““INFJs perceive things quite differently than other types. They don’t focus on or give credence to surface appearances in the way that ESPs might. Rather, their focus is more penetrating, diving deep to uncover hidden causes, motives, and essences. We might liken Ni to a deep-sea diver. While most people enjoy swimming or snorkeling near the surface of the water, Ni seeks to dive as deeply as possible, apprehending an entirely different world than what is visible from the surface.””
Bees are more important to the entire survival of the world as we know it, and while I am not really generally a super environmentally conscious person, this is super important to everyone’s day-to-day lives
“Beauty arrests because it points to something beyond the every day. Beauty arrests because it hits at a realm of the sacred. Beauty arrests because it awakens the religious impulse inside of us. Beauty can shake us out of our jadedness. There can be no cynicism in response to being overwhelmed by the beatific … and so, surround yourself with beauty … curate your environment.”
“Research shows that 19 out of 20 people who attempt suicide will fail. But the people who fail are 37 times more likely to succeed the second time. This truly is an at-risk population with very few resources to support them. And what happens when people try to assemble themselves back into life, because of our taboos around suicide, we’re not sure what to say, and so quite often we say nothing. This causes further isolation”
There is so much truth in this quote. After I survived, I almost did the exact same thing 5 days later. I was still scared to tell most of my support system & was not the least bit grateful or happy to still be alive. Half of the time I did not know how people would react, & half of the time I worried I would be committed to a Psychiatric Ward for Observation. There is massive stigma even around mentioning suicide, let alone discussing a failed attempt. It is hard to decide to live. You can do it, though!
Can anyone relate to the feeling of having a semblance of structure in your life but if we’re being real it is a fucking shitshow? You want to improve but deciding where to start is so overwhelming that you just freeze, get back in bed and turn on the TV and tell yourself tomorrow you’ll figure it out.
Every single resource you read about setting goals and effectively executing them will say not to overwhelm yourself with a million new changes at once. This is something that I 100% agree with, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am someone with constant anxiety who overthinks every goddamn thing that comes my way and I was lost as to where to start.
One day, it hit me. This is the beginning of the journey I am on that showed me that snowboarding is my therapy, my rehabilitation while I learn how to want to be alive again.
Here is how it started. I hate exercising and don’t at all devote energy to it unless I decide to take my pup on a walk. When I was younger, I was involved in sports but as I got older it just didn’t matter to me. I was naturally thin and a stoner with a good metabolism so I have the best of both words. Snowboarding is the one thing I actually will push my body to get up & grind for. I always had the goal of going snowboarding more every year, but I was either living in New Orleans during undergrad, or living on Cape Cod where the closest mountains are 2.5-3 hours away.
Now, I live in Portland, Oregon. Mount Hood is an hour to an hour and a half away, open YEAR ROUND, has lift ticket deals regularly, and suddenly I really had no excuse to NOT try to actually do what I have been saying I would for years, and hit the slopes more. I was happy at this realization but then it hit me that while it took days to come up with, and sort of randomly came to me one day, the concept itself seemed easy enough to be able to relay to others.
So, I started with the fact that I have a shitload of things in my life I would like to improve. From health & wellness, to diet, finances, being more organized, exploring Oregon more, creativity, relationships, self-care the list goes on… it was a lot. When I decided that SNOWBOARDING would be the sort of “umbrella term” on my goal planning strategy, all of the other aspects fell into place.
If you choose an umbrella term type goal like I did, one that takes a little more effort than just doing 4 minutes of jogging a day (which is still an accomplishment, don’t get me wrong, just not enough to set up a blueprint for a life changed by reaching your goals.
If I accomplish my goal of going to the mountain more & improving my skills on a snowboard, I would have to do a few things to do it well and efficiently, and these things happen to fall under the categories that I wanted to improve in overall.
For instance: 1) Health/Wellness/Fitness: If I was going to be able to snowboard more frequently & improve my skills then I would need to be both healthy & improve my physical strength & stamina. 2) Diet & Nutrition: How can I be healthy, fit, and well without a healthy and nutritious diet? 3) Finances: I can’t waste money on delivery & late night Amazon prime shopping if I am budgeting for this new healthy goal plan. 4) Organization: Checking & keeping track of days with reduced lift ticket prices and ensure I clear my schedule that day. If it is a set day of the week, I must be sure to request work off and get my gear ready. 5) Exploring Oregon: There are three different resort sites within 2 hours of my house – that’s exploring in my book! 6) Relationships: I can see if any friends want to join me, or make some friends at the lodge because if all goes as planned, I will be there often! 7) Self-Care: I have been looking for a healthy and exciting way to practice self-care and since the ONLY FREAKING SINGULAR TIME I can shut the overthinking off and be in the moment is on the mountain, this is a perfect fit!!! 8) Creativity: I started this blog because of how much inspiration I felt when snowboarding became the impetus to me jumpstarting my life. I have already begun to integrate riskier little tricks and things on the mountain, which I hope to continue. Lastly, my love of photography has become a part of my life again since the views are insane up there.
By finding one activity that brings me joy, something I already had the gear and experience for, and something that is completely possible with just slight tweaks and positive changes to accomplish, I was able to hit all of my categories of goals without feeling stressed out.
I know that snowboarding won’t be everyone’s thing, but I encourage y’all to give it a thought for a second. I have to say the moment this thought became clearer to me I truly felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I finally felt like I had a direction to head in.
Depression is a fickle bitch and her face looks different to everyone she meets. Sometimes you don’t even know her real name until she is eating at your table and sleeping in your bed. Sometimes she is loud and the center of attention… locking you in your room and cutting all ties, chaining you to the bed. Sometimes she is like a mom that pretends she’s cool and hip but really can’t let loose. Always nagging at you if you do anything that might be off the beaten path. Whether she restrains or reminds you, she is there.
It turns out I have high-functioning depression.
I really don’t know how I didn’t know I was so depressed at the point of killing myself. I have a B.S in Psychology, I am in Psi Chi – the International Honor Society in Psychology.. I scored in the top 1% in the nation on my Psychology exit exams and have some internship and doctorate training in Clinical Neuropsychology under my belt. This is kind of my thing. I had no idea how bad my mental state had gotten.
I have always had high-functioning anxiety, and some episodes of depression, but I was always convinced that I didn’t need antidepressants or anything – but my xanax is always by my side.
I was able to hold down a job, and manage to get through each day good enough to make myself believe that I was fiiiiiine. Sure, I had no sex drive, didn’t get out of bed if I didn’t have work, barely slept and didn’t do a goddamn THING unless I took a piece of my (prescribed) Adderall. I was getting by.
Why wouldn’t I be anything but happy? I was number 1 in sales, case commissions, and wine club sign ups for 5 straight months. I was living in Oregon with my amazing boyfriend and our dog child. I was financially secure & had a great support system. What is there to not be happy about?
The thing I didn’t realize until after I tried to kill myself was that it was not that I wasn’t happy… I was numb. Going through the motions. I felt nothing at all. That’s why swallowing the pills and the actuality of how close I was to dying never really sunk in. It didn’t it even feel like it was me that tried that. TOTAL DETACHMENT. I just got back to my life as though it didn’t happen. My boyfriend knew better than to push it but I knew he was worried. Things had to change soon & I knew that, but where do you go when you can’t even grasp the heaviness of the situation and feel any emotion towards it?
The moral of the story is to check in with yourself. Yeah, some stuff in life is going to suck because that is just how it goes. But this shouldn’t be the norm. If you notice that shit that used to get you all excited sort of has a blunt affect then maybe do a little reflecting on how things are going in general.
Laziness, and regular tiredness are not the same as not showering or leaving your bed for three days with the excuse that they are your days off. Every daily situation shouldn’t feel like a hassle you want to escape from, I didn’t realize that wasn’t normal until the Lexapro finally kicked in and I actually had an enjoyable time GETTING HEALTH INSURANCE yesterday. Enjoyable and Health Insurance usually aren’t in the same sentence. That was eye-opening.
Regularly check in with yourself, your habits, and your feelings.
I know the progress on this series has been slow, but it is constantly on my mind. This is not an easy story to put into words. Here is a lil’ preview of what is to come:
Exploring questions such as: ~What some different types and symptoms of depression are and how to try to recognize signs in yourself & others. ~Why was I not grateful for being “saved” and surviving my suicide attempt? Why did I only feel resentment? *What are common emotions among suicide survivors? ~How to begin “coming back from the dead” I like to call it. Kind of like learning how to live when you made your mind up to just end it. ~How to prevent yourself from the temptation of trying again.