It has been months since it I’ve had a sucicidal thought.
And while I know that I am not circling the drain, it is still a bit unnerving to have a suicidal thought flash in my head. Things have really been going well. I am healthy and am finally beginning to shed some of my Covid pounds. There have been many positive occasions in the past few months.
A wedding, a first birthday, several in-person family get-togethers, and a 40th wedding anniversary.
So why the flashes of “let’s just end it?” Maybe it is because I am mad at myself for listening to depression. I don’t have to look far to see where I could have made better decisions. Things would be different had depression not shown me a path that I ended up adopting.
Depression may have had secretive ideas, but I carried them out.
It was I that implemented the early retirement plan. This put me on a new path when I returned to work. Companies change and adapt as they grow. My new path is tied to the new standards, benefits, and compensation packages. I understand that and it more than meets my needs and those of my family.
However, over the course of 40+ years, had I not followed depression’s lead, things would be markedly different.
So, I am blaming myself for where I am now. And I am tossing out the suicide card as a knee-jerk reaction to what I am seeing. Thoughts of “if you were not here, you wouldn’t have to deal with this” are a way to interpret my thoughts. And a way for me to not take responsibility for my actions, regardless of how they came about. I come back to see that I always have 3 choices.
1) end it,
2) do the same thing and expect a different result, or
3) change my attitude towards the situation.
Having spent most of my adult life doing the same thing, while expecting a different outcome, I can say with confidence that this doesn’t work. It’s the one place I might use the word crazy, but that is not PC. But trying this approach gave me comfort over the years and was my go-to move as depression would outline its newest plan for me.
Committing suicide is, for me, the most frightening choice of the three.
I know death is inevitable for all of us, but I am nowhere near ready. And I certainly have not come to terms with my own mortality. Down the road, I feel that there will be a time when I accept and understand what’s next, but that time is not now.
There is too much I want to do.
And going out on the cheap is not part of my plan, regardless of what flashes into my head. And that’s the thing, I do not dwell on these thoughts. I do not have a master plan. My days are not filled with hatching plans for ending my life. In fact, my days are just the opposite. Which makes this current patch of thoughts worthy of consideration. These thoughts may be from jealousy about what could have been.
This spirals me into woulda, coulda, shoulda…
And that can begin a cycle that will lead me back to the abyss. I recognize that and have written out, with the help of peer advocates and medical professionals, a Wellness Recovery Action Plan. This plan lists clear signs of what I look like when I am well. And it shows what I look like when things are a little off-kilter.
Best of all, this plan also lists actions I can take to get back on track.
Before going into the hospital, I did not have a plan. I did not understand that I had a support group. And I really wasn’t interested in what depression, and I was up to. My only thoughts were to get past it as quickly as possible and then sweep it under the rug as if nothing had happened.
Deniability was my keyword.
If I ignored it, if I didn’t acknowledge depression, then I didn’t have it. If I didn’t say depression out loud, then I was not suffering from depression. And the occasional thoughts of suicide were further proof that I needed to ignore what I was thinking. With so many people depending on me, there was no way that I could not be perfect.
In the end, there are events I cannot control, but I can control my attitude towards them.
And I feel sorry for my current situation because I am stuck thinking about what might have been. All I end up doing is giving in to unhelpful thinking. Going back and correcting my past decisions is not possible. Feeling sorry for myself because of past decisions is not healthy. Getting back to the good in my life is where I need to focus.
I have so much to be thankful for, so much I appreciate about my Ife.
I love getting up in the morning because I learn something new every day.
These are words I live by. I really am surprised at all the new things I learn. Wallowing around at a pity party is not my idea of a good time. But I know I do that and maybe why I am having these suicidal thoughts.
All of this is not moving me forward.
Recognizing what is going on is the first step towards fixing it. And I, once again, see that I am listening to the dark side, and not focusing on the positive. So, my goal today is to find the positive in situations. Using mindfulness meditation practice, I envision these negative thoughts floating down the stream. I can see them stuck to a leaf that is being pulled by the current. Soon, they have rounded the bend and I cannot see them.
I am thankful for the support I have as I go forward.
Not only do I have a written plan, but I also have peer support who I can call anytime, and I have a team of professionals who want the best for me. And I have support from family and friends. This means so much.