Depression, Suicide and Healing
By Andrea Cullen, May 6th 2014
This morning spirit nudged me to write about depression. Honestly I wanted to argue with this but I know there is no point as the words will stream right through me incessantly until I get a pen to paper. So I nestled myself into several too many coffee’s in Country Choice Coffee Shop in Nenagh and honoured the stream of words that came to me. Depression is a topic that I barely feel sufficiently qualified to write about yet one that I feel overwhelmingly passionate about healing. Every cell in my body wants to take away your pain; because I feel it.
I don’t know if I have ever been what would be described medically as clinically depressed. I have felt many emotions, sensations, thoughts and feelings through my body that have felt terribly painful to me. I have spent weeks, months and quite possibly several years of my life feeling dreadfully low and anxious; and hit rock bottom many times in panic attacks and endless tears. So perhaps yes; I have felt ‘depressed’ however I am blessed also to always have had a sense of knowing that I will be ok and that I will get through this and that for some reason; I was experiencing this as part of a journey. One that was in part directed by me even though I struggled to know how to turn things around.
They say that time is a great healer; however for my personal journey time has, more so, been a great enlightener………
I now know myself well enough and am in a strong place so that I can candidly, openly, and honestly say that I am tuned into being intuitive, empathic and psychic. I don’t want to say that I am these things because I would rather let things unfold as they should. It doesn’t feel right to me that anyone can be defined; when we are something far greater than any words can define. I am ok with being all of these things; NOW!
Life has taught me that to flee from yourself leads to isolation and separation. That to run from your thoughts and empathic experiences leads to anxiety and well at times sheer terror over feeling completely insane. That feeling weird, different, and never good enough leads to feeling depressed, lonely, and wanting a ticket out of life. In short, the farther I ran from myself the more separate I felt from all of life or even a desire to connect into life. The more pain I felt the more painful life felt and the sorrier I then felt for myself. And the sorrier I felt and the more stuck I felt in my story, the less I felt a meaningful part of anything… I tapped myself out of life.
I could talk about how hard it has personally felt for me to navigate my 38 years with being able to feel people’s pain, see stuff, know stuff, and hear thoughts but that is a story I would prefer to turn around into the best i can be at understanding life around me and the people who I can help. Because as my Dad apparently put it to a colleague I “see people”. I guess I do. This could terrify most people including my friends and family; after all who wants to be ‘seen’ by a mind-reader so if I can explain this a little better I see what is calling out to be healed.
When a person is ready (consciously or sometimes subconsciously) for healing their body talks to me in its own language that I have a knack for understanding. Your body tells me the story of its pain, the words of its wounds, and the loving affirmations and healing that I can use to nourish its soul journey back to health. Your body also tells me of the astonishing love in your heart. For every pain I feel; I see love ten thousand fold. It is astonishing to me to see this; words cannot describe the beauty of all that you are, all that you know, and the love in your heart for your own self. All I do is connect you back to Source. Source being that awe-inspiring Divine part of you that can heal your body with its heart beat once you are ready……..
Your heart is beautiful beyond measure, the immense power of love to heal and forgive that is within you is infinite beyond the stars…
My ability to feel so much through me led to great pain and confusion most of my life. I thought I was my world when in truth I was feeling the world. When I feel someone’s pain, fear, anxiety, and depression I feel it right through me. For many years I thought that it was me and I ran so hard and fast from these thoughts and feelings I exhausted myself. I can never say that I know what it is like to walk in your shoes, however I think I know what it feels like to hold your heart.
Life got really shitty for me when I was in my early 20’s; 24 or 25 I think. I was living alone in the UK and I felt like the sky was falling in on top me of and that dark ‘something’ was chasing me, and my heart was constantly pounding and an anxious electric charge ran through my every tissue. On the outside I was smiling and achieving, partying and socialising; I think this life of contrast between what was going on in the inside and what was appearing on the outside made things feel all the more crazy. The feeling of anxiety and terror was constant. My mind raced every minute of the day except those rare moments of interrupted sleep. The minute I woke the thoughts flew around in a crazy circus of nonsense while my own dialogue yelled at me in addition to this. I had a layer of thoughts of “I am weird, I am losing it, I am as crazy as my patients, I cannot stop these thoughts, I am terrified, I am going to die, there is something terribly wrong with me, I am all alone” all flying around in my head at a million miles an hour over the other thoughts. The only time that I could shut the apparent insanity off was when I starved myself, exercised myself to exhaustion, got drunk, or went dancing. Yep I was a rave bunny back in the 2000s and it is were I found freedom. I was living on adrenaline and fear and all the while people saw someone successful and responsible (sort of!). I felt a fraud.
