Looking Ahead to Change: Little by Little
I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I don't think I ever really did, but the last decade or two would have been enough to stifle that impulse. I've just been too aware that I don't have that much control over what happens in my life.
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Thoughts on Suicide — A Dream Experience

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Wayne, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Dreamed a couple nights ago I was driving down a road in a somewhat rural area near where I live. At some point, I decide my trip would be more interesting if I get out of my vehicle, and start walking. After a short while, I come to an intersection that leads to the interstate highway only a half mile away. That seemed even more interesting to me, and had me hearkening back to some of my younger days when I had done some hitchhiking. Ahhh, the open road... Freedom!

    But then I got a nagging feeling. What about the vehicle I had left parked just off the road? No sooner did I have that thought, when I realized the vehicle was actually a rental, and that I had certain obligations that I couldn’t just walk away from. So with a certain sense of resignation [but knowing I’m doing the right thing], I start heading back toward the rental vehicle.

    As I was sharing this dream with my partner, I mentioned I wasn’t sure how to interpret it at first, but as the morning wore on, it became pretty clear to me. Before I could share that “clarity”, she busted out laughing–she knew exactly what this dream was portraying. She’s long known I have many dreams with a vehicle in it, and that it’s the primary symbol for my body. That the vehicle in this dream was a rental reflected that when I accepted this body for this lifetime, I accepted the responsibilities associated with this rental. — One would obviously be to not abandon it!

    To me, not abandoning the rental vehicle in my dream is analogous to not committing suicide. My partner and I have talked about how difficult it is for me to live in a body that is burdened with ME/CFS. I’ve told her that if my health doesn’t improve–and if I was offered a spiritual choice–I would likely choose to depart this world sooner than later. But I also made clear that my preference is to live a full life, and that I would continue to do whatever I could to improve my health. I even resolved to be careful about the thoughts I let linger within myself–realizing thoughts eventually manifest in one way or another. Despite this resolve, this dreaded illness still tests me on an ongoing basis. What’s helped a lot is coming to understand how a couple of my greatest vulnerabilities can cause me to start thinking in terms of dying.

    First, my entire electrical system is extremely vulnerable to sensory stimulation, especially loud noises. I had a brief exposure to an industrial chipper a few months ago that made my system extremely fragile for several days. During this time, I kept feeling, “I just want to die”. Though it weighed heavily on me during this whole time, having the understanding this was primarily a physical and emotional response helped me navigate that difficult period. – Doing various energy balancing techniques helps pull me out of these kinds of episodes. — Secondly, I’ve also come to understand that when I occasionally experience intense morning depression and anxiety–which leave me with similar feelings of wanting to die–that these feelings are caused primarily by my system being very toxic. – Doing regular coffee enemas to support detoxification alleviates most of this depression and anxiety.

    Key for me when dealing with suicidal thoughts or tendencies is knowing that they’re part and parcel of having this disease, and that they’re probably going to come and go in varying degrees for as long as I have this disease, or I die of natural causes. Whether they’re caused by toxicity, sensory stimulation, one of life’s bumps that becomes magnified many times over because of a misfiring brain and neurological system–or whatever–just knowing that they’re coming, as well as being confident they will also be leaving, prepares me for when they do arrive. A big factor for me is knowing I have successful strategies handy that always work to pull myself out of a down cycle. – What also helps is my firm belief that doing my best to overcome whatever struggles come my way helps my spiritually in the grand scheme of things.

    Regarding suicide from a spiritual perspective [for anybody who may be interested] — I personally believe in reincarnation, and my understanding is that suicide disrupts a natural rhythm of rest and “regrouping” that normally takes place between lifetimes. In the case of suicide, apparently Soul is normally sent back for rebirth almost immediately, with little to no preparation time (or rest). The reason for this “fast track” approach is to give Soul another opportunity to face the challenges it attempted to avoid. The lack of preparation however often makes the following lifetime more difficult than the one that was just left behind. — If this scenario is accurate, then someone’s belief or hope that ending a lifetime will end their suffering may not necessarily be the case.

    Getting back to my dream, I look at the body we inhabit at any given time as somewhat of a rental. Like other material things that may come our way, it’s on loan to us for a finite period of time, and our responsibility is to use it to the best of ability to achieve certain spiritual goals. My own analogy is we’re all here to smooth out some of our rough edges–perhaps similar to the eons of time water from the sea smooths out the rocks and stones on its shoreline. It’s a polishing of Soul that takes time. But being optimistic by nature, I adhere to an adage I once read, “The wheels of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly well”.

