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What Happened When My Passive Suicidal Thoughts Became Active Plans

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

This is a very hard subject for me to talk about. It takes me back to some very dark days that, to be honest, I would rather forget. At numerous times in my life, I have experienced suicidal thoughts and although these thoughts were very real, it wasn’t until about five years ago that I seriously thought about listening to them and following through with their demands.

For me, suicide has never been about wanting to die; it’s been about wanting the pain to stop. It’s about not having the energy and strength to continue. I’m a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter; I don’t know how else to survive the challenges life has thrown at me. But fighting is physically and mentally exhausting.

While researching this article, I came across the following statement and it perfectly describes how I feel when I’m suicidal:

“Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.”

About five years ago, after a very long battle with my mental and physical health, I gave up fighting. My health deteriorated so much that I couldn’t see the point in continuing to live. I had fought the pain, exhaustion, anxiety, depression and a myriad of other symptoms for so long I had no fight left in me. All l thought about 24/7 was “How can I make this pain stop?” My overactive brain churned this thought around for weeks, trying to find a solution. I’m a problem solver; whatever life throws at me, I will find a solution. But there didn’t seem to be a solution or a way out of my hell this time.

My mind kept coming back to the same thought: “Please make the pain stop” — physical and mental pain — and the only way I could fathom this happening was to die by suicide. I spent hours planning it. I started with Googling “What’s the easiest way to die by suicide.” Thankfully for me, Google’s reply was “there isn’t one.” I thought back over all the films and TV programs I’d watched that contained suicides, trying to remember the methods used. I thought about what I had at my disposal. I wasn’t sleeping at this time and as my husband worked long nightshifts I had an unlimited amount of time to plan how I was going to end my life. I wasn’t thinking about the repercussions of this act, but who can blame me for being “selfish” and wanting to be at peace.

I was honest with my husband and my doctors about my thoughts. My husband hid the tools I had at my disposal, and although I was promised help, I never received any treatment for my depression. The problem is, I’m intolerant to most meds, so antidepressants were not an option. I begged to be admitted to hospital, although I now know that I would have thought that was hell. I just didn’t trust myself to be alone. I wanted them to sedate me so I could get a moment’s rest from the pain and the constant barrage of negative thoughts. This was at a time when I was told there was no cure or effective treatment for my chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or fibromyalgia, so desperation had set in.

I don’t think I ever actually wanted to die; I just couldn’t see any other option, and I couldn’t fight anymore.

Suicide is not the easy option. It is not the “coward’s way out.” It’s not a sign of weakness. Imagine being so desperate that killing yourself seems a more favorable option than living. A phrase I hate is, “It was just a cry for help, it wasn’t a serious suicide attempt.” Well, help them then! Because the next time, it could be for real. I’m just thankful there wasn’t an easy way to do it. If there had been a button to push, I wouldn’t be alive today.

So, how did I survive this period in my life? I was suicidal every day for about six months. I can safely say it was the worst time I have ever experienced. But when I look back at how much I struggled, I realize how strong I was just to survive. For me, it was about distracting myself, practicing mindfulness, focusing on reasons for living and trying not to stress about the future. I focused on accepting what I couldn’t change and taking steps to improve the areas in my life I could change.

With the love and support from my husband, family and friends, and my sheer stubborn determination, I got my fighting spirit back.

I’m living proof that things can and will get better. I haven’t had any suicidal thoughts for over three years. Remember, nighttime is the hardest, so plan ahead. If you are feeling suicidal, please know you are not alone. There are steps you can take to secure your safety and improve your mental health. Take care. x

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Getty Images photo via tommaso79

Originally published: March 24, 2018
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