Friday, October 9, 2009

If You Are Thinking About Suicide

This post is for anyone who needs help now. (This is one of several posts for crisis support that I will link to on the sidebar for easy reference.)

First, please be safe. You deserve it. I know there are times when everything is overwhelming or you feel so much anger or self-hatred or despair that the easiest thing to do is to think about ending it all. I've been there, and it is a painful, isolating place to be. I am sorry you are experiencing this, and I'd like to do what I can to help. This post is for things that have helped me; please feel free to add more resources or even words of support in the comments.

One time when I couldn't stop thinking about suicide, I came across this page here, and it actually reached through to me. Here is one passage I reread over and over again when I needed it:

"Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain."

That's all it's about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, because you feel suicidal. It doesn't even mean that you really want to die - it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weights... no matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do with it. Of course you would cheer yourself up, if you could.

Don't accept it if someone tells you, "that's not enough to be suicidal about." There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide. Whether or not the pain is bearable may differ from person to person. What might be bearable to someone else, may not be bearable to you. The point at which the pain becomes unbearable depends on what kinds of coping resources you have. Individuals vary greatly in their capacity to withstand pain.

When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It  is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources.

It is all right to feel how you are feeling. You are not weak or terrible. It takes a lot of courage to live through what you are living through, and you do have that strength, even though sometimes it's hard to find it.

If you need someone to talk to, please know that there are people out there who care. Try these:

Please reach out to someone and let them help you. You deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I've never seen that point, that "pain greater than coping resources => suicidal thoughts", expressed so well and clearly. Thank you for pointing out the quote and links.

    Btw, the link to The Samaritans, the first in the list at the end of the post, has an extraneous "%0A" at the end of the URL.