Suicide is a very, very serious topic. It’s all too common, too, being the sole cause for the death for around one million people each year.(1) That isn’t even counting the people who attempted, or the people who have thought about attempting, This is a depressing topic, but it’s an important one for all the reasons I just mentioned. In this post, I would like to offer some personalized advice on what I’ve done to work through my own struggles with suicide and suicidal ideation. Keep in mind that my strategies might not work for everyone, and that if you are seriously struggling with suicidal thoughts, you should seek professional help immediately. You can also call 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
I’ve had some crazy nights in my life—and no, I don’t mean the partying kind, filled with late nights and loud music. By crazy, I actually mean terrifying. For me, suicidal thoughts have often occurred late into the night, when I can’t sleep and my depressive thoughts start to gather in my brain like moths to a light. There have been one too many nights where I’ve come close to my window and have envisioned myself jumping out. Honestly, I had thought about it way too many times, and I’ve thought of almost every method imaginable.
This was during an especially bad period during my life, when I was in an abusive situation, and I’d like to clarify that I’m alright now, but thinking about back then…it’s still hard to think about. One of the more helpful resources that I had was the internet, the lovely service that you’re using right now. The internet just has so many wonderful services that have helped me get through a lot of my roughest periods. With resources aplenty, such as forums, videos, and even podcasts, I never had to feel completely alone. I was able to contextualize my struggle and envision coming out the other side. And for that I’m incredibly thankful.
The internet is also an incredible distraction. It was honestly so, so useful for me during those incredibly dangerous nights. Sometimes all you need to keep yourself away from a dangerous move is a cute or funny video. While distractions aren’t long-term solutions to suicidal thoughts, they work well as a temporary band-aid for someone in a crisis situation.
When I wasn’t surfing the internet, I found that creating things helped me tremendously. From writing, to painting, to music, to creative video editing—I’ve done it all! I felt so free when I was creating (and I still do); nothing felt better to me than pumping out a good vent piece to let my frustrations and sadness out. Creating art is a healthy and fun way to help ease suicidal thoughts or actions, and I will always recommend it one hundred percent—even if you don’t think you’re a particularly creative person. Who knows? Maybe you just need to find the form of art that you enjoy.
The last and probably the best way to work through suicidal thoughts is to talk through them with someone you trust. Even if that someone is a suicide hotline operator. Just talking to someone about it was always such a relief for me—and I’m sure it could help you, too, if you’re going through similar. There’s nothing better than talking to someone who actually cares and who listens to you—and trust me, they’re out there. People want to help you. Even I want to help you, and I hope I have. As I mentioned earlier: if you’re struggling with any amount or degree of suicidal thoughts or ideation, you should definitely seek help if you haven’t already. It’s urgent! Never feel afraid to get the help that you deserve and need. Stay safe, and be kind to yourself.
1 – “Suicide Statistics.” Befrienders Worldwide, https://www.befrienders.org/suicide-statistics
2 – Crosby, Alex E., et al. “Incidence of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior in the United States.”, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 30 Dec. 2010, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1943-278X.1999.tb01051.x