Table of Contents
Each (numbered) chapter has two voices – a narrative voice, which tells the author’s journey into and out of suicidality; and a commentary voice that reflects on and makes informed comment on the topic of each chapter.
Prologue: Let’s Talk About Suicide
Introduces the aims of the book, its structure and major themes, identifies the target audiences and explains the two voices in the major (i.e. numbered) chapters.
Chapter 1: My Suicidal Career and Other Myths
The narrative gives an overview of the author’s journey into and out of suicidality, which gives the context of the key topics explored in subsequent chapters. The commentary examines the many common misunderstandings and myths about suicide and suicidality.
Chapter 2: What is it Like to be Suicidal?
The narrative describes the key characteristics of the feeling of suicidality as a subjectively experienced crisis of the self. The commentary reflects on the frequently overlooked personal efforts made to comprehend these feelings prior to (and alongside) seeking professional help.
Chapter 3: The Drug Addiction Detour
The narrative tells of ‘self-medicating’ suicidal pain through drug abuse and how focussing on treating the drug addiction became a distraction and obstacle to recovery from suicidality. The commentary examines some of the benefits of addiction therapies but also how they ultimately fail to address the underlying issues of suicidality.
Chapter 4: The Mental ‘Illness’ Circus
The narrative tells of the inadequacy of mental health ‘treatments’ of suicidality. Psychological (mentalistic) therapies felt like a ‘dance on the surface’ and were not very helpful, but not as harmful as the psychiatric/medical treatments. The commentary explores the reasons why these mainstream responses to suicidality were so ineffectual.
Interlude: Who Am I?
An interlude (without any narrative), which pauses between the preceding ‘Bad News’ chapters and the ‘Good News’ chapters of recovery that follow, in order to examine contemporary thinking about the self that is at the centre of a suicidal crisis. It also serves as an introduction to the (non-religious) spiritual thinking about the self in the following chapters, which has much to offer at precisely the point where current mainstream and academic thinking about the self begins to flounder.
Chapter 5: Spiritual Self-Enquiry
The narrative tells of the author’s spiritual journey, primarily through the teachings of yoga, which eventually led to his recovery from suicidality through spiritual self-enquiry. The commentary explains spiritual self-enquiry in more general terms and locates it in the broader context of some other spiritual traditions.
Chapter 6: The Willingness to Surrender
The narrative describes the spiritual surrender that liberated the author from suicidality, revealing peace and freedom. The commentary analyses the mystery of surrender to spirit and how willingness, openness and the letting go of false beliefs are the keys to spiritual ‘awakening’.
Chapter 7: This is Enough
The final narrative tells of the fruits of surrender, of the peace and freedom that came through “truly meeting myself for the first time”. The commentary reflects on these and other outcomes of spiritual awakening, including some new challenges that arise.