    I’m a bit hesitant to make this post because I have total respect for everybody else’s beliefs, and don’t want to come across in a manner other than that. With this post, I mostly wanted to share that I believe my own physical and emotional feelings of sometimes “wanting to die” are caused by very specific things going on in my body, and are completely separate from my spiritual instincts to live and flourish. Being able to differentiate between the two has been incredibly helpful for me. For anybody who’s had thoughts of suicide [who here hasn’t at some point], I truly believe various coping methods that are unique to us individually can be discovered, and then utilized during times of crisis.

    Living with ME/CFS continues to be extraordinarily challenging for me on many fronts, and often feels like it’s almost more than I can handle. Though I often falter, my goal and resolution is to live as gracefully with these challenges the best I can—and part of that resolve is to never rush into a fateful decision when things are feeling bleak. — I earlier mentioned a couple things that help get me over the hump [I have a few others]. I would very much welcome and appreciate hearing of other kinds of coping strategies that have worked for others, whether from partial fasting; thinking of those we love; checking out comedy movies; taking a break from the internet; spiritual reflections; being in nature; earthing [laying on the earth]; etc. — Thanks!

    Best, Wayne
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  2. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for this beautiful sharing Wayne. It very much reflects my experience. I've sometimes wondered if the reason suicide comes to the surface of my mind so easily in difficult times is because this was the choice I'd made already in the past, and must now be ever vigilant to how easily the thought form reawakens.:balanced::hug:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  3. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    What an eloquent, brave and hopeful share Wayne - thank you so much. I deeply identify, and am enriched by your courage in continuing to stay in your body, and learn whatever can be from this situation. Thank you.
     
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  4. cmt12

    cmt12 Senior Member

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    Train yourself to pray during these times of intense pain - there is no better time or opportunity for growth and development. Pain can provide a level of focus and intensity that wouldn't otherwise be available to you.

    During prayer there is no need to verbalize, just hold a mindset of humility and focus. You're right that the times of overwhelming pain come and go so make these periods productive.

    Also, whether it's about spirituality or health, I would do your best to resist speculation. Speculation is not a prerequisite for attaining truth. Stay empty and uncertain and demand truth through prayer with full expectations of receiving it.
     
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  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Great post, Wayne. A very simple story, yet it offers a thought-provoking perspective.

    I like the analogy between the obligations of using rental vehicle, and what we might assume are our obligations of being an incarnated soul, given a body and a life.

    I often think in terms of Buddhist reincarnation concepts when pondering philosophical issues connected to suicide. Of course we don't really know if we are the constantly reincarnating souls that Buddhists believe in; but we can assume that it might be the case, and then on this assumption, consider the ramifications of suicide within this reincarnation context.

    If we assume we will be reissued with a new body and a new life at the end of this one, and if consider that in this life, we are stuck in the prison of this disease, which seems to enormously limit what we can achieve, and limit what good we can do in the world, then we can contemplate whether it might even be ethical to commit suicide, simply so that you can free your soul from these constraints, enter into a new life, and then apply yourself vigorously and responsibly in that new life.

    Why sit around being ill and doing very little in this life, when you can just jump into your next life, and with that newly acquired healthy body and mind, committing to your responsibilities, and energetically expressing your gifts and talents. One could argue that it is lazy to sit around doing nothing here, while your next life beckons.


    However, we can also consider the opposite view, and the notion of not abandoning or shirking away from the challenges of this life.

    In my case, I find these challenges sometimes take the form of quiet critical self analysis — analysis of my shortcomings, and any spiritual or ethical dumbness that I displayed when I was healthy and active in life. Normally, you don't get much chance to consider these aspects of yourself, as in a competitive world, we are apt to present an airbrushed persona of ourself, where the warts are concealed. So then these shortcomings are never considered or addressed, because they are denied, even to ourselves.

    But when you are thrown out of the mainstream of life as a result of a disease like ME/CFS, you may find you have the time and freedom to examine yourself, warts and all. I sometimes enjoy contemplating the idea that ME/CFS is a karmic result of my personal flaws, and that chronic fatigue is not in fact a disease, but rather a cosmically-appointed treatment program designed to rectify my shortcomings. Perhaps all that is asked of you spiritually is to become aware of these shortcomings. In this way, as Wayne put it, we may be able to "smooth out some of our rough edges"; to refine and straighten out our soul.

    If you were to jump straight into your next life by terminating yourself in this one, and without addressing your flaws and failings, then perhaps your next life will go as badly wrong as this current one has. And it has certainly gone badly wrong for all of all us with significant ME/CFS.


