I was asked by a friend if, for World Suicide Prevention Day, I would share some of my story of not wanting to be here and in particular, about the night I searched for how to kill yourself.
That night I did that search ‘how to kill yourself.’
In doing so, I read many harrowing things and eventually as the sun rose decided that I would find another way to live my best life.
This is just a small part of it. My prayer is that you watch this and decide to stay – there is always a better life waiting. It may take time and effort. I am living proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
– Hi, I’m Dale, and I’m so glad that you found this video and this blog.
Now, I know that you’ve been searching for ways to kill yourself and I want to tell you that I found myself in this position.
A few years ago, I was in a pretty horrible relationship. We’d come on holiday to the house that I’m now living in, this was a home that I’d purchased, and I remember that I just felt that I couldn’t take any more, this situation was just, it was horrendous. And I truly did not want to be alive for a moment longer.
And I sat out there (pointing to my lounge) while the husband that I had and his mother with dementia slept in this room (my office used to be a bedroom).
It was winter, it was freezing cold, the log burner had gone out, I covered myself with a throw, I brought my computer into the lounge, and I sat, I sat for hours looking for ways to kill myself because I didn’t want to be alive.
The hours seemed to just drift by, I first came out with this real sense of just absolute desperation that I didn’t want to, just how I could get rid of myself in this instant? What was the quickest way?
The house is in a remote place, I’d no way of going to get anything to take, I didn’t have any rope, I genuinely couldn’t think how I was going to do it.
I searched and searched and searched, but I read a lot of quite harrowing stuff. And in the early hours of the morning, as the light was coming up, I just went back to bed. And I’m really glad that I didn’t.
So although I was in this horrible relationship, I’m glad that I didn’t do what I had planned to do that night. My head was just in the most awful place.
Now, that’s not the first time that I’d felt that I wanted to not be on the planet. The very first time was I was a really young girl. I’d been abused at 10 by the babysitter, I’d been groomed as a teenager.
The thing that tipped me over the edge was I had very, very long, bright, bright red hair. I was never allowed to do anything to my hair because it was my crowning glory, and a friend offered to trim it. I wanted my hair trimmed and what she did instead was, I couldn’t see her, there was no mirror, she cut everything off, all, my hair was much longer than this, she cut the whole lot off, and I just ended up with this thing on my head.
Well, I stuck my head, what was left, into a bobble hat and I went home. And it felt like the most, just I did not want to be, it was awful, it was like all of that stuff about having no worth and nobody loving me and all sorts.
So there was a lot of stuff going on, so I decided, when no one was looking, that I went and got, I laugh at it now because, I mean, it’s just like completely ridiculous, I went and got a load of paracetamol, made a cup of tea, made a bacon sandwich covered in red sauce.
I can see myself sat on my bedroom floor, necking these paracetamol, getting the tea down and then, aw, the taste, eating a piece of this bacon sandwich. And there wasn’t very many paracetamol in the container, certainly not enough to kill myself, but I felt pretty ill the following day.
So that’s two times. And there have been other times that I felt pretty low, during the period that I was with the husband that I talked about, I took Prozac twice, so I always had an exit strategy. I remember someone saying to me, “You know if you had a cough or a cold, “or a, I don’t know, a something, “you’d go to the doctor “and you would maybe take pills, “or if it was something to do with your digestion, “you would change your diet, “so why not just do something temporary?”
So I went to the doctor twice, and once they’d heard all my different stories, they agreed that I could take these drugs for a short period of time, so I did that.
Now, what changed was something that happened with the husband that I talked about, and I left, and I made myself a new life. And I literally just got up one day, and I drove to another country with my dogs, and I literally fell apart. I fell to pieces when I came here, but this, this thing called a journal, this pretty much saved my life.
I’ve been journaling all my life. So if you’ve come here and you’ve found yourself in a place that you really, you just can’t go on, what worked for me, and not everything works for everybody, so when I was with the husband, what worked for me was taking Prozac because it just helped me. I took a teeny-weeny minuscule dose, and I always had in my mind that I would have an exit strategy. And I took this teeny-weeny amount of the drug, I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote in my journal.
And it really helped me to clear my thoughts and to see the stories and the patterns of the things that I’d been doing and really going back and looking at, well, where were the roots of the stuff that allowed me to let somebody else destroy me?
So my journal was super, super helpful, taking the Prozac for a very short space of time was very helpful.
And the other thing that was really helpful, and I don’t know how practical it is, is I got a dog. And he’s still with me, he’s very, very old, he’s very spindly and old, and going for lots and lots of walks, getting into Mother Nature and getting really grounded.
Other things I did is I started to do more yoga, so that was really, really balancing. So I looked at ways that I could nourish my soul.
So the writing, the journaling, that just, that was the most, it’s always been one of the most powerful things, I journal every single day.
And my journaling has changed, it’s not desperate and anxious and dreadful anymore, but it really, really helped me.
I tried counselling, that was pretty useless for me.