Then on my drive to work one morning I fainted in the car. I was driving to do a day as locum pharmacist in East Grinstead, Surrey, and I absolutely and completely terrified myself. I fainted in the morning traffic because I was pushing myself beyond what my body could cope with and there was nobody there to “make it all ok”. I was pushing my lack of food and over-exercise and over-work beyond what was healthy. (Something commonly done by those running from themselves and not caring for themselves. In truth if you don’t care for your body you WILL feel like an anxious or depressed mess because your body and emotions cannot function on fumes….).
Effectively I had pushed things to a point where my body no longer trusted me as its guardian and care-taker and from then on my anxiety hit a record high… sure how could it not…. if you disconnect past yourself your body will do something to tell you that all is not well.
After this I started to get panic attacks in the car. My anxiety in truth was telling me many things. If I look back I would have told myself to slow down, to nurture, love and support myself, to tune into my emotions and know that I was never truly alone and that everything will be ok and I also would have explained to myself what I was feeling was not only within but from outside the world and how I was perceiving it through me.
I see now that I was on a journey of discovery; however I was desperately ungrounded because I continued to fail at feeding myself, resting my body, connecting to myself and nature, and loving myself. Thank goodness I wasn’t a big drinker and drugs definitely took me way off the ground so these too I am grateful to say were not in the ammunition I used against myself. There is always a reason for the journey, and my journey gave me the deepest, truest insights along the path from the deepest and darkest of places to the shiniest and brightest of love. For this I am grateful. I also learnt strength and gained a passion to make a difference to others.
When an empath or psychic doesn’t take steps of self-care and grounding they become very open to all energies. Although it is only now with hindsight I can understand what I only knew as MY experience back then – I was wide open like an open door to a thousand places all at once; life rushed at me and I had no idea what was going on only that I was terrified by what was hitting me. I see it differently now; I see that I experienced some powerful insights that help me truly empathise.
My first experience of suicide was when I was 17. A group of us were on a bus travelling to a disco. In all honesty I was plastered on vodka (if you are reading here mum and dad; this is called exploring life 🙂 and it usually backfired and yes you were right!).
A lady drove her car head on at our bus; our bus driver did his best to avoid her and landed us into a hedge. All I recall is the bright lights of her car coming straight at us, the swerve, the wallop, several seats hitting me as I was thrown from the back centre seat down the bus and then the lights, noise, and whirring surrealness as ambulances, fire-engines and police arrived to a hopeless situation. In all honesty it is probably a blessing that we were all half-cut as they say as it numbed us out from this traumatic situation. This lady took her life, shortly after her husband’s death and left her children behind. I couldn’t understand it and the only logical conclusion that came to mind out of this loss of life was that someone cannot be in their right thinking mind to take their precious life and leave loved ones behind.
Something was taking over in the moment. I do not think that suicide is an act of selfishness. It is a tragic moment when a person can think of nothing else but leaving life behind or some darker force is at work. I have experienced both in my work.
After my fainting experience I was an anxious ball of nerves in the car. My commute took me from Esher, Surry to Haselmere, Hampshire where I had taken on a managerial pharmacist role. As I drove around that frantic M25 London circular out of no where I used to feel suicidal thoughts. These thoughts were of crashing the car and crashing into the central barrier. Although I had no awareness of what was truly going on, I somehow knew that these thoughts were not me and that I certainly didn’t want to die. If I could just grip that steering wheel strongly enough to stop myself doing anything stupid (that I didn’t want to do) and distract myself sufficiently well I would be ok. My parents and friends that received phone calls at 8am with my bright bubbly voice the other end asking were all back in Ireland well and what was the gossip never knew the real reason behind my calls. I was a frazzled mess arriving at work (on the inside). Once I got off the craziness that was the M25 and A3 I was ok. I was so terrified on that frantic stretch of road that my amazing boyfriend at the time, Tim, used to drive close by me on his commute to work. If only he knew how cracked and scared I felt on the inside. I never knew when these “crash the car” voices would appear. It was only ever during that morning commute, in the packed traffic, it wasn’t every day, and I was certain in my ‘mind’ that I most certainly did not want to die. So as you can imagine I was terribly anxious, and my brains were spinning.
