How I Get Through A Suicidal Day
My last suicidal day wasn’t too long ago. It was a day when all of a sudden suicide seemed like a viable option. It’s crazy and interesting and hard to explain how that flip flops in and out of reality. The best explanation that I can give is that sometimes another readjustment seems like too much. You know that you could readjust but you wonder if it’s worth it — if there’s just another readjustment on the horizon. And you begin to wonder in desperation if maybe that’s all it really is, kidding yourself through readjustment after readjustment until you finally realize that the joke is on you.
So as you can see, your thinking gets incredibly screwed and downward spiral-directed.
I’m at a point in my recovery that I can recognize when this is happening, even if I can’t quite always stop it. Luckily, since my attempt, I’ve always been able to pull myself out of that spiral and build back up my resolve to create the life that I want and not let depression or anxiety take over.
These are the things that I do on those crucial days to change my perspective.
The most important and first thing I do is distract myself from my feelings. This is where social media and TV are excellent. They don’t require a very active start like reading or physical activity require and yet they almost immediately fill my mind with randomness. You know the rabbit hole that you’re always wary of falling down on social media? When you are feeling suicidally depressed, there is almost nothing more perfect. Going down that rabbit hole from one article to the next picture to the next meme to the next article is exactly what I need to pull my thoughts away from whatever has me so down and anxious. My heart rate decreases and my sense of doom seems further away. I almost even forget it. I find myself smiling and even laughing, especially when I watch the silly videos that I usually don’t give myself time to enjoy.
Once I’m in full swing with that, my mood has shifted enough that I can now start evaluating my feelings. This is where my learned practice of asking myself the questions “what am I making this thing mean?” and “Is that really true?” do their best work. From this vantage point I can see my over exaggerations and start stacking up evidence to the contrary.
Through lots of trial and error, I’ve realized that asking myself these questions anytime before my mood shifts is futile and maybe even more detrimental. I’m just not in the mental space to answer them truthfully and the loud voice of depression overpowers my logical thinking. It only works when my vibe is higher.
After working through the evidence that my fears and over exaggerations are probably not true, it’s then time to be intentionally kind and loving to myself. This is the time when I splurge on something — buying myself a nice dinner and/or letting myself watch a favorite tv show. Maybe I paint my nails and maybe I take a bubble bath.
The point is that I treat myself the way I would treat a child that has just had a hard time with something. I would soothe her and help her feel better. If that meant going for ice cream or playing her favorite game, that’s what we’d do.
This is what I do for myself in times like this. My goal is to remind myself that I’m worthy of the effort and time it takes to just feel better — that nothing else is more important. By the time I get to this point, my mood has shifted enough that I’m no longer in danger of hurting myself. I’ve reconnected with enough of my joy, that I remember again why suicide is not an option for me. This doesn’t mean that I’m totally out of the web of depression, but I’m very far away from the edge of taking my own life.
Baby steps are the things that create big steps and sometimes you need baby steps to turn things around. My hope is that in sharing how I’ve learned to manage my depression and anxiety, you’ll be encouraged to know that you can manage yours too.
It’s hard to remember sometimes that we have a choice — however we do! I hope my choice inspire yours ❤!
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on April 30, 2017.