For me, it was the journaling, walking my dog, getting into Mother Nature and doing really lovely things for me.
I started to go and get some massages, I just did things that made me feel good.
I did little things like, let me get some Post-it notes, I did little things like this. I’d write love-me notes, so I’d write myself a little note, and when I woke up in the morning, I found a love-me note on my kettle, on my fridge, or something like that.
And eventually, doing these things, things that were for me, connecting to my heart, learning to love me, made a massive difference.
And what happened in 2018, and this is kind of really the last point that I felt desperate, was my spine fractured. I’d changed my diet, a long, long time ago, I was doing lots of self-care, I was doing the walking and the journaling and eating really healthily and doing my yoga and looking after me.
And then all of a sudden, my spine fractured and I ended up with what’s called a couple of wedges, the vertebrae became wedges, it was horrendous.
And the thing that really saved my life, apart from I refused to take drugs, I stood in my power. It was, “This is who I am in the world “, and my values are, and I want to heal naturally.”
So although I couldn’t walk for a long time, it was almost impossible to get out of bed, and the pain was, I really didn’t want to be on the planet, but I kept my journal by the side of my bed and when I would wake up in the middle of the night and think, “Do you know what? “I really, really can’t take this pain anymore, “I just can’t take,” I used my mind to try and take the pain away, I didn’t want to take pain killers, real stubborn cow.
But I’d wake up in the middle of the night, and I thought, “Do you know, “the only thing I can do is get that damn journal out “and just write all the really horrible things “that are going on.”
And then once I got it all out of my system, I could go back to sleep. And I’d wake up in the morning, and I’d read it and reflect on it and think,
“Right, okay, what’s the one thing “I can do today to make this my day?”
So I don’t know if that helps you, I truly hope that it does. I think the most powerful thing, for me, was getting away from the situation, was taking myself into nature, was about writing, was about connecting to me and really learning to love who I am.
And in doing that, it made such a difference. So one of the biggest things that I do today when something comes up, I say, “Do I love myself enough to,” and the answer’s always, “Yes.” “Do I love myself enough to get away from this? “Do I love myself enough to eat properly? “Do I love myself enough ” to get my feelings out in my journal? “Do I love myself enough?”
And that’s the thing that works absolutely for me.
So I think a lot of it is about stepping into our personal power and learning to be assertive and learning things like I statements.
When someone says something to you, and you can feel stuff coming up, and you want to say, “You know what, “you make me feel,” well, actually what I would suggest is you put your hands on your heart and say, “When you do,” such and such, “I feel,” and we start using I statements.
And you can practise them in your journal.
And something else that you can do is if you feel that other people are bullying you, there’s a thing underneath, so here are my boobs, a thing here called the solar plexus, you can just fold your arms over the solar plexus and that will protect your personal power.
But it’s also about learning about your values, what you will put up and what you won’t put with. I know this is a massive, massive subject. I know that you’ve come here to this blog because you were looking for a way out, what I’m truly hoping is that you go and get one of these things, you go and get a journal, and you take yourself off, the thing, for walks.
And it might not be practical to get a dog, but I tell you what, they give you so much love, they give you so much love.
When I was in that horrible relationship, this boy (Ferdy Dog) and I, we spooned every single night. He’s my heart, and he got me through so much, he got me through so much.
So journal, get your journal out and pour your feelings into it and start loving you, look in the mirror, look deep into your eyes and tell yourself that you love you.
I didn’t expect to get emotional, but I always do when I think about my boy, my old Ferdy.
Anyway, I have this little book called “101 Affirmations to Get You Through the Day,” and I did this on a previous video and I chose an affirmation completely randomly, which I think is perfect for this, “Today, I am my best friend.”
So if you were with a friend who was thinking that they didn’t want to be here anymore and you were their best friend, what would you say? What would you do, how would you help them? And then do that for you.
So I want to, when I stop my leaking eyes, I want to send you the biggest, biggest love. I hope that some of these things that I’ve said, some of the stories that I’ve shared with you, which are not stories that I share very often, I hope they inspire you to pick up your pen and start thinking about you and loving you for the most beautiful being that you truly, truly are.
My name’s Dale, and from my heart to your heart, I wish you the most beautiful day, and I hope that you do the right thing and you stay, you stay because we need your love, your energy, we need you in the world, the world needs good people.
Lots of love.
Self-love some of the backstory…
Once upon a time, I felt such shame, guilt and self-hatred for the things that happened in my life and the hand I perceived I was dealt with. I have found myself caught up in my stories. Isolation was my default stance. When I couldn’t bear things any longer I would hide. I used to hide from my ‘truth’ and in doing I ended up not loving me.
What I have come to realise that my crappy life is a fabulous gift. Writing has been and continues to be my saviour. Through writing, I have learned that I have a right to love.
The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” C.G. Jung
Not just writing if I am honest – pure bloody-mindedness as well.