    I am not sure which of the above two opposing viewpoints might be the right one; I tend not to view metaphysical matters from a single perspective anyway. These are just fleeting thoughts. But I do keep sending regular messages up to any omnipotent divinity that might be listening, asking him to get me out of here the instant I have paid my karmic debts, and not to keep this misery going a moment longer. I can't wait for that new healthy body and life to be issued to me!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  6. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I've come to find, beneath the layers of flaws and failings, the expansive space of no-thingness. Now that my nervous system is not on fire I am frequently able to sink below the discomforts. My former life, no matter what my intentions, would never have gifted me with the opportunity to experience this spaciousness. :balanced:
     
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  7. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    In the last 4 months I've had 3 cousins die who were 2 years older than me. Before they got sick (2 from cancer,1 alzheimers), they had good, productive lives and it appeared easier lives. It has made me envious of their "smoothness" when I've been suffering with the pain and poverty of this disease for 28 years.

    Also it gives a hero status to people that are so brave while we aren't usually counted on as the courageous ones. As ridiculous as it sounds, I'm mad at them for getting to leave and I'm stuck here trying and trying and trying.

    Yet really I don't want to die, I want vitality and life. I love life and all the good things it has to offer. I'm glad that in my younger years I accepted many opportunities to learn and grow. Of course I'm growing in another way now and because of this illness some people around me are growing too. Still I'd be nuts to like it. At first I took ME/CFS as a challenge now it's just drudgery. I'm not giving up, I'm just saying that I'm mad as hell but I guess I'll take it some more.
     
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  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Wayne.. (hopefully I haven't posted about the following here before, I cant remember) but recently, about 2 weeks ago I became aware I'd committed suicide in the life time I think it was before my last... Im thinking late 1800s to around 1930. (I also died in world war 1 or 2 but that wasn't suicide)... so anyway, I suicided in a life time not long ago. I've been trying to looking to get a past life clearing/healing done as I think that other suicide is impacting me a little now and leading me more towards that road.

    It makes no sense to me at all that we'd be like thrown right back here right away if we suicided if it was probably going to just lead to the same result and build those energies up even stronger.

    This lifetime is enough to put me off of wanting ANY body here or physical plane consciousness kind of life. I hope never ever again. With the way people can be towards those who have things they don't understand, I have no desire to be around humanity again. How people treat others, has got to me far more then actually the having ME/CFS itself. This place is so nasty.

    Someone else can rent this vehicle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Thanks everybody for your replies. I'm still fairly groggy this morning, but this topic reminded me of some things I read recently about life in the physical world, and which seems to fit in nicely with this thread. I was able to locate it [miracle of miracles :)] so thought I'd post a few snippets below...

    The spiritual value of having a physical body is often overlooked. It allows Soul to experience a much wider spectrum of experiences and environments than any of the other lower forms. And since the physical form deteriorates fairly rapidly, Soul can experience many lifetimes in a relatively short period of time.

    Karma can also be dealt with quickly in the physical. All the inner bodies directly influence the physical body, allowing for rapid cause-and-effect learning. — In the Astral World, a wide gulf of time separates an effect from its cause. Physical life makes it easier for Soul to realize and learn from cause-and-effect cycles.

    If I impress only one thing upon you, let it be this: the physical is Soul's most precious and valued tool. With it, Soul's return home is practically guaranteed.
     
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  10. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @ahmo,

    I suspect most people commit suicide in one lifetime or another. Given how difficult life can become at times, it would almost seem inevitable. I've even heard that at certain points in our many lives, special training is given to help us nurture the spiritual courage within ourselves to carry on.

    My own recollections of previous lifetimes have been relatively few and far between. But I do have a somewhat hazy recollection of committing suicide in one of them. As I recall, it seemed like I experienced a time of fairly intense chaos after ending that life--good reason for me to not want to replicate that experience this time around!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  11. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @Hip, thanks much for your many interesting comments. I have very similar takes to yours. Despite the difficulties in dealing with ME/CFS, I'm convinced there are insights we can glean from them, perhaps especially about how we can grow and mature spiritually. Not always easy--in fact maybe never easy--but in the grand scheme of things, likely a necessary component of our ongoing spiritual training.

    I think you're right on this one--In fact, it almost feels to me like something I "know". So I persevere--but I've also resolved to experience as much love, joy and humor as I can along the way!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @PNR2008,

    Thanks for the chuckle. I don't like it either! -- Hmmm, I guess neither of us are nuts then, right? ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @taniaaust1,

    I can certainly relate. Just to mention, as I perused information on reincarnation over the years, and reflected on the prospect of multiple lifetimes, I kept asking myself, "to what end?" I mean, when you look at some of the nastiness in the world, it all sounded pretty burdensome, even overwhelming.

