Suicide Ideation, Therapy and Hope

WP_20171222_10_03_16_Pro_LI (2).jpgThrough the forest I can see a small patch of light on a snow covered trail. I can make it there.

Keeping myself alive

Things I don’t keep in the house. Things I don’t do. Things I do to keep myself alive.

To keep myself alive I do not keep rope, sharp knives, bleach, drugs, or plastic bags in the house.

To keep myself alive I deliberately keep chores and administration undone.

To keep myself alive I make sure my walk to my chosen jump spot is through a forest.

To keep myself alive when I feel all hope is gone, I charge my phone and keep it on and ready to speed dial a couple of trusted people.

To keep myself alive I think of my children and sister.

To keep myself alive I avoid situations that make me despair.

To keep myself alive I go to therapy. 

To keep myself alive I force myself to meet people or be part of a club.

To keep myself alive I make plans for the short-term and long-term future.

 

Based on my own limited experience, I reckon nobody really wants to commit suicide – they just don’t want the life they have, they don’t want the memories they have in their head, they don’t want to continue living with whatever is sucking the life out of them.

Such people need to be shown another way to live, another path that allows them to cope with their situation, to overcome it and to express themselves while also coming to terms with whatever has kept them awake at night – in anguish and in despair.

Telling me to: “Man up!” or “Cheer up you miserable fuck, others have it much worse.” is to give me shit advice, fucking useless advice. Fucking shut it if that’s all you have to offer – this is life we are talking about, suicidal people are not running off a bruising tackle in some sports match.

At best, shit advice is only going to motivate someone in the short-term. In the long run it eats at self-esteem and makes reaching for the rope easier.

I have no idea where this blog will go but I woke up a week ago and felt better. I did not feel suicidal. Not feeling suicidal does not mean I feel good or that I do not suffer from depression. In my case, it means I want to be rather than not to be.

I’ll try and write more tomorrow. I promise to make it less of a chore to read. There might even be the driest and blackest of humour but I will definitely add detail regarding the things I do and don’t do to keep myself alive.

But here’s one reveal: making promises to others and making people depend on me is a short-term strategy for keeping myself alive.

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mental health support: UK vs. Finland

WP_20150422_18_18_42_Proto Tuonela or not

 

I’m going to write about the importance of good mental health care. It will stress the value of individual treatment and regular fixed meetings with doctors in which you jointly develop a plan for recovery and actions plans for your future that aim to alter and improve how you live.

In many ways what I write below is praise for the Finnish system and criticism of the threadbare service given to a suicidal person I know, and will call H, who lives in the UK.

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Depressed? Suicidal? Reach Out. Some People Are Very Kind.

reachout.holdon.youaresafereach out. hold on. we’ve got you. you’re safe

The quick guide to getting help if you are suffering from depression and/or feeling suicidal:

Step 1: Forget your pride. Don’t worry about the stigma.

Step 2: Call the doctor or get someone to call the doctor for you and make an appointment.

Step 3: Go to the doctor and establish the extent of your mental chaos. It can be heartbreaking to realise how fucked up you are. It is also liberating.

Step 4: With the doctor’s help, establish a plan of action that seems right for you. Take the therapy that will be offered if you are suicidal.

In Finland,I went from 1 to 4 within 10 days .

Step 5: Treatment will need to be agreed upon with the doctor and therapists. Follow the course of treatment. Adopt the new ways of thinking offered. Be open to new ideas. Alter previous habits as you will need to change your thinking. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. It is a slow process.

Step 6: Stay in therapy or establish some sort of self-help partnership  with someone who understands.

The long version:

You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today. Talk to me. What’s going on?

Stigma!

Stigma is a killer. Who wants to be classified as someone suffering from depression or some other form of turmoil in the mind? No one.

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a failed attempt

skannaaminen0003 (2)from the wooden house it’s only a short walk over the granite to the sea and eternity

My only serious, truly conscious attempt at suicide came in 2014.

It was the end of the summer and my ex and our three children were at the summer cottage. My ex and I had made it through the holiday without major arguments and A was set to go to school, B was comfortable in school and E was about to start day care. It was the penultimate evening and I explained to Ex that the worst of our parenting was over and now we could have more time for each other and rekindle our love. I loved her.

It was time for a fresh start. A time to start living for each other rather than the children.

Ex saw my guard was down – that finally entering into conversation about the future had exposed my head. Ex swung a metaphorical punch that left me out on my feet and reeling. I was staggered. She wanted me gone. I was utterly alone. Striped of any title I had. Terminated. Separated.

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