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A Message for Anyone Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts

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Too often, people hear about suicide when it’s too late and some person or family has been affected by it. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about suicide, why people feel the need to take their own life and why it can be so difficult to reach out and then eventually accept help that is offered.

Suicide is scary, and having suicidal thoughts is terrifying. I’ve done a lot of work around suicide prevention, and even I find it hard to voice my experience to people. I’m currently in hospital, having been battling suicidal thoughts for a couple of months now, and I am in a dark place. This makes me feel sad, angry, alone and overwhelmed by everything that comes my way. Right now, I don’t feel I can trust my own advice, so my doctor suggested it might be easier to write something for another person who might be in a similar situation to myself. So this is for me and for anyone else going through a tough time. Here goes…

To anyone who might be having suicidal thoughts,

This blog post is as much a reminder and reassurance for myself as it is for anyone reading it. I’m not a mental health expert, but I do know how it feels to be in a really dark place and how lonely it can be. First of all, although it might feel like it, you are most definitely not alone. I know you can feel like the loneliest person out there; even when you are surrounded by loads of people, you can still feel alone and empty inside. But that’s not true. There are loads of people who want to help if you ask them. You need to let your family and friends love and support you through this difficult time. That’s what they are there for!

Don’t feel like you’re a “burden” to them. Think of it like this: They would much rather help support you through a difficult time than lose you to this path. It can be scary being honest about suicidal thoughts, but it’s essential, particularly with mental health professionals. Believe me, little you say can shock them, as they have all probably heard it before. It can be so difficult admitting to suicidal thoughts, and you may be confused as to why you even feel that way — and a little guilty for wanting to end your life. But I don’t believe now is the time to be questioning why you feel the way you do. I say, try to accept it as a temporary state of being. Suicide might seem like your only option right now, and maybe even next week. But no matter how close you may be to giving up — don’t. The world needs you, and you are too valuable to lose.

I can promise you from my past experience, it is possible to come out of the dark hole and regain your life. I, too, feel like I’ll never escape this black hole I’m stuck in — but I’m not ready to give up just yet, even though I have felt like giving in many times. You might feel like you’re never going to enjoy life again. But you will, and it’s important to be patient, as it can take a while to recover from a mental health issue. It may seem impossible when you feel like this, but I was advised to make a short list of things that bring a smile to my  face or make me laugh out loud. At first, I thought it was a waste of time, but it has helped me believe I can have a future in which to do these things. Save the list on your phone or put it in your room or attach it to the bathroom mirror to help you start the day. Now, I know making this list may not be easy, because at the moment, it might literally feel like you’re trying to survive from one hour to the next — never mind making plans for the future. But give it a go.

Things that pick me up:

  • Dancing to my favorite song when no one is watching.
  • Eating my first ice cream cone of the year (with a flake of course).
  • Going to a gig played by my favorite band and hearing my favorite song played live.
  • Meeting up with a friend I haven’t seen for ages and having a good gossip.
  • Going for a walk or jog on the beach somewhere there is beautiful scenery.
  • Having a hot chocolate after a long day traipsing around shops, or being dragged around as the case may be.
  • Watching a film in the cinema surrounded by a giant bucket of popcorn.

 What would be on your list? Let me know in the comments below.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Originally published: December 17, 2016
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