Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Confessions of a Suicidal Yogi

posted by Beyond Blue

I used to attend a weekly candlelight yoga class. Every Friday evening I would seek courage in warrior pose, stability in tree pose, and peace in lotus pose. And for what seemed like eternity I wondered, “What am I doing wrong?”

I recently unearthed this entry in my journal from that time. Here was the dialogue inside my head as I knelt in child’s pose one Friday night:

One hour at a time. You can do it. Just make it to the end of class.

Then what? Do the math. I’m only 35. I could live up to 60 more years. I might be less than halfway through my life. A truly frightening thought. If I had a terminal illness–cancer or some tumor–I could probably hold on a few more years. But what if God isn’t merciful and makes me endure another five or sex decades? Can’t do it.

Stop it. Jesus, be with me. Think positively. Life is a gift.

That’s a lie. Why should I say that when I don’t mean it? Why did God create me if all I want to do is die? Everyone feels this way. It’s just un-American to admit it. This nation is too programmed by Disney and McDonalds to be real. No one questions the attitude-of-gratitude that is force-fed to us all the time.

Where does everyone find the strength to go on? Why doesn’t everyone commit suicide? Are people just better at faking happiness than I am? I am a crappy liar. That’s my problem. Make-believe worlds have never appealed to me. On this side of death anyway. Peace isn’t here. It’s there. I’ve got to get there. Now.

Stop it. Concentrate on your breath. It’s speeding up. Slow down. Inhale. One. Two. Three. Four. Exhale. Jesus, be with me. Positive thoughts. Why can’t you do that? Blessings! Count them!

Ninety-nine percent of the world has it worse than me and yet they have grateful hearts. I am a spoiled brat holding all the goodies and complaining. I have no reason to feel this way. I’m a pathetic self-absorbed creature. Maybe I am miserable because I don’t do enough charity work. Life isn’t meant to be enjoyed. It’s about helping others. I need to volunteer more.

Uh oh. Here I go. I can’t stop the tears. Think happy thoughts. David’s birth. Katherine’s. Your wedding day. Some happy childhood memory. Go there. Now. Jesus, be with me.

Those memories don’t matter anymore. I’m not the person I was and I never will be. The kids deserve a better mother, someone who can be there for them instead of crying and shaking at all their activities. David has already been affected by my erratic moods. Look at his conduct in Karate yesterday. He needs a mom who can nurture him emotionally. Not a sobbing mess of a mom always worried about her next anxiety attack.

I need to do something before the kids form too many memories of their whackjob mother. If I frame my suicide as an accident, they will get over it soon enough.

Stop. Stop. Think positive. Light. Jesus, be with me. Breathing. Slow it down.

Last time I counted I had at least twenty bottles of old prescriptions stashed away in the garage. That should be plenty to do the job. But what if it doesn’t? I can’t make Eric take care of a veggie his whole life. I want him to move on. He deserves better, someone who can contribute more to family life than I ever did. I’ll have to combine the drugs with another method.

Stop it! Jesus, be with me! Think positive. Think light. Healing light. Andrew Weil (an expert on EXTENDING life!?!) and all those positive psychology guys (Dan Baker, Martin Seligman) are right. I have the power to think myself out of this. I just don’t want to. I’m too lazy. Or too stupid? Why can’t I? What is the matter with me? Think positive, Therese! Think positive! Blessings! Count them! Jesus, be with me!

Carbon monoxide. The method Aunt Mary Lou used. But Eric’s woodworking equipment takes up the whole garage. I can’t fit the car in. Wait. I have Bill’s keys. I could use his garage. But that’s kind of rude. And it wouldn’t look like an accident.

I could hire someone from the ‘hood to shoot me. Joani could hook me up. But she’d tell Eric and then I’d be committed again. Back eating rubber chicken with a group of psychotic women wearing paper-thin hospital gowns. Yuck.

Harry from the psych ward told me about his plan to jump off the Bay Bridge. That could work. Maybe David could push me. He’s good at that. But there’s a chance it wouldn’t take me all the way. Again, veggie world. Plus it doesn’t look like an accident.

I could catch a flight to Baghdad, or show up in Kabul in a bikini.

Stop it! Stop it! Think positive. Jesus, be with me! Why aren’t you there? God! Why aren’t you there?