Why am I telling you this? Well people saw this happy face and it just goes to show that you can never know what is going on within someone and my experiences have taught me not only my strength, but also my gifts to help others. I am second guessing myself such a lot writing this blog; should I let anyone actually read this! However, something is telling me that my words will help raise awareness about how things can feel for people, and how we are all on a personal journey dictated by choice, awareness, and focus. Also I would like to add that although I am writing about parts of the story of my past this is not what defines me now. When we look back at the past and the emotions of the events and situations this holds us in a similar emotional pattern in our present. To feel good; we must focus on the here and now. This is perhaps why many forms of therapy do not make you feel in any way better. To heal one must acknowledge the emotions, see things as they are from an aware and loving perspective and move on…..
This is me with my brother in 2002 on a night out 🙂
Soon after I settled into life working as a pharmacist in Haselmere I was asked to support the medication dispensing of a patient. Lets call her Laura. Laura was diagnosed schizophrenic and I was responsible for her weekly medication which I packed into medication trays. She was being drugged out of her connection to self and this was so hard to watch as she was barely 20 years old. Some days she was more present than others; others she was numb and most she was terrified. I mean terrified as if I had said that there were ten thousand tarantulas walking over her body this is how she appeared; agitated, hugging herself and terrified. Laura could barely speak to anyone and it took great care and patience for her to trust me. With time she did and even if it was only with a few words; I could see her relax in the few minutes she had in my presence. Laura’s eyes told a story of pain and being locked out and I will never forget this as long as I live. It was very clear to me from the story in her eyes that daily life was hell.
Over the weeks and months and with my open heart Laura started to connect with me. Some days were better for her; others worse. In my heart I knew that the medication was really only numbing her down but this was beyond the scope of what I could do. And I didn’t know what I know now about how to help support conditions such as schizophrenia using orthomolecular medicine, grounding, nutrition, and healing energy work. What I could do was give her a few minutes of my time and if we connected or exchanged smiles this was a bonus.
One Monday morning I arrived to work to be told that there had been a terrible accident; Laura was dead. I cannot recall the details but she was either killed by a family member or took her life. Either way I recall the immense feeling within that she was now at peace. This felt odd to me; how could I possibly feel relief that she was dead. And yet I knew.
My eleven hour day went on and although Laura’s death floated in and out of my mind a little I never really left much space (ever) in my head for thinking. After all I was feeling half-baked myself once my racing thoughts had a space to gallop. I always felt uneasy on my hours commute home; possibly because I was forced to be with myself. Anyhow I was, as per usual, pretty disconnected until as I drove out of Haselmere and on towards the A3 like a boom in the silence of my car I felt Laura like she was beside me. I ‘felt’ her say she was indeed at peace and thank you, but to be honest this incident freaked me out so much that I jumped simultaneously out of my skin and into my head, turned the music up, ate a sandwich in case it was my sugars and went straight to the gym where I swam 100 lengths and came home exhausted. I left no space for my intuition and medium abilities to unfold. And how could I, there was no one around me to guide me in this journey. I was running scared and the best way was to move ’til I dropped and occupied my brain with ‘my’ thoughts until there was no space for another. Of course you can keep running but it doesn’t make things any better because the ability to feel things wasn’t going anywhere.
Currently we are living in a time when intuition, psychic abilities, and all sorts of abilities to read and know energies are opening up in people; young and old. For many this can be quite scary and frightening; for others an organic and natural process. It all depends on our belief systems, conditioning, and those surrounding us. It is challenging for me to speak about my journey; however it is important for others to know that there is no normal, and thank goodness for this. The world needs us all in our fabulous technicolours.
I feel so sad for the younger me when I look back at how scared I was of all that was happening. Events are always for a reason I see this now. My clients need not verbalise one word and I know how they feel and many times I need not even say anything as healing comes from the heart; words cannot verbalise what the heart knows and how the heart heals. However if you do want to talk; I believe every word of your experience. Sometimes we do need to travel back; to see the child’s experience and truth with fresh adult eyes. And to nurture this child and take over being your own loving parent.
