#1 Thing you can do to stop suicidal thoughts (that even a depressed person can manage to do)

Have you ever bit your knee until it bleeds?

Or punched yourself in the face?

I have.


Have you ever struggled with the vicious thoughts in your mind?

Have you ever wanted to die?

I have.


So…. Have you?
I invite you to comment below with your YES or NO now.
Both valid and wanted in this moment.


If you have… Let us know, and Keep reading.

You may find understanding and peace.

You may find tools to help.



If you haven’t.. Let us know and Keep reading.

This topic needs eyes and compassionate hearts,

It needs to be seen in the light.



We would ALL be safer

saner, and more

sober if we

reached out.


Will you let me

hold your hand?



I’d also like to preface this by saying that I’m probably the least suicidal, and most balanced I’ve ever been in a depressive state, and that talking about it is part of me healing it more fully.


AND.. If you are actively super depressed or suicidal, please ask for help.  I wish I had sooner, and there’s a cool exercise at the end that can help you move through and shut those “I want to die” voices up pretty quick.

AND.. I’m collecting stories.  If you’d like to share you can do so here.  https://joygasm.me/story/



*** Blood Warning: This next paragraph is gory. Maybe skip to the next stars… ****


When I heard he’d died at a festival, my first thought was overdose.  Fentanyl.  When I heard he’d killed himself, I immediately thought gun. A head splattered around a tent. Gross, terrible, disturbing, but I’ve seen worse on TV.

When I found it he’d slit his throat, the visual filled my mind.  The blood gurgling through his neck, a dagger perfectly poised through the heart of his throat.  Maybe his head is lolling back, no longer fully connected to his body. I can’t know for sure, but my imagination can give me a hundred different angles, and it did.



*** Safer Here: Just emotional pain… ****


My mind reals with the brutalness of the visuals,

and my emotions cower in a corner.


But as I ponder the brutal scene of suicide,

the overwhelming feeling is surprisingly of admiration.



Admiration is a weird feeling to have over the death of someone you’ve never met.


But I’ve been haunted with suicidal thoughts since I was 15, and never found the courage to take the action, to do it. For him to make that decision, hold the knife to his own throat and take the plunge.  What courage it must have taken. To do it that way.


I’d never found that force.  I am not one of the ones who has the scars on their wrists.  But I have seen them, have yearned to be them, and when I see them I know their pain.  I have experienced that silent moment when you see and you just don’t ask.


That is why I am writing.

To lift the “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t speak”


So it’s time to speak.

Not just about the ones who have died.

Not just about the ones who have cut themselves.

But about all who want to hurt themselves.
Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually, Financially…
All of it.

But for all those who struggle with overwhelm of any kind.




The first time I hurt myself on purpose I was 16…

It was a late night, I was up until 4, 5, 7 in the morning as I often was at that age, hunched over my laptop writing poetry. The words were the only way to capture the pain of my heart, and the darkness of my soul in those deep winter nights.


As I get up from my creative despair, I move to the shower.  Maybe I will find some reprieve there.  As the shockingly hot water touches my body I feel relaxation, relief, I lay on the floor of the shower, the water pouring down onto my belly and breathe the first big breath of the day.  But it’s not long though before the thoughts return and I find myself rocking back and forth in the shower, the thoughts pouring through me.

It’s not worth it, you don’t belong here. (Shut up)

No one likes you. (You’re mean)

You’re stupid.  (Not fair!)
Everyone thinks you’re a fool. (I hate you)

You’ll never be loved. (You’re right)

I hate you (I hate you more!)


It would be easier to die. (what?)


Click. It would be easier to die. (what?)

Yes. (yes)

Easier to die. (yes)


My mind soothes and calms itself by thinking about the stories of kids slitting their wrists.


That stops the voices,

but it doesn’t  stop the pain.


I wonder if I could have the courage.
I wonder if I could take that leap.


The sane and wanting to live part of me clings to a few thoughts.


I think of my parents, of the brutalness of finding their daughter dead in the shower downstairs.  Who would find me, my mom or my dad? They would be traumatized forever.


I think of the mess, and my mom’s need for order and cleanliness.  More Trauma.

I think about how destroyed my best friend was when she had found out that her friend had called her the night before she’d tried to kill herself (at 15), and she’d been too busy with school work to talk to her.  Her friend hadn’t had the words or the courage to ask for what she really needed or how deep in she really was.   She would be destroyed.

I think of the friends I do have, and that they would maybe miss me.

It never occurs to me that perhaps people love me, and would care that I’m feeling this way.

It never occurs to me that I could go upstairs, wake my parents up, and say “hey, I feel like shit can I have a hug?”

It never occurs to me that other people might struggle like this.

Or that this might not be normal or okay.

It never occurs to me that I might struggle with these thoughts for the next decade or two…


There is only the moment,

and the pain inside.


After Alex was born, I thought about how impossible it would be to leave my child without a mother in a foreign country.  It’s part of why I traveled.  We weren’t safe, didn’t have a support system, so I had to keep it together, to keep us safe.  I thought about how much of a hassle it would be for my parents to come and get him from wherever we were, that there would be no one to take care of him.


When Max and I dated and he was being a really supportive as a father figure to Alex those voices flared again.  “Now you could do it.  Max would take care of him, at least get him back to your parents. Alex is safe now. You could do it now.”


