When you are in pain, it is impossible to think of anything else and it feels like there will never be any relief. This is not true. Pain does not last forever, especially emotional pain. Even if you can’t remember a time in your life when you felt happy, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel happy at some point in the future. If you are in physical pain and there is no hope for recovery, you might be eligible for medically assisted suicide. It is currently legal in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the following states in the United States: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
- Think about the people who genuinely care about you and how hard it will be for them when you’re gone. They will forever wonder what they missed and how they weren’t able to help you. If you believe there isn’t anyone who really cares about you, then please, imagine the people who one day will.
- Have you written down how you feel? Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, writing out your feelings can help, even if no one ever reads your words. If you don’t want anyone to read them now, just keep them in a secure place or consider burning the paper when you’re done, offering your words to your Higher Power or your best self.
- If you have a pet, spend time with them. Give them comfort and take a healthy dose for yourself, too. Imagine how lost your pet will be without you and how they will never stop waiting for your return. If you don’t have a pet, consider visiting the local animal shelter to pet some lost kittens or puppies, and who knows? You may just find a new soul mate and reason for living.
- Go outside in nature and just look around; feel yourself as an integral part of the tapestry of life. You may not think you are important, but there really are no spare parts. You are part of this much bigger thing called life.
- Watch the cycle of life by viewing a sunset or a sundown. If you live by the beach, go pay attention to the ebb and flow of the water. Life has cycles. There is dark and there is light. There are ups and downs, positives and negatives, pleasure and pain. You are in the down cycle now, but the up part is coming. It must. Life is all about balance.
- Create a moment of sensory mindfulness. Look around you and ask yourself, “What do you see?” Close your eyes and tune into what you hear, feel on your skin, smell and taste. Take your time with this. With the focus on the here and now, the pain tends to dissipate.
- Use your creativity to express your pain. Do you paint? Draw? Cook? Dance? Play music? Build things? What is your preferred mode of creativity? Express yourself.
- Remember the last time you felt truly happy. Zero in on where that memory of happiness lives in your body and focus on that feeling. You can create happiness and joy inside you any time you want by focusing on and expanding the feeling of that memory. If you struggle to remember a feeling of happiness, imagine what it might feel like to you one day in the future, as long as you don’t end your life today.
- Volunteer at a place that serves disadvantaged people, like a food line or homeless shelter. It can be helpful to serve others who are less fortunate than you to help you put your pain in perspective.
- Perform a random act of kindness for someone who really needs it. Maybe volunteering isn’t your thing, but if you can get out of your head and stop thinking about your own problems for a while by focusing on alleviating someone else’s suffering, it can help you know there is still good you can do in this world.
- Call the suicide prevention hotline at 9-8-8. You are not alone. There are people who don’t even know you, yet they care so much they volunteer their time to help people choose life.
- Talk to a counselor, a professional who is trained to help you find reasons to live. You do not have to make this final decision. Put it off for a day, and then another day, and then another. Keep choosing life. It won’t always hurt this bad.
- Discover the GLOW. This is an advanced method that takes practice, and it is available to you when you are ready. Because life is completely balanced, in all our life events, there is equal pain and positivity. Whenever you are experiencing pain, remind yourself that there is equal GLOW when you’re ready to find it. GLOW stands for gifts, lessons, opportunities and wisdom. It often takes time to collect as much GLOW as you have pain, but when you do, the GLOW neutralizes the pain. It doesn’t take it away; it just neutralizes it so it no longer holds you hostage.
Bonus: If you are suffering a staggering loss, I always like to remember the quote by Dr. Seuss that says, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” Grief is the price we pay for love. If you are feeling so bad you want to kill yourself, then what you had must have been amazing. How onto those memories and be grateful you had the person for as long as you did. Honor them by continuing to live. Choose life because it won’t always hurt this bad.