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Overcoming Habitual Suicidal Ideation

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  • #415205
    Helcat
    Participant

    Just going to start off by saying that I’m not in any danger, so no one has to worry. These are just habitual thoughts since childhood as a result of abuse. I don’t have a plan. These are just thoughts that occur when I feel overwhelmed or in pain. I like to think of it as meaning “I want this pain to stop”.

    I was reading about how other people overcame suicidal ideation. I had hoped that it was possible to change, but I had no idea how to approach it.

    One large takeaway was that I need to believe that it is possible and reduce my anxiety.

    I notice that I have underlying beliefs that I will always have these thoughts because I have had them for most of my life. There is also a belief that these thoughts occur frequently.

    I decided to keep a diary of how many good days I have when these thoughts don’t occur. How many days in a week these thoughts aren’t occurring and how many consecutive days that they aren’t occurring.

    These results will help me to change my beliefs.

     

     

    #415217
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Helcat

    This morning as I woke to a general sense of anxiety for no apparent reason, the usual thoughts followed, wishing that I could end it as in die. To be candid I cannot remember a time when these thoughts of ending things have not been part of my life. So when I read you post I could relate to your question as I asked it myself this very morning.

    It seems to me these thoughts have been planted deep from a early age and the part of the self that keeps bringing them to the surface is doing so more out of habit that for a reason. I assume their is a part of that self that is addicted to them.

    My method of dealing with it has been to take a step back and observe the observer that is experiencing the anxiety from which the thoughts arise.  A practice of detachment to unblock the flow and move on from the thoughts. It sometimes works though this morning the frustration of noticing these thoughts arise yet again and not knowing why got in the way. Why can be a very unskillful word especially, as I’m beginning to suspect, this is no why, at least no one that is relevant to the present.

    Allan Watts said “If you want to outwit the devil, it is extremely important that you don’t give him advanced notice. Even if you only announce to yourself your intentions, the devil will know, because who do you think the devil is? You

    I think part of what Allan is referring to with that statement is the art of ‘doing by not doing’ That when you try not to have such thoughts as suicided ideation your pretty much going to have those thoughts.  And to that I have no answer as part of the problem is language itself… and the constant nattering of the inner narrator that can’t seem to help itself in describing every thought and feeling.

    Something I learned was the life is a cycle of birth, death, rebirth – the reality of every breath. Put another way Life eats Life, or Life requires the sacrifice of Life in the pursuit of Life and growth.  This is the reality of organic organisms and the subjective things as thoughts, feelings, desires, fears….. such things have their time to be born and to die so that we might learn and grow.

    Only the ego isn’t usually fully conscious of this reality and or does not trust it, that rebirth will follow. Such a ego consciousness does not like IT as it feels like death as a ending, so It resist this flow of life, which it can’t. This produces anxiety and the paradoxical desire of ending this cycle by suicide.  The ego self fear of “dying” creating the suicidal ideation, which surly is ironic.

    Anyway I took that to mean that when I experience thoughts of suicide its a sign pointing to the likelihood that I’m holding on to something that needs to die so that a something else might grow. I suspect thier are a few things I’m holding onto that is blocking flow.  Thus we work for that which no work is required as the flow is always flowing and the thought we are blocking it only a illusion. Holding on to something which time has come to ‘die‘, still ‘dies’, only the rebirth of what come next has changed.

    So this morning I woke up ‘on the wrong side of the bed’ but seeing your post didn’t feel so quite alone.  My name is Peter and I’m addicted to Suicidal Ideation…

    #415218
    Peter
    Participant

    To clarify what I think happens. Ego consciousness does not trust the flow that is Life and so fears that death is the end. Worse this ego self not only doesn’t trust the process that is Life this false self attempts to control Life, which it can’t, and so finding itself frustrated, digs in, and digging in wishes to die. The very thing its resisting.

    Essentially the ego self is saying NO to Life which is like spitting in the wind. If true the way out isn’t some imagined UP but though, getting to a place of trusting Life to be Life. A YES that I suspect leads to a further step of a ‘knowing‘ that Life as It Is, is Love.

    #415230
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Peter

    Thank you for your kind message. It’s always a pleasure hearing your thoughts. I’m glad that my post helped you to feel that you are not alone with these issues. Likewise, hearing your thoughts makes me not feel alone with these things.

    I have very similar experiences to you regarding these thoughts and I appreciate your insight. I would say that I have difficulty trusting the world. It’s unique because on the one hand I’ve had a lot of difficulties. On the other, I’ve been rather lucky. I think you hit the nail on the head about resisting circumstances.

    I’m generally strong willed and believe in my own ability to change things. I feel like I’ve had to fight for a lot in my life and surrendering or letting go can be challenging. To me, it feels like giving up.

    Your analogy, like spitting in the wind made me smile. It is so true!

    So far in a week, I’ve had two days without these thoughts and two days where the thoughts occurred specifically as I was writing down that I haven’t had these thoughts. So you’re definitely right about trying not to think about these thoughts can cause it.

    These thoughts don’t upset me persay. I can move on pretty quickly from them. I think it’s the idea of it happening that bothers me. Seeing it as something to solve. I figured out how to be happy and how to love myself. This is almost the last major thing other than continuing to work on anxiety.

    I’d love to hear more about your thoughts and experiences!

    #415348
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Helcat

    These thoughts don’t upset me persay. I can move on pretty quickly from them. I think it’s the idea of it happening that bothers me. Seeing it as something to solve.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. You do the work yet still the thoughts happen, a unwanted reminder of past work and or that more work is required. I find the experience more frustrating then upsetting, which of course only adds fuel to such thoughts. The mind is a amazing thing yet it seems it can’t help itself getting in its own way.

     

    #415356
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Peter

    Definitely! I hear you about the frustration. 😂

    I noticed some things about the days these thoughts do occur vs days they don’t. I’m definitely experiencing more stress on the days I have these thoughts. Days with less stress and more self-care are the days I don’t experience these thoughts.

    I’m learning a lot about regulating my nervous system at the moment. This is something that I struggle with. I hope it will help me manage stress a little better!

    #417262
    Sarah Jeanne Browne
    Participant

    Hi Helcat,

    I use writing and music therapy personally. I like to listen to “Smile” by Nat King Cole. It comforts me. I also recommend the following:

    Have self-compassion for feeling this way. It’s not your fault.

    Tell someone. Anyone.

    Ground yourself in your senses.

    Add some spiritual component (whatever  your faith is, it helps).

    Have a list of reasons to live ready to go whenever you feel this way.

    Talk to yourself like you would a best friend. What would you tell someone else going through it?

    Instead of giving up, surrender instead. So instead of wrestling with your thoughts and life, just surrender.

    Get out of your head. Do something that you like.

    Hope that helps!

    Sarah

    #420556
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for your advice. Wishing you all the best! 🙏

    I’ve actually had a small breakthrough with this recently.

    When I was a child I had my abusive mother’s voice in my head. It was very clear.

    Over the years as I worked on my mental health and learned to be kinder to myself it stopped sounding like her. If that makes sense.

    Now that I think about it, these days this anxious voice as it were might be more polite. But the sentiment is still designed to make me feel the way that she would. She wanted to make me feel alone in the world, unable to trust other people. She wanted me to be afraid, so she could feel powerful. She wanted me to feel like I was incapable of protecting myself from her.

    Historically, this voice was around in my weakest, most vulnerable moments.

    One thing that my schema therapist always wanted me to do was role play and speak to my mother as it were to challenge her but at the time I was too afraid even imagining her. My therapist alway challenged her for me.

    So I guess I’m going to try challenging these thoughts thinking of them as coming from memories of my mother and see how it goes.

    I’ll report back on how things go!

    #420559
    Sarah Jeanne Browne
    Participant

    I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much. Having an abusive mother become your inner voice is hard. Are you still in contact with her? If so I would recommend cutting her off.

    I used to go to suicidal ideations every time I couldn’t see a way through something. Then life would surprise me. But things are still hard in general.

    So I get it.

    I’m glad you had a breakthrough.

    You deserve to know that you are worthy and have more power than you realize. You survived that abuse. You’ve overcome so much.

    I have a book recommendation – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It’s from her advice column as Dear Sugar where she compiled her best stories and advice.

    I say this book because I had a mental breakdown in 2015 and I researched a TON of self-help to see what would help me. Going rockbottom like that showed me what works and what doesn’t work. So I was reading Joel Osteen (am not a fan now) which is prosperity gospel. I read positivity blogs. And so many things that just didn’t work for me. For the Joel Osteen thing when I was in the psych ward I told a patient that a struggle is like an arrow being pulled backwards in order to go farther so once released it would go a stronger distance than if you had not gone through the struggle. Now I regret those words. That person later died by suicide. I found things that helped me which were Cheryl Strayed’s book and prayer. I had this patient read Tiny Beautiful Things and they underlined and wrote notes in it. Now it’s precious to me.

    I’m rambling a bit. But I’ve learned that things can simply be senseless. We don’t have to celebrate every struggle or like it turn us completely around. Pain is pain. Anyways I wish I could have said that to him instead.