Eric knows I’m a horrible driver. Why not crash really hard into a tree or a concrete wall or the side of a building? I could take the twenty bottles and then drive into the wall, just to make sure.

Jesus, be with me!

There’s that gun store in Bowie that I looked it up the other day. I could shoot myself as I’m wading into the waters of Back Creek, at my favorite spot off Chesapeake Ave. I could tie weights to my shoes to make sure I sink. Or I could load my pockets with rocks and perish Virginia-Wolfe style.

Stop. Please stop. Think positive. Practice controlled breathing. Jesus, be with me.

Got it! I’ll rent a kayak, take the twenty bottles of pills, and tie weights to my ankles. My body will be swallowed up by Spa Creek. And the kids won’t have too much baggage because it will look like a kayaking accident. I’ve got to do it soon. Before I permanently damage my two little loves. And before Eric loses too much of his heart and soul by hanging out with me. It’s the right thing to do: for me, for the kids, and for Eric.

Stop. Positive thoughts. Breathing. Jesus, be with me.

Thursday mornings I have a sitter. Spring River starts renting kayaks at 10 am. The weather is still warm enough.

Jesus, be with me.



  • http://HASH(0xcef4974) l.

    your kids and husband will never get over it. they will know it’s suicide; you won’t be able to fool them. i won’t tell you why because i don’t want you to formulate another idea in committing suicide. i won’t tell you that life/death is not scary, to say the least. i can’t say that i myself have never thought of suicide; sometimes, though i don’t dwell on the thought, i still suffer from depression and fleeting thoughts of suicide. i’ve had panic attacks before. i look at how busy and tiring and monotonous and sometimes lonely my life can be and wonder how i can stand to get up every morning. sometimes i wonder if this is all there is to my life — work, eat, sleep, die. but i choose to believe that God has me here for a reason, though that is unclear. even if there were no reason, i believe that my life has made a permanent impact on people — not least of all my family. taking myself out of it is something i have decided i would never do, because the thought of causing them suffering would be worse than my own. remembering this keeps me going. and God has kept me going; i can’t say exactly how, except that it has been by His immense grace and love. i sincerely pray for you; i pray that you won’t always feel this way and that God will renew His peace, purpose and joy for living in your life. i truly believe He wants you whole even more than you and your loved ones do. no matter what, your taking yourself out of your family and friend’s life will not help them; it will set them back even more than you think your illness will. i was down about all this stuff too, but i can honestly say that God got me through and that i have peace now, even though life is not exactly the way i’d like it to be. Jesus really is with you, though it does not feel like it right now. when you are going through the worst, it never feels like it. remember the poem “footprints in the sand”. i really believe that when we see only one set of footprints, it is because He is carrying us. He is carrying you in ways you do not see. continue to trust Him, though it’s hard. throw all your weight on Him; He can carry it. and God really does love you. and your family. p.s.: God has also used music in my life to help heal me. can i recommend a good CD that might uplift you: “I Have to Believe”, by Rita Springer. listen to the title track and let God minister to you. God Bless You.

  • http://HASH(0xcef4968) l.

    p.p.s.: i’m going to check back on your blog to see how you’re doing!

  • http://HASH(0xcef4b0c) l.

    i feel i need to apologize to you. i just read some of your other blog entries, and now i understand that you have bipolar. i’ve known people with bipolar, so i have caught a glimpse of what the illness does to those who have it, even though i have never experienced that kind of depression myself. i thought i knew exactly what you were feeling when i wrote the first comment, but i see i probably had no concept of the depths of the issue, so i’m sorry about that. by the same token, i don’t think you’ll misunderstand me when i say that what i said was heartfelt. you may or may not always have this illness, but God is there for you. remember that. and i hope that you will never end your life, because God will take your mess and make something beautiful out of it.

  • http://HASH(0xcef67e8) Iris Alantiel

    Hang in there, Therese. We may not all know exactly what you’re going through, but we’re walking with you just the same.

  • http://Bipolar james mckenna

    You have to hang in there, I have been where you are and I found my way back. You will have to find someone that understands what your going thru. I was in the hospital seven time’s had E.C.T. six times. Thru all this my wife and five children could not undrestand what I was going thru, but they never gave up on me and Thats why I never gave up on myself. IT took a long time to find the right med. but it was worth it. Just think when you fall down pick yourself up. Never, never give up.It will be worth it,take it from me when you suffer,and with Bipolar disorder it is twice is hard. You will have the highs and there will be the low’s. Talk to your family with a good doc.. It will help them better so they may understand your illness You can not do this alone.

