Let me start off by saying how this is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Starting a podcast is something that has been on my heart for several years now. And if I’m completely honest, the reason why I was putting it off was that I kept allowing life to get in the way. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another, you know this story. Maybe you even told yourself this many times, I’ll do blank whenever this happens, or whatever I want to accomplish, or do fill in the blank first, and then I’ll be ready or not. It’s just not a good time. But let me be honest, friend. And let’s face it, when is it ever a good time to start anything?

Taking the First Step To be Brave

Life doesn’t always keep going. So we might as well enjoy the ride, right? Life is never going to slow down. In fact, it’s probably going to keep getting more fast-paced and out of control. Why do I bring this up? Because when my sister died, life didn’t magically slow down then either. I wish it did. But it didn’t. I want nothing more than to have the world stop turning for just a brief second. And it never did. That was when I had a lightning bolt moment. I needed to decide right then and there if I was going to stop and begin to heal. Now I intentionally use the word stop. Because like I just said, Life certainly wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. What about when it came to healing? No one else was going to do that for me. I had to take that first step to decide to be brave. That’s when it also dawned on me that this is what courage looks like. It’s not some fake it till you make it sort of thing.

Or, oh, let’s move as fast as I possibly can to the next thing, and then the next thing, and then I’ll find some other distraction that will come my way. It’s fine. I’m fine. Or maybe you can say to yourself, let me outrun my grief. I must certainly try that. And let me tell you right now and save you from the exhaustion, the fatigue, and further pain. Grief, it does not work like that, my friend. It only extended the sorrow further. It only dug that hole even farther. Because if I’m honest, there are tons of things that I would rather be doing, than sitting and processing my grief every day. I would rather clean the toilets if I’m honest. And I hate cleaning the toilets. That’s the one chore that I hate doing. I hate cleaning the toilets. And I would rather clean the toilet than sit and process my grief every day.

I was the Problem and the Solution

Another aha moment for me was that I realized that I was the problem and the solution. The problem was I didn’t want to begin healing after suicide. I wanted to distract myself from obligations and responsibilities. And I also was the solution for me deciding to heal after suicide and begin the grieving process. You see, it all starts with a decision, a choice. And the same thing is true for you. I don’t know if you’re like me, and maybe you’ve lost a loved one to suicide. Or perhaps you recently discovered that a family member or a close friend attempted suicide, you had no clue that they were even struggling. In either scenario, it begins with a bold, brave choice to take a stand and seek healing.

Earlier I mentioned obligations and responsibilities. This may seem obvious because for those of you that know me, I am a wife and a mom and I wear many hats just like all of you. And just like you listening to this right now. You wear many hats and you have so many responsibilities and obligations that need to be met. For me at the time when my sister ended her life just happened to be the day before my birthday in 2019. So at that time, I was in my senior year of college. And I was only a month away from graduating not to mention that I was working part-time. I also had a little girl who had just turned three years old in January. So for me, life wasn’t slowing down. But I had to, but I did. I had to stop. My life changed instantly that day. And if I didn’t stop and pause, I knew I would be in trouble. And let me explain not trouble as in breaking the law, that sort of thing. But more feeling troubled about where my mental state would continue to drift. If I wasn’t aware it was headed in that direction. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I hope it does. I hope you can relate and say yes, Crystal, raise your hand and let me know. I can’t see you. But I can visualize you in my mind raising your hand, saying yes, Crystal, I get you. I understand. I completely can relate. And yes, that does make sense.

How did I Rediscover I am loved?

The honest truth is rediscovering the “I am loved” took time. I know that some of you listening right now, but that might not be the answer you were looking for. But it is true. It’s the truth. And one of the most lovable things that you can do for yourself and those around you is, to be honest, be honest, my friend, and be honest about how you feel. Be honest about what you need, honest about how you feel like you’re losing it, and that it is even hard for you to get out of bed each morning. Brutal honesty is the best policy right now.

This takes immense courage. Why? I won’t go off on my soapbox just yet about how I need to stop with the Mother Teresa complex that we all hold ourselves accountable to. But let me explain why that is so hard, especially for me. Because if you’re anything like me, it is extremely difficult for me to ask for help. Even on the little things that feel small or petty or insignificant. I had to intentionally create lovable acts throughout the day. What do lovable acts look like? Well, for starters, I had to drop the negative thinking that plagued me for years. I couldn’t carry this with me, this negative self-talk, I had to become aware of my surroundings and who I hung around. And to be quite honest and clear. I still have to create lovable acts even to this day. This is just something that I will most likely have to do for the rest of my life. So remember to be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. And yes, love yourself as you are.

What about you? How have you begun to show yourself, love? How have you rediscovered that you were left? I would love? Yes, please. I’d love to hear what you do on a daily basis that is working, or something you’ve tried. Because here’s the thing, maybe what’s working for me may in fact work for you. You just never know.

Always Remember You Are Loved 💜

P.S. I would be so grateful if you would rate and review the podcast. And as always, remember, you are loved. Until next time, thanks for tuning in and listening to this episode of The You Are Loved Podcast. For more information about suicide prevention be sure to check out owlandthistle.com and if you’re coping with the loss of a loved one due to suicide, we’ve been there too. And for more information, check out our sister company found at scatteringhope.com. Please like it subscribes to this program to stay current with all of our episodes. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Owl and Thistle or Facebook and Instagram for Scattering Hope.

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