Now I’m settling into home,

Allowing myself to trust people.

Finding a space that feels safe.

Calgary in community with friends,

is one of the scariest places I’ve ever traveled to.

Because it might truly hold healing.


Because, all the reasons not to do it,
All the people who care.
None of it stops the thoughts.




None of it stops the incessant whispering.

“It would be easier to die”

“I want to die”

“Kill me now”

“If you got the angle just right you’d skip the guardrail and go right into the river.  The chances of survival are so small.”

“There’s no one else in the car. This is your chance.”

“You don’t have anything to offer the world”
“You’re a failure.”
“No one would miss you”


But I wonder most of all if I would have the courage.

The thoughts are debilitating.  Cyclical.  Brutal.  Destructive.


Sitting in the bottom of the shower. Cycling through for hours.

Unable to stop it. At 16, not even knowing there was a choice.

Not even knowing that I could watch it, or stop it if I wanted to.

If I could exert enough will.


At 16, the emotions and hormones are running high,

and the awareness that there is even a problem

will still take years to come.


“I fucking hate you”

“No one likes you”
“No one would notice if you were gone”

“I hate you”


Finally, it’s too much, and I can’t bear the moment.

I scream, and my fist flies through the air.

Pounding into the side of my face.


Smashing into my temple, over and over again.

“I hate you”  “I hate you”  “I hate you”  “I hate you”

It feels good, to be honest in this moment.

It feels good to use all my strength,

to really give everything I have to it.

No words, no voices, no thoughts.

Only action in alignment with feeling.


And the relief of having finally done “something”

About the voices in my mind.


I remember looking in the mirror the next day

to see if I had hit myself hard enough to leave a bruise,

Relieved that there was no trace. No evidence of my insanity.

and disappointed that I hadn’t hit myself hard enough to leave a mark,

Something that someone might notice and ask what had happened,

Something that may have set me free from the silence.

But there was nothing. Only my own pain,

My own shame. And the silence.


That was not the last time I did that to myself.
Nor was it the first time I had sat in that despair.



As I moved further into the journey of recovery, I realized that it didn’t serve to punch myself or to hurt my body like that.  That the part of me that wanted to die was really a part of me that needed to die.  An old aspect of self, a part of me that didn’t like me.


So I started to kill those ego parts off.  Ritualistically, symbolically, energetically.


And it has helped.

It hasn’t stopped the thoughts.

But it gave me something to do in response

That was less damaging than punching myself.

And knowing I had something I could do

was a breath of fresh air.



Over the years I realized I’ve learned to deal with it better, had longer and longer stretches of time when things are happy and in a good flow.  The voices are quieter, easier to spot early and start in on preventative things.  The JoyGasm Core Practices have helped a bunch.  Loving myself, sharing the stories with you guys, working on the book, love letters, gratitude, daily self care, letting people love me.


It’s been the most terrifying thing coming back and finally having a support group around me.  Realizing that I’ve been living on adrenaline and dopamine high from new places as I traveled for years.  Really seeing that the travel was running and that I had kept myself in an evolving state of stasis around certain issues.  Realizing how deep and how untapped the pain I thought I’d “mostly healed” really is.  Realizing how unwilling I’ve been to have friends or support or people who care about me (who I actually let myself care about back).

And I wanted to share with you what I do now in a moment of “I want to die”, in case any of you are struggling, and you need another tool.

  1. Take a deep breath in.
  2. Hold your breath in until you can’t stand not breathing anymore.
  3. Exhale completely.
  4. Hold your breath out until you can’t stand not breathing anymore.
  5. Hold it 15 seconds longer.
  6. Take a deep breath in and hold it.
  7. Notice how freaking gorgeous it is to breathe, and how much your body really wants to live.
  8. Go back to breathing normally, knowing that your body wants to live, and you love yourself enough to choose to breathe.



You can add JoyGasm alchemy on top of it by noticing which part of yourself wants to die, and using this opportunity to purge it out of your body.


  1. Take a deep breath in. Put your right hand into a pretend gun shape.
  2. Hold your breath in until you can’t stand not breathing anymore.
  3. Exhale completely and with the last pulse of breath shoot yourself under the chin, “killing” the part of you that wants to die.
  4. Hold your breath out until you can’t stand not breathing anymore.
  5. Hold it 15 seconds longer.  Feel the desire for breath, for life.
  6. Take a deep breath in and hold it.  Breathing in the new you, breathing in love into all the spaces where that old hatred and fear were before.
  7. Notice how freaking gorgeous it is to breathe, and how much your body really wants to live.
  8. Go back to breathing normally, knowing that your body wants to live, and you love yourself enough to choose to breathe.


Also published on Medium.

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Elena Harder. Courage Catalyst, LifeStyle Artist and Joy Hacker. Elena created JoyGasm to heal her experience of postpartum depression, self sabotage, overworking, people pleasing, and an abusive alcoholic relationship. Since then she’s helped hundreds of others meet their JoyGasmic Self to heal broken hearts, remove negative self talk, eliminate stress, fear and depression, and bring immense joy into daily life. Her current personal records for longest standing greeting hug is 22 minutes, longest continuous solo laugh 26 minutes, and longest collaborative laugh at 1 hour 45 minutes!