  • http://HASH(0xcef8740) Different_But_Equal

    I remember being firmly against medications as a method of fixing depression. It seemed like a cheap way out. After growing up some I began to look at it this way: there’s a roadblock somewhere preventing the right stuff from getting to your brain, and the meds will take care of the roadblock. However, you can’t give up on the meditation. After all, if you’ve crashed your car into a wall in the road, the wall not only needs to be removed, but the car needs to be fixed. Take your medication and continue to pray and meditate. I know it’s difficult with bipolar disorder to concentrate, but you have to keep trying. Hell, it’s difficult for me myself to concentrate, and I don’t have BPD. But you have to keep trying. By the way, sweetheart, 99% of the world is not grateful for what they have. You have to realize that everyone is at least a little bit unsatisfied. Some people more so than others. You’re one of those people. I am, too. And there are lots more like us. Are you in a support group? If you’re not, find one. If you are, attend or continue to attend religiously. And begin to think positively. Having your screename be “Beyond Blue” only serves as a reminder that you are feeling down. Maybe change your name? Or begin associating the color blue with the sky or the ocean, something powerful and awe-inspiring? The kids will have plenty of baggage no matter how you die. My mother’s parents died 16 years ago and she can still cry about it, especially around the holidays. And if your husband is still with you during all this, it’s strengthening his soul, not draining it. He’d be a scumbag for dumping you in your hour of need. Take a few calming breaths. Begin telling yourself some eternal truths: 1. This is not your fault 2. This is fixable, or at least workable 3. There are some things you can control, and you need to take action on those things 4. There are some things you can’t control, and you shouldn’t worry so much about them 5. You are loved by family, by friends, and by God 6. This is not your time to go Most of all, you must begin to feel better about yourself. I don’t think modern medicine often takes into account that our brains are very effected by our enviornment. Some suggestions: 1. Dedicate a room in your house to yourself and fill it with anything beuatiful that you love 2. If you feel you are a bad driver, ask your husband or someone to teach you how to improve yourself 3. Sit down and have tea-time or breakfast talks with your kids. It’s very hard to ruin kids. A child’s innocence is lost not through knowing that bad things happens, but by losing the sense that they are loved unconditionally. Let your kids know you love them unconditionally 4. Watch your diet. Make sure it’s filled with nutritious fruits and vegetables that stiumulate the mind. Avoid foods packed with chemicals, and meat–meat causes sluggishness and puts a strain on the digestive system. 5. Watch yourself like a hawk! The minute you start feeling guilty or sad, do something. Never underestimate the power of distraction. Read. Watch a romantic comedy. Play with your kids. Cuddle with your husband. Meditate. Pray. Go volunteering. Go outside and watch the birds flying and singing. Surround yourself with some kind of beauty. Do some kind of creative outlet–write, paint, draw, sing, anything. Eventually, your happy “escape from reality” will become your reality. 6. Don’t stop taking meds, but don’t get frustrated when they don’t appear to be working. These things take time and it is one of those things you simply can’t control. Relax. And please know that you are not alone in this. Tons of people are suffering from a whole array of ailments. It’s your duty to help those people in your sight. That includes yourself, and you must start with yourself. You’re going to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail again. And then you are going to try again. If you fall seven times, get up eight times. Eventually your trying will pay off. Steel yourself ahead of time that you are going to feel the lowest of lows and well as the highest of highs. It’s inevitable that this is going to happen. Don’t be afraid of it. This happens to everyone who ever lives. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And never ever be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Keeping your silence is the worst thing you can do right now. What I think is most important is for you to forgive yourself. Your words are riddled with needless self-hatred. I’ve been there, too, so don’t feel bad. Like I said, everyone’s a little bit unsatisfied. There’s a lovely Jewish prayer that might help: “I turn to those I have hurt and ask forgiveness. I turn to those who have hurt me and forgive them. I turn within and forgive myself.” If you’re ever feeling down, repeat this to yourself over and over like a Buddhist mantra. My heart goes out to you. You are not alone, honey.

