When You're Overwhelmed By Despair

Seventeen years ago, I was so hopeless that I set a date for my suicide.  I am not the only one. You don’t have to go far to hear a heartbreaking story of someone else choosing to end their life.

Years ago, I had a seemingly perfect life. I had a successful chiropractic practice, a beautiful fiancé, and money—and yet, inside I was dying. I knew the faces of depression and despair, and I wanted it to end.

If depression, sadness, and thoughts of suicide are familiar to you, please know that you are valuable. There is hope! Today, my life is an adventure. I wake up every morning with a sense of joy and possibility, and I am grateful for the gift of being alive. Seventeen years ago, I didn’t even know that was possible.

If someone reading this article takes only one thing away from it, please, I beg of you, let it be this: Never give up, never give in, and never quit.


Here are some of the factors that undermine our natural sense of greatness:

1. Being highly aware and sensitive

Highly sensitive people are particularly affected by the emotions of others.  Think of yourself like psychic sponge, so attuned to others that, at an unconscious level, it’s like you are absorbing and reacting to everyone in a 100-mile radius!

TipSurround yourself with happy people! Secondly, repeatedly ask yourself this simple question whenever you are feeling sad, angry or blue: “Who does this belong to?” If you feel lighter after asking this and the emotion ‘lifts’ from you, you can be assured that you have just picked it up from someone else. Recognizing this allows you to stop trying to fix what never belonged to you in the first place.


2. Living a sedentary lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyles are very, very stressful on our bodies and are actually quite unkind to them. Your body is meant to move! That’s one of the reasons you have it. It loves to run, jump, swim, play, walk, rock climb, and be enjoyed for the gift of movement it can be.

Tip: Ask your body each day: “Body, what movement would you like to do today?” And go do it! You don’t have to do it perfectly or like a world class athlete. Make it easy. Do it for fun! For your body! Just do it.


3. Experiencing abuse

Many of those who suffer from depression have also been abused physically, mentally, or emotionally. Far too many people who have been abused unconsciously believe that abuse wouldn’t happen to a good person. So, by default, those of us who have been abused have decided we must be ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ to have created the cycle of abuse.

Tip: Learn to see yourself from a different perspective, such as, “I have been confronted with the worst of this reality and I’m still here and I’m still searching for something greater.” Many abused people become the kindest and most caring people in the world as their way of going beyond the abuse. You are different. You are greater than anything that has been a part of your life. You are a gift to this world.

Would you be willing to consider that you are a gift? Would you be willing to see that you are a contribution to the world? No matter where you are, no matter how you feel, joy is possible. Keep asking, “How does it get any better than this?” and “What else is possible?” at all times and in all situations. These two questions are the beginning of a whole new reality for you—a reality that you would love to live.

So, to anyone overwhelmed with the weight of expectation, judgement, and despair, I have a simple piece of advice: Please know there is always hope. Never give up, never give in and never quit. You are far too valuable to the world!


P.S. For the full article in Thought Catalog, please visit here.

P.S.S. And for more tools for starting to change this, please visit my Never Give Up page here.