Sarah Jeanne Browne is speaker, writer, and activist. She is a self help writer who has been published on Forbes, Lifehack, Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, and more. She has led workshops for youth on leadership for The Peal Center, Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network, and The Woodlands Foundation. Sarah is a "lived experience" speaker and writer with bipolar who fosters better understanding of mental health to end stigma. She promotes how to surrender or let go as her philosophy in all her writing- self help for sites, books, or otherwise. You can find her at sarahjeannebrowne.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Forum Replies Created
September 10, 2021 at 11:03 am #386066
I do not have an answer to that. You will need a therapist and dr to help you make that decision.
When I meditated the other day, it didn’t make my depression go away right away. But then I thought of things I could control. I still recommend the other exercises I gave you, but try this one if those don’t speak to you. Write a list of what you can’t control vs. can control right now.
Let me know what you find!
Look up mindfulness practices. You will need mindful thinking to get through this.
SarahSeptember 6, 2021 at 7:43 pm #385888
Just checking in.
So I’m seeing you are struggling. So let me express what I’ve gone through and how I’ve gotten through it.
I struggled with severe mental illness as bipolar for many years, worsening when I was 25 in 2015. I was hospitalized twice (once the first time and secondly after a relapse years later).
I’m finally on the right meds. It’s a true miracle.
But for a while, I started waking up each morning cringing in shock at all I had been through. My therapist called this PTSD.
I had to let the shock of it subside overtime. I couldn’t get rid of it right away.
I had to not react to my mind. My inner critic was lying to me as it is lying to you. I had to just let it happen and not judge my process of healing.
You are feeling so many negative things. I understand that. I was just there myself! I was waking up cringing and feeling depressed each morning.
But it got better.
It gets better.
You’re going through the worst of it right now. It will get better. So don’t react to your mind right now. It’s freaking out. It’s PTSD. It’s trauma. It’s catastrophizing.
Mindfulness is a great tactic to overcoming this stuff. But it’s also human to be afraid. You don’t have to fix yourself overtime. Have self-compassion.
You’re not alone, and things are never hopeless. You hit rock bottom with your recent suicide attempt. You’ve been given a second chance at life.
We are here for you, but it’s up to you if you’ll let the light in.
It’s up to you to find what makes you smile or laugh.
It’s up to you to take deep breaths while going through panic attacks.
It’s up to you to listen to your inner voice not your inner critic.
It’s up to you to take this advice and follow any resources given.
It’s up to you have faith.
That’s what it comes down to.
Faith in yourself and whatever you believe in.
You have a purpose. Your purpose might show itself through your pain.
I was grieving someone and I turned my grief into a story line of my young adult fiction novel that I’m writing. I also turned it into an article that I’m still writing. In my sadness, lines just came to me that captured my emotions and gave me wisdom and meaning.
Your intuition tells you a lot. I think you are doing better than you think.
Stop reacting to your thoughts. Just observe them. Let them pass. You need to separate yourself from your mind with mindfulness. Nothing you do will work until you do.
SarahAugust 25, 2021 at 12:29 am #385273
That book I had you buy addresses all this. Please read!
Write to your inner child on one side of paper then write what your inner child would say on the other side.
Try five min a day at least meditating and just letting your thoughts go mindfully.
I don’t believe you’ve done my other assignments. Please scroll back and do!
Write a list of positive qualities about yourself. Take note when your inner critic pushes back on these compliments and let me know what happens.
Try self compassion. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Practice it as much as you can. It’s a muscle that needs worked out.
Everythings going to be okay. Your negative self talk is lying to you. Detach from it and observe with no judgment. When you become the observer and not the reactor you start to heal.
Listen to Even If by Mercy Me the link I already sent you.
I can’t help you if you don’t follow my advice so I’ll wait on you to follow through.
SarahAugust 8, 2021 at 9:08 am #384281
Im so sorry. I hope the psych ward can help. I’ll be praying for you. Thank you for not acting on these feelings this time.
