I survived a suicide attempt.
However my friend, he did not. This is what suicide looks like. This is him after hanging himself, right before he died. February 25th 2010.
The difference between us is nothing, except our resources.
Quick update (2016.02.21): this was penned yesterday and the sun is back shining today both literally and figuratively, basking in the Rays. Unseasonably warm here in Virginia, such a contrast in temp and mood for me from just last week. Thank you for reading my journey!
Artwork: “Life Pain” by Donna Shell
“I am a 29 year old average Australian Psychology student who has ADD, depression, anxiety and Binge Eating Disorder. I am no artist, but I can dream. I have found an outlet in creating – be it by computer, words, or images. This image is a visualization of the intense emotional pain that is currently […]
And the surrender to the Divine Essence expressing through and around me.
[and one day] My coming out [of my self-imposed prison]
is the marriage of twin souls with my life partner
Unfolding as more than we could ever on on our own.
-Alana Fairchild “Journey of Love”
She came into my room and stood beside my bed while I dreamt dreams of other wordly places. Her platinum blonde hair reflected what little moonlight was able to seep into the otherwise pitchblack room. “Mama,” she said softly as she stood over my sleeping body, “mama, a woman died in this house.” I awoke from my dream inside of a dream and asked her to show me the woman. Without a word, my daughter stepped to the side and a multi-colored, magnificent and beautiful light suddenly, yet calmly, appeared before me. I was comforted by the light of the woman’s presence, though at that time in my life (even in dreams), I was terrified of spirits. “I see,” I said and then I returned to my slumber within my dream.
It was not until the next day that I recognized that I was the woman who revealed herself, through my daughter, to me in the dream. At that time, over five years ago, I did not see the significance of why I had died there. It is only now that I see how I had let go of so much of who I was, and who I thought I wanted to be, while living in that space. I put so many aspects of myself “out to pasture” while I became a working mother whose world and activities revolved around many things, leaving little for herself.
Last year about this time, I began to revive my warrior. It was only natural that I would need her to survive the upcoming year of separation and moving out on my own (for the first time ever). The Warrior’s CPR was performed through weight training and running meditations that included street and obstacle races. Much to my surprise at the time, she really came alive in the mud! Her revival lead to many outward changes in my life. With her, I recaptured the desire to fight and stand up for myself again.
It has taken me until this very day to see the many layers of significance in the “Mama, a woman died in this house” dream. For it is now that I have chosen to consciously step into my Divine Feminine role. This has been quite an undertaking as there have been several aspects of the Divine Feminine that I have eschewed for most of my life. For starters, I have always identified more with Athena (Wisdom, Warrior) than Aphrodite (Beautiful, Lover). This is apparent in my choice of reviving the warrior long before the lover. My affinity towards Athena can also be seen in my choice of simple hairstyles and no (or rarely worn) make up. My wardrobe has consisted mainly of shorts or jeans, tank tops, t-shirts, tac hats in black (lots of black) and red…rarely have I worn heels, skirts, dresses or “girly” colors such as pink.
In stepping into the fuller aspects of my feminine self, means stepping into skirts and dresses that I have spent most of my life turning my nose up to because they were “too girly.” In fact, I vividly remember 15 years ago trying on wedding dress after wedding dress. I remember getting very irritated with myself that it was “taking so long” as I could not find a dress that I liked. While standing on the pedestals wearing all white full-skirt dresses with tulle, I could not identify with the woman staring back at me. Perhaps this is why the dress I finally chose was a bridesmaid’s dress of a deep purple. Ahh, so much of my life is beginning to make sense to me now.
It is only now that I admit to myself that I have desired to adorn my body in beautiful fabrics and clothes. Interesting that it has taken me 40 years to do so. So today I choose to take baby steps in the direction of embracing my femininity through the clothes I wear. To the old me, this would have seemed so superficial. To the new me, this is just another way that I can express who I am.
I raise my glass of Bourbon and toast to undying & embracing who I am (and wearing girly clothes, well, some of the time).
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I shall fear no evil.
– Psalm 23
In Buddhism, Shiva, the creator and the destroyer, represents the process of breaking down that needs to occur prior to being able to build back up. Nature is filled with examples of this idea of death and rebirth. A wave breaks on the shore before being pulled back out into the ocean, only to form again. The tree dies, decomposes and becomes the nutrients for the seedlings. This is a natural cycle, yet for some reason in our Western culture we shirk away from the idea of death.
The idea of death can become pervasive for me when moving through the painful aspects of the emotions of change. It is then that I often experience pain in a way that leads me to want to die. (Hang up the phone, there’s no need to call for help.) This is a passive wish for which I do not take harmful actions. Over the years and with learning compassion for myself, I have learned that this “death wish” is only temporary. This is the part of me that no longer works for me; the part of me that needs to be released or transformed. It is the part of me that needs love the most at that moment and it is that part of me that is dying to be loved. Literally.
By being compassionate with myself, by performing my self-care rituals such as meditating, going within, chanting mantras or just being still and honoring the part of myself that is “dying” to be reborn, I find that I can move more quickly through this cycle of death. For this is not a true death; instead it is the shadow, or the threat, of death. It is my belief that this is what is meant in Psalm 23. Death is but a shadow that lurks around us. It is our fear of the shadow that gives it the power to control us. By having faith, we are able to move through the valley (“I shall fear no evil, for thine rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23).
The challenge comes in releasing attachment to the part of me that is dying. The attachment to “who I thought I was” is where the suffering begins, and if I chose to allow it, to also end. Loving myself into my strength looks like, and sometimes feels like, death.
By honoring the natural cycle of death and rebirth, I can keep moving through the process. By honoring myself, through compassion, I am able to be reborn. I am able to leave behind that which no longer serves me.