When I was expelled from school, I called my dad at work, expecting the usual telling off. The sting of his words, ‘are you mental or what?’ wrenched my heart. I held back the tears and swallowed hard; he simply put the phone down on me. No one talked or looked at me that week, while I, slightly unconcerned, relished my newfound freedom. A few days later I found myself on a farm with the Moonies. More on this in another blog.
Then I entered the world of work.
Every day I dragged myself out of bed to go work, I wanted more from my life, but I was caught in a limbo land where I couldn’t move. I was trapped, caught in the spider’s web and watching horrified as life passed me by. Don’t get me wrong I have had some wonderful jobs, but I was never fulfilled. I wore the suits and did the stuff and on the inside, I was dying.
I thought that relationships would save me…
What I failed to realise was that it gets easier to deal with things, not that life would get easier. Blinkered and unaware of the tougher times to come I lived in a weird smog. My desire to learn, heal and grow and my knowledge of how to look at things didn’t desert me, but somehow I stranded myself on a loveless Island with strange bedfellows. (not all at the same time…)
One day in what I thought was the sanctity of a boring marriage, the one where I thought was safe, I was delivered a hellish wake-up call.
I relocated my life but not my self-hatred.
I don’t know what the turning point was, I think I just decided that something had to give and hating myself was a waste of time.
During this period I came face to face with my demons. I wrote and wrote thousands of words for a book called Journey To Self-Love, that is still not published – but oh boy was it cathartic.
And it saved me. Once again writing saved me.
In writing that book I learned a few things:
The heart is the gateway to you and your connection with the world. If I hadn’t learned to love me first and create a strong, vibrant connection at my heart first, then I know that the rest of my healing could not take place. Nor would it continue.
The heart chakra which is what we are working on when we think about self-love. This chakra stands for love and the right to love and be loved.
This chakra is about love, self-love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, generosity, empathy, kindness and connections to other’s hearts. When the heart chakra is healthy, you feel the love flowing through your life, you will think about how you give and receive love.
It sounds rather narcissistic to say that you love yourself. If you are a preening prancing horse then maybe it’s not so cool. However, the conscious evolved kind of love where you honour and respect who you are is a wonderful place to be. Through this, you start to see that you have value.
I’ve always been a bit quirky or as I was once described a wild child. I’m quite fond of the funny memories that my mum shares. I love to relish the silliness of being just who we want to be. For me, that includes singing to my doggies – they do like it, I’m sure. Dancing with them and generally feeling good about just being rather than trying to please others. When you love you, you can just BE.
This is my essence as well as my values. I’m essentially a free spirit (my essence) who dislikes rules and adores freedom (a value). Intuitive and demanding fair play and justice. When you love yourself, it is easier to stand by your values and live your life as essentially you. That is, like above, not being afraid of being seen as you and walking your path, your way.
This has to be one of the hardest things to do. Accept and do not judge yourself or others. However, it is one of the most satisfying and for me the funniest ones to do. When I catch myself about to judge me, I eat my words, sing it away, make myself laugh and then quickly reframe. Of course, there is always room for expansion and transformation.
Where once you may have had weak boundaries now you hold your head high and let the behaviour of manipulators and bullies pass you by. It becomes easier to say no, without making excuses. And when people try to emotionally blackmail you, you’ll find that it’s stuffed in the trash can as their stuff.
We’ll look at more reasons another day. For now, understand that cultivating self-love is one of the keys to inner peace and contentment.
What about you? What has loving you given you? If you don’t have it, what is the one thing you can do today to start this process and practice?
Let me share one last thing – I ask myself this question, do I love myself enough to…?
From here I know I can make good, conscious decisions.
What do you notice people who love themselves? I’m not talking about narcissistic behaviour but people who genuinely love who they are and find joy with how their lives are. I bet when you witness them they seem happier, and those who associate with them are happier too.
If you find it hard to see that in you, perhaps it’s time to turn off the inner critic and try this simple journaling exercise.
Be prepared for resistance from your inner critic. Your inner critic may not have been talked back to for years. It usually has the run of things so be aware of that. Flood him or her with love and get your pen to the ready…
101 things I love about myself is a wonderfully simple, yet powerful exercise.
All you need is a set of index cards, some coloured pens and a glass of water.
The water is for you to sip as you ponder…
Get comfortable, take three big deep breaths and let each go with a big sigh. Plant your feet on the ground and imagine roots flowing into Mother Earth. Connect your breath to your heart and flood it with love.
When you are ready write one thing that you love about yourself on each card.
When you have completed the exercise you can shuffle the cards and intuitively pick one for today.
I love that I allow myself to express my emotions
Is the one that I picked for the video below.
When you have chosen the card for the day, think about how you will connect that sentiment and feeling with your heart and embody it through the day.
Journal about what comes up for you as you start your day and at the end of the day reflect on what happened and what you learned about yourself.
If you love to journal I have a range of journaling books that are designed to help you to focus on what you what to create in your life. Each covers four subjects spread over 28 days. These subjects are designed to help you to create a stronger connection with your heart and wisdom.