stressed out? Lonely? Is there an intense feeling you’re trying to avoid? Are you eating to calm down, comfort yourself, or to relieve boredom? Once you identify the emotion you’re experiencing, you can choose a positive alternative to starving or stuffing yourself.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Call a friend
  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet
  • Read a good book
  • Take a walk

 

  • Write in a journal
  • Go to the movies
  • Get out into nature
  • Play a favorite game
  • Do something helpful for someone else
    Coping with anorexia and bulimia: Emotional Do’s and Don’ts
    Do…
    • allow yourself to be vulnerable with people you trust
    • fully experience every emotion
    • be open and accepting of all your emotions
    • use people to comfort you when you feel bad, instead of focusing on food
    • let your emotions come and go as they please without fear
    Don’t…
    • pretend you don’t feel anything when you do
    • let people shame or humiliate you for having or expressing feelings
    • avoid feelings because they make you uncomfortable
    • worry about your feelings making you fall apart
    • focus on food when you’re experiencing a painful emotion

    Appearance and body image symptoms

    Dramatic weight loss – Rapid, drastic weight loss with no medical cause.

    Feeling fat, despite being underweight – You may feel overweight in general or just “too fat” in certain places, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.

    Fixation on body image – Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight.

    Harshly critical of appearance – Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. There’s always something to criticize. You’re never thin enough.

    Denial that you’re too thin – You may deny that your low body weight is a problem while trying to conceal it (drinking a lot of water before being weighed, wearing baggy or oversized clothes).

    Purging symptoms

    Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics – Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss.

    Throwing up after eating – Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom. May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints.

    Compulsive exercising – Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. Working out extra hard after bingeing or eating something “bad.”

Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise

Don’t let their smile fool you

If you stop and look around, notice the people that walk past, notice the people you work with or even the people close to you. If you look close enough, you will see that each one of us is fighting our own battle. Whether it be a battle of overcoming a loss or even a battle to achieve our dreams. It may even be a battle to just be able to get out of bed each morning and make it to the next day.

No one’s life is as perfect as it looks

Even the successful, the beautiful and the well-known people that seem to have it all, think about it, do they really? We all have problems. The truth of the matter is that we will always face problems in some sort of manner. It’s a part of life and it’s what makes us grow.

We tend to judge and compare our lives to those that seem to have what we want but do we really know what they’re feeling? They may even have an illness we don’t know about. They may have some sort of addiction or experiencing abuse we don’t know about. They may be going through some tough circumstances. What people show to the public is not always necessarily the whole picture…

There is more to life than the glamor and what is shown on social media. Not everyone will post their problems. There is a lot going on behind the scenes. We shouldn’t compare our lives to others. We don’t know what it took for them to get to where they are and we don’t know the battle they are fighting themselves.

 

I have never met a strong person with an easy past

There are people that seem so confident, seem to have it together and when things get tough, it seems to not affect them as it would others. Their smile lights up the room and their presence is felt wherever they are. How can they be so happy? How can they be so strong? We start to wish we had their confidence and use the excuse that they can do it because they’re confident and it’s just not in our own personality.

In my journey thus far, some of the strongest, most confident people I have met have gone through the worst pain and struggles. Once I got to know them and learned of their past and their stories, my heart felt for them. I wanted to cry. They weren’t just naturally tough. They weren’t born with confidence. These people are the way they are because life gave them no other choice.

Comparing ourselves to others

We really shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. If we look deep enough we will find that we all are messed up. We all have issues. We all have fears. Some just hide it better than the others. The strongest and happiest people have been through hell and back. The only thing that kept them sane was the faith and hope that they would make it through the end of the dark tunnel.

Those people that seem to always be happy, always be laughing, always be smiling – take a deeper look. Don’t let their smile fool you because behind every smile, every laughter, every person is a story yet to be told.

How I stopped being depressed

Since the start of this year, and for 4 months following that, I have been battling with feeling depressed. And even though I thought I had overcome it during the first few months, its devastating effects lingered and haunted me in subtle ways.

It wasn’t until a series of personal struggles and more episodes of emotional breakdowns that followed did it eventually “crack” me and had brought me back to a place of serenity.

This is a slice of that story.

I have been writing and rewriting this article on and off for several months, each time exposing different details and insights. With every version, I would allow self-doubt or excuses to overtake me, I would then scrap the piece and start over.

Truth be told, I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to see me this way. I was ashamed at who I had become. I felt lost. I was struggling with everything and I had to “stand up” again.

Then it occurred to me that, sharing my struggles with you is a good thing. It exposes my own battles, the techniques which help me overcome them, and what I have learned through the experience.

It also shows you that all of us are in this together, in that we all dip into the pitfalls of life’s turbulence, but we always recover, and often as a better person.

Depression doesn’t heal overnight, and even though we experience heightened states of happiness during the healing process, complete healing takes time and a lot of loving patience for yourself.