    There’s “name it to tame it” by Dr. Dan Siegel. I found this out on my own actually. I say “I am in pain.” I don’t now why this helps me. But I usually repress or don’t acknowledge negative feelings. I’ve always transmuted it into something positive or meaningful. I’ve always tried to be inspirational with wisdom (which is what led me to this site). Today actually I said that and was like “Okay I’m accepting it.” For whatever reason I can’t outsmart the pain.

    My pain comes from trauma and survivalism white knuckling my life with no breaks or balance.

    I don’t know how to turn that pain around to be honest. I know that’s not exactly helpful. But all my life I suffered in silence. So much that I have a guard even with myself.

    So I’m really proud of YOU for saying how you feel. That’s step one. I’m glad you were able to pinpoint your pain to abuse.

    I don’t know how to fix that pain. But I think that you are a beautiful person no matter what anyone says about you. You deserve to feel happy. Just know that. You deserve it.

    Anyways I don’t know if any of that was helpful. I’m right there with you.

    #420569
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sarah

    Thank you for your kindness and sharing! I really appreciate it, especially since you used to suffer in silence. I’m sorry to hear that things are still hard in general. It sounds like you’ve had a difficult life. I think everyone deserves a break, especially kind people. I hope good things come your way. I will definitely check out the reading recommendations. ☺️

    I hope you know that you did nothing wrong by sharing your feelings with the patient. Their death was not because of you.

    I agree that things are senseless and I find that comforting. I used to blame myself for my mother not loving me when I was younger and realising that it was just circumstance being born to her and she was the messed up one was a relief. I’m no longer in contact.

    Learning to accept pain and let go is hard. Well done on accepting it today!

    My therapist used to say that pain from trauma doesn’t disappear but it does get smaller and easier to bear as you heal. I’ve found this to be true, but still I have an irrational hope that one day it will heal completely.

    Reporting back on my experience with the role play my therapist used to recommend. I don’t think it worked out quite the way that she intended. Instead of a “confrontation” I ended up forgiving her. I didn’t ever think I would be capable of that. It was quite unexpected.

    I realised that she was quite young when she had me, and was knocked up by a guy 10 years her senior who had a habit of abandoning women once he had children with them. She wasn’t ready to be alone with 2 kids and before she ever met my father she’d already had traumatic experiences. Another thing was that she didn’t trust anyone and was very much alone. I think she had 3 friends over 15 years. 1 who she betrayed, 1 who died and another who chose to take me in and that ended that relationship.

    I feel like people are made up of the people they spend time with and the experiences they have. She didn’t have help. She chose to re-enact her own abuse in the role of the abuser to make herself feel powerful and she hated herself for it. None of this is any excuse for what she did or makes any of it okay. I hope that she changes.

    On the other hand, I have been very lucky. I have had a lot of help. Not just from therapists, but people in general. I have never been alone like that.

    #420584
    Sarah Jeanne Browne
    Participant

    I honestly can’t tell you how much I needed to hear that my friend’s suicide wasn’t my fault. I knew that rationally. But emotionally I was blaming myself. I wanted to say all the right things and I know that he would have done it no matter what I said.

    I’ve had  suicidal ideations all my life and one suicide attempt. This is a quote that has helped me: “The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. – Unknown”

    I tell myself that because it’s true every time. Not all my problems are solved. I’m experiencing a side effect of mild coughing from one of my bipolar medications that I am waiting out and will discuss with my psychiatrist the end of July. I have weight gain from side effects of meds that I’m now using trulicity for (because everyone is using ozempic but it’s backordered due to demand) and was doing well then I was put on a sleeping med that makes you hungry. So I’m in a pickle right now of how do I navigate all this?

    I’m only sharing this because this happens to me all through my life where I can’t LOGICALLY see my way out of a situation. Then it works out. I have to teach myself not to freak out and let things run their course and maybe there will be a solution.

    I went through the mental health system and gave feedback to someone who oversees it in my area. So I got to make meaning, come up with solutions and hopefully inspire better help. A lot of mentally ill people in those places can’t self-advocate and I was lucky to be stable enough to when I got out of there.

    So bringing this all back to your mom… I think you’ve made meaning in cutting her out, having compassion and forgiveness and understanding that she really doesn’t deserve. So your inner voice should really be “I’m a brave, compassionate, strong, forgiving, caring and resilient person.” You have to see that in yourself.

    For me abuse is never justified. So don’t feel like you have to understand her story. There are people with sob stories who don’t abuse. I do think that there are cases where parents aren’t emotionally equipped to be parents but there’s a different line crossed that can be abuse. For the former mistakes may be made with accountability and then follow through that they act better. For abusers…they gaslight, deny, avoid accountability etc. But also if she was to be accountable, you still do not have to have a relationship with her.

    It’s hard to reparent your inner child. You’ve been through so much pain.

    Just celebrate where you are now. That you are not in that situation anymore.

