ARTICLES, I NEED HELP: TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
Overcoming Suicide: Crystal’s Story
At 9:30 AM, I received a call from my brother’s girlfriend. She told me that my brother had taken his own life. I dropped to my knees and I screamed in horror: “NOOOOOO!” over and over again. I screamed in great pain. My heart was shattered. Nobody in the office stopped me from screaming. At that moment I felt uncomfortable in my skin. I wanted to tear my clothes off.
I dealt with more than a year of post-traumatic stress and my biggest fans were my soul sisters. They would come over to clean my house, bring me food, go for walks, and to just be there for me. I was devastated. My brother was my best friend and I was his mother hen. I always wanted the very best for him and tried to give him guidance and love. I lost my desire to live. I felt this incredible need to pray for him and myself every day. I even walked into a church five days after the funeral. I begged the priest for help. I asked him to pray for my brother and for me because I was concerned with what would happen to his soul.
I wanted to run away. I didn’t want anyone else to say, “Sorry for your loss!” I was beyond sorry. I had bags under my eyes from crying so much – I was like a fountain of tears. I couldn’t turn it off. I went from this confident, bubbly woman to a person I didn’t recognize. A very good friend kept bugging me to try yoga and finally, almost 10 months after his death, I agreed to meet her. I attended a sixty-minute class and I walked out amazed. For sixty minutes, I didn’t cry. I didn’t think of my brother. I wasn’t an emotional rollercoaster. Being the victim of a suicide is a ride of emotions: fear, anger, and sadness. It is a ride down a deep hole of darkness that I don’t wish upon anyone. I knew I wanted off that ride. I wanted out of that hole and I knew that for me, the answer was yoga. Five classes later, I decided to be a yoga teacher.
A Journey of Healing
This was the beginning of my journey of healing. I started seeing a therapist, Travis Pederson, who helped me with my daily panic attacks. They were always in my chest; it felt as if I was suffocating. Every night, when I closed my eyes, I would see my brother on the stretcher, dream about kissing him on the cheek, and saying goodbye. Travis used hypnotherapy and tapping treatment to wipe out that memory and after many treatments it truly began to work. I did all of this while taking my yoga instructor training course. I had to learn how to fall in love with myself all over again; fall in love with the simplicity of life like the changing of the seasons. Most importantly, I had to learn how to be grateful for the good things in my life. It’s like being reborn and learning everything all over again.
A good friend had me see an East Indian guru. The guru told me to give my brother’s favorite food to the homeless shelters every month for a year on the day of his death. I enjoyed how this made feel. A fellow yoga teacher and I went every Sunday for a year to hand out donuts and pastries to the homeless standing outside the Bissell Centre in Edmonton. That same year, a few of my good friends and I helped feed a Christmas Day dinner to over five thousand homeless people at the Shaw Conference Centre. To give my love unselfishly was the best feeling in the world. My heart began to open up and I started to love again. I understand now, five years later, why the guru said that giving with the heart heals all wounds. Caring, showing acts of kindness, and sharing love brought me back to the woman I once was.
Connecting Mind, Body, and Soul
Another good friend of mine took me to the Telus World of Science to see the “Body Works” exhibit, and I was fascinated with the fact that the neurons in our brain run down our spine at a speed between two hundred and fifty, and one thousand miles per hour. After learning this, I put science, mediation, and the physical act of yoga into my recovery. This was my “Ah-ha!” moment: Learning how to bring my focus to the present and feel peace, to feel comfortable in my own skin; learning how to release happy hormones or love hormones upon demand. This was the beginning of taking control of my mind and beginning to live for myself, the beginning of understanding my vibration of life, and the beginning of connecting my mind, body and soul. I now mediate morning and night and always give gratification to a “higher love”, including loving myself and all living things around me.
Now, I encourage you to find your outlet. Find your passion and let your loved ones back into your heart. Stop being a hermit! Ignite your fire. Whether you take dance lessons, sing, climb, or run, these things allows you to live in the moment and release your happy hormones: serotonin and oxytocin. This is the best high in life. Surround yourself with people that make you laugh and giggle because that will also put your mind in a state of natural high; a state of living in the now. As I said, it’s like being reborn, so try to put yourself in a playful, childlike state. Ask yourself: What did I like doing when I was a child? Whatever the answer, just do it! This is your true self. Playing, laughter, and love will heal your heart and connect your mind, body, and soul.
It’s been five long years of healing and I continue teaching, evolving, and taking workshops. Post-traumatic stress is just a roadblock on the journey to happiness and bliss.
I am now a survivor of suicide.
Crystal Lozinski – SOS Safety Magazine