I am a believer that things in our lives happen for a reason, a purpose greater than ourselves, often greater than what we can fully comprehend.

When “bad” things happen, we have two choices, we can blame and prolong our victim identity, sinking deeper into our victim story, OR, we can choose to see the experience as a gift, an opportunity for personal growth, to expand our self-understanding, to expand our capacity to love ourselves, and to expand our capacity of compassion for others.

I choose to see what happened to me as a gift. The Universe loves me so much that she gave me a series of challenges that knocked me down. She knows that I have within me, all that I need to stand up again.

I choose to see what happened to me as stepping-stones to learning incredible life lessons that I wouldn’t gain any other way.

I choose to see what I experienced as a pathway of awakening, to discover the sacred within me, which also lies in every one of you.

I choose to view the events that lead to what I experienced as an act of compassion from the Universe so that I can share my understanding to others experiencing similar pain.

Life is really very good, but we forget sometimes that we have choices at every step of the way. We have the choice to act or react. We have the choice of perspective. We have the choice of stepping back, taking a deep breath, and then moving forward deliberately.

We have the choice of creating, with the power of our mind, how we want the story of our lives to go.

Every moment of every day, we have a clean slate, in which we can decide what our future will be. If we don’t do so consciously and deliberately, we simply bring what was once in the past into the future, and repeatedly live in the pain of the past.

Every time we tell someone our story of pain, where we play the victim, we are creating the same pain in our future. So, if you want a future free from pain, a future free from the past, tell a different story. Stop complaining, stop looking for sympathy from others, stop dwelling on all the unfairness that life has put you through.

Life is very short, and it is very beautiful but only if we choose to see it as such. Do you really want to waste the limited time we have on this planet by dwelling on something that happened in the past, which is no longer real? Or choosing with deliberate intention to live life fully, to appreciate the everyday miracles we once took for granted, to focus on things that make us happy and fulfilled.

10 things you must give up to move forward

If you want to fly and move on to better things, you have to give up the things that weigh you down which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.

Starting today, give up…

1-Letting the opinions of others control your life.

People know your name, not your story.  They’ve heard what you’ve done, but not what you’ve been through. In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts. Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.

2-The shame of past failures.

You will fail sometimes, and that’s okay.  The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant.  Your past does not equal your future.  Just because you failed yesterday; or all day today, or a moment ago; or for the last six months; or for the last sixteen years, doesn’t have any impact on the current moment.  All that matters is what you do right now.

3-Being indecisive about what you want.

You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be.  It’s all about finding and pursuing your passion.  Neglecting passion blocks creative flow.  When you’re passionate, you’re energized.  Likewise, when you lack passion, your energy is low and unproductive.  Energy is everything when it comes to being successful.  Make a decision to figure out what you want, and then pursue it passionately.

4-Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you.

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.  Follow your intuition.  Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.  When there is love and inspiration, you can’t go wrong.  And whatever it is you want to do, do it now.  There are only so many tomorrows.  Trust me, in a year from now, you will wish you had started today.

5-Choosing to do nothing.

You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when.  You can only decide how you are going to live, right now.  Every day is a new chance to choose.  Choose to change your perspective.  Choose to flip the switch in your mind from negative to positive.  Choose to turn on the light and stop fretting about with insecurity and doubt.  Choose to do work that you are proud of.  Choose to see the best in others, and to show your best to others.  Choose to truly LIVE, right now.

6-Your need to be right.

If you keep on saying you’re right, even if you are right now, eventually you will be wrong.  Aim for success, but never give up your right to be wrong.  Because when you do, you will also lose your ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.

7-Running from problems that should be fixed.

We make life harder than it has to be.  The difficulties started when… conversations became texting, feelings became subliminal, sex became a game, the word ‘love’ fell out of context, trust faded as honesty wanted, insecurities became a way of living, jealousy became a habit, being hurt started to feel natural, and running away from it all became our solution.  Stop running!  Face these issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive and LOVE the people in your life who deserve it.

8-Making excuses rather than decisions.

Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem-solving.  A mistake doesn’t become a failure until you refuse to correct it. Thus, most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions.

9-Overlooking the positive points in your life.

What you see often depends entirely on what you’re looking for.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.

10-Not appreciating the present moment.

We do not remember days, we remember moments.  Too often we try to accomplish something big without realizing that the greatest part of life is made up of the little things.  Live authentically and cherish each precious moment of your journey.  Because when you finally arrive at your desired destination, I guarantee you, another journey will begin.

A letter to my best friend

To my bestie,

Thank you for being you and for letting me be me. Thank you for letting me feel so much like myself when I’m with you. Thank you for sharing in my happiest moments, and for genuinely feeling the same; for listening to my saddest stories and radiating compassion and empathy from wherever you are. Thank you for being the only person I ever want to confide in.