    I’ve been an advocate against child abuse with The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. There are many orgs out there. But if you ever need a resource, they are good ones. Or to volunteer or share your story.

    I’m amazed by you and know that you helped ME today which I wasn’t expecting so thank you. 🙂

     

    #420720
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sarah

    Thank you for your support and kind words!

    I find that it can take time for emotions to catch up to what we logically know. It sounds like you did the right thing for your friend at the time by being there for them and empathising. I’m glad that you recognise it wasn’t your fault. It’s painful to lose a friend and your desire for things to be different also comes from a place of love.

    Thank you for sharing the quote that helped you. I’ve found it to be true, maybe not immediately but over time. Another quote that it reminds me of is “The only constant in life is change.” Heraclitus. I’m a big fan of hope and change but  patience and understanding are key to keeping expectations realistic. All we can really do is try and take one day at a time.

    Side effect of medications are tricky to manage! I hope that you can get things worked out soon. 🙏

    I agree, something that helped me was writing down my fears and then the outcome of situations as it taught me that my fears were unrealistic and disproportionate. Knowing this, it’s easier to manage my anxiety now.

    Reflecting on times where I handled emergencies well helped me to develop confidence in my ability to handle stressful situations. Stress still sucks though!

    I think it’s amazing that you’ve done so many great things! Giving feedback on treatment programs and advocacy are incredible feats.

    I’ve always wanted to be involved in activism around rape. But unfortunately I’m not ready yet, it’s still a trigger for me. Definitely something for me to aspire to one day!

    Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of therapy and I do see those qualities in myself.

    I agree that abuse is never justified. I think that it takes hard work and compassion for people to overcome their trauma. I learned when I was young it’s very easy to have no desire for self control and take pain out on others. It can be hard to make changes, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.

    I think the difficulty is that whilst I’m not in that situation anymore, I still remember it and I feel like these experiences become a part of us. A part that I believe can be healed.

    It’s difficult to explain but the way I conceptualise it is there is who we are when we are emotionally stable and not triggered. Then there are depressive or anxious thoughts that are related to memories of trauma.

    I’ve done some further work as the habitual si thoughts arise. Confronting my mother. Not all of it was forgiving and understanding. A lot of it was anger. I think my therapist would be happy that I’ve been able to get to this point finally. It was never safe at home for me to be angry as my mother escalated the abuse in response.

    I noticed that some anxious and depressed thoughts remind me of other influences in my life. I know people that have struggled with trauma and depression and I think even though it’s not abuse, as a child it’s something that can be easily internalised if adults overshare deepest fears. It’s kind of scary how much kids pick up of the world around them. That’s why I think who we choose to spend time with is important. Having good influences helped me a lot.

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting that people who suffer from mental health conditions are a bad influence on children. Quite the opposite. But there are some people who manage their depression well and others who don’t. It’s the latter category that I believe can cause some issues. But the world is full of unique issues that it’s impossible to protect children from. As long as people love their kids and do their best to protect them, I think that’s all children really need. Learning to deal with issues is just part of growing up.

    Sorry for rambling! Wishing you all the best 🙏

    #422433
    Sanj
    Participant

    Blessings and Best Wishes to those who are experiencing such thoughts.  You are NOT alone, and there ARE people who care very much about your well-being.

    Writing something that may help you – as it is helping me, after a long struggle:

    I met a good friend yesterday who guided me to chant with the intention to gain mastery over my mind, to have courage to face new challenges … and to follow it up with actions to gently tell myself that negative thoughts were not helpful.

    To replace such negative thoughts with thoughts of courage, and to have faith that I will be able to conquer.

    This is helping me … so I thought I would share.

    I am learning to have faith that life WILL turn around, that solutions WILL appear as I take considered actions to solve my challenges.

    I also accept the consequences of my Karmas – and I lose the fear of what MAY or MAY NOT happen.

    It helps a lot to have supportive friends – and while I know full well the effects of isolation, please keep looking, and I truly believe the Universe WILL guide you to find Hope and Happiness.  Your positive life condition will attract such positive energies and friends – and you WILL prevail!

    Love and Compassion,

    Sanj

     

    #422838
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sanj

    Thank you for your kindness! I’m glad that you have found comfort with the tips you shared.

    I’m struggling at the moment.

    As a trauma victim there is no mental health support available during pregnancy. It hurts so much to deal with my fears regarding birth and parental intimacy without professional support. Pregnancy hormones don’t help either because they amplify my emotions a lot.

    I seem to be jumping from topic to topic in my mind worrying about it. My mind tells me that this will help me to prepare. But I know that in the past, my mind has lied to me and this isn’t always true.

    I started going to church which has been helping.

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏

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