Thursday, September 21, 2017

Warning Signs - Suicidal Thoughts

I feel the need to make a disclaimer....I am only writing about my suicide attempt. I am in no way qualified to help someone else deal with suicidal thoughts, nor do I want to. This is how I work through things. I have lots of "aha" moments as I write through situations. As always, you are totally welcome to join me on this journey through the valley and if you have "aha" moments along the way too, well that is stinkin AWESOME...but my goal is to find healing for myself. I'm being a bit selfish about that right now. I will put in reminders to seek PROFESSIONAL help when that thought hits me. I believe with everything in me that, had I not spent time in the hospital and had I not found a wonderful counselor once I got out, I would most definitely have tried to kill myself again. Getting help from someone who knows HOW to help is SOOOO important. Ok. I feel better now. On to today's post....

Suicidal thoughts have been part of my life for as long as I can remember.  In one of my group sessions, the therapist asked, "Who has had thoughts of suicide?" Only 2 others raised their hand. I was shocked. I really thought that the other 15 or so people in the group were not being honest. The option of suicide was such a natural and constant part of the way I thought about things that I could not believe everyone didn't think this way.

For me, suicide was always a valid option.  It wasn't scary. It didn't feel dark or sinister. The thought of suicide didn't evoke any emotion in me. It wasn't something I thought needed to be talked about. It was just a matter of fact..."Is this worth killing myself over?" felt very much the same as "Am I hungry enough to fix myself something to eat?" It never crossed my mind that this was dark, unusual, unnatural, or wrong.  I think it is important to make this clear. I didn't just decide on July 19th that I would kill myself. This was something I'd considered hundreds of times over the course of my life.

These thoughts were such a normal part of my thought process, it did not alarm me when I thought "Everyone would be better off without me. I should do them all a favor and just go ahead and kill myself."  I simply believed that "everyone" would be better off without me. The thought of the people I love being stuck with someone like me when they could be with someone so much better than me was finally enough to tip the scale and this time when I asked myself, "Is this worth killing yourself over?" the answer was "yes."
As is usually the case, I've had an "aha" moment as I've worked through this post.  

Instead of using "is this worth killing myself over?" as my gauge of how bad something is, I am going to ask, "In a year, will I still feel this way? In a month? In a week?" 

I'm learning to tell myself "hang on. It will get better" and it does. It always does. 

If you think that things are so bad that the only way to end the pain is to end your life, trust me on WILL get better. Hang on. Just Hang on. Reach out for help...PROFESSIONAL help...someone who is trained to help you get through the darkness.

Hmmm...I think that's enough for today...

Here's what I know to be true:
  • God will walk with me through this valley, He has not left me, nor has He turned His back on me. 
  • Making others happy and/or to pleasing people should not be my ultimate goal in life. 
  • I am loved; by family and friends...more than I ever realized. 
  • No matter how loud my feelings scream, I will not try to kill myself again.
  • It will get better. It always does.

Much love and big hugs-

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Struggle With Telling My "Suicide Story"

It's been almost 2 months since I tried to take my life. It seems like a lifetime ago, and at the same time feels like yesterday. Honestly, I want very much to just put the whole situation in a box, put a lid on it, tape it up tight and bury it deep deep down so that I never have to think about it again. Sitting at the keyboard and forcing myself to think through this each week is...well, it's hard.

I struggle with a few things as I sort through all this.

I don't ever want anyone to look to my blog as a source of "what to do" or "what no to do" when considering suicide. I spent weeks looking online and reading about the different ways to end my life, the probability of success with different methods, the pain involved, etc. I don't want to add my story to that source of information. Suicide is not the answer to any sort of troubles, no matter what those troubles are. I read something recently that I have taken to heart: "Suicide doesn't end the pain, it simply transfers it to another person." I have found this to be so true. My suicide attempt hurt many people. I cannot imagine what a successful attempt would have done to them.

I don't want to glamorize suicide. There is absolutely nothing good or glamorous about it. It is a desperate act by a desperate person whose pain is so great that the only way they can see to end the pain is to end their life. Again, ending your life doesn't end the pain, it simply transfers the pain from you to the people who love you. Suicide is terrible. There is nothing good about it.  I don't ever want my writing about my struggle with it to be "cool" or "interesting". It is sad. That's all. Just very very sad.

My goal in writing about this part of my life is simple. 

I want to share the little things that lead up to that night, because I didn't just wake up one day and decide life wasn't worth living.

I want to share what happened the night I tried to kill myself. There is something amazing in the midst of all the terrible devastation that is so totally worth sharing.

I want to share my journey to healing and becoming whole. This is the main thing I want to share, but in order to share this, I have to share (and come to grips with) how I got here in the first place. 

If you are just now joining my story, it's like starting a book in the middle. I think you will better understand these and future posts if you go back and read my posts from 2009 - 2011. I think that will give you a better understanding of who I am, what is important to me, and why my suicide attempt is so... strange. 

I have struggled with telling the story of "that night," but I know I need to. I need to be honest with myself about how that all went down. 

I guess I've chickened out today. I've had 2 really great days and I still don't have many of those. Going down that dark path and focusing on how it felt the night I tried to end my life is just not something I want to do today. My plan is to discuss all those little things that lead up to the point that I thought the world would be better off without me when I post next week. The week after that I will describe the events of the day I tried to end my life. The next few posts after that will be about being hospitalized and trial and error with different counselors. THEN we can move on to where I actually am NOW....on the road to healing.

There is a huge part of me that wants to just forget all about this. If I don't record it, I will definitely put it in a box and hide it away. It is important for me to remember how I got here....because I don't EVER want to find myself in that place where the only thought in my head is that I want to die.

Bug Hugs!