    After much searching, I eventually came upon a teaching that answered some of these fundamental questions and thoughts that made sense to me. In short, karma and reincarnation is but a temporary condition, one of spiritual education and training to prepare us for greater things to come. The following story I once read may be a good illustration.

    A woman wrote that she was studying a discourse which focused on recalling past lives. She had done one of the techniques recommended, and in a vivid dream, found herself in a slave ship several centuries ago. At one point, she found herself looking directly into the face of a cruel overseer, who she immediately recognized as her husband in this lifetime.

    Shortly afterwards, she was re-reading this discourse when her husband--who did not like her interest in such matters--asked in a somewhat smirky tone something like, "Well, are you learning anything today?" She was able to look calmly at him and reply, "I'm learning how not to hate you."
    This story is always a good reminder to not to hold resentments toward those who have not been very kind to me, especially when it revolved around some of their less than charitable attitudes toward my health challenges. Not always easy, but I try to always see others as Soul going through their own challenges, and not focus too much on what are clearly their own issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Having had a major near-death experience back in 1979, caused by a lightning strike, I can honestly say that I found being out of my body to the point of being nearly dead to be an extremely pleasant and peaceful experience. Returning to my sick body and facing the damage done to it was, in contrast, a huge and frightening disappointment. If I could do it over, knowing how many decades of ill health I would face after that, I am pretty sure I would not have willed myself back into my physical body with such determination. Oh well... hindsight is 20/20 and it's too late for a redo now!

    Death *seems* easy in comparison to ME, which is why there is such a high suicide rate among those of us with this often torturous and interminable disease. Whether death actually *is* easy remains to be seen. I didn't go that far, so I don't know for sure. And being a skeptic who finds questions much more intriguing than answers, I am comfortable with not knowing, much more comfortable than believing, which has never worked very well for me.

    Religious and spiritual groups all have very negative beliefs and attitudes about suicide, and I used to be rather judgmental about suicide myself. But I am not that way anymore. Who is to say what is the right and proper way for any given individual to die?

    If someone works themselves to death or eats themselves to death with junk food, that is never officially considered suicide, but in the bigger picture it sure looks like it to me. So why is there so much more stigma attached to someone who suffers through decades of illness, and then says "Enough. I am done?" Why is it that a heroic endurance trial that ends in a final, and most likely very difficult, decision to exit the body is viewed as "giving up or giving in?" Why is it that continuing to suffer is viewed as the more healthy and sane option? We all have to die some time, so why are supposed "natural causes" deemed as the preferable or even only option? Why is it that people believe the spirit will supposedly be better off if we allow ourselves to be destroyed by disease, rather than to choose to exit of our own free will? Who says? And why do they say that?

    I question all beliefs, attitudes and conclusions regarding life and death and spirit. Suicide, like everything else in life, is a personal decision. Whether life is or is not worth living for someone is up to that someone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  15. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    Beautifully written, @Wayne.

    I can't imagine what beautiful souls we would all be if we were suddenly set free from ME/CFS. The trick is being a beautiful soul while still shackled.

    I'd love to comment more, but it's one of those ick days.
     
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  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Isn't it amazing, though, when you read accounts of out-of-body near death experiences, how the deceased relatives of the supposed out-of-body soul invariably seem to urge that soul to return back to their body, and to face their duties and responsibilities back on Earth, rather than the relatives warmly inviting them into the pleasant afterlife reality that they all enjoy. You often hear this when you read NDE accounts. You'd think your relatives would say: "Hey it's really wonderful here in paradise, don't go back, stay with us in the afterlife!"

    Makes me think there is some dodgy cosmic racket going on, where some souls are banished to the physical world, perhaps because God needs people to do all the hard graft here on Earth.

    Then again, if there were many cases where a person's deceased relatives warmly invited the out-of-body soul to stay with them in paradise, we would not hear about those cases!
     
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  17. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    I tend to agree..........and I do not feel in any way that if I chose to end my suffering that it would mean I would have to pay some kind of karmic consequences because of that decision or that it meant that I was any less spiritually enlightened because of that decision.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thanks for sharing that thought. And me too.

    That kind of shaming and judging about who is spiritually enlightened and who is not is such a big (and nasty) part of most spiritual traditions, and it's often (maybe even usually) done in such passive-aggressive ways.

    Why do so called spiritual people think that they have karma and afterlife all figured out? Why are they so sure about these supposed "laws of the universe" that they often refer to with such certainty? Why are they so quick to jump on board with believing and following these "laws?" Is it fear that's driving those decisions to have certain answers for the ultimate mysteries of life? Or is it tradition and the need to feel included? Is it something to do with one's particular brain chemistry? Or is it just an unconscious choice?

    What drives people to believe what they do has always fascinated me and it's more interesting to me than the beliefs themselves.
     
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  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    If I remember rightly, there nothing intrinsically wrong with suicide in the Buddhist tradition; but there is the notion that your karmic state at the time of death will affect your trajectory in the afterlife, or the in-between life. This contrasts to the Abrahamic faiths, which take a dim view on suicide.

    In fact, if you were in the perfect state of karma, arguably suicide could even be seen as a good strategy in Buddhist terms.

    But I think what Wayne has touched on is a common theme you often find in religions: namely, trying to create some kind of understanding or meaning to suffering. I often ask myself if there are any benefits to this misery that so many human beings are often asked to go through in their lives. It's nice to think that suffering might have some beneficial effect on the soul; it makes you feel as if you are achieving something in your misery. But of course all these things are just pure speculations; we really know nothing of these matters.


    And that's another question that always intrigues me: why do we know nothing? If there is more to the cosmos than just the physical world, and if there are afterlife states of existence that a soul can reside in, why is this information kept from us in the physical world?

    Why are we not allowed to know about these other states? Why is there this cosmic censorship? Doesn't God accept freedom of information requests? Is there a reason why the afterlife does not want to maintain a communications link to us in the physical world?

    One answer to this might be that we don't yet have the technology to probe into such other states of existence. Not so long ago we never had the ability to probe into atomic structure, for example. Now we can. Perhaps in due course, those living in the physical world will discover and connect to these afterlife lands.

    This answer is also the same one that some people have suggested for the reason why we do not see our physical universe teeming with advanced life: the idea is that when a civilization in our universe gets advanced enough, they develop the technology to break through into other non-physical realms of existence, and having done so, they realize how paradisiacal these non-physical realms are, a what a shit hole in fact the physical universe is, and so abandon the physical universe, never return from paradise! And that's why we don't see advanced life in our physical universe: because our universe is the bum end of the cosmos, a place that no self respecting soul would be seen alive in!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
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  20. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Wayne thank you much for posting your dream about your soul and only renting your body like a vehicle. I don't know why but it was very helpful for me.

    My husband believes very strongly in reincarnation (he was raised Christian but became Buddhist/eastern practice) and also my grandmother (who was a proper Southern woman) believed all her life and had distinct memories of being a black boy in Africa in her past life. She died when I was ten so cannot ask her about it.

    I have completely changed my views on suicide after being so ill from ME. I was never, ever judgmental about it and had tremendous empathy after witnessing a suicide of someone I knew who shot and killed himself in front of me.

    but I still approached it more clinically due to my profession and worked in mental health and even volunteered on a suicide hotline for ten yrs (til 2005). But I had not personally suffered at that time as I have now.

    Now after suffering so greatly from ME (and currently struggle just to eat, breathe, walk, and need a wheelchair) I feel my physical body has failed me. My career is over and I cannot take care of myself without significant help from my husband and mom.

    I feel suicidal quite frequently and feel that I am a huge burden to them. We spoke very openly about this yesterday and I made it clear that I am not depressed and if given the chance to be healthy again, I would take it in a heartbeat and the list of what I would do is endless.

    Even if it just meant that I could walk w/o wheelchair and drive to grocery store and shop by myself- that would be enough. Although I would like to take my step daughter shopping at the mall like we used to and attend events at her school and eat dinner in a restaurant and walk my dog and do all my self care without assistance.

    My husband and parents said I cannot end my life and want me to be here no matter what. They are committed to doing whatever is needed to keep me here and I cannot hurt them b/c it feels too selfish (and maybe my soul is supposed to learn something from this suffering but not really sure what it is?).

    I just want an option for death with dignity if I get worse to the point that I cannot bathe or go to bathroom myself (which right now I can do- minus I cannot lift hairdryer myself.)

    So in a way I feel trapped that I am obligated to stay in this body that I no longer recognize. But I cannot hurt the people who love me and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me on a daily basis. My mom lost a child (as a baby) and my husband lost his first wife (to a rare cancer) so if I were to leave them, the guilt is overwhelming knowing what they have already lost.

    So I keep trying to get better yet instead I keep adding new issues that make me worse (like mold exposure, horrible histamine & mast cell issues, horrible neck and arm pain etc) on top of ME and severely low BP and shortness of breath that stops me from having any kind of life.

    Didn't plan to type so much but felt that you would understand @Wayne
     
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