SarahAugust 7, 2021 at 8:36 am #384240
What I want you to know is feelings lie to you. Recently I’ve been having flashbacks of impulsive choices I made while previously manic. I’m stable now with bipolar meds. But now my brain is freaking out over the past. I know my brain is doing this but it’s not a reflection of the truth. I forgive myself for being imperfect and stopped reacting to my brains panic.
Likewise you need to see your brain is lying to you.
Write an Unsent letter to your mother.
SarahAugust 6, 2021 at 7:05 am #384214
Im glad you liked my articles and will look at the resources at your own pace! I know you can make it through this.
SarahAugust 4, 2021 at 10:54 am #384118
Yay I’m so glad you are so proactive.
Self-love doesn’t mean you have to like every aspect of yourself but acceptance is a good thing. It means you acknowledge you are human and flawed and imperfect. No one is perfect! And you deserve love. You always did.
I think working on self-love through this is a great goal.
Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHosmHnOrb8
I hope you have a great day and let me know when you get the book I recommended. I’ll be reading it soon too!
SarahAugust 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm #384092
How to Do The Work by Dr. Nicole Lepera https://www.amazon.com/dp/1409197743?psc=1&smid=A21D2M03J7WM89&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp
I just ordered it for myself. I recommend ordering it too. Maybe we can read it at the same time. Since antidepressants haven’t worked for you this has holistic ways to help too.
God loves you. You don’t have to do anything to earn that love.
Listen to Mercy Me. They have changed my life and brought me closer to God.
You are having panic attacks which are perfectly normal given your situation. You just survived a suicide attempt and more. Viktor Frankl holocaust survivor says “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal event is a normal reaction.”
What you need are some self soothing techniques. Can you think of any that might help you?
google cognitive distortions and identify the ones you are having. Ask the following- what evidence is there for this thought? Is it based in reality or emotion? Am I thinking in black or white terms or can it be gray? See if you can challenge your thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Then think- what is the worst case scenario that can happen? What is the best? What is the in between or most likely to occur?
Write an unsent letter to your family.
Lastly on one side of a piece of paper, write to your inner child. On the other side record your inner child’s responses.
listen to Mercy Me. Trust me! These things will change you.August 2, 2021 at 10:48 pm #383997
It is possible! God is guiding you. Have faith and love yourself. Also so what if you fail at something or people misunderstand you? What matters is your character. What good can you do from this? Who will you help? Happiness can be yours in this moment too if you see your worth. Everything’s going to be okay. You survived and will continue to survive. You never truly failed. You are allowed to be human. I had a suicide attempt once too. I get it. Do you think anyone has it all together? Perfect is a myth. It’s a lie. No one is perfect. But you are a beautiful person who can do good with your second chance at life. You’ve made me feel good that I can be useful to someone. I’m a self help writer trying to inspire others and your gratitude towards me made me feel like maybe I am able to do good too. Thank you. It’s 2am here so I’m going to bed. Try some journaling. Let me know what you need.August 2, 2021 at 10:21 pm #383995
I’m proud of you for this attitude! I know you can do it. Have faith. Let me know how the journaling goes. And God never left you. You’ve been saved for a reason. You’ll find that things aren’t so bad when you live for purpose or something greater than yourself. That’s what I do! It’s why I am doing well. It’s why I’m still here too.August 2, 2021 at 10:00 pm #383993
Today I journaled off and on for hours while listening to uplifting music. It helped me to process all i was feeling including inner child trauma. I felt like God was guiding me to see that I had irrational negative self talk making my problems worse.
I think journaling and writing here could help a lot.
Forgive yourself for being human and imperfect. You are going to be okay. You will get through this.
A trick I do is thank God (or universe or life itself) in advance each time I come to an obstacle. I thank God in advance for getting me through it.
