This blog post is part of the World Suicide Prevention Day blog tour. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.Suicide.org
I’ve Been There
I’ve felt the hollowness of depression. I’ve had moments where a fight or bad news was all I could feel. I’ve had whole periods where I didn’t seem to have one big thing that took up my brain, but I still felt like there was no real point in living. In my younger years, I’ve thought that death seemed like a valid way out. BUT if I had ever really gone through with it, I would have missed the good stuff between then and now.
And there is good stuff. Hell, there’s frickin’ awesome stuff.
Fast forward a few years, and my dark thoughts on bad days are just of me simply driving away and starting a transient life way different than my current one. Yep, not the permanence of death. Just escape. And we have all wanted to escape at some point.
A New Perspective Can Be Gold
What changed? My perspective. With time comes a shit ton of perspective.
Whether this depression is brought on by money troubles, relationship explosions, or one of the other million parts that make up life, there are ways of being happy again. And something that seems like a HUGE frickin’ deal ends up being very manageable.
Money troubles like debt can be fixed. Relationships can be mended and/or new relationships can start. Grief gets less pointy with time. Life is worth living.
The trick to making it through the bad times is to get out of your own head. When I’ve been concentrating too much on myself and my current troubles, I volunteer even more with charities. Feeling useful to the world can make a night and day difference.
And there are millions of charities, so you can totally find something that is a great fit for you – just don’t be afraid to try a bunch of things while you find it.
I’m 33 right now. In my adult life, I have volunteered with:
- The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA)
- Angel Food Ministries
- Meals on Wheels
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Houston Food Bank
- Texas Paw Party
- SMART Pet Rescue
A few of those like the HSPCA, Pughearts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and currently SMART were long-term (a couple of years or more). The rest were for a few months to a year while I lived in their respective areas or figured out that they weren’t the best fit for me. In my case, animals are always easier to help than people, so I’ve learned to gravitate towards that with my volunteer time.
What passions do you have? You could find ways to help adults, children, animals, the environment, your specific community, etc. Sites like http://www.volunteermatch.org/ make it easy to find opportunities in your area if you haven’t already come across ones you are interested in trying!
Just Physically Get Out and About
My main point is that you need to get out of your own head when you feel like there just isn’t a way out.
Volunteering helps me gain perspective, but so can spending time with your least stressful friends or family, traveling, day trips to local places like zoos and botanical gardens, etc.
If a specific problem has led to your distress, reach out to someone in that niche and get some advice. Hell, just email me and if I can’t steer you out of the crap, I will find someone who can. You deserve to give yourself time and perspective.
And again, if you truly can’t think of any other way out, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.Suicide.org. They can help too. Just don’t check out before you have a chance to see past your current crap…it’s most likely super shitty but not unmanageable.
Take it from someone who has been there too.