Updated: Jun 8
Some of us are frightened that if we think about suicide we may not survive. These words are for you.
In our most depressed state we can experience thoughts of suicide. Many people do. If this is you, please take heart because you are not alone.
We may feel destroyed by the world and think that the only way out is to stop living. I’d like to suggest a new approach to these thoughts; one that may come as a complete surprise.
Nevertheless, please read on and see if this way of thinking is helpful or not.
When you are in a full depression, and have suicidal thoughts, there is just no point in trying to fight it.
It is like riding a bicycle with a flat tyre. Every 10 minutes you have to get off and pump it only to find that the tyre is flat minutes later. You are better off just accepting the status quo instead of fighting what you can’t win.
The harsh words we tell ourselves are like trying to pump pumping up the tyre again, only to feel deflated seconds later. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘Get yourself together you idiot’ ‘You’re a useless piece of shit!’ are words that won’t help.
Just stop, breathe out and notice the release of tension in your stomach. Accept the feelings for that moment. Know that you are depressed and, just for that moment, you are completely powerless to change it.
Follow this suggestion because here’s some things to bear in mind:
This acceptance will bring you sense of relief.
It will calm you down in the knowledge that you don’t have to sort it out today.
You can just relax and just sit with the feeling of being depressed.
It is not self-indulgent, it is honest.
You are entitled to feel depressed or if that is how you feel.
You can still function and be depressed.
Being depressed does not mean you are going to die; it means you feel depressed.
You can cope with that for one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. You are not a freak, you are not unnatural, you are not worthless – you are simply having suicidal thoughts.
So, surrendering to the feeling of wanting to harm ourselves may seem like a foolish thing to do. But, running from these thoughts may harm us more because it is the running that wears us down because we are too foggy-headed to make clear judgements.
Thoughts of suicide can hit us for two main reasons:
1. the pain is too much for us to bear
2. we are so enraged with other people that we want to punish them.
In either case we have given up trying to protect ourselves because we have failed in the past. We may feel backed into a corner and there seems no other alternative. All reason has gone and we are at a loss to see any other option but to take our life and end the suffering.
It’s at this point that we don’t want anyone else to try and talk us out of the way we feel.
At times of suicidal thoughts, if we have talked to someone they often say things like:
‘Oh come on it’s not that bad’
‘Don’t be silly, you don’t really want to do that’
‘Pull yourself together, you are talking like an idiot’
When we hear those kind of comments we want to show them exactly what we mean. It can fuel the desire to commit suicide even more and become very, very unhelpful.
Behind those thoughts lies the utmost pain that any human has to bear. If this is you, do you ever feel any of these things....
The intensity of human degradation
The devastating pain of loss or the wretchedness of a lifetime’s neglect
Your spirit has dried up and the essence of you has been ripped away
Like a ‘nothing’ or a ‘very bad person’
A sense that everything you touch you damage
You're living in a dark tunnel
You hate every part of you as much as you hate others
You feel a desire to injure others as you have been inured
You want to destroy others as you have been destroyed
You might simply be lost.
Here's How To Surrender
Whatever the passion is, stay with the feelings and, just for today, not the thoughts or the action
Just for today, hold yourself around the tummy as you recognise the emotions behind the suicide thoughts
In this moment acknowledge that you feel this bad that you want to end your life
Don’t do anything else except surrender to it
Tomorrow you can take action but for today, surrender
Hold your hands up and give in to the feelings
Say out loud, ‘I surrender’.
At the lowest point of his depression, Michael felt as though he couldn’t continue because the pain of life was too hard to bear. He took an opportunity to speak to someone he trusted, Scott, and this is the essence of what he said,
‘Michael, I understand that the pain is so great that you want to take your life. I can see and hear that you are considering this option. I recognise that you see this is the only option for you.
If you die, I will come to your funeral. I will grieve for the man for whom I had so much compassion and respect. I will be devastated but I will also respect that this was your choice and your right. I will tell your daughter what a wonderful father you were and how you always tried your utmost. I will speak in your honour and I will talk of our friendship without betraying you. I will keep your trust and honour your memory. You will be greatly missed.’
This was what Michael needed. It was the fact that another human being was able to see and recognize that he was in so much pain that he was considering leaving his life and his child because he could hardly tolerate it any more.
Scott didn’t try and talk him out of it but accepted his thoughts of suicide. This was Michael’s ‘levelling out’ and he had hit the bottom. He was then able to tell himself that, yes, it was that bad. From that moment, he was able to surrender to the emotions and allow the pain to rush through him like a rocket. He took a huge risk that day but it was the very foundation of his ‘rock bottom’. This is the essence of surrendering. It is about paying tribute to ourselves. It is about saying ‘I have had enough; I can’t tolerate any more.’
Some of us can reach inside ourselves and some need others to help us reach inside ourselves. The choice is ours and only we know what we need. People I have spoken to have stated that they felt so suicidal that they abdicated responsibility for themselves in order that they would become ‘medically sectioned’. This is more common than we realise and this is a route that some people take if they feel unable to move beyond this point.
Some of us don’t survive it. But, most of us do. However, we want more than simply to survive. We want fulfilment and fun, love and excitement, fairness and simplicity. This is our right and this is what we are striving to achieve.
We can survive thoughts of suicide and come through it. Thoughts of suicide does not mean we will commit suicide, it means we are asking ourselves to stop and listen. It is the thought that we are at the end of the trail and it is time to listen to ourselves and ask others to listen to us.
If you feel suicidal, please tell someone, someone who'll listen like Scott listened to Michael.
The SAMARITANS do just that. They don't judge or 'help', they simply listen. Call them on: 116 123 24/7 or get all the other ways to contact them here: Samaritans
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