Delay tactics give time to recover

William Bisset
William Bisset

I would totally shock any dietitian if they knew what naughtiness I have been up to over the past few weeks.

With all the sunshine and glorious weather in South Canterbury, I have fallen into the habit of sneaking out at lunch times and having picnics in the parks.

Week 41

I guess you could argue that enjoying nature and fresh air is good for the soul, but I have been undoing any good by consuming regular amounts of white processed bread buns.

These are cheap to buy, readily available and far too yummy when filled with cheese and other wicked fillings. Usually I decide last minute to go for picnics, so when rushing I have found processed foods are the cheapest and easiest to purchase.

I have noticed a slight deterioration in my overall wellbeing since consuming regular amounts of processed foods and I definitely feel more bloated. So again, it's a matter of identifying the situation and changing it through better planning.

Although I should not let guilt destroy my journey, I worry that my goal of getting into the mid 90 kilograms by the end of the year has been compromised.

I speak to many people about mental and physical wellbeing and a topic that is raised regularly is suicide. It may feel like an uncomfortable subject to discuss but it seems more and more people contemplate this as a solution. Everyone has their own issues and different reasons why they would get so low to the point they would take their own life. It's sad, but it's real and it's happening around us at an alarming rate, so it needs to be discussed and out there.

Many years ago I too had such inclinations and I developed mental tools that safeguarded me from doing anything dangerous. I have kept this very private but given it has helped me pull through dark times in the past, it's best I share, particularly if it could be of some benefit to others.

The intensity of these dark feelings was extreme. You are in trouble when your whole mind is consumed by the desire not to be here, for no other reason than the fact you just really don't want to be alive.

Of course, for many, losing a partner, financial issues, or other stresses can put us in a mental state where death seems like the only solution to handle the pain. I have pulled through times that felt impossible to endure and this is what I do to pull through.

But first, I would like to point out that this was a long time ago.

In times of grief, I accepted that suicide was an option and in some cases I made the decision: yes . . . just do it. Sometimes, rather than fighting the urge, I made the decision that yes, I would just take my life.

Sometimes the simple act of reaching a decision can bring a feeling of relief.

The key to this is that while I have made this decision, I then tell myself "but not today . . . yes, I will do it, but maybe next week, I don't have to do it right now".

This helps fight the spontaneous urge when feeling extremely low. Sometimes the next day I have felt better and, if not, I again just tell myself "yes I will, but not today".

This delay tactic allows me time for mental regulating. I reflect on past times when I felt suicidal but pulled through, then I think of the good times experienced afterwards.

I remember thinking "Wow, I was going to take my life awhile ago, but I'm so pleased I didn't because I am now enjoying such and such".

No matter how low I used to get, I know it's temporary and I reflect on past cycles of this happening.

That leads me to playing the scenario in my head and past/future thinking.

For example, if I took my life, say, 10 years ago, I realise that I would have missed out on many good times and also, I'd be forgotten about with everyone carrying on with their own lives.

I apply that to the future too. Would I feel the same regret in five or 10 years?

Can something change in the future that can reduce the hurt and make me happy? Of course it can but, unfortunately, when you're in such a low state of mind, happiness seems impossible to contemplate.

And when it comes to reasoning with oneself, you don't care about the ramifications of your actions.

In the meantime, regarding my picnics, I better lay off the white bread buns and prepare healthier picnic solutions!

The Timaru Herald