I feel compelled to write this and at the same time there is great resistance. But if I don’t I am not being true to my work and my mission. I was so saddened to hear about Robin William’s death. I am watching his wonderful film The Fisher King as I write this. His battle with depression was clearly too much. The fact that he brought so much happiness and joy to other people’s lives seems so unfair that he couldn’t have it himself.
Let’s not judge or criticise his decision to leave this world. Let his life not be wasted. Let’s be there for our loved ones and people we know who also may have depression. Suicide isn’t a decision taken lightly. It’s made because you no longer know what to do and feel you have no option because the world in your head is just so sad, lonely, desperate and dark. The irrational thinking is so hard for anyone to comprehend and you just don’t know a way out anymore and it’s exhausting. Like being in a permanent nightmare you can’t wake up from or see any light. It can hit at any time and not necessarily when you are having a particularly hard time. You don’t know when it’s coming or when the bout will end. Sometimes you are so floored you literally can’t get out of bed for days.
I know because I have been there. I lived with depression from a very young age and 6 years ago when I was 35 I tried to take my own life. I was so ashamed about my depression and at times felt such a failure, so alone and totally helpless. I couldn’t see what use I was to the world, my family and friends. I honestly felt it would be a better place without me. People say but it’s such a selfish thing to do to your family and loved ones but you honestly think it’s best for everyone. I was emotionally, mentally and physically imbalanced.
I was 20 or maybe even younger when I was prescribed with anti-depressants and although they kept me functioning in a certain way I wasn’t dealing with the feelings and trauma I was suppressing and pushing down. I tried so many different therapies and took a lot of drugs to mask and hide my pain and awkwardness. 2 months after I tried to take my life I came across Transformational Breath. I am so grateful for the day I walked into a workshop and it blew me away. I could literally ‘feel’ again. I realised I had found something very powerful and although it took a long time, I kept at it, came off the medication and no longer have suicidal thoughts or live with depression. It saved my life and now I use this technique every day to keep me balanced, centred and grounded.
I am so, so grateful to my amazing, beautiful friends and family who stood by me and continued to love me when I couldn’t understand how anyone could. You know who you are and I love you all so much. THANK YOU. I am so grateful to be here, feel alive and that it wasn’t my time to leave the world that night.
If you or anyone you know are depressed – get help. Try Transformational Breath, yoga, mindfulness, walking into the woods and being around nature. There are so many alternatives out there and there is hope. If you know someone who is depressed be there for them. It’s hard but it’s also the kindest thing you can do.
‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.’ Robin Williams, Dead Poet’s Society
Deep Breathing Tips and exercise
The practice of deep breathing stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest. It functions in an opposite manner to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.
By voluntarily changing the rate, depth, and pattern of breathing, we can change the messages being sent from the body’s respiratory system to the brain. In this way, breathing techniques provide a portal to the autonomic communication network through which we can, by changing our breathing patterns, send specific messages to the brain using the language of the body, a language the brain understands and to which it responds. Messages from the respiratory system have rapid, powerful effects on major brain centers involved in thought, emotion, and behaviour.
As you breathe in, breathe deeply into your belly and imagine you moving the breath to the base of your spine, your perineum, your sit bones.
As you breathe out, breathe to the top of head.
With each inhale and exhale imagine the breath is a wave coming in and out of your body.
Breathe in this circuit for ten cycles.