One Step at a Time: Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts
Suicidal thoughts can be a heavy burden to carry inside your mind. It can be a life-threating situation when life starts to feel as if its walls are collapsing all around you. It can leave you feeling lost, hopeless and wishing for some way to gather the pieces to build your life again. However, it seems impossible at that moment, so you think about giving everything up. I’ve been there with tears streaming down my face, pill bottle in my hand, and blood dripping down my arms from the razor I used to slice myself wide open. I remember thinking, everything will be better once I am gone. People will be happy. They will hurt for a little while, but they will eventually move on and they will not have to worry any longer. This was just one of many encounters with my personal suicidal thoughts. I am ashamed of how I let my thoughts get to the point to where I thought it would be better for everyone if I were to die. Keep reading below if you would like to know how I overcame my own suicidal thoughts, when to seek help, what to do when a friend needs help, how to overcome a suicide from a loved one, and numbers you can call when you’re needing help. It is okay to reach out and seek help. Life can become overwhelming at times, remember you are never alone and there is always someone ready to help you overcome anything. However, sometimes you must seek them out yourself.
Catching Negative Thoughts Before They Become a Problem
We can all agree, negative thinking can make you feel depressed, unmotivated, and can become a real problem if you let yourself dwell on the uglier side of life. I am not saying you should be positive all day every day but finding a balance would be ideal if you tend to dwell on the negative aspects of life, the majority of the time. Learning how to find and redirect negative thinking can have many positive benefits regarding your mental wellbeing.
Some of these benefits include:
- Reducing depression
- Clearer thinking
- Being able to see the bigger picture
- Lessen stress
- Gaining a new appreciation over things you cannot control
- Reducing anxiety
- Being able to enjoy life more
Catching negative thoughts is easier said than done, however, it is achievable. The first step in changing your thinking pattern is understanding that it takes time. Think of your brain as a giant muscle that needs training. Just like with physical exercise it takes time to see results. This is not something that happens overnight and there will be days where depression can creep its way back into your life. However, with training your mind it will be easier to handle the days when things start to fall apart.
The second step is catching yourself when you start thinking about undesirable thoughts. For example, when I would look in the mirror after having my son, I would think to myself “wow, I’ve really let myself go, I look horrible”, which would make me feel worse about myself and cause me to lock myself away in my room, not wanting to go anywhere. Now, I remind myself that I brought a beautiful baby boy into the world and that I am currently working on getting my body back in shape. By doing this, I gain a little more confidence and I am more willing to go out in public. It is amazing how your thoughts can either make you or break you.
Some ways you can catch negative thoughts are:
- Write down any negative thoughts you have about yourself or life and rewrite the negative thoughts with a positive outlook
- Knowing what makes you upset and producing a plan when things do not go as expected, to avoid being too harsh with yourself.
- Trying to find the good in every situation, even if it seems impossible
Which brings me to my third and last step, redirecting negative thoughts to more positive ones. This is not an easy task and you must work on redirecting your thoughts every day if you really want to start looking on the brighter side of life, reduce your depression, and lessen your anxiety. As you can see in the paragraph above, I was able to redirect my thinking when I looked in the mirror. However, it did take time and I still have self-doubts at times. Just keep trying and you will soon see how effective redirecting your thoughts can help you.
Ways you can try redirecting your views are:
- Think of someone you love and care about. If you would not say it about them, then you should not be thinking it about yourself.
- Tell yourself every day that you are worth it, you are beautiful, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
- Take the time to invest in yourself. Build yourself up and do not let anyone tare you down.
- Look at your friend group. If they are bringing you down and making you feel miserable, you may need to find new friends to become inspired by. Sometimes the people we hang around influence us more than we think.
I truly believe that even in the darkest time in your life, you can find the light if you search for it.
When to Stop Reading Advice Posts and Seek Professional Help
While reading posts and talking to friends can help you overcome depression in many ways, there are still times where you may need to seek professional help. This does not make you weak, it takes a strong individual to admit they need help and to go out and find it.
Some of the signs you may need to seek professional help are:
- A feeling of hopelessness and believing you should die
- Thinking the world is better off without you in it
- When you are actively harming yourself
- When you are looking up things like “would my insurance cover my death”
- If your friends and family are urging you to seek help
After I had my son, I went through postpartum depression. I have always had depression from an early age, but this depression was different, it was harsher. I thought my precious baby boy would be better off without me. I thought things like, he would not have to be embarrassed by his mom, that he could live a happy carefree life without me being in the way. I was so convinced he would be better off without me I started looking up insurance plans that covered suicide. I remember crying and feeling like all hope was lost. After calming down I realized I needed real help. I could not keep relying on well-written posts, friends, and family to keep dragging me out of depression, it was not working. I made an appointment with a local therapist and she prescribed me medication. I will admit, I do not take the medication because it made me feel worse, but I do talk to a professional when I need to. Never take yourself off medication, tell your doctor and see if there is an alternative or if they can help wean you off the medication prescribed if you decide it is not for you.
Therapy is not a dreadful thing, it can be scary at first, but there are people who go to school to help others overcome the darkness within their mind. The majority of therapists are kind souls wanting to help guide you in a positive direction. Granted, you might not have a good relationship with some therapist, but you can always find someone you are more compatible with. Opening to a stranger can be intimidating, but in time you will thank yourself. I know I am glad for seeking help when I did.
Never believe the world is better off without you. It’s not, nor will it ever be. There is someone who values you more than you know. There are many times where it feels like life keeps beating you down. However, you can take those experiences and help someone who might be feeling the same way you were. Dark days are rough, but when they pass you tend to appreciate the brighter days a little bit more.
Overcoming Suicide from a Loved One
Death of a loved one is never an easy subject, especially when suicide is involved. There are so many questions left open like why? Was there anything I could have done? Is this my fault? Etc… Sadly, there is nothing you could have done at that moment. It is not your fault unless you were telling them to kill themselves, which would be considered murder, but I highly doubt you, reading this, would do that. Suicide is a very hard concept to understand if you have never experienced the feeling of not wanting to continue life. It can happen to anyone. A celebrity, the rich, poor, children, the elderly, etc. It is a disease within the mind that makes you feel worthless and that life is pointless. You feel like you want to escape, so you believe there is only one way out and that is to take your own life. It is a horrible feeling.
Personally, I do not think anyone stops hurting over suicide from a loved one. I believe the pain lingers on, it just gets easier to manage. However, there are ways to overcome the pain and help others who experience the same situation.
Some of the ways that have personally helped me are:
- Reaching out to others and trying to help them overcome their own personal darkness by creating Maybe Crazy Help
- Creating a photo collage to remember them by
- Remembering the good memories shared with them
- Being kind to others, you never know what type of day they are having. A small compliment could go a long way, even to a stranger
While these methods work for me, you might have to find something that works better for you. I have learned, the emptiness will always be there but being able to help others who are experiencing the same thing can help you in many ways.
I remember scrolling through Facebook not too long ago and coming across a post about a recent suicide in a town I grew up in. I was not prepared to read my childhood friends name in the first paragraph. My world felt like it stood still. With tears streaming down my face, I grabbed my phone and called an old number I had… no answer. I did not want to believe it. I couldn’t. Memories kept flashing through my mind of us playing together and getting in trouble together, as kids do. I did not want to message his mom, I honestly did not want the reply. I did not want to hear or read the words, yes, he took his own life. However, I mustered up the courage and messaged her. I remember not getting a reply, so I visited her Facebook page and seen my fears coming true. For weeks I could not eat, and I stayed in bed the majority of the time unless there was something I had to do. I experienced a deep depression, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how his family felt.
After a couple of weeks, I concluded I could not keep dwelling on it. I had to do something. I wanted to help others who felt like they could not go on. I wanted to show them that they are not alone, so I produced the website Maybe Crazy Help. This was my way of healing and helping others through rough experiences in life. Being an active voice can help in many unexpecting ways.
Remember, if one of your friends or family members are showing signs of severe depression, talk to them. If you feel they need professional help, do not hesitate to call someone. It could save their life. They might be angry with you at first, but in time they will understand you were looking out for their best interest. Furthermore, if you see a stranger who is about to commit suicide, call the police and try to calm them down until the police arrive. Do not be the person who looks the other way, lend a hand. Sometimes all someone needs to see, is there are good people in the world. Too many people have taken their own life due to the darkness of the world, be a light that inspires people to do better.
As you can see, suicide is a heartbreaking subject for everyone involved. Thousands of people experience the harsh sting of a suicidal death every day. Moreover, suicide is a feeling of wanting to escape and thinking death is the only way out. It is not, there are ways to overcome those feelings by training your mind to think in a positive manner. Changing your thinking pattern is never easy and it takes time. Do not be afraid to seek help when you need it. Furthermore, overcoming the death of a loved one who has committed suicide is an emotionally painful situation. Making others aware and trying to help others overcome the pain can help you in ways too. Never be afraid to help someone who needs help, even if they refuse. This is a life we are talking about.
I have provided a link down below to my page of numbers and websites you can call or visit when your thoughts become too overwhelming. There are also numbers for runaways, abuse, and more.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Sharing my personal experiences are never easy, but the need to help others in similar situations and to be a voice is stronger than my fear of being rejected. Remember to like, follow, and share this post, so the rest of the world can hopefully benefit from it. Suicide is a rapidly growing problem throughout the world. Coming together and offering a helping hand can save the lives of hundreds.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
R.I.P to all the beautiful souls who were taken before they were able to see the brighter side of life. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten.