On January 7th, 2011, I decided to commit suicide. It was a crisp, sunny, Friday afternoon and I was walking on an overpass with a busy freeway underneath. There was a concrete barrier beside me, and a chain link fence on top of it.
I thought to myself, “I can easily climb over the fence and jump to my death on the freeway below.” That thought would have normally shocked me, but after the last few months it didn’t seem like a bad plan.
I had just hung up the phone with my ex-girlfriend of seven years. She informed me that she was with someone new. She had ended our relationship only months before and moved out-of-state. Her two adult children were still living in my house, and I kept in contact with her hoping that we’d get back together.
So it was official. My ex-girlfriend had found someone new. She was out my life, and without her I didn’t know whether life was worth living.
I didn’t have any friends I could reach out to, or call as my best friend had died some months before, and my life had revolved around my ex-girlfriend. Out of decency, fear, or both, she called my ex-wife (and the police) because she knew I was in trouble and needed to talk to someone quick, though she had no idea of my location.
Luckily when I was on the overpass, my ex-wife called me I answered. Through burning tears, and a cracked voice, I wailed into the phone shouting to her how I wanted the pain in my heart to stop! I was truly a wretched soul – totally, emotionally destroyed from the pain of it all.
The breakup with my ex-wife was many years before, through the years we forgave each other and became friends, so as odd as it may seem – my ex-wife was the best person to understand my pain.
The relationship with my ex-girlfriend was more complicated. You see I found out, sometime before all this, that my girlfriend had been having a sexual relationship with another man that she had met a year before going out with me. Her relationship with this man lasted for almost the entire seven years we had been together – and her two adult children living in my house knew all about it, but kept their mother’s secret.
So, the whole relationship was filled with betrayal, and deceit. Even after I had learned all this, I forgave her and hoped that one day we might get back together. You may think that is crazy, but it’s how I felt at that moment.
I had found out that the man, whom she had the affair with, was out of her life and I had hoped that if I put my whole heart and soul in the relationship that she would completely commit herself to me. We would live happily ever after. The whole bit. I was really in fantasy thought.
The night before, when I was on the overpass, she sent me an email that made it brutally clear that she never intended to get back with me. She lacked the decency to tell me on the phone or to my face. To make it even more confusing for me, she asked for me to help her with closing costs for a house she was buying as if I were her partner. I lent her the money with high hopes for the future. I loved her and wanted to do whatever I could to make her happy.
What she neglected to tell me was that she was involved in another relationship with a new man and the house was for them to live in. That was the news I had received just before going on the overpass.
I felt as though I were being manipulated like a puppet. I loved her and her two kids, but they gave me no respect. They all said they loved me, but really they were just using me. I was devastated as I made this realization.
The good news is that I obviously didn’t jump, or else I wouldn’t be writing this article, but it came very close. I believe that if I were under the influence of alcohol, or some other mood altering substance at the time, I would have jumped.
My ex-wife successfully talked me out of jumping for our daughter’s sake. She made me realize the pain I would cause my daughter by committing suicide – not to mention that I would be a terrible role model by setting a horrible example for her to follow. She was (and is) in recovery from drug addiction and has dealt with depression issues as well. I felt ill at the thought of her mirroring my actions.
As distorted as my thinking was, My ex-wife’s reasoning somehow got through to me and I knew I didn’t want to commit suicide for our daughter sake, if not my own. Her phone call saved my life. In a strange way, I am grateful to my ex-girlfriend calling my ex-wife, too, because I never would have gotten that call; otherwise, and I wouldn’t be here writing this now.
Looking back in time, before this scene on the overpass, I could see that a storm within me had been brewing. I had been plagued for months with suicidal thoughts that began to accompany my lifelong battle with depression.
I was on prescribed medication for depression. I was seeing a therapist, as well. Had I not been, I am certain that even my ex-wife would not have been able to convince me to not jump to my death. But, thank God I had that help, because now I see that this awful situation was sure as hell unworthy of me senselessly sacrificing my life. My girlfriend’s betrayal, and her children’s concealment just wasn’t worth it; and my daughter’s life now mattered more to me than my own life.
Strange how screwed up my thinking was. Here, I was in a crisis ready to throw my own life away, but I guess I still cared about something greater than myself, my daughter.
My own biological father had abandoned me along with my mother and younger brother. My committing suicide would have been the ultimate abandonment of my daughter – something I swore I would never do when I had a child. I would not carry on the family tradition and abandon my own flesh and blood.
Once I hung up with my ex-wife, I no longer had the desire to jump. But, I still felt like dying, and I found myself alone and emotionally destroyed. I hurt, and I wanted it to stop. You know the expression about how “it felt as though I’d been stabbed in the heart”? That’s how I felt.
So, how did I cope with this hurt?
Well, some months before this incident, I had attended a seminar where I was introduced to an energetic therapy to help release negative thought patterns. It is called the Emotional Freedom Technique, otherwise known as EFT or tapping.
Gary Craig invented EFT in the early 1990’s. He was a student of Dr. Roger Callahan – the father of TFT, or Thought Field Therapy that he discovered in the late 1980’s.
Carol Look, a well-known expert, and practitioner of EFT, describes EFT as a form of psychological acupressure. The way EFT works is first, you find your target – the subject of the problem your having (for me it was suicide) and imagine a scale of zero to ten with zero being the least degree of pain, or emotional discomfort of whatever you are feeling about the problem, and ten being the highest degree. You identify where you are on that scale of pain, or suffering, then you start the process.
The process is a series of tapping your fingers on certain places known as Meridian points of your body. As you tap, you say out loud what is known as set up statement, followed by a tapping progression called the negative reminder phrase, ending the process by a tapping round using the positive statement, or phrase.
At first, this whole tapping thing really sounded ridiculous to me, but I did it anyway and saw how it helped. It was the solution to my problem. I kept at it and although I didn’t feel like living, or even doing the tapping rounds, it helped me get through the feelings of suicide. I figured I’d try the fake it until you make it approach, and it worked!
Little by little, something inside me started to change. I began to feel better. My suicidal thoughts became less and less frequent. It took a while, but this tapping stuff really worked.
I have struggled with depression all my life and while I’m not completely rid of it, my suicidal thoughts are gone! I can actually envision a future for me. Every day I live I give thanks for what I have, and I can see what a terrible mistake it would have been for me to end my life.
Not every day is perfect. I still take depression medication and see a therapist – although less often – now I can better cope with my depression thanks to EFT. I now can enjoy life and look to the future.
I do not advocate replacing professional help with EFT. But, EFT is yet another tool I have to use in my arsenal of defense against feeling low, depressed, and hopeless.
The reason I am writing this article is to help anyone who is in a similar situation. I want everyone to know that no matter how bad things seem, even to the point that you are hurting so badly that you are thinking of hurting yourself (or killing yourself) that there is hope.
Suicide is not a solution. It’s the worst thing you could do, not just for you, but for anyone you leave behind who will have to live with your suicide for the rest of their lives.
Do you really want that? Of course, you don’t.
I believe that EFT helped me, and that it can possibly help you. If you are feeling depressed, and/or suicidal give it a try. There is a ton of free literature out there on the subject of EFT (a free guide is downloadable on my website). You can also go to YouTube; type “EFT” in the search box, and a bunch of videos will appear showing you how to do it.
You are important and worthy of living though you may not believe it, or feel it. Give EFT a try. It’s free, and it’s easy to do. You are positively worth it! The phrase fake it until you make it was never truer than it was for me using EFT. And I did make it! So can you!