Thank you for being the most beautiful person, inside and out. Thank you for making the world a better place, just by being in it. Thank you for making colors a little brighter, sunshine a little warmer, and hugs a little better. Thank you for loving more fiercely than anyone I know. Thank you for defining selfless, always putting others before yourself; you are going to change the world just as much as you have changed mine.

Thank you for the laughs, for the cries, and for everything in between. Thank you for being my rock, my anchor; for keeping me grounded when I feel like I might otherwise blow away. Thank you for all of the things you do, big and small. Thank you for knowing my favorite ice cream flavor and what song I would die for. Thank you for always knowing what to say and for being one of the life’s best teachers. Thank you for making fun of me when I deserve it, and for loving me when I don’t. Thank you for staying constant in a world full of change, and for keeping some normalcy in a world full of chaos.

Thank you for making sure I didn’t get away from you four years ago. Thank you for setting the bar so high and making it impossible to find another friend as good as you. Thank you for making the four short years we have been friends feel like forever and for giving me enough memories to last a lifetime, but not ending there. Thank you for making me hurt when I miss you, but for taking the hurt away when I see you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the absolute privilege and honor of being able to call you my best friend; thank you for being my person. Thank you for giving me these reasons, and a million more, to be thankful for.

Yours Always,

Your Best Friend

You are beautiful

Is beauty a flat stomach? Is beauty perfect skin with no wrinkles? Is beauty freshly painted fingernails? Or is beauty a body with perfect curves?

As a young teenage girl growing up in this generation, where they tell us one thing but change it the next, I want to know these answers.

For as long as I can remember we’ve been told “it’s what’s on the inside that matters,” but is it really?

What if there was a red head girl, with a skinny body and straight teeth, who wasn’t very smart. Then there was a curvy blond that had braces and glasses but was funny and clever. Which one would be considered beautiful?

Do you have beauty when you are intelligent or have perfect hair? Is it on the inside or outside?

Many people think that what you see on the surface is what you’ll find underneath. This assumption is what causes people to think less of themselves. What if you miss out on somebody amazing just because they aren’t engaging when you first look?

I no longer want to be judged by my appearance to others, even if I may be beautiful to them on the outside. Beauty’s not the first glance you sneak in the hallway. It’s the unknown that lies within.

Beauty is the way you look at something that interests you. How you get a spark in your eye when you’re reading a good book or going up to bat. The powerful feeling you get when you score a goal in soccer, or complete a math question that you insisted was unsolvable.

Beauty is the way you treat others and show them you care. How you don’t mind listening even if it bores you because you know they would do the same for you.

Beauty is the way your voice softens when you talk to a little kid or baby. When you help a little kid with a math question and teach them the same way you were taught. How you hold a baby with shaking hands because you can’t believe that you used to be that tiny.

Beauty is your compassion. Being able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, even if you don’t like them.

Beauty is being able to stand up for something you believe in, even if you are the only one standing.

Beauty is integrity. Having the strength to be truthful to others and yourself.

Beauty is acuity. Knowing when it’s the right time to do something, and when it’s not. Putting together the fact that somebody might not be having a good day, and wants to be left alone.

Beauty is unconditional love. Caring for someone that has flaws because we all do. Loving them because they are imperfect, and that’s what makes them beautiful. You love them with all your heart for their personality and not their money or looks.

We shouldn’t be judged by how perfect our hair is parted, or how our eyes don’t have the right contrast with the shirt we are wearing. We aren’t the brand of jeans we are wearing. Not the length of hair we have. Beauty’s the unseen, that can’t be discovered unless you spend enough time to notice.

Our lives are way too short to be discussing what a person is wearing and how ugly they may be. You can’t make that postulation unless you’ve walked in their shoes before and looked deeper than just the surface.

We live our life calling other people unattractive and chunky, thinking they are ugly, but that only makes us uglier. We don’t know and we may never know if they are truly beautiful.

I don’t want to miss out on a true friend or soul mate because I won’t look deeper than their outer facade. I want to be the one that is willingly able to see their true beauty. I want to tell them they are funny when they need a boost. Or give them a hug and remind them just how magnificent they are. We live in a society that has made its own definition of beauty, that consists of looks and constantly compared to people that are perfect from the outside. That isn’t fair and we shouldn’t all be sorted under the same description because we are all exclusively special.

We all were born with different types of beauty. Some of us have a better way of showing theirs than others but that’s what makes us all unique. I love who I am and I love knowing other people do too. I don’t want to be judged by my looks anymore, though. I’d rather be called ugly because somebody doesn’t like my personality instead of just the way I look. Beauty runs deeper than the skin, deeper than a flat stomach, deeper than freshly painted fingernails, and deeper than perfect curves. We can’t see the beauty and we never will, at least not the true kind.

Lisa K. Langlois

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