How To Survive Mental Sickness

I have heard people decided to took their own life in the past 6 months. From a celebrity to recently a young mom who jumped from 10th floor early in the morning, leaving her 8 months old baby and a confused husband.

When I google the word ‘ibu muda bunuh diri’ meaning ‘young mom suicide’, I found a very sad news that there are many others from different ages and backgrounds. So many that it breaks my heart that I cried.

I am deeply sorry for what they’ve been through. I know what they felt. I know a suicidal feeling. The urge of killing yourself. The thought that death is the only way out. The loneliness. The sickness. The pain. ‘Normal’ people couldn’t understand how we feels. It’s exclusive for us who have mental sickness.

Is it stress? Depression? We all have stress, depression, life is not all rainbow and unicorn, we don’t even think of ending our lives. Yes, it is easier said than done. For us with mental sickness, what seems small to you is like a giant crushing our whole world. What is normal to you is extraordinary for us.

When you don’t meet certain expectations, you have the spirit to move on, start over again. We don’t. When we don’t find things as we expect them to be, we started to feel suffocated, drowned in our disappointments. Unable to see any good side of any of whatever it is. We’ll be stuck in our zone. Some of us got lucky and got out from the zone, some of us don’t survive the zone.

I don’t talk about surveys or studies about suicidal mothers, but I’m just gonna share what I’ve been through. That I know how it feels. And I’m still trying to survive.

I had the 1st suicidal thought when I was at elementary school, then at high school, then at college, then once when I’ve had my 1st baby. I’m still alive though, am I cured?

I don’t think mental sickness has cures. You can get therapy after therapy with pills (so many pills) that are intended to bring you to the stage of calmness and to make you sleep (a lot of sleeps). Does it help? Yes, for short period of time. What’s next? More therapy and more pills.

Did I ever go to a psychiatrist? I did. Did it help? Yes, for short period of time. Then what? I stopped seeing him and I therapy myself. Meaning? I self taught myself to ease my mental sickness.

This are some tips for you that I find it works for me:

1.Go Away!

I decided to go far away from my family. I was living with my aunt and her family, occasionally visit my mom. Years after years, I’ve tried to overcome my issues, but it didn’t work. When I was in college, I found myself worsen. Then I had the urge to go away from them, from the family who suffocated me. Somewhere far away, away from their reach.

Once I had the thought of leaving, it’s like the urge to kill myself never came to visit. My focus had shifted. Then I planned my leave. I went to other island, still part of Indonesia, alone, no friends nor family. I was an alien deserted in a land of strangers.

Almost got sold to a brothel house, got robbed, met some friends, met some love, met some enemies, had the live of my life. I had a new life.

2. Change your focus

As I mentioned above, when I changed my focus into something else, the urge of killing myself was gone (or at least were sleeping).

When you’re in a new environment you have new perspectives, new experiences, new challenges, new spirit, new life. And you’ll find yourself excited again, live again, you become new you.

I was busy surviving in the island, busy finding a job, busy applying to a job, busy living my new life.

3. Plan

I didn’t know that I have to plan my life in order to have a healthy mindset. Planning means, I need to know what I’m doing with this life I have. Not just ‘go with the flow’ mindset which will make my life jumbled up in a mess again. When you have mental sickness, you don’t wanna go near any kind of mess.

I did a lot of thinking about what I want in my life. I wrote it down, made my plans, and I executed them, one by one. Small steps along the way.

And you know what? I achieved every single thing I wanted. I got the job that I dreamed of since I was a little girl. I got to do what I like to do, made money over my talent, which is singing.

Like I said, I had a new life. I lived a new world.

4. Enjoy the process

Was I had a beautiful rainbow life? Of course not, things happened. Bad things happened. But I was already in a stage of developing myself into a new me, and I like the new me. For the first time in my life, I have the confident to live a life as me.

Some people still didn’t like me, didn’t find me beautiful, didn’t like my voice, didn’t like what I did, just like it was (my sick old self). But the different was, I was already finding myself, knowing myself, acknowledge myself, loving myself. And I was so selfish that I want to keep the new me that I didn’t find any of those issues bothered me. Not at all.

I enjoyed every single process of my new life.

5. Empty out the negative

Make room for good things. Don’t let negativity sour your life again. Give no place to negativity. Don’t hang around people feeding you the negativity. Let go what didn’t work out. Don’t associate with the wrong people.

I resigned from my jobs when I found that it was not a healthy environment for me anymore. I quit 4 jobs when I finally got married and back in Jakarta. I was able to measure myself on how much I could take. I made the decision to stay away from negativity as much as I can.

Surround yourself with positive people. You need good real friends/partner/spouse so that you can share and tell them freely what’s bothering you. A free judgmental people who can give you all the support you need and all ears to everything you want to share with them.

6. Peace with yourself

Give yourself a break. Don’t go your life being against yourself. Your time is too valuable to sit around dwelling on your flaws & lackness. There will be time of struggle, pressure, difficulties. Don’t get discouraged. That’s not permanent.

Just like you thought you were stuck in the zone, but you did get out and survive right? This too shall pass.

7. Everyday find a reason to laugh

I love music. My all time favorite activities are singing and dancing. So I did. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work in a hotel and as a Sales & Marketing, I got the freedom to have an entertainment sessions with my guests. I went to a club, a pub, a discotheque, and went karaoke with my friends (many many times).

I had a blast every time I spent time singing and dancing. I had a good laugh talking with my guests and share jokes with my friends. No matter what, every single day, find a reason to laugh. When I wasn’t going out, I spent my time in my room watching Friends.

They’re my go to series whenever I was alone. If you haven’t watched them, go find the CD, you can thank me later 😀

8. Find your guidance

Whether it’s your religion or your belief. Find a guidance that can walk you through the journey of your self development.

I’m a Christian. I read bible or devotion or sermon videos that you can search online. Dedicate a time for you to have a quite moment and be grateful. Build your faith that you don’t easily got swayed by the wind of self destruction.

9. Accept who you are

“I have mental sickness and I’m aware of it”. Once you accept who you are, you get the power to control you. You recognized yourself and can have some sort of clear thinking on what you have to do or how to react on any circumstances you are in.

Sometimes the problem of not understanding what you want in life is the denial. You know that you need to let go of the past, yet you’re still clinging on it coz you feel that it doesn’t even bother you anymore yet you’re still blaming yourself for what happened in the past.

10. Love yourself

Go buy that foundation you want coz you want to have a flawless make up. Sleep in and get up at noon coz you deserve it after a long hour at work. Make efforts to love yourself.

Nothing is more rewarding than to self fulfilled yourself so you can feel good about yourself then you can fall in love with yourself and when you love yourself, death is not so tempting anymore coz you love you and you love your life.

Those are what I did (do) to help myself out of the ‘killing myself zone’. I hope it can help you realized that you’re not in this alone. Nobody is alone in this world. Not even you. And this too shall pass. Nothing in this world is permanent, not even us.

We only have one life to live. That life is given by God, our Creator. Only He has the right to give and take our lives. Be patient. Do your best while you’re still alive in this world even sometimes it sucks, but don’t rush your death. It will come to you eventually.

See things from a different angle. Adjust your sits so you can get the best view.

Look around. Be empathetic. Don’t ignore the signs. Share your pain and success. You might save a life.

Author Bio

Dessy Lestari

I started this blog in 2016 hoping to share my passion to inspire and motivate others.

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