For me things got worse; or so I thought. I was becoming so sensitive to ‘energy’, ‘past events’ and ‘thoughts’ that I never knew when I was going to get hit and train stations and tube stations were places that had my anxiety off the roof. I never knew when I might be standing on a platform and suddenly get hit with thoughts of “jump on the tracks”. I used to freeze solid on the spot; knowing that I didn’t want to do anything of the sort yet petrified that what if I did. So the best solution was to stick my feet on the ground and to back as far away from the tracks as I could. I had no clue that I was reading people’s thoughts or feeling the energy of an incident that may have happened in the past. Only once did I sort of connect what was happening.
I was standing on Wimbledon over ground station waiting for my train home when I was hit suddenly with thoughts of jumping on the tracks. Within minutes the intercom announced that the next and future trains would be cancelled due to an incident on the tracks one stop previous. I had felt someone’s thoughts and it was only years later that I fully acknowledged what was going on. I no longer have problems with tubes and train stations because I am aware and grounded and in a great place in my life and if I do feel others thoughts and the energy of a tragic accident I now choose to send healing love and light into the situation rather than react with fear and terror to something that I don’t understand. This is an important skill for a sensitive person to learn.
I am in a very good place in my life now. I have travelled a journey of much exploration and many rock bottoms and mountain highs to know myself and what I feel in this world with certainty.
I have on occasion visually seen what is happening when a person takes their life and the energy of what is going on in their minds. It is a terribly scary, frightfully disconnected moment. I believe more often than not it is not a cry for help or a simple way out. It is when the bottom of someone’s world falls out and there is no rational thinking. At this moment a person is not capable of saving themselves. As compassionate human beings, brother and sisters in this world family, we must do all that we can in our daily lives to touch positivity and our love off others and empower and enable all along their paths to being all that they are and knowing all of who they are so as to prevent them slipping down the path of depression. Often we need the crutch of another’s eyes to see the beauty of who we are as we take our first steps along the path of self-love.
We have a problem with suicide in this small and beautiful country of ours. And we place a huge focus on depression and suicide. Awareness is good.
I would however like to bring your attention to something called morphic fields and also the phenomenon being that what we focus on grows. I am at pains to even write my story here as I don’t wish to focus this article on depression or suicide. I do however want for you to know that I understand. And this is where we can leave our discussion to shift the focus to LIFE and RECOVERY and finding the path to endless possibilities in the story of your life.
The people of this nation have massive hearts, many whose own hearts bleed with the personal loss of loved one to suicide. However, are our campaigns focused on suicide helping? I am not for one moment casting a judgement; merely asking a question as it is clear we have a problem and we are focused on the problem and it is perhaps important now more than ever for us to focus on the solutions….
I ask everyone reading this article now to spend a few moments sending healing loving support to all those affected. Feel love in your heart and connect it out to the hearts of others. The key is to focus on a strong vibration of love and not on that of loss and tragedy…send loving support and do this every time that you hear of someone depressed or a suicide. It only takes a few seconds and it does make a difference.
I endeavour in my everyday to shine a bright light of love, positivity, and possibility. I smile, I care, I share my heart. However this does not make me a deluded happy clappy person in denial about our real world either. I cannot avoid the world’s problems as more often than not; I feel them. I do avoid the media and radio shows as my ability to tune into events and the emotions of these events would leave me bombarded by negative energies and emotionally walloped beyond capacity to function. Tell me of a death and I sometimes know what happened, or who did it or why…It is exhausting and not in any way constructive or helpful so I zone out. I am not the only one that can do this; most of you have a gut intuition that if you only trusted in would astonish you. However try to not let it distract you.
Some days spirit gives me a real blast of world energy and I choose to navigate my way through it now and not get lost in it. Some days I am meant to feel the pain of the world so that I can act. It is like being tuned into a radio station that not everyone can hear; but I am convinced that most people on some level know…. these are those “bad days” that you just feel “out of whack”.
Last weekend was such a weekend for me. I felt sadness, heaviness, and hopelessness. I felt whispers of desires to end life and thoughts of self hate, why bother and I cannot go on. The energies actually felt overwhelming to me and I was aware that even I felt how easy it could be to decide to take a ticket out of life. It was a bank holiday weekend and so once I had an awareness of my own self and that these feelings were not me I was able to observe this and not BE this. It does, nevertheless, feel terribly unsettling as I am still feeling this through me and I am fortunate that I know I am only being shown this because it is important.
