In my head I’m singing this Cha Cha Slide style… but in reality I’m just procrastinating.
‘How low can ya go, can ya go down low?’
I feel this is a post I should write, I know I’m not obliged to, and I know that it is a sensitive subject, and I know, I know, I know, I know that even the matter of thinking about the subject of this post is a very sensitive issue.
But, it’s a matter than truly scares, upsets, angers me… because of the stigma. (And of course other factors.)
My experience, my thoughts on these thoughts.
Currently, in this exact moment of time I am in an incredibly awesome place, the sun is shining like crazy, I’m sitting on my bed where you can see a glorious view of Birmingham’s city skyline. I’m listening (and singing along) to my favourite music, I’ve just eaten some eggs, had a huge cup of coffee, and I’ve been planning adventures with my best friend. Scanning through ace hostels, hotels and locations across Europe, getting all excited about culture, art, fields, music and all that… And it seems truly crazy (ha) that for the past month or so I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts pretty much on a daily basis.
Now, I’ve heard, several times, that suicidal thoughts are just a symptom. Yes, yes they are… but still – they suck. Do you know how tough it is to even sit with those thoughts? My mind is telling me that nothing will ever get better, there is no other way to fix all this pain. Fortunately for me I know how dark my mind can get, I know how horribly intense this bloody world can be, but I also know how strangely glorious it can be, despite all the crap.
The most difficult thing for me is being offered incredible opportunities, and I mean like opportunities that I still haven’t got my head round… yet I can’t enjoy them. I can’t accept the good, I can’t take it all in, and when I’m doing things I’m not actually there – it’s not me, I suck I’m an awful person – so why on earth should I allow myself to enjoy this once in a lifetime moments?
Suicidal thoughts are a symptom, but teamed up with the whole ‘not being good enough for anything,’ the flashbacks and everything else it seems that suicidal thoughts do somehow soothe things. (I feel awful for even writing that, but it’s true.)
I know this is a fairly taboo matter, and also one that is potentially triggering so please, please know that help is available.
Suicidal thoughts can feel like a way to gain control, to stop the pain, you may feel powerless, overwhelmed and generally having that feeling of nothingness – please do not feel guilty, do not feel ashamed – you are struggling, and that is perfectly okay.
Know that you are not alone but, please, please seek help.
Sometimes it seems that there is no way out, no matter how much support I’m getting, no matter how much I blog, no matter how many books I read, how much food I eat, how much I reflect on things, how much I try to accept things. And that’s the thing – I shouldn’t have to accept things. I shouldn’t have to accept my suicidal thoughts, I shouldn’t have to just roll with them, I shouldn’t have to see them as a symptom. I want to see them as what they are – dangerous.
Suicidal thoughts are dangerous in different ways – for me they cause me a lot of stress, and discomfort, and potentially triggering for a downward spiral of self-hate, and at other times they are pretty terrifying. And of course – at times they are testing. The danger lies in how we deal with these thoughts.
Yes, I can brush them aside, I can try to ignore them – but why are they there? I know why they are, and I can assure you I have an incredible support team. An incredible team. And when it all comes down to it, it’s my parents – I love them more than anything in this world, and they are my anchor in all this craziness. But I don’t want to have to continue thinking ‘what if’ or ‘there is no way out.’
And, do you know what… I shouldn’t feel guilty for thinking thoughts like this – I’ve been through hell and naturally my mind is trying to find ways to solve this.
You can’t stop the world, you can’t – it continues on, full speed ahead, throwing rubbish at people everyday, but also throwing moments of beauty. Even if those moments are far and few between, and even if the battle you are facing to enjoy those moments is horrendously difficult, challenging, and you feel that you can’t do it. You can – what sucks here is that the reason, the trauma or the event, or whatever it is that has made you think those suicidal thoughts was, or is awful. But, you got through that trauma, you have beaten demons before (whether they’re in the form of a disorder, or a person, or whatever) – looking back at the past is ridiculously painful, discomforting and sometimes even sickening – but look at what you’ve already beaten.
You may have screamed, clambered, cried, ran, sworn you way through hell before – so please, please do it again. Know how strong you are. Even when you don’t feel it – the truth is you are strong, it’s undeniable.
Suicidal thoughts can be heartbreaking and awful – they suck, trust me they really do.
Please seek help if you are feeling low, there are a number of places to find support. As I’m UK based here’s some UK contacts taken from the NHS webpage:
- Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
Get Connected for U-25s in the UK. Get Connected is an incredible organisation.
Canada and the USA:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org) based in the United States is also available nationwide in Canada it is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.