I thanked God in advance for helping you today. In my journaling I expressed worry and concern for you and wishing I knew how to help you see your worth.
You are mistreating yourself. You must love yourself. Can you try to see that you are enough? This was your rock bottom. Things can only go up from here.
You are enough. Let me repeat that. You are enough. It is okay to fail and fall apart. I have done it many times. You just need time to recover. Your brain is processing everything. Journal it out until you feel relief. You can do this. You will make it. You are good.
Depression is not your fault. You have been through hell and back. Anyone in your position would be tired. Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect. Allow yourself to feel and be human. I’m not going anywhere as you go through this.August 2, 2021 at 12:25 pm #383963
Even though it’s all awful right now, I am so thankful you are alive and not in a vegetative state.
I’m still proud of you for coming to this forum and self-advocating even when you feel like you are nothing. Again, you are not alone.
I am hoping this gives you perspective to never attempt again, especially knowing the risks of what it will do to your family, yourself and the world losing your spark.
If you can regain composure and think of wisdom from this experience for later, you can help countless souls who are going through the same things.
I too have had suicidal ideations and one almost attempt in high school. Life is unfair sometimes and just awful. It’s not your fault that you are feeling this way. So many are.
My only advice is self-compassion. You are soooo hard on yourself (and your family doesn’t help that). It’s okay to love yourself through this. It’s okay to see your goodness. It’s okay to see your potential. It’s okay to live life again and have hope again and know this is a second chance.
I’m proud of you even though it’s been this hard.
You are going to make it.
Sometimes, you will feel like this again. It might come back. I want you to tell someone if it does. I want you to go to the psych ward if you are tempted again.
In the meantime, cry. Feel. Heal. Be. Surrender. Love yourself.
You are not your circumstances. You are your character.
You are enough, even though you think are nothing.
You are someone. I care very much about the next chapter of your life, that you find stability. I was so worried when I didn’t hear from you for some time. I knew something happened, I just knew it. Thank you for coming back to us.
I’m so glad you’re here.
SarahAugust 2, 2021 at 10:26 am #383948
You did not let us down. You are a human being struggling with suicidal desires and needing help. You need a support system and those who love you to come around you with compassion not judgment. That they abandoned you is awful. I will not abandon you.
I’m here for you. Please vent, let out whatever you need about this situation. You are allowed to hurt and feel pain. I’m sorry you felt you had to take your life in order to find healing.
I have been praying for you and have been so worried since you stopped replying. Part of me wondered if that meant something bad. BUT I’m so thankful you are still alive.
If you plan to attempt again or say you will, I have to report that so please choose your words carefully. Suicidal ideation is one thing. Plan to attempt is another. Please let me know when it crosses that line.
You are sick, not bad. You have mental health issues. You need compassion and care. I have great empathy for you. I want you to be okay.
If others left you, then they were never for you. Remember that. You did your best to tell us and others about your problems though I wish you had told someone you were going to commit suicide. Please tell someone when you feel that way, I am urging you.
I’m sorry your insurance doesn’t cover it.
This is hard. I know it is hard. But you’re not alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
You hit rock bottom. That was your rock bottom. Maybe now things can turn around. I’m so glad you are alive and that the suicide attempt didn’t work. That was a blessing. You might have lost a lot but you did not lose your life. You have a second chance to get this right. I am rooting for you.
What do you need? How can I help you?
