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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / How do you take the first step

Topic: How do you take the first step

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Bonker
    Bonker avatar
    3 posts
    14 April 2022

    Hi,

    1st time posting however have looked at the material on the site a number of times. Have also sought practitioner help previously and talked certain things through.

    All advice provided matched what i knew i should do be doing. Walk, exercise, plan and structure my life, find something i enjoy to do, spend time with friends and family etc.

    What i seem to struggle with is taking the first step.

    I did bring my thoughts up with my closest mates as i wanted one of them to be the support person as suggested on the safety plan, but they then panicked and did not want to leave me alone which i definitely dont want

    I still think about it daily whether it is just a passing thought, a plan or reminding myself i need to make a will to ensure everything goes to my children.

    What is the best way to stop making excuses for not starting my exercise, or walking or planning. I want to start, i know i need to, i know i want to but i will always find something else to do. Even just stare at a wall and think of what i need to do even though i have thought or planned it a hundred times before.

    Any advice other than booking an appontment with someone be appreciated as i know what i need to do, i just dont seem to be able to start.

    Thank you.

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    11060 posts
    14 April 2022 in reply to Bonker

    Dear Bonker~

    I'm glad you came here, as you have found out mere theoretical knowledge of what to do is not enough, also confiding in someone who is easily worried and overreacts certaily has it's down-side.

    I guess the best I can offer is my own experience, which might be some help.

    Looking back now a lot of the reasons I did not take steps to help myself boiled down to fear, that's fear of embarking on a course of action and finding it did not work. In some ways it was better not to start, so it was always there as 'a last resort'

    Added to that was what people might think of me if I did something that was obviously an exercise to reduce suicidality (such as a relaxation exercise or meditation).

    I did end up taking steps, but that was only after attempts which I was in a position to keep to myself. The changing point came when firstly things so so bad I couldn't stand being as I was. And secondly I found I did not know everything, so all might not be actually hopeless even if I personally could not see a way out and there was therefore a possibility outside help could make matters better (which it certainly did)

    You already know the saying "The longest journey starts wiht the smallest step". Can I suggest you find what is simplest, takes the least effort and try to do that? Even if it is only something which might have a small positive effect then it is still something - and you have made a step!

    Anything from brushing you teeth to making cheese-on-toast to picking a flower to ... well, you get the idea.

    If you ever do try to find a friend you may find you have to train the listener. So they do not try to fix, offer impractical suggestions or smother you in precautions. Their job is simple (but hard to do), just listen and care and maybe offer some perspective - nothing else.

    Unlike you I confided in someone who cared, was practical and didn't panic -I was lucky there.

    So what do you think?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Bonker
    Bonker avatar
    3 posts
    15 April 2022 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Think your reasoning around fear of it will not work is pretty accurate. I know that is one of the things i hate about myself is some of the decisions i have made. Knowing in my gut it is the wrong decision but still doing it to keep others happy has been a problem of mine for years.

    I hate the person i have become, i know i cant go back to the person i was, but for some reason i dont even know what person i want to be.

    I also struggle to talk or open up at the best of time, so agree finding the right person is important and difficult.

    I have also been through this a number of years ago after my 1st divorce. Thought after that experience i would be stronger, more aware.

    Being introspective and working through this however also opened up other memories i had deleted.

    I know i got through with lots of exercise and real focus.

    Is why i need this first step as am all over the place and cannot seem to focus at all. I need the exercise, i know it can start with just 10 push ups but for some reason it just doesnt.

    Sure your right about it being fear of it not working. Maybe also some concern that it may make me fitter, but still wont help me like myself

  4. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    11060 posts
    15 April 2022 in reply to Bonker

    Dear Bonker~

    I think for most people -you, me, others- how one feels abut oneself is indeed a result of lookng back on the decisions one has made, though that can be a bit of a trap. Often there was less choice than one might think, and maybe that is an easier thing for an outsider to see.

