This article ONLY outlines my own personal experience and should NOT be taken as a general medical advice. ALWAYS contact emergency when you fear your loved ones are going for it.
Having that said, I will do my best to explain what might have prevented my attempts.
I recently re-discovered that old feeling I always used to have when I wanted to take my own life, when I planned for it and when I executed it. The only difference used to be whether I managed to talk myself out of it or not, and when I couldn’t, if I had the courage to take the plunge. This is the hardest decision a person can face, in my experience. I did contemplate suicide more than once a day, on average, for a couple of decades, but that is a bit different. It’s one thing contemplating it and another thing going for it. Having that said, anyone that goes for it, contemplates it first.
Feeling -> Thought -> Action.
This feeling is hard to describe. It’s a mixed state of emotions, feels like one thing, but can still be described as some of the following:
Detachment from the world, deep sadness, constant loneliness, extended melancholia, severe hopelessness, no understanding from others, extended feeling of not being appreciated by one’s most important people, and so forth, but even these words can’t quite describe it. The feeling I’ve had prior to trying to take my own life, is hard to describe. It’s like a black hole. There is NOTHING inside. Motivation doesn’t work when I’m in that state, but a hug does wonders.
Once this feeling gets to manifest itself as a thought, that’s where the problem begins. Once this feeling becomes the foundation of decision making, it becomes a Master so powerful, that during these very vain hours, that Master becomes irrestistible to serve. It’s almost as if Satan decided to collect a soul today and it makes so good sense to just give in. Reason is definately not around when we go that far down. My standard thought was; “If I die, then an unemployed person can take my job, my parents can rent the room to someone finishing their education,” and so on. Anything that would make the world a better place without me in it.
You see, I ALWAYS chose this way out from a standpoint of servitude towards society. Once a person believes they’re the most worthless human being, dying becomes a service to improve the world, by raising the world’s average quality of human beings. In this state I never saw charity as a better solution, the darkness is so big, so deep, that nothing good can be seen. Reason doesn’t serve evil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the thought of serving society with death, was a common element in the minds of young people that chose to die after rape and/or bullying. So be careful about how you treat people. There’s no reason to be indirectly responsible for another person’s tragedy.
It’s possible to cut the ties between feeling and thought, and thereby prevent the action.
Recently, I managed to cut the ties between feeling and thought, through months of daily exercises, by turning every little negative in my mind into a positive. I’m working on an article to explain this method. What happened was almost like a miracle. The other day when the suicidal thought returned, it didn’t become a part of the thought process that has to do with decisions. It was a negative experience, but it didn’t become a negative choice. For the first time in like twenty five years! 🙂 Biggest victory of my life! I’m working on an article on how to turn ANY negative into a positive. Hope to have it soon, because it’s so important for everything in life.
How to deal with a person so far down?
Had someone walked in on me and seen what I was up to, the only logical approach I can advice, is to give the sufferer a hug and hold them, until they let go. Let them cry, it’s important to get the stress out, so you can talk sense to us afterwards. After the hugging, you help the person to go to a place of calm, like a chair, sofa, bed and so forth. There you calm them down, like you would with a baby, stroke our foreheads, and talk gently about what you like about us, with a great feal of compassion and sympathy, and not a word about what we just did. A great tool that I often use to calm upset friends, is to remind them on things they like; “Hey, remember that steak last x-mas, man that was nice!”
Generousity is the opposite of hostility.
Once we start settling in, you go for water/drink, maybe some food or whatever you know that person likes. Place it at the table and then just sit there and wait while their heads calm down enough to being the talking. If it’s appropriate, then physical intimacy would have been such a God’s gift.
Once we’re crawling out of the dark and beginning to feel trust, that’s when you ask why.
And when you get the why, that’s where you have to stay neutral. Don’t go emotional, they need to rest. Don’t be indifferent, we need the understanding, also when you don’t know what to say. Just nod and say “Mhm,” “Oh my God, I didn’t know.” Let us feel as if we are right about EVERYTHING, because otherwise we won’t talk and then the cycle begins building up again and then “suddenly,” two years later, another attempt.
Choosing the right person to help, can make or break a future attempt.
Once it comes time to get proper help from professionals, that’s where your relation/friendship comes to a very demanding and a frustrating test, because I know from my experience, that when so far down in the dark, trusting, especially authority that can take your freedom away if you go insane, becomes impossible.
Suicidal people don’t always make sense, because some of us are actually in psychosis, which is a state where a person may be in another reality and with completely new rules from society, that no one else has ever heard about. But it’s still reality for them.
You have to let us feel as if we are making perfect sense and everything we say is totally real and reasonable. Just like raising a little kid. There is no difference, because when so down, we are like lost little children that no one loves.
A good friend knows when and how to lie for support. I know it sounds twisted, but an appropriate lie at the right time, in the right way, when told to a sick person, can actually build trust.
So how to help a suicidal person get proper help?
The phase that now begins is the phase where proper help can be sought and accepted, but only if trust has been established first. That is why it’s so important to help us find the right person to talk with. So many times I’ve gone to random shrinks and doctors and come out worse than when I entered. Just talking with a psychiatrist won’t cut it when people are on the edge, in fact it doesn’t matter if it’s Dr. Phil or a nurse, as long as we feel safe.
I went for help three years ago and was ridiculed by my doctor because I was smoking weed at the time; “You’re not Bi-Polar, you’re just a hippy that thinks that drugs are the solution.”
I tried to take my life twice after that meeting. So DO NOT underestimate the importance of what kind of personality will be treating your loved one. I would recommend a person in this state, going to therapy with a trusted ally on their side.
- For your sake of trust.
- For the sake of the professional to get a clear picture of your actual behaviour, because of possible memory issues.
- To have a person you trust, judge the motives of the professional. Some of them show up to work for the money. Some of them do it for you.
Our brains are often so damaged from the stress we undergo until we make the decision, that things like memory and reason, can sometimes be jeopardized. Again, strictly my own personal experience and no science to back this claim up. I can only swear by how it was for me.
And at last, CALL THE EMERGENCY HOTLINE, immediately. Also when it doesn’t look serious, because it hardly ever did in my case. I hid my motives so well and when people thought they’d talked me to a happier place, it didn’t last very long. Being suicidal is not something that we decide suddenly, it’s a very long process and it doesn’t end the day we start getting help.
There are so many complex reasons behind various attempts, like abuse, rape, war, crime, grief and what not, that just because someone didn’t kill them selves, doesn’t mean they won’t try another day. Being suicidal hardly ever leads to suicide from day-to-day, but one day it can happen and no one realized that it was coming. I want that to change. I want us to cut the ties between feeling and action when things go bad.
I wrote this article to open up the taboo and help us build an internet database of methods that can work to save lives in the future. I didn’t live in hell for so many years without getting something out of it.
May today bring peace, love and happiness to you and yours,