On January 7, 2011 I decided to commit suicide. It was a cool, sunny Friday afternoon and I was walking on an overpass with a busy freeway below. There was a concrete barrier next to me and a chain-link fence on top.
I thought to myself, “I can easily scale the fence and jump to my death on the highway below.” That thought would normally have shocked me, but after the last few months it didn’t seem like a bad plan.
I had just gotten off the phone with my ex-girlfriend of seven years. She informed me that she was with someone new. She had ended our relationship just a few months earlier and moved out of state. Hers two of her adult children still lived in my house and I kept in touch with her in the hope that we would get back together.
So it was official. My ex girlfriend had found someone new. She was out of my life, and without her I didn’t know if life was worth living.
I had no friends that I could contact or call as my best friend had died a few months before and my life revolved around my ex-girlfriend. Out of decency, fear, or both, he called my ex-wife (and the police) because she knew I was in trouble and needed to talk to someone fast, even though she had no idea where I was.
Luckily, when I was on the overpass, my ex-wife called me and I answered her. Through burning tears and a cracking voice, I cried into the phone and yelled at her how she wanted the pain in my heart to stop. He really was a miserable soul, totally and emotionally destroyed by the pain of it all.
The breakup with my ex-wife was many years before, over the years we have forgiven each other and become friends, so as strange as it sounds, 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, some time before all this, that my girlfriend had been having a sexual relationship with another man that she had met a year before dating me. Her relationship with this man lasted almost the seven years we were together, and her two adult children who lived in my house knew everything, but they kept the secret from her mother.
So, the whole relationship was full of betrayal and deception. Even after learning all this, I forgave her and hoped that one day we could be together again. You may think she’s crazy, but that’s how I felt at the time.
I found out that the man she had an affair with was out of her life and I was hoping that if I put my whole heart and soul into the relationship, she would fully commit to me. We would live happily ever after. All the time. I was really into fancy thinking.
The night before, when I was on the flyover, he sent me an email making it brutally clear that he never intended to get back together with me. He lacked the decency to tell me over the phone or to my face. To make it even more confusing for me, she asked me to help her with the closing costs on a house she was buying as if I were her partner. I lent him the money with high hopes for the future. She loved her and wanted to do whatever she could to make her happy.
What she forgot to tell me was that she was in another relationship with a new man and that the house was for them to live in. That was the news she had received just before going up the overpass.
I felt like I was being manipulated like a puppet. He loved her and her two children, but they didn’t respect me. They all said they loved me, but really they were just using me. I was devastated when I found out about this.
The good news is that I obviously didn’t jump, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this article, but it was very close. I think if I had been 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 the sake of our daughter. She made me realize the pain I would cause my daughter by committing suicide, not to mention that she would be a terrible role model by giving her a horrible example to follow. She was (and is) in recovery from drug addiction and she has also dealt with depression issues. I felt bad 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 kill myself for our daughter’s sake, but for my own. Her phone call saved my life. In a weird way, I’m thankful that my ex-girlfriend called my ex-wife too, because she would never have gotten that call; otherwise, and she wouldn’t be here writing this now.
Looking back in time, before this scene on the overpass, I could see that a storm inside of me had been brewing. I had been plagued for months with suicidal thoughts that began to accompany my lifelong battle with depression.
I was prescribed medication for depression. I was also seeing a therapist. If it hadn’t been, I’m sure even my ex-wife wouldn’t have been able to talk me out of jumping to my death. But, thank God I had that help, because now I see that this terrible situation was absolutely unworthy of me meaninglessly sacrificing my life. My girlfriend’s betrayal and the hiding of her children were not worth it; and my daughter’s life now mattered more to me than my own life.
It’s weird how screwed up my thinking was. Here, I was in a crisis ready to throw away my own life, but I guess I still cared about something bigger than me, my daughter.
My own biological father had abandoned me along with my mother and my younger brother. My suicide would have been my daughter’s last abandonment, something I swore I would never do when she 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 didn’t feel like jumping anymore. But, I still wanted to die, and I found myself alone and emotionally destroyed. It hurt and I wanted it to stop. You know the expression that she “felt like I’d been stabbed in the heart”? That’s how I felt.
So how did I deal with this pain?
Well, a few months prior to this incident, I had attended a seminar where I was introduced to energy therapy to help release negative thought patterns. It’s called the Emotional Freedom Technique, also 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 which he discovered in the late 1980’s.
Carol Look, a well-known EFT expert and practitioner, describes EFT as a form of psychological acupressure. The way EFT works is first, you find your target – the issue of the problem you are having (for me it was suicide) and imagine a scale from zero to ten, with zero being the least amount of pain or emotional discomfort that you are. feeling about the problem, with ten being the highest grade. You identify where you are on that scale of pain or suffering, then you start the process.
The process involves a series of finger touches at certain locations known as meridian points on your body. As you tap, you say out loud what is known as the opening statement, followed by a tapping progression called the negative reminder phrase, which ends with a round of tapping 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 doing it and even though I didn’t feel like living, or even doing the tapping rounds, it helped me get over the suicidal feelings. I thought about trying to fake it until you get him close, and it worked!
Little by little, something inside me began to change. I started to feel better. My suicidal thoughts became less and less frequent. It took a while, but this tapping thing really worked.
I have struggled with depression all my life and although I have not completely gotten rid of it, my suicidal thoughts are gone! In fact, I can imagine a future for myself. Every day that 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 medication for depression and see a therapist, although less often, now I can deal with my depression better thanks to EFT. Now I can enjoy life and look to the future.
I am not advocating replacing professional help with EFT. But EFT is yet another tool I have to use in my defense arsenal 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 where it hurts so much that you’re thinking about hurting yourself (or killing yourself), there is hope.
Suicide is not a solution. It’s the worst thing you could do, not just for yourself, 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 possibly can help you. If you feel depressed and/or suicidal, give it a try. There is a lot of free literature on the subject of EFT (a free guide can be downloaded from my website). You can also go to YouTube; type “EFT” into the search box and several videos will appear showing you how to do it.
You are important and worth living even if you don’t believe it or feel it. Try EFT. It’s free, and it’s easy to do. You are positively worth it! The phrase fake it until you make it was never more true than it was for me using EFT. And i did it! You also can!