    Trying to please others is incredibly common, and may come about for all sorts of reasons - anything for a desire for a quiet life though to downright fear. Sadly it has the effect of leaving us convinced we are less worthy.

    Trying ot aim to be a particular type of person would not work for me. Like you I have no idea of what I'd like -or should - be. Instead I guess I simply keep on looking at the decisions I've made and watched their nature change over time. So it boils down to past and current decisions making me who I am and the person I'm heading for.

    I suppose if you were fitter that would not make you feel worse, conceivably even feel a bit better about yourself. What might make more of a difference is lookng back and seeing you made the decision to take a step. Please remember it does not have ot be a big step, or fitness-oriented (like picking a flower perhaps) . Steps can have a momentum of their own leading towards your goal.

    Actually I'd not want to step back and be the person I was, I think I'm better now for having experienced the bad as well as the good. True some memories are horrible, can't be avoided, but maybe lived with in time. as new memories overlay them.

    I don't know if what I'm trying to say makes any sense - what do you think?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Bonker
    Bonker avatar
    3 posts
    16 April 2022 in reply to Croix

    Yes Croix,

    Definitely making sense. 1 day at a time and start with the little successes. I do like to plan things out and be structured in how i approach. Just seem to be all over the place at the moment and whilst am planning things just not getting them done.

    From your advice I did manage to get 10 push ups done this morning cleaned the car and polished half of it so will take that as a success

    Brain is working overtime atm I really need my focus back to get rid of these thoughts and memories. Exercise has helped in the past so need to somehow just throw myself into it.

    So anxious and dont want to have anyone around or near me.

    Thank you for your advice really appreciate it. Will try to keep working on it.

  6. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    6276 posts
    16 April 2022 in reply to Bonker

    hello and welcome.

    the loss of motivation to do or want to do things can make things difficult. Or so it was for me. At the same time, I found out that if / when I did start something, eventually I would get into it and it would turn out ok. Yet one walk to the botanical gardens and sitting in the grass does not make everything better. That takes time.

    Like yourself, I had to the recognise the positive in the small things. This is important. We have to start somewhere.

    There were many other things I would have to do as well. If you are interested I can share of these as well.

    Equally important I feel is the ability to chat with someone about what you are going through. Now you might be starting here, but that is a start and is also a positive. To be able to talk about what you are going through takes courage and strength. It may or may not feel feel like that, but in posting here you are tackling the issue head on.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11060 posts
    16 April 2022 in reply to Bonker

    Dear Bonker~

    Don't just casually say you will take that as a success, it is a great victory!

    There is a trap I tend to fall into which is to judging myself with the same standards when I'm ill the same as when I'm well. This leads to feeling I'm failing, and all that follows from that. In fact this habit is downright silly and is simply a recipe for failure. Victories come in different sizes and shapes when one is trying to overcome internal problems.

    I've found that doing my exercises off cold with no motivation is hard (and used to often gets skipped). Nowadays I've got a gimmick. I like eBooks and podcasts but limit myself to listening either when driving or doing exercises (and Dr's waiting rooms of course :(

    When exercise finishes I stop listening. As I choose things I particularly enjoy and know I'll not hear more until my next exercise period I'm a bit sorry when the exercise routines are completed, and starting them again another time is easier, becuse I'm looking forward to continuing ot listen.

    You mentioned not wanting anyone around. I've found if my mind is totally occupied with anxiety I don't have room in it to concentrate on people as well, so there are times I too wish to be alone.

    Good luck with the other half of the car

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Chris_Tas
    Chris_Tas avatar
    267 posts
    20 April 2022 in reply to Bonker

    I don't agree with others that exercise is key, keep motivated and distracted etc etc.

    If you were mentally ok you'd be doing that already.

    You aren't and neither was I and the whole exercise/distraction thing isn't the best place to start imo.

    You require far more specific mental help above that to then be able to successfully implement it.

    Good luck either way as we are different in what works.

    Chris

    1 person found this helpful

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