I’ve been really struggling with depression this last month or more.
I’ve had lots of suicidal thoughts coming into my head – thinking of driving the car off a cliff. Thinking about jumping off something.
But the rational side of me kicked in and when I thought of death, I just felt very unsure. I felt like there was more that I was supposed to do, could do for this world.
Life just seemed hard. And I felt sad, often for no particular reason. Kneeling down behind the stove at work. Crying. Hoping that my boss or colleague didn’t walk in and see me. How could I explain the reason behind my tears? I was just sad.
There’s a huge misconception out there that suicide is a “selfish act.”
I do not believe this to be true.
Having struggled with suicidal ideations myself, I know that my thoughts of ending everything have not come from a place of selfishness but from my feelings of complete hopelessness. A feeling of the walls closing in around me, with no way out.
This fits with what the facilitators told us in group. They explained that when we reach that place of intense vulnerability and helplessness our mind starts working overtime. Our mind tries to find a solution to the problem. Our thoughts are spiralling downwards. We can see no way through and therefore our mind comes to the conclusion that there is no way out of this intense, heart wrenching pain and that the only way to end the pain is to die.
Tia Ghose wrote in LiveScience: “People attempt suicide because they cannot bear their psychological pain and doubt it will ever get better…” Click on the link to see the rest of her article.
When I was talking to a therapist about my thoughts, he listened, and took me seriously which was helpful. I think we underestimate the importance of validating the personal experiences of those around us.
Pausing and listening to what someone has to say, and being truly present in the moment through sitting down with them and sharing in their pain can radically change a situation and bring hope.
The therapist explained to me that thoughts are just that – THOUGHTS. I don’t have to act on them.
When thinking about the cause for my sense of helplessness that leads me to that place of complete desperation, I have come to realise that I often base my sense of worth on whether others like me.
Whether others think I’m capable, talented, an okay person. And if they don’t, if I feel rejected in anyway then life doesn’t seem worth living.
I need to get to a place where my sense of worth is not defined by anything anyone else says to me. Where my worth is not defined by anything outside of myself – my job, my appearance etc, but rather is defined by my very character.
The little girl grown into a young woman with all her faults and issues is WORTHWHILE.
I am worthwhile just as I am. Not because of anything I have done or anything I am going to do, but just because I am.
I am praying that the world will seem brighter again someday soon. That one day soon I will feel like jumping up and down and laughing the loudest of anyone in the room with hearty laughter uninterrupted by negative thoughts.
I am praying that that day will come sooner than later.
But for now, I am focused on breathing in and out. On getting up each day and going to work.
On finding stability in a chaotic world.
Spending time with friends that make me laugh and smile. Taking time to stop and be present in the moment rather than just rushing through life.
Appreciating the small things – like the people that say “good morning” on my walks around Parrs Park.
Another big thing that I am slowly learning is acceptance.
I need to accept where I am at. I need to accept that I do have a tendency to feel anxious at the moment. I am vulnerable at the moment. Therefore I need to be kind to myself. I need to surround myself with people who are going to love and support me and listen and not judge where I am at.
Most of all, I need to remember the quote that hung on the wall at my ward at the hospital where I worked as a nurse:
“THIS TOO WILL END”
I hope that this speaks to those of you who are feeling low at the moment. We can share in this journey together.