There are so many people all around us feeling utterly lost in life. They feel physically heavy, depressed, scared, panicked, anxious, or worse still, defeated. It is important to know this.
It is crucial to start talking about this – openly. To listen and not judge, to hear and in our ‘awareness’ to avoid trying to fix it or offer solutions. People aren’t daft, for many the worry of being judged and ‘fixed’ or worse still embarrassed to reveal their inner world to others causes them to shut off and detach from life. And the further we detach from life and cut our connection off from others the easier it becomes to slip away…..
It is also important, when we listen with pure hearts and non-judgment that we feel empowering and positive thoughts for those opening up to us. And that we encourage those to see their own solutions and be there to support them in making the changes that they feel are right for them…. it is not helpful nor caring to enable a person to remain stuck either….. in a loving and supportive way…. have faith and believe in healing changes…. and be open to the possibility of wondrous miracles…Avoid if you can the focus being on the story.
Don’t jump down the hole of negativity with them…. this is important. Please watch this excellent video clip of Esther Hicks channelling Abraham.
When you smile at someone you connect with them; when you listen your heart (and not your head) joins with their heart; when you touch their hand (for example in a handshake or passing on change) or their shoulders (in a gesture of reassurance) you are grounding this person with your energy. When someone crosses your mind, something as simple as a positive, caring, or loving thought does influence their energy field and heals. Be very mindful of how you think internally and how you verbalise externally about others as it is a vibration and a very real energy with consequences.
Become more aware of others in your surroundings; get out of your own head now and again! You never know what pain one person may be in and how your smile and kind words may influence them in their day. The following story is a good illustration of how selfish we can become when we get too stuck in our heads.
When I was working as a pharmacist in the UK back in 2001 I was having a hard time dealing with the work pressure managing such a large store of staff with budget targets and long hours; being younger than all my staff didn’t help. The date was 11th September 2001. I had just come off the phone with my line manager and they were loading more work on me for less pay; or something like this (I cannot fully recall the details as they are clearly no longer important). I was actually having a mini breakdown out the back when my boyfriend phoned. Of course all that was on my mind was ‘poor me’. His opening words were I cannot believe it. I was astounded how did he know; haha. So there you go, as he told me the story of the first twin tower falling right in front of his eyes on the TV screen in the car show room where he worked suddenly I felt selfish and self-centred and all things me me me. Yes talk about perspective and not only this; my brother was in New York at the time awaiting a flight home. You see; it is not always about us and when we are busy over-reacting and creating drama we lose touch with what truly matters. We also fail to notice the smaller stuff that really matters.
Yesterday I went cycling while I was feeling all of these energies. Effectively I made a choice to shift my perspective of everything and refocus on how I wanted to feel. Which for me in nature is blissed out. I was still conscious or what I was sensing (information about the world), I choose to get out of my head (it wasn’t all about me) and I choose to immerse myself in being present in my surroundings. I became one with the wind, rain, colours, sounds, and vibrations of nature. I cycled a route similar to here:
As I was cycling up Shalee Hill (now that is one bitch of a hill for those that know it) I saw an older farmer standing in the hedgerow overlooking a field. Without letting my energies go off ‘feeling’ what was going on I let it be at just being aware of the fact that he could be lonely and without trying to fix anything I struck up a few words of banter, shared a laugh about how clearly I was cycling the hill in the wrong direction. And so we shared a laugh, he smiled, I smiled and sometimes that is as simple as it need be.
Be present in your moment; come from your heart.
You have no idea how much this makes a difference.
Depression – what is it?
Well there is one thing that we all know and this is that it sucks to feel this way. And I believe that we all, to some degree feel depressed now and again. This is in no way said to disrespect those feeling depressed; it is a place that feels very dark indeed.
However, we do have a choice to examine these feelings or to get lost in those feelings. And if you are getting angry with me for these words; consider this an opportunity to examine why? As I have not put these feelings there; you have.
Depression is not a lifelong condition or disorder. And this is where many therapists and doctors will throw their arms up or come after me. Please remember that I am a conventionally trained pharmacist and I have studied for many years the neuro-transmitter and bio-chemical basis of depression. I believe that where there may be imbalance it is more often the result and not the cause.
You are not your depression. You are not a diagnosis; you are not broken, and you do not need fixing.
Depression is a feeling and a scream for help within the body demanding attention to your emotions, your environment, your health, and your presence. Depression is tuning out of life and to heal you must tune back in. Depression is a safe holding zone of feeling nothing before we make choices to heal our lives or stay where we are.
I believe that for everyone the ‘feeling’ of depression may be different, however the disconnect from all that is around us for many will feel familiar. There is no doubt that it can be a scary place to be. However surely it is far better to feel, breath, experience and be? It is ego in your head telling you that the fear of making changes, of going within and releasing deep and often painful emotions too great because what will we find there?…. but in truth letting go is as simple as a choice to let things go… truly.
In truth you will find your Self. And when face to face with your Truth
when you peel away the layers of conditioning and embrace the beauty of who you are you will feel the strength to believe that you will always be OK.
What if I told you that we learn ways to distract from the pain and emptiness of depression. We become angry and explosive or withdrawn and implosive. We may channel our emotional pain into physical pains, or distract ourselves with temporary behaviours and addictions, running away or shutting down. We may become absorbed by ‘drama’ or ‘victimhood’, however, eventually we will hit crisis point. It will bubble up in a physical symptom or we will completely crash and this point is a cross-roads of opportunity and choice.
From my heart, when I tune into your body I want to tell your heart these words; sit with them.
You are stronger than you realise.
Embrace all of who you are and live authentically. it is so much easier to just be yourself.
- Quit worrying about what others think.
You are PURE LOVE; you always were.
You did your best to cope in the situation that you were in and now its time to release these old patterns and behaviours.
Let go of your old beliefs and dramas.
No Guru holds your answers, no therapist the power to fix you – you may choose to listen to the advice and insight of others but never give your power away.
Deep down in your heart and soul you know your answers; these come with a knowing – TRUST yourself.
There is a greater force in our world called Spirit, Source, God or simply Love; allow its soothing presence into your life.
You always were, and always will be able to handle things.
- Be grateful; find things to feel grateful for.
Life is not meant to be tough or a punishment; our beliefs and choices and focus create our reality and our perspectives create our reactions to reality.
You are allowed to feel; respect your heart’s desire to release emotions.
Allow love into your heart.
- Practice flipping fear based thinking on its head; fear paralyses us.
- It’s great to be different, individual, quirky and whatever it is that you brings your uniqueness to the world. We need more people like you!
See others as they are; just like you a fellow being on a path of experience in life.
Let go of control; something far greater is at work here. Trust in the process.
Anxiety cannot kill us – sit with it. Stare it in the face and ask what it is telling you.
If you feel worse around certain people or specific places examine this a little more. The chances are it is not ‘you’.
Be true to yourself – it is not honouring your own true feelings to bypass deep emotions and simply short cut using affirmations or positive thinking. There is no shame in feeling anger, hurt, sadness or whatever it is that needs to come up. Consider doing this in a safe place and then gratefully let it go… no re-runs; let it GO!
Acknowledge that everyone, more often than not, is doing the best that they can.
Play with the thought that not everyone operates from the same value systems as you, or can open their hurt hearts the way that you may need them to – honour that perhaps they are doing the best that they can. It may be too painful for them to heal as we want them to right now. We all have our own pace. Don’t sabotage your journey feeling angry with someone who is not on the same awareness level or healing rate as you.
Play with the possibility that we have a choice to continue ‘hurting’ or to ‘rescue ourselves’.
Consider the freedom you feel when you surrender completely to this, accept yourself as the amazing person that you are. Forgive others ands more importantly yourself.
Trust in life….
The greatest lessons in life surround us in our experiences; You are the master of the outcome…
Remember, depression is not an illness it is a voice waiting to be heard, an emotion waiting to be liberated… A chain ready to be busted open…encourage those all around you to have the faith and trust in being themselves and choosing what feels right…and most importantly give yourself forgiveness and permission…for whatever it is you want to be, feel, do….focus on life… and living and loving….
Embrace who you are for all of your strange, little idiosyncrasies and awesome qualities…
Being YOU is exactly the gift that the Universe intended when you were born
I love you!