Deadly Thoughts

By Bethany | May 06, 2018 | mental health suicide yoga
The mind: it can be a crazy, dark, beautiful, chaotic, place.  The mind is an amazingly complex organ that not only runs your body but can greatly affect your life and determine your future. Every action you take begins with a single thought.  I remember when the thought “you’re a lost cause”popped into my head after a week of bad decisions.  That’s the night I tried to take my own life. 
 
I genuinely trusted and loved God.  I was going to church, part of a small group and actively involved.  But something wasn’t quite right.  Why couldn’t I “be good”consistently?!?!  If you’ve read my previous blog, you know I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety (so that explained a lot).  In one of my weakest moments, Satan saw the perfect opportunity to attack.  I was mentally weak and felt absolutely nothing on the inside.  He didn’t come to me in a dark, creepy voice.  He’s smarter than that.  He knew I’d recognize him if he used his voice.  The voice was my own.  “You’re a lost cause.”  I grabbed a hand full of sleeping pills and immediately thought of Anna (another deadly thought arose); “she’ll be better off anyway,”and down they went…and then some more.  
 
Praise God my life was spared that night.  It wasn’t pretty and the road to recovery was long and hard but one I was willing to go down.  I had been given a second chance.  A second chance to be who God created me to be; a second chance to reallyknow Him and love Him; a second chance to be an amazing wife and mother; a second chance to be someone who has just enough crazy in her to think that she can change the world and the courage to actually do it.  
 
“So how did you do it,” you ask?!?!     
  1. Think about what you’re thinking about; I’m pretty sure that’s a Joyce Meyer’s quote!  I had to tune into my thoughts.  My mind was like a freaking rat race.  I would sit up for hours just staring at the ceiling, thoughts going 90 miles a minute.  But, when I stopped to think about each thought, they did start to slow down.  
  2. You don’t have to believe everything that pops into your head, i.e. “you’re a lost cause.”When you start to think about what you’re thinking about a few recurring thoughts may come to mind.  You may have returned to this thought for so long; you have allowed it to become who you are.  Thoughts of I’m unworthy, I’m ugly, or I’m not good enough.  Those are all lies!  You need to recognize those thoughts and combat them with truth.  Who does God say you are?
  3. Breathe!!  One of the greatest tools I have to focus my mind and to calm my nerves is my breath.   I breathe with the Ujjayi breath.  The sound alone is naturally calming to the central nervous system, and when you’re focused on your breathing, it’s hard to think about anything else.  Breathing fully brings the air all the way up into your chest where we carry stress and tension and helps relieve those burdens.  Focusing on your breathing is also a form of mediation….which brings me to my next tip.
  4. Meditate.  Meditate means to think deeply or carefully about.  I remember many nights just repeating the name of Jesus over and over and over trying to go to sleep or calm the tornado inside my chest.  I would meditate on a scripture and repeat it over and over like a mantra:  “I am set free; I am set free; I am set free; I am set free.”  “I have the mind of Christ; I have the mind of Christ; I have the mind of Christ.”  My most favorite mantra is “let go.”  I loved it so much I had it tattooed on my arm.  It was the first mantra I heard about when I started my yoga journey, and it made all the difference in the world for me.  Inhale “let;” Exhale “go” of all of those things that you have no control over, the things that do not serve you: anger, bitterness, resentment etc.  
  5. Know that someone needs you.  The devil wants you to feel shame and guilt over what you’ve done or what you’ve gone through.  He wants you to feel shame and guilt over your thoughts and the feelings you have.  He wants you to feel all alone so you don’t talk about it with anyone!  But someone needs to hear it!  You’re not the only one!  A story of hope and of grace.  A story of a life resurrected by Jesus Christ.  A story of beauty from ashes. I came across this quote the other day:  “If we stand where others have fallen, it’s to raise our hands to heaven in praise and to spread our arms as shade for the weary. The Lord enables us to be a tree of rest for others.” So if you’ve gone through something and made it through then you have two things to do: Praise God and help others.  
 
There is a process of healing that needs to be done before you start sharing with others.  I certainly couldn’t, after a month fresh out of the hospital, start sharing my story just so others could feel sorry for me.  And there are stories yet to be told because I’m still processing. :) I don’t want to just share my story.  I want to share hope and encouragement and that God is good and He happens to be madly in love with you so if there's something you're struggling with then maybe you just need to let go of it and let him do his thing.  He does a much better job running my life than I do.    
 
Writing these words, the memories are still very fresh in my mind. I remember everything from that night.  I remember feeling absolutely dead on the inside.  I remember feeling like a lost cause.  I remember the pain on my husband’s face; I remember the hospital and straps and tubes and people everywhere.  I remember, and I’m glad I do because if I forget what I went through then I forget what He brought me through, and I don’t ever want that to happen.  He fought hard for me that night.  He is fighting just as hard for you. 
 
“Now you belong to him who was raised from death in order that we might be useful in the service of God.”Romans 7:4
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