  • http://HASH(0xcef97f8) maggie

    I,too use to think like this. Underlying all that you say, is the feeling that you are worthless and everyone in your family would be better off without you. But you know what, my eldest got pregnant at 18, almost died giving birth, had to have blood transfusions, her boyfriend abandoned both her and her child, boy was I worthwhile. She needed a mother and the child needed a grandmother. I wasn’t perfect and made so many mistakes, but you know what -they got it – the message was loud and clear – I loved them and supported them, with all my misgivings, they felt blessed. My daughter is now 23, the child, is 4, she is finishing college and is in a stable and nourshing relationship, time to relax right? No, she was just told she has precancerous cells, needs treatment, needs surgery so guess what, in I step in with all my faults and misgivings, and I am there to fill a void, that no one can, because I am her mother, and nothing can compare with a mother’s love, so I screw up, say the wrong thing, talk to much to the doctor, spoil the baby, on and on my list of mistakes, but underneath it all – they know that I love them and that is the greatest gift of all. The life cycle is continuous. Without you there would be no children, people give you clues and God speaks quietly as he pronounces your self-worth- it is just that when you are depressed you don’t hear people or God, for some reason you miss the signs, not through your fault. Without your knowing it, you just gave me a gift, the ability to write to you to let you know that I was there, and if I am not careful will be there again, Read Psalm 23 Twenty-Third Psalm The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff–they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.- Psalms 23: 1-6I still sit in bed at night with the bible in the bed with me. Me and my youngest daughter read the psalms and it helps. I ask my children to pray for me, and the power of God is magnificent. You need help, maybe drugs, some therapy, depression is a life long battle, you need good friends, but remember people don’t understand depression, and will say things like what is the matter with you, pick yourself up, etc. Don’t listen to them because sometimes just taking a bath is hard. I started little things, put on make-up every day, talk to a friend, do little thinks,

  • http://HASH(0xcefb794) D

    I’m 50 years old, Male 6′, 300 lbs, and I’m sitting at my desk sobbing like a three year old who lost his teddy bear. I’ve been there, had all those thoughts and then some. Finally, three years back,coming close to the end of yet another failed relationship,I sought help. Guess what? I’m clinically depressed! Well at least now I know I ain’t crazy! I have good days and bad days and worse days, but I’m still here and still in the relationship. To anyone considering the “final decision” DON’T!!! After all the thoughts of ending it, my life was almost ended at someone else’s hand, and I discovered just how much I have to live for. Shalom to all, and especially you, Beyond Blue. Thanks for being a voice; our voice; crying in the wilderness.

  • http://HASH(0xcefbcd4) T.

    WOW, Therese! I honestly didnt think there was another that plunged the same way I did. I could have wrote your article! I was so moved, and also felt I was not so alone and crazy. BTW-my son in law took his life 5 years ago at the age of 25….we all will never fully recover, as it left a path of destuction. GBY as you search for truth.

