Saturday, October 5, 2013

Suicide is Painless

No worries, it's just a title used to illustrate a point. I am not at the moment and rarely have feelings of suicide anymore.

A friend of mine lamented online about her job and I asked her what kind she wanted? Her reply that she wanted to shoot herself in the head. I never encourage anyone to hurt themselves, but I never belittle that feeling. I told her that we should save that for a last resort.

Some of us have very real pain and confusion about our feelings. Sometimes we get low that we think there's an option of ending it all. Mostly we want to just stop all the feelings of ouch. Mental or emotional ouch frustrate people looking at us from the outside AND when we look at ourselves.

It takes a lot of effort to figure out what the actual real feelings are, then sometimes those emotions change, hide or turn out to be related to something else. If someone grew up without examples of healthy feeling models, it's so much harder to know how to act.

I STILL cry when I'm angry and get angry over some trivial thing when what I really am is depressed. I had to learn how to be from TV to some extent. I loved the Brady Bunch because the parents got along, they talked about problems and worked toward a solution. The kids got into trouble and got punished in a way that didn't involve crazy acts of senseless violence.

People tell me, but no family is like that. Here's the thing, it's a better model than what I saw. Even as a child, I knew it wasn't "real," but it was still "real enough."

So to people who feel so much pain that they contemplate suicide, I ask that you consider that as the absolute last option. I would remind you that it is a very permanent solution to a probably temporary pain. Maybe spend a few years searching for alternatives that have a potential for alleviating your pain.

Here are some of mine.

Breathing. I breath in on a count of 4 hold for 2, out on a count of 4. It reduces pain and stress and clears my mind. It's way easier to find an alternative with a clear head.

Go for a walk and look at something natural. Sometimes just seeing the sun, a patch of blue sky, a leaf, smelling the smells of "outside," can ease up on the stress. Even cities have patches of nature. Life abides. It clings to the sides of buildings or cracks in the sidewalk. That's life affirming.

I count what I have. As I sit here, I have my fingers, toes, a mind, hearing, a sense of taste, enough eyesight to do what I need and the rest of my body functions well enough. I have a roof over my head and am managing to pay for food, transportation and utilities. I have friends I can call, chat and text. I had enough therapy that helped me gain skills to sort through my low points.

I choose OKAY. I remind myself that things that happened in the past are NOT happening right now. Even if they come into my mind, that was then and now I am safe. I have way more choices and I'm not six or seven years old. No one has power over me and if they try and hurt me, I can call the police and ask for help.

I understand how someone can feel so much pain as to seriously contemplate suicide. I always think, "wow you must be in a lot of pain," whenever I heard someone say that. That's what I want from people I love. Just to hear me. You cannot take away someone elses pain and denying that is the way they feel can often just push their pain deeper.

I prefer to hear, I understand you are feeling a lot of pain, what can I do to help? You don't even have to do "big helps. " just the act of the offer is often enough to help me. I cannot say what will help another, but I think others will respond to kindness too.

One big thing is to let us feel, but you don't have to feel the same thing or anything at all. Our emotions can be overwhelming, but it doesn't help us or you if you get overwhelmed too. Stay as neutral as you can and if you can't handle our pain, be kind  and tell us that you can't. Ask us to see if we can find someone else to talk to.

Even my dearest friends can't handle some of my hardest days. I don't currently have a therapy person, but they're an excellent third party. A well trained person can keep themselves from being washed overboard. Though telling someone to "seek professional help" can be quite shaming. Just tread light and act with kindness.

NEVER EVER suggest anyone act on suicidal thoughts. Saying you understand they are in pain does not support suicide. If you have acted with kindness and the person still speaks of suicide, YOU pick up the phone and call a professional.

Here's a link to numbers to call:

I have not called any of these personally so you will have to investigate their usefulness on your own. 

1-800-784-2433 (National Hopeline
1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention)

1-800-799-4889 (Hearing Impaired)

1-800-448-3000 (Boys Town)
1-800-999-9999 (Covenant house)
Online Emotional Support
Hours Vary - Approx
12hrs daily / 7 days

I'm Alive Crisis Chat
I'M ALIVE - An Online Crisis Network
Suicide & Crisis Chat
I'm Alive Chat

Share with all your friends, please. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember to use the pull-down menu for Anonymous comments