I would like to talk about something that is not a light-hearted issue, it is not easy to talk about and that is the subject of suicide. I have not personally had to deal with suicidal thoughts, but I have met and spoken in-depth will people who have or had suicidal thoughts, and there are a number of things I would like to try to discuss.
I would like to start off by saying that everything I say is from my own experience and conversations of the past year about things that have helped the people I have spoken with, and also hurt them. I have used some of these things myself when I have felt depressed or just generally had a shit day for one reason another. I would like to discuss 5 things that I personally believe can help someone who is considering the act of suicide.
Number 1. Avoiding Isolation.
Without question, the one thing that everyone has had in common when they feel depressed or suicidal, is the correlation with how you are feeling and how isolated you are. I too have felt horrible sometimes and one thing in common 99% of the time was being isolated. Away from my friends, away from family, away from the community as a whole. Being away from someone to talk to. It is common to feel in your own little bubble with an inescapable weight on your shoulders, feeling like you are the only one in the world suffering. It is incredibly difficult to break out of that bubble and speak with someone, which leads to the second point.
Number 2. Connectivity Is Everything.
From someone who has self-medicated feelings of depression with alcohol, I think there is a lot to say about feeling connected. Recovering drug and alcohol addicts, survivors of suicide and many other people have stated that recovery strongly relies on connectivity. Not the kind of false connectivity assigned with drinking acquaintances and then not remembering their name the next day. Proper genuine connections with other people, being open and vulnerable and sharing your experiences together. Hearing what other people have been through and identifying similar experiences in your own life can be of great benefit also. Isolating yourself prevents you from seeing clearly or getting a different perspective and you’re going to be stuck in your own little bubble. By being in a community of some sort and having connections allows you to gain perspective from other people’s experience and be a bit more honest with your own mind and shine some light on things so you’re no longer drowning in your own bubble.
Number 3. Medication Might Help.
I personally have never had any prescribed medication to deal with any depression or anxiety, but I have spoken to many people who have. For some people, they have seen a benefit, others claim it has made matters worse. I think it is fair to say that there is no one size fits all here. A lot of people have said that medication never completely removed their depression or solved all their problems, but it has lessened the degree with which they experience those feelings. People with different mental health disorders may need different types of medication. Someone with depression disorder for example probably doesn’t have enough serotonin in their system and needs an antidepressant, whereas someone with bipolar disorder will need some other kind of medication. There are also people who will never take any medication regardless of what they are experiencing, perhaps opting for a more natural solution which is absolutely fine if that works for you. I am neither for medication nor against it, I am for whatever works for you. If you are someone who would not take any medication for one reason or another, I would say there are millions of people who have benefitted from medication and if you are in a depth of despair and feel like you are running out of options, it might not hurt to look into medication as a possible solution.
Number 4. Your Thoughts Are Imaginary.
What I mean is, your own direct experience of life is only ever happening in the exact present moment, which for me is writing these words (at the time of writing obviously). For you, it is reading these words. Nothing else is real except for what you are experiencing in each moment. All those thoughts in your head, how bad life is, how bad your past was, how daunting the future looks, are imaginary. They are not based on the present moment of reality. Each and every thought you have or have had are little streams of energy through your brain. They come, and they go. If you are experiencing a depressive episode or feel like life is meaningless, if you can remember just a little bit in that moment that it is not real, and you can get through it easier and you can seek out and get further help. Some things that have helped me deal with depressive moments are meditation and physical exercise. These are things that have lessened the stranglehold of my thoughts and allow me to create space to deal with my mind on my terms. Repetitive, negative thoughts are no use to anyone, they are not real, and I think it is important to remember that sometimes.
Number 5. This Moment Shall Pass.
No matter how many times I have felt isolated or down, or how difficult it was to see clearly, it has always passed. I have spoken with people who have had major depressive episodes one minute and a few hours later or a day later it is gone. If they can come and go like that, how strong are they really? Is it really who you are as a person? Or is it that you are here for something greater, to grow past those moments and strive and enjoy your life? I believe we are all here to grow and learn and flourish, me and you.
I hope through my blog I can shine light on some things and create a connection between us that allows us to be open and honest about our mental health. A lot of things get shovelled away and suicide is still perhaps a taboo subject that no one likes to talk about. It is the final option and if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts it perhaps not something you want to talk to people about so hopefully there is something worth reading in this post. Trust me when I say that I believe in you, I believe you are strong enough to get through each and every moment, to grow, learn and flourish.