  • Sheila Wall-Wahab

    I wonder what percentage of people feel this way and hide it. I know its got to be at least double of what it was 25 years ago. There is a great online depression (Christian) support group. Go to http://www.yahoo.com ,click on groups, then in the search box, type ‘splashes of Joy’. The people are so amazing and supportive and non judgmental. Ok here’s a switch for you. I have thought this way for about 15 years. I am in disabling pain, weakness. Iave lost my husband, children, country, home, jobs, ability to work, friends, and ended up in a bedroom in my parents home. I wanted to go home to heaven! Then 3 weeks ago I got told that I probably have less than a year to live. I should be happy I am out of this pain wracked, useless, alone body! (Lupus). I should be happy I finished my journey and get to go home early. (mid 40s). After all, that’s all I wanted. My heart stopped many times, I had NDEs, got revived, and got mad at God for not letting me stay on the other side. I should be happy I will no longer be a burden on my terminally ill mother,father and brother.We all wonder who will die first. I keep wondering how I will do all I need to do before the end. People who die with cancer are pampered with help, agencies, hospices, medicines, home care, book, supportive friends and neighbors, but dying with any other disease, you are on your own. I am so much on my own that I don’t even have anyone who would come to my funeral…I have been told a dozen times before that I can only live about 2 years in my condition, and i always thought “So what? My heart will stop again, I will have another NDE , I will be sent back to earth again, then they will tell me “2 years” again.” I want to add here one thing I learned in those NDEs. WE expect a lot more of ourselves than God expects of us. He expects us to learn to love Him, find a relationship with Him though we can’t see Him, and expects us to be good to our fellow man, but not to overdo our limits. He knows we have limitations because He created us the way we are. Don’t expect so much from yourself, is what I was told. But this time of being told I may not live…it feels different. This time I suddenly WANT to get well, to ENJOY some of life, to learn as much as possible before going on to the next stage of our existence, maybe even stick around to see the Lord’s second coming! It seems so ironic that when I wanted to die, even when my heart stopped, I was not allowed to die, and now I have a new husband (waiting for his immigration to come through, and now may never be with him, may never experience all my plans and dreams of a new life with him). This time I am on oxygen and have strength to be up less than 5 minutes. I am thankful for even 5 minutes because last week before I got the oxygen, my limit was 10 seconds. Lupus attacks different organs of the body as if they are foreign particles, thinking they are germs or viruses etc. I have had kidney failure, pancreas failure (diabetes), stomach failure (gastroparesis) well just damage to every organ, then it moves on to another organ to cause pain, fatigue, fever, inflammation, weakness. I have had 18 surgeries, many to remove lupus destroyed tissue. I’ve had just about eveything expendible removed, and parts of some organs I really need. Ok so what if hubby can’t immigrate? What if I don’t feel better after the treatment they offered me? Then I will want to die again. Depression is genetic in my family and I have spent my life fighting it with prescriptions, natural meds, alternative medicine, changing the way I am thinking, energy healing, chakra healing, A VERY STRONG FAITH AND COMFORT from my Lord (yes, people with faith get deperessed too, there are suicidal people in the Bible) positive thinking, on and on…and you DO get to the point that you think that NOTHING is going to work. So if nothing works, then I have learned that I am still here for a reason and I am not going to get out of here until I learn more, maybe learning to love life was my test, and as soon as I learned to appreciate it, then I “graduated” and got told I get to go home from this school called “earth”. Is this feeling of wanting to live just a joke that will help me live through the current crisis, and then I will still be sick and alone and useless and in unbearable pain and still want to die? At least if this was cancer, I could KNOW it would end one way or another. Either you are cured or you die. With most chronic illnesses, you don’t get that assurance, the pain is WORSE than cancer, and you don’t get the medicines or the understanding or the support of any agency or family or friends or church. They don’t understand an illness that goes on for 20+ years. They stop bringing “get well” cards and visits after 2 weeks! We are the pariah house, no one dares come to see us because thinking of 4 people who are dying makes them too sad. Its as if we have leprosy. My husband loves me so much he wanted to come help me take care of myself and my family, but there have been so many ridiculous delays that are too much to be coincidence, that I think its too selfish of me to want him with me, if it means I might pass away and he would be left a widower in a new country. it would also be horrible to live with a terminally ill wife and be in a country that he didn’t know the culture yet and I can’t even give him 3 meals a day. We have fantasized about going to some cruise or resort that supplies all the meals, entertainment, housekeeping, and just love each other until the “end”…but we are not rich…so I want to ask God why he wanted me to be SOOOO alone at the end and that no agency will help anyone in this house and I’ve had ads in the papers to hire someone but there is a labor shortage in Canada so there is not enough people willing to work for private people. So do we really want to throw out the baby with the bath water? Do we really want to stop the joy we feel when we smell something great, or learn something new, or hear children laugh, or accomplish something great, or overome a trial, or millions of other things that make up the small joys of life, or do we just want the pain (mental or physical) to stop? We are only sent to earth once, and if we don’t learn from our trials, or do what we came here to do, we will spend eternity in worse depression and torment than we feel temporarily now…so since we are going to stay on this earth until we are finished, and even if we try suicide, or our heart stops, we will still live, unless its God’s will that we have finished and can go home…we might as well make each day as enjoyable and bearable as possible. We should seek books or people or websites that can teach us how to enjoy life. The small joys are the only joys we have, but they do add up to lessons and memories and wisdom that we can share with others to get through their lives. Since we MUST be here, lets make it as wonderful as possible.Lets go home with lessons learned, knowing we tried our best, even when things were too much to carry, and that we asked the Lord to help us carry our loads, so that we can hear Him say “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter therein.” HANG IN THERE!!!

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