SarahJuly 31, 2021 at 7:21 pm #383855
I should have mentioned reiki (and anything ASMR) is rather awkward. Try this one instead, it’s more soothing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yX5Ztq1qkY&t=1890s
I too have had struggles gaining compassion from people, including authority figures so I understand. I feel compassion for you though! And I’m sure the right people will feel the same. 🙂 You deserve compassion. Kristin Neff can further help you develop self-compassion. I have this workbook of hers. https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Self-Compassion-Workbook-Yourself-Strength/dp/1462526780/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=kristin+neff+workbook&qid=1627783789&sr=8-3
Self- Massage tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=s2c4L6ovffg
Inner child meditation (If I didn’t send already): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2OfD00e6Tk
I agree, meditation is a hit or miss for me too. Sometimes, I get real into it and other times I can’t focus. I think the one minute mindulness trick is a good start for just meditating in SOME way each day. That way you can incorporate it even when you don’t feel like it most of the time. Ground yourself with your senses- smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. Here’s the Wheel of Awareness meditation by Dan Siegel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODlFhOKahmk
This is an article I wrote on the concept of surrendering: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-i-saved-myself-by-surrendering-when-everything-fell-apart/
In sum, that I mean by surrendering is to let go of control and embrace the unknown. For me, it’s spiritual. For anyone though it is just releasing need to control the outcome and allowing what it to come. Instead of giving up, surrender instead.
I have a Forbes article on it as well here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2020/06/24/how-to-let-go-of-fear-worry-and-indecision/?sh=76a26b4f7834
As for being stuck, it’s hard. I get it. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is a book where she gives advice to people pulling the best ones from her advice column. There’s a chapter on her explaining how she once tried to help young abuse victims get out of their abusive homes. The system was broken though and there was more money for runaways. She wanted to give them hope but realistic hope. She told them to hold onto whatever good they could and know that one day they could make their own life, even if they were stuck for now. It was sobering advice because she knew she couldn’t help all of them.
Here are some short excerpts: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-15-best-dear-sugar-columns-to-read-when-you-need-a-dose-of-compassion-inspiration-8849833
Here is her column in general: https://therumpus.net/author/sugar/
I’ve given you a lot to look over. Don’t feel like you have to at all or even have to do it right away.
Lastly, I hope you know I am happy to talk to you through all this as long as you need. While we don’t know each other, you are not alone.
SarahJuly 30, 2021 at 9:17 pm #383802
I’m glad the film resonated with you. What hit me was identifying secondary emotion like anger and then getting to the root of it so primary emotions like sadness and disappointment. Then tying it all into self worth and trauma. I have a situation where I’m triggered a lot too and I get angry so I felt breaking it down helpful.
I’m glad you feel less alone and have a support system. I’ve only had inadequate therapists so I get it. Therapy isn’t for everyone either. For me meditation works. Today I listened to ocean sounds while journaling. This is my go to coping method because the sound soothes me as I calm myself and express things. I’m doing a lot of inner child work tho nothing has truly worked yet except for reiki and meditation. If you go on YouTube search “Asmr massage reiki energy plucking” I find energy healing very helpful and trust me I was a skeptic. I also pray a lot and my daily mantra is “I surrender!” To the universe or God or whatever you believe in.
I’m proud of you for making it this far and for coping the best you can with your mother. You need some type of emotional armor to get through it. Self compassion could work as that.
oxytocin is a love hormone that neglected kids get deprived of. But you can activate it through massage or self massage (look up methods), hugs or intimacy, deep conversations such as ours, petting animals and more.
My favorite thing to do is yoga with animals at a local animal sanctuary. I find the animals heal humans as humans heal the animals there.
I think functioning is difficult for everyone because there is so much pain and trauma in the world. It’s not your fault you feel this way. Perhaps your journey will help someone else.
You are covering a lot of ground with your journey of self discovery and gaining many resources. Just reaching out for help is a giant step! I admire your resilience.
Identifying your needs is another Journal prompt. What do you need from other people? How can you meet those needs yourself?
Lastly give thanks in advance for a problem to be solved. I thank God but you can thank whatever force you want. It tricks the brain into positive thinking. Act as if. Visualize it all better and receive those feelings even if it only lasts for a minute. This will help your depression.
oh and a minute of mindfulness is better than none. Try to be present for at least a minute a day where you observe and do not judge your thoughts. It helps to visualize them as leaves floating away from you in the breeze. This will help your anxiety.
Let me know how I can help further.