|Posted on March 16, 2018 at 12:35 AM|
Thus far, I've talked about acknowledging and dealing with challenging times in your life, turning negatives into positives no matter how terrible you feel, the responsibility for my decision to advocate for mental health awareness as well as why I chose this path, and facing difficult adversity but remembering not to give up. For over the last year, thanks to my courage to pursue mental health recovery, I now know one of the major reasons for why I have made it despite not being empowered to seek recovery until only just this past year. That's a long time... To describe it has been simply to keep an open mind.
"I don't believe in fairy tales about chakras, or energy, or the power of belief." -Benedict Cumberbatch, Dr. Stephen Strange.
"You wonder what I see in your future?
Possibility." -Tilda Swinton, Ancient One (Doctor Strange #1 trailer).
[With the following background movie trailer music: Hi-Finesse - Catalytic]
Rather than fearing what I do not understand, as a lot of people tend to do, I have kept an open mind with so many things in life and in return have learned so much more. Eighteen years ago amidst my first bout of depression, during and after high school, I started to develop mindfulness habits before I ever knew what mindfulness was. First, what is it? One way to explain that mindfulness is just to know yourself better. An actual physical practice with the body is to engage in yoga or meditation. Informal mindfulness focuses on being more aware of who you are and the world around you, as well as being a better person (to others).
After high school, how exactly was I practicing mindfulness if I didn't know what it was? By luck and instinct. I have a rather strong paternal trait of perfectionism which, at some point in my past, I felt was a negative part of who I was and what I was doing. I can tell with my own eyes whether a picture hung on a wall is crooked or straight; not necessarily a negative trait but a fair example. Almost by instinct, I gradually began to explore the opposite behavior in order to balance the negativity I was sensing in myself. Instead of becoming increasingly uptight, everything has to be just right, I would look to and appreciate the random and natural beauty in things such as in nature. Here are some examples I can describe by now.
Breathtaking sunsets. Awe-inspiring cumulonimbus thunderstorm clouds that fill a daytime sky, or the lightning that fills the sky at night. The lush spring and summer green of the Appalachian Mountains one of which I have seen outside my bedroom window for years. The sparkling wonder of fresh-fallen snow. The oh-so-sweet smell of lilac or marigold flowers. The everlasting honor of another human being who genuinely respects me as much as I strive to respect them. All of this, and more, just by being open minded? Yep. Amen. And the list goes on. Not just sights, sounds, tastes, or smells, but also positive emotions such as the intense power of listening to some of these movie trailer songs. Some of them pump me up so much I feel as if I'm ready to run a mile even though I am not in the best physical shape right now.
With having an open mind comes what actress Tilda Swinton says in this trailer as simple possibility. Every person is capable of this and so much more. Any chance I get, for example, I share the super-inspiring movie trailer music with anyone who may be interested because it has literally changed my life. Neo-classical music has given me the ability to utilize music for powerful inspiration. There have been times when it has even helped to buffer suicidal ideations. As I'm writing this I am listening to the music for this exact movie trailer itself. There are ways to explore and reap the benefits of mindfulness which require so little effort that everyone can do it. Though, for myself, there are always two sides of the coin of my life. A balance. Positive and negative.
"Be careful which path you travel down (Strange).
Stronger (men) than you have lost their way." -Benedict Wong, Wong (Doctor Strange #2 trailer).
[With the following background movie trailer music: Hi-Finesse - Dystopia]
When it comes down to it, the odds are stacked against us. Tragic car accidents. Plane crashes. Floods. Cancerous diseases. Undiagnosed health conditions. Deadly firearms; weapons in the hands of people responsible for abusing them to mass murder others. Not to mention prolonged experience with suicide and depression. After having endured so many years of unmedicated, untreated, and unaccepted mental illness, despite the progress I've made I still face adversity just as difficult to overcome as anyone else. I also have a choice whether to give in to the temptation of suicide, to harm someone else, or to remain as I have been still here and now. Only my own worst enemy.
But besides the paths of good and bad choices in life, being an attempt survivor and having to deal with suicide on a regular enough basis I have been forced to be well aware of 'which path I travel down' in my life. Now more than ever. If I let my guard down there may be no coming back, this next time. This is my cross to bear. Well, one of them at least. Stronger people than me have lost their way and have not lived today to tell their story...
Unlike my 2003 overdose attempt, which I might add was abrupt and not preceded by any sort of final suicide note, with the suicidal ideations ever since I can say I've had plenty of time to think about the meaning of my life... And yes, I have relapsed at least once (2014). Maybe twice (2018). It's difficult to tell, because nearly the last thing I want to admit to myself - let alone any of you - is that I contemplated suicide to any degree of being serious enough to want to actually do it. So, despite what anyone may say or criticize of me I do have experience with mental illness and suicide. I really wish I didn't, but this is the life I have been dealt and it will be what I fight for.
Now, after a remarkable week blogging every day straight for the first time in over a year, I come to the crowning center piece of why I wrote this many blog entries to begin with. Last week as I began combing through all of these trailers for their inspirational value, I also happened to catch onto the newest Marvel film trailer as well. It was the source of inspiration that motivated me to write such a flurry of blog posts so out of the blue and with such... a-vengeance... as you have just seen. A film trailer for a surefire blockbuster that will hit theaters on April 27th worldwide and fits my life right now to a T.
March 17th, 2018: