Author Michael Davis Shares How He Survived Suicide Attempts and Deep Depression
I went through a decade of major depression. I was pretty deep. I was always thinking of suicide. I made one attempt in 2002 in Portland, OR. I took 32 sleeping pills and drank a liter and a half of wine. I am a suicide survivor.
Before I changed, I was manic/depressive. Through that decade I went on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I would get so depressed that I was always looking around for a way to end it all. After the actual attempt I made I had a thought. I had just met my 9 year old great niece, Azure, a year earlier. I began to realize that my suicide could affect her all her life. I did not want to cause that. What follow are the four ways I believe you can use like I did to move on.
Four Steps Away From Depression
Step One: Pay Attention to the Good Things
Nice things that happened every day. If someone passed me on the sidewalk and said something nice, even just a smile and a “Hello.”, I would purposely commit that to memory. Do the same for any pleasant experience. Make an effort to commit them to memory.
When unpleasant events happen to you, draw from those good memories to stop the
thinking that bad always happens to you. It will block the initial formation of a neural
connection that will enable your depression.
Step Two: Think Before You Choose
“You are the result of all the choices you made in life. How’d that go?”
I realized I had made some poor choices that affected my life greatly. My normal action when faced with a choice was more knee-jerk. I would just make a quick choice and get on with it. I decided to be more mindful when presented with a choice. I would give it a few seconds while I thought over the potential results of a choice. I began to make better choices.
I believe it is a good thing to pay attention to your mental processes. Why just jump into a choice without giving it some thought? Maybe in some deep dark corner of my brain I would self-sabatoge when a choice was to be made and this would cause me to make many poor choices.
Step Three: Find New Perceptions
Whenever you have a negative feeling about something try to look beyond that to see something positive. Then trace back your thinking to try to understand WHY you feel that way. There’s a good chance you will find there was some simple misunderstanding somewhere that created a negative brain app that interferes with your perception of this situation. You may find a whole new situation or thing that you will love from there on.
I drove taxi at night. I once picked up a young man that, to my first impression, looked like he was in a gang. I just decided to get him where he was going and be done with him. Then he happened to mention he was in college. So I asked about the major. He was a physics major, which was not only surprising to me, as I had so misjudged him, but physics is a big interest to me. We had a nice talk from there. And now, 20 years later, it is still a positive memory that influences how I deal with people now.
Step Four: Make Real Friends
During your rise from depression start looking for friends that can be more
supporting of what you want to be like. Find people who add value to your efforts to
rise up and be happy. Find people who can contribute their support for
The important thing is to get rid of the negative people in your life. You are trying to
change your way of thinking to positive. It is destructive to that effort to have someone
that is negative telling you it can’t work.
Believe me, there are PLENTY of good people out there that, once they know what
you are working on will do whatever they can to help you be successful. Then, as you
become happier, you will have some new TRUE friends that are not challenged by
About Michael Davis
Mr. Davis reached out to OAS and asked if he could share his story with our audience. We were delighted and with his permission have republished some of the content that you can find in his blog here.
You can book him for a speaking engagement in the San Diego area and beyond here.