Towards The Light

By Tyler Marby

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I attempted suicide when I was 15 years old.

Currently, I am in Bali, Indonesia with The Sacred Fig for a yoga biomechanics training. Our typical morning starts with noble silence, then we collectively move on to pranayama (breathwork), and then we cultivate all of those practices into the movement of yoga within a large Shala. The center roof of the Shala peaks into a circular window that allows you to gaze into the sky and at the same time you are gifted with four big orbs of light swaying to the warm Bali winds. At some point in this mornings practice, I gazed up into the center of the Shala. In that moment, my body felt beautiful, my mind felt powerful, and the earth felt omniscient. I laughed to myself and thought, “this feeling is so beautiful that I could cry”. But I’ve never known myself to happy cry.

In that moment, a recent realization from my time in Peru crept into the corner of my mind. My fear of death began to seep into every corner of my body. Months passed after Peru and the true genesis of my fear was unknown to me until now. This fear collided with the happiness I was feeling in that exact moment and I unpacked an old memory.

I was 15 years old. I knew exactly what I was doing. I was chronically depressed but I was also clever. I was bullied but I was a bully too. Moreover, I did not see a future where I was not struggling to live. I woke up one morning in May 2009 with a plan. Prior to my biggest algebra test of the year, I poured out a bottle of my prescribed muscle relaxers all over my bedroom table. I grabbed a glass of water and I swallowed approximately 15-20 high dose muscle relaxers. I remember forcing them down, moreover, if I think with intention, I can feel the dry pills sliding down my throat into my stomach. I wanted out.

I made my way to school and sat down in my chair for this algebra gateway exam. This was the last memory I have for three days. I woke up in a hospital bed with a catheter and multiple IV’s. Selfishly, I felt no regrets except for the pain that my family was feeling. Our lives were relatively tough and I made it worse.

Flashing back to present day, the warm Bali winds are giving dance to four orbs of light above me and a nirvana-like feeling is flowing through my entire body. “I almost missed this moment,” I thought. My mind traced the timeline of all the points of pain, pleasure, and consistency that led me to this exact moment. I began to cry. I mourned for all of the individuals who were not as lucky to have woken up. I cried for my mother, brother, and father who stood by me wondering if I was every going to snap out of it. I began to cry for the relationships that I’ve co-created because everyone should feel the unconditional love that we’ve formed. Most importantly, I cried for the future that we all deserve.

I do not struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts anymore but the memories are very real. I do not know the solution for everyone but I know my mind began to change when I started to ask for help. My mind rerouted when I started to listen and adapt with people who were progressing towards the light.