I read an article recently from news.com.au "The unspoken link between income, occupation and suicide" and as I read it, my heart started beating faster. The reason? Because I've been in such financial despair at times in my life that I also had thoughts that there was no other way out. My saving Grace, is that I've experienced what it's like to lose people to suicide, in particular my brother Gary who took his life, so that's always stopped me from thinking there was no other way out. So if you are thinking about suicide because of financial burden read on.
I also know what it's like to wonder how you will get any money in or even have enough to buy food. I've had times where I've scraped up all my silver coins just to get something to eat.
So how did I get through? Faith, I always had faith and hope. So rather than concentrate on what I didn't have I would try my hardest to lift my feelings into a happier place, and then sit, breath and think of ways to get by. I'm still here, so obviously these challenges were just part of the journey for me. Since then I've gone on to build three blogs and I do what I love doing so I never feel like it's work.
I know how hard it is to pick yourself up out of a dark place and that's why I've spent the majority of my adult life, reading, learning and listening to how others have coped. I've never been a very materialistic person, I seriously don't need to drive a luxury car or live in a mansion, I'm happy as long as I have the freedom to do what I want, pay the bills, eat and have a roof over my head. My biggest thrill in life is sharing stories that help others who might be going through something similar.
Here are my Five Tips on coping in tough times:
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS FROM FEAR TO LOVE
What does that mean? It means rather than concentrating on the bills, where is the money going to come from and the worst case scenarios, start putting that energy into thinking about solutions. Firstly, sit down and allow yourself even just five minutes where you totally agree you will not have one fearful thought in that time. Know that during this time nothing bad is going to happen in the present moment. Now breathe deeply when you are sitting in a comfortable place, and just imagine when you breathe in deeply it a golden sparkling light and when you breathe out, it's all black and negative. So you are imagining that you are bringing in positive things and releasing all negativity.
After ten breaths use your imagination and think of how you would like life to be, go to that happy place and try and 'feel' really 'feel' how you are in that space.
Next, Ask! Yes ask the question "what do I need to do to improve things right now" then just let thoughts, and ideas (no matter how crazy they are) to come to you. You may get some inspiration to help solve the problem. At the very least it will give your body and mind some time to relax rather than be crippled with fear and dread.
BE PRACTICAL AND GET HELP
Is there anyone you can ask for a loan? Can you organise a debt agreement where you only pay back the borrowed amount not the interest? I have done this years ago when I was in a very bad financial mess. I owed credit card debt of nearly $50,000 and that was 10 years ago! I couldn't meet the payments and I wasn't earning enough even to live. So what I did was enter a Debt 9 agreement (this is in Australia I am not sure what it is overseas) but it is step before bankruptcy. It took an enormous pressure off me, and within 4 years I had paid back every cent of that debt and never missed one payment. To this day, I don't have, and refuse to have, a credit card. I personally believe they are bad news, I only have debit Mastercard - so I can only spend what I actually have in the bank. It is linked to two accounts, and I only keep a small amount in the card that actually can tap and go, so if I lose it I won't lose all my money. Believe me I've lost this card twice!
CAN YOU SELL ANYTHING?
Teenagers do this all the time, they sell stuff they no longer need on eBay. You probably have things you no longer need? Or can you sell your services? Maybe start lawn mowing or other such services as typing etc to make extra cash? Go back to step one, in your meditation and try and think of ways to earn extra money. Maybe you want to start a blog? You can read my tutorial about how to start a blog and make money.
The counsellors at Lifeline are trained to help those who are going through financial hardship, and they will reassure you and give you direction. Remember, you are not the only one ever going through this. Google "Rich People Who Were Broke" and read their stories, who knows it might give you some inspiration. Maybe one day people will be looking up to you for inspiration?
IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY
Remind yourself that right now, things are not the best but tomorrow is another day and each moment in life we are presented with all sorts of opportunities - who knows what is around the corner. Whenever I have a bad day, I tell myself that 'tomorrow will be better' I go to sleep with those thoughts and 98/100 it always is! Miracles do happen. They happen to me all the time.
LOTS OF FREE RESOURCES ONLINE
Read! Read! Read! I've read so many motivational and inspirational books, attended seminars and more and in fact, all of this knowledge I have acquired is the inspiration for this blog. One of the first motivational books I read, many years ago, was Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. In fact, it was a second hand book I purchased, it was very old. The book was written way before the internet, it was written in 1937! Today, it still stands out as a classic! Here is a free copy of the book - and there is no need to sign up to any mailing list - just read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill here.
I hope this helps. I lost my brother to suicide as I mentioned earlier, I've lost other people I love too. The main thing is to be practical, think of solutions, talk to others and take action. Who knows what is around the corner? All those years ago when I had to go for the Debt 9, I never knew or even imagined I would end up publishing my other blog, Sydney Chic which about things to do in Sydney, which has opened doors, enabled me to meet amazing people and brought me so much happiness. It was from Sydney Chic that I became a social media marketer, trainer and internet marketer. It was from Sydney Chic that this blog also was created.
There are plenty of books that can help you as well. Educate yourself and learn new skills by reading stories on how others have pulled themselves out of big black hole.
Thank goodness I never called it quits when times were really tough.
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional or financial advisor. Please seek professional help if needed. This post is based on my personal experiences and research.