It’s World Suicide Prevention Day today, and you will more than likely see a few suicide-related quotes appearing across social media. In my opinion, everyday should be World Suicide Prevention day and the energy that everyone has on this day should remain through every single day of the year.
I never really thought about suicide until it affected myself, which is the same case for pretty much everyone on the planet. As humans, we only care about things that impact us in some way. The truth is, suicide is influencing more and more people in this generation because the rates are so high.
You can blame social media, the government or substance abuse – whatever it is, suicide is everyone’s problem now.
Suicide is a disease. I call it that because it is one, a life threatening disease like cancer or any other physical illness. It takes lives in the most devastating way, but we need national holidays like this to make people more aware of it and that’s wrong.
As someone who has first-hand experienced a suicidal mindset, and lost someone close to me to the disease, even hearing the word makes me feel a lot of emotion. It’s the horrible word that nobody wants to talk about, or knows what to say when you bring it up and that is part of the problem.
The biggest thing that lets suicide victims down is the support of finding a way out. I get it completely. There is no direct way out and recovery seems impossible. I’ve been let down by healthcare systems and understand just how easy it can be to give up any hope, when no hope is shown to you.
But one thing that I will always stand by is that there is no more powerful help than the help you can give yourself. No mind-numbing medication, class A drug or therapy session can help your situation like self help can.
So, on this very important day I’ve decided to share every little thing that has helped me personally along the way. Every journey is different and we all cope in different ways. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s all been an easy ride because it hasn’t, I’ve went through some really harmful and damaging ways of coping. But those things didn’t help me out of a dark place and won’t help you either. It’s these things that have done all the work.
Change is Good
The saying ‘you can’t get better where you got sick’ speaks volumes to me. I remember reading it and a huge realisation hit me, when I was at my worst.
If you are spending time in the same places, doing the same things with the same people then you cannot expect growth.
I’ve been there and it’s not fun to remove yourself from toxic environments, believe me. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do, but the most powerful way of changing your mental state. I’ve packed up my things and moved houses, cut people off and stopped habits to try and find a better place.
This is so hard to do and so easy to Avoid because we are so wrapped up in our little worlds with our people, doing our same old things that it can seem impossible to change. It is too easy to remain where you are because changing seems so difficult. But it is so worth it.
I knew I wasn’t going to get better where I was, so I spent a lot of time alone and isolated. I was sick of feeling guilty knowing I shouldn’t be in a certain harmful environment but doing absolutely nothing about it. If I didn’t spend this time distancing myself away from what was toxic to me, I would never have grown – and believe me I have came so far in this past year through time alone.
The choice is to either remain where you are and let the hole sink deeper, or take control of your life and change the things that don’t serve you any good anymore.
Notice Your Pattern
When are you at your lowest? What triggers your dark moments in life? We all have various triggers which lead to a certain frame of mind. Whether it’s alcohol, your job, a certain relationship or conversation, there will be a certain cause for your seriously down days.
I understand that depression and suicide is weird, because we can literally wake up one morning and feel really down with no obvious explanation why. However, there are always certain situations which we feel lower than usual.
For me, alcohol was a big one. We all know alcohol is a depressant, but for me in particular my lowest days would probably be after a heavy night. Some people will suffer a few hours of hangover in the morning, but I would be (and usually still am) completely off for sometimes up to an entire week after the night. It completely threw me off for the entire week and I just wouldn’t feel right.
So I avoided these situations. Don’t get me wrong, I still drink and have a good time. I identify this to be a damaging thing and just avoid it completely when I’m in a low place. When I’m feeling good enough, I’ll go out and drink but when I’m low and I know it will make me a million times worse, I’ll (try) and find the strength to just stay in or do something else instead.
It’s about understanding your own strength. Sometimes you know you’re in a low place and you think ‘I shouldn’t really be going out to drink’ but you do anyway, even though you know and dread how awful you’re going to feel afterwards. I promise you there is nothing better than waking up fresh on a Sunday morning knowing you did the right thing for your mental health.
