Having an open and honest conversation with someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts is never easy but can save lives.
There are many different reasons and “at risk factors” as to why a person may be experiencing these thoughts.
Some of them include;
A previous suicide attempt
Physical or emotional abuse
Stressful life events
Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
Feeling hopeless, isolated or acutely stressed
Chronic physical pain or mental anguish
It’s no secret if you follow me regularly that I’ve been experiencing many intrusive thoughts of suicide lately which has led to suicide attempts and a very difficult conversation with my Psychiatrist the other day as well; in case you missed it, click here: (https://wheredidmommyssmilego.com/2023/02/03/trigger-warning-very-sensitive-content-below-discusses-very-intimate-thoughts-on-suicide-and-medical-assistance-in-dying-m-a-i-d-2/).
I made a conscious decision long ago to speak as openly and honestly as I possibly can about these thoughts publicly, allowing others who may also be struggling with similar ideations, a safe place to land when they are feeling scared or alone.
I know that sometimes it may be very overwhelming, even heartbreaking for some people to read, especially if you have never struggled with your own mental health or dealt with a loved one who has which is why I completely understand and respect anyone who may choose to unfollow me, but I am not going to stop fighting for those who do gain comfort and support from my posts. And I know that there are 100’s who do.
The most important thing we can all do for someone who is experiencing suicidal ideations is to provide them with hope and validation. I know that this can be a very stressful position to be in for many and although you may not always know exactly what to say in the moment or always agree with them, ensuring the individual in distress feels safe is first and foremost. It’s also so imperative to avoid messaging that will add to their already overwhelming feelings of shame, guilt and being judged.
And even though it is often so difficult for people to know exactly what to say when facing someone who is feeling suicidal like myself, I know that their words are coming from a place of love and probably even fear. Sometimes though certain phrases can do more harm to the individual in crisis.
Some of these phrases may include:
“Things aren’t that bad”
“Other people have it much worse”
“How could you even think about that?”
“Suicide is selfish”
“Think of the people who love you”
“Why not try exercising or going out more”
“Have you tried meditating?”
“This to shall pass”
Although very well-intentioned, to a person who is experiencing suicidal ideations, these phrases invalidate the severity of someone’s pain.
While in the throes of suicidal thoughts and ideations, my brain struggles to believe that if I died tomorrow anyone would miss me. During the most distressing times, like the one I’ve been struggling to get through for the better part of a month now, my depressed brain continually tells me that I am a burden to everyone who loves me, I’m destroying their lives by being alive and that they would be much better off without me, happier too; even if they try and tell me otherwise.
My heart continues to fight my brain’s perspective as best it can, but the brain is a very powerful machine. Deep down, my heart knows it will leave an emptiness in someone else’s heart, that I will be missed and that my loved ones would not be better off without me.
My heart has also bared witness to and felt the devastation from families I know who have lost a loved one to suicide. One such suicide loss survivor is someone with whom I admire and respect greatly.
Yesterday afternoon I received a beautiful, heartfelt and heartwrenching message from another such suicide loss survivor who I know of from the community and have met briefly. She is one of the strongest, bravest people I know and has been following my journey for some time now and although my blogs can sometimes be triggering to read she wanted me to know that they have helped her in her healing process to see through a lens for which her loved one was struggling and which ultimately led to him taking his own life nearly 5 years ago; his devastating loss has been felt every day since by both her and her son.
The pain and suffering that a suicide loss survivor goes through, never goes away and I am so beyond grateful to have the strength and guidance of these 2 incredible women in my life to remind me that my loss will leave an emptiness in someone else’s heart, that I will be missed and that my loved ones would not be better off without me.
Their words and perspectives are coming from the most loving place of hope and validation and have left an imprint on my heart.
Suicide is a symptom of depression. It should never be looked at from a place of shame, guilt or judgment.
#suicidelosssurvivors #mentalhealth #whatnottosaytosomeonewhoissuicidal #perspective #validation #hope #shame #guilt #myheart #emptiness #suicideawareness #suicideprevention #depression #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough