Suicidal feelings happen when the pain and torment become so overbearing, we simply can’t see any other way out. That doesn’t mean that it’s not there; it just means that we’re unable to see it. It’s like blinkered vision. It may not seem like it right now, but you can overcome these feelings; it and the pain that is causing it, will pass. What’s important is that you get the right support.
Feeling suicidal is no reflection of your value as a person. Many people have suicidal thoughts at some point — more people than you might think, and there are many world-renowned and highly respected people who have gone through this. Suicide simply means that, at the moment, you have more pain than you feel able to cope with — that’s nothing to be ashamed about.
It’s important to remember that, no matter how bad you feel, there are people out there who care about and value you. It might not seem like it, but losing you would leave a devastating hole in their lives that can never be filled. Everyone has loads of unreleased potential, and by cutting your life short, you are depriving the world — and yourself — of this. Imagine the things you could do if you were in a better place. Imagine the people you could help. That’s not to say what you’re feeling is selfish — but rather than let the suicidal feelings overwhelm you, take a breath, pause, and think — even just for a moment – of what wonderful experiences and achievements you could have if you just had a bit of help to get out of the darkness.
Everything is temporary; just because you’re feeling this way now doesn’t mean you always have to be. If you feel suicidal or like there’s no way out, consider some of the following steps:
1. Talking is good
No matter how tempting it is, don’t cut yourself off from people. Talk to your family and/or friends about how you feel. Talk to a therapist. If you can’t find anyone to readily talk to when the feelings hit, you can always rely on helplines (I’ll list some below) staffed by people trained to help people feel who suicidal.
2. Have a support plan to hand
Make sure you have a plan in place for when things get tough. Keep a list of contacts handy, so if life does get overwhelming, you can readily call upon those you trust for support. It’s a good idea to keep the numbers of crisis hotlines handy too.
3. Routine is important
Make (and stick to) a schedule of things to fill your day with. Stick to them even when you don’t feel like it.
4. Don’t coop yourself up
Vitamin D helps release serotonin which is known to be linked with our mood. Try to get out in the sunshine for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, we can’t always rely on the sun to come out in Ireland, but it’s still important (and beneficial) to get plenty of fresh air.
5. Exercise helps
Exercise is beneficial too, whether it be a short walk, jog or run. Aim for 30 minutes a day, but every little helps, even if it’s a few ten-minute sessions throughout the day.
6. Don’t give up the things you enjoy
Even when you might not be in the mood for them, keep them up anyway.
7. Remember the positives
Never lose sight of your goals and motivations, even when all seems lost. Keep a list of things you enjoy doing or would like to do. Maybe a list of places you’d like to see, new movies or books you think you’ll enjoy, a class you’re thinking of doing, friends you’re looking forward to catching up with, your pets, family members, anything. You’ve every chance of enjoying life again, and the only thing definitely precludes this is suicide itself.