Just Give it a Try
I hate to be one of those Instagram people who constantly share Vex King quotes and pictures of their self-help books, but the main thing that has changed my mindset is books.
Self help books are my little pick me up when I can’t afford a £100-per-hour therapy session. They can change your entire mindset, and inspire you to view the world differently. Don’t knock them until you try them, my favourite ones are:
Good Vibes Good Life by Vex King (follow his Instagram to be inspired daily)
If reading isn’t your thing, get them on an audiobook and just listen to the words. It feels like someone comforting you and talking you out of your own thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can be deafening, and to survive we do anything we can to make them stop. These books are a great medication for harmful thoughts, and have saved my life in many ways.
Removing Toxic Energy
When you are sick, your energy is low in more ways than one. When faced with suicide, it’s time to be selfish in your own recovery.
When you’re trying so hard to stay alive every single day, you simply don’t have the strength to take on the strain of other peoples problems as well as your own.
If you need to cut someone out to focus on your own recovery, that’s okay. If they truly care about you then they will understand. If someone is not serving you or helping your recovery, and doing nothing but take energy from you, then ur may be time to remove them from your life for your own good.
You will never grow more than the way you grow on your own. I am so intolerant of other people who drain my energy because I am so focused on getting myself to a better place, and that’s fine. It’s okay to be a little selfish when your own life is at stake.
The Importance of a Routine
When you are suicidal, you have a tendency to break away from a normal routine. Whether this is through sleep or completely disregarding all of your responsibilities, it is fairly common for people at this low stage to just do nothing.
The reason behind this is a loss of hope, with no motivation to do anything because you just don’t see the point anymore.
I cannot stress how important it is to have something that will get you out of bed in the morning. The most harmful thing you can possibly do to feed your depression is nothing, because this makes it even harder to turn it around.
Have you ever watched Ricky Gervais’ After Life? He shows it well with his relationship with his dog. He sees the dog as a reason to carry on because he has a responsibility, to feed the dog who depends on him every day.
As humans, we are always desperate to find out our purpose on life. Suicidal people see no purpose, or reason for them to be here. They don’t believe they bring any good to the world. Every single person on this planet impacts a life, which is why the after math suicide can be so devastating. You may no see it, but you have a purpose. Find that purpose however small it may be and fill it, every single day.
Worrying Serves Nothing
I believe that the most intelligent people are the most troubled. Those with higher brain capacity tend to worry more, because more thoughts pass through their brain than normal.
Intelligent people are over thinkers, and over thinkers tend to be troubled. People drive themselves to suicide through their own minds, as they truly can be a terrifying place if we neglect it.
I am a worrier, I worry about everything possible and I overthink every aspect of my life. But one thing I’ve learnt throughout my worrying is that it serves absolutely nothing. Everything runs its course, sometimes we are faced with negative outcomes and sometimes positive – but we’re still here.
There is a huge difference between being careful with your life and worrying. Worrying serves absolutely nothing in your life, and chances are will not change the outcome. I have a much more relaxed view on the world than I did last year – although as someone with panic disorder, this is probably still way more intense than the average person.
Through every problem in my life, my worrying seems pointless now and it’s all worked out. When I remind myself of this, I am reminded that my current worries will be the same, and end up as a distant memory in the past which I look back on one day In the future to see, once again, how useless the worrying really was.
A Whole Lot of Effort
The reason I was stuck for so long in such a dark place was simply because I didn’t do anything to change it. Looking back, I’m not sure whether I thought something was going to magically appear at my door and help me out. One thing I do know, is that it took a whole lot of effort to get me out of there.
Nobody, and I mean not a single soul, on this planet can help you out if you aren’t willing to put some effort in. Only you can change your own life, no one else.
You’re going to have to do some pretty scary stuff to make progress, and it won’t always be easy. Take it from someone who knows, coming out of the other end and looking back on the progress you made is absolutely priceless and you will feel unstoppable. After all, if you have survived a battle against your own mind, nothing will ever scare you again.
There’s no room for self pity in recovery. It’s you against the world.