Trigger Warning: discussion about active suicidal thoughts.
This is a very hard subject for me to talk about. It takes me back to some very dark days that, to be honest, I would rather forget. At numerous times in my life I have experienced suicidal thoughts but although these thoughts were very real, it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I seriously thought about listening to them and following through with their demands.
For me, suicide has never been about wanting to die, it’s been about wanting the pain to stop. It’s about not having the energy and strength to continue. I’m a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter, I don’t know how else to survive the challenges life has thrown at me. But fighting is physically and mentally exhausting.
While researching this article I can across the following quote and it and perfectly describes how I feel when I’m suicidal:
‘Suicide is not chosen; it happens
when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain’
About 6 years ago, after a very long battle with my mental and physical health, I gave up fighting. My health deteriorated so much that I couldn’t see the point in continuing to live. I had fought the pain, exhaustion, anxiety, depression and a myriad of other symptoms, for so long, I had no fight left in me. All l thought about 24/7 was ‘How can I make this pain stop?’ My overactive brain churned this thought around for weeks trying to find a solution. I’m a problem solver, whatever life throws at me, I will find a solution. But there didn’t seem to be a solution, or a way out of my hell this time.
My mind kept coming back to the same thought. ‘Please make the pain stop’ (physical and mental pain) and the only way I could fathom this happening was to take my own life. I spent hours planning it. I started with googling ‘What’s the easiest way to commit suicide’ Thankfully for me, Google’s reply was ‘there isn’t one’. I thought back over all the film’s and TV programmes I’d watched that contained suicides, trying to remember the methods used. I thought about what I had at my disposal, it’s not like I could just pop to the shops and buy a gun. I tried to work out how many Tramadol it would take to cause a fatal overdose. I wasn’t sleeping at this time, and as my husband worked long night shifts I had an unlimited amount of time to plan how I was going to end my life. I wasn’t thinking about the repercussions of this act, but who can blame me for being selfish and wanting to be at peace.
I was honest with my husband and my doctor’s about my thoughts. My husband hid my meds, and although I was promised help, I never received any treatment for my depression. The problem is, I’m intolerant to most meds, so antidepressants were not an option. I begged to be admitted to hospital, although I now know that would have been hell. I just didn’t trust myself to be alone. I wanted them to sedate me so I could get a moment’s rest from the pain and the constant barrage of negative thoughts.
I don’t think I ever actually wanted to die, I just couldn’t see any other option, and I couldn’t fight anymore.
Suicide is not the easy option, it is not the coward’s way out, it’s not a sign of weakness. Imagine being so desperate that killing yourself seems a more favourable option than living. A phrase I hate is ‘It was just a cry for help, it wasn’t a serious suicide attempt’ Well, help them then! Because the next time it could be for real. I’m just thankful there wasn’t an easy way to do it. If there had been a pill to take or a button to push, I wouldn’t be alive today.
So, how did I survive this period in my life? I was suicidal everyday for about 6 months. I can safely say it was the worst time I have ever experienced. But when I look back at how much I suffered, I realise how strong I was just to survive. I have written a separate post with tips on how to cope with Suicidal thoughts.
For me, it was about distracting myself, practising mindfulness, focusing on reasons for living and trying not to stress about the future. I focused on accepting what I couldn’t change, and taking steps to improve the areas in my life I could change. I’m not going to pretend is was an easy journey – it was probably the most challenging period in my life.
But with the love and support from my husband, family and friends, and my sheer stubborn determination, I got my fighting spirit back.
I’m living proof that things can and will get better. I haven’t had any suicidal thoughts for over 3 years. Remember night time is the hardest, so plan ahead. If you are feeling suicidal please know you are not alone. There are steps you can take to secure your safety and improve your mental health. Take care x
If you are feeling suicidal or know someone that is, there are organisations that can help:
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