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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / When all is lost....what can you do? Be radical (Part 2)

Topic: When all is lost....what can you do? Be radical (Part 2)

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    5 September 2020

    In part 1 I raised the notion of being radical, indeed any action at all, in avoiding suicidal thoughts or plans.

    It is 24 years ago I made my one and only attempt on my life, one of my siblings suicided as did an uncle and my sister had an attempt as well.

    I recall vividly that I had zero vision of anything other than escape. Now, much wiser, more aware and in 2008 a diagnosis of bipolar I’m able to see the warning signs. But there is two assets I possess that will guarantee I will never fall into that well again, they are-

    1/ Positive thinking. I’ve attended motivation lectures, read books on how to transform from negative thinking to positive etc. Positive thinking won’t prevent depressive cycles but will help you kick start your life when coming out of those periods.

    Being a positive person makes recognising negative people easy and one feels sorry for these sad souls that simply don’t enjoy life.

    2/ A safety plan. Your own safety plan can be as simply as being radical in actions providing of course you let loved ones know you are ok.

    A change of immediate environment is a good concept. A walk or if you are ok to do so, a drive to a beach or attend a movie. It’s all about having faith things are bad for a short time only. Once you’ve accepted same and your depressive cycle begins (or triggers), then you’ll be aware of such steps so you can avoid the suicidal path.

    All this seems ..well, logical but we aren’t logical when on the way to self harm.

    Now, imagine you are stranded in a small island alone. What would you do in the first 48 hours? Write SOS with rocks on a beach? Make shelter? Find water, food etc. That’s logical yes? Then such survival instincts are automatic- but instincts are absent in us when we are deeply depressed hence the need for a plan.

    What do you think? Do you have a plan? Does it include important contacts like lifeline, Dads in distress or Beyondblue? Or is it worth avoidance strategies as I’ve mentioned?

    TonyWK

    5 people found this helpful
  2. Guest_1643
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    5 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony

    You're right that we need to take self-protective, logical steps - so impossible to do in crises - but having the safety plan is a major help to me.
    I've been using some things from my safety plan lately. I know without a doubt that if I didn't have these things written down on a safety plan, I'd never ever consider trying them in my darkest moments - I'd decide in advance that they were useless and a waste of time.

    Having a safety plan for me jumps over these defence mechanisms and helps me get what I need in crises.

    4 people found this helpful
  3. Elizabeth CP
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    5 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    I have been struggling badly. Combination of lots of stress & then removal of normal means of coping due to covid lockdown. I understand the need for lockdown & need the pandemic to be controlled but that doesn't stop it harming me.

    I spoke to my psych re how I've been feeling & the fact that I overreact to even minor things but then are left feeling very emotional for hours. My GP is concerned re my high blood pressure caused by stress rather than anything physical.

    Yesterday, something made me feel angry & upset with my husband & situation we were in. My reaction was definitely an over reaction. I decided to follow the plan recommended by my psych- I took off in the car, I'd grabbed face mask first. I'd already had a printed copy of the letter my psych had written for me to show the police if I was stopped in the glove box, I drove to a park a bit further than the 5km we are allowed to go but it gave me a safe place to park away from others & the chance to walk on my own near a lake until I calmed down & then returned home. For some reason getting away from my home environment including the streets I normally walk seemed to help I did feel guilty travelling further than I am supposed to but tried to remind myself I had the letter & my psych had told me to give the police his number if they questioned me.

    My psych has also asked me to go out twice a week on my own for a couple of hours as a regular thing to help me reduce my stress levels & enable me to cope. Normally this would seem like a minor thing but in the current restrictions following these recommendations is very radical.

    While my plan is very different to other people's but what it shows is how important it is to be prepared prior to needing to follow it. In my example having discussed what to do prior to the situation really helped & having prepared by putting the letter in the car meant I could go when I needed rather than having to worry about printing the letter or going & then worrying about not having evidence that I was following medical advice not trying to break the law.

    The other thing is being realistic. -In my example no point in telling myself to stop getting upset, stressed & angry. Accepting that life is difficult ATM & my ability to control my emotion as much as I'd like is not good under the current circumstances means having a plan to deal with the situation was important

    4 people found this helpful
  4. Guest_1643
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    6 September 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Elizabeth,

    i liked to read about how your psych works with you to put you first - that is very caring. Self-care can seem so radical, as I think society sometimes programmes us to put ourselves last. Or that self-care is selfish. Thank you for showing us all and reminding us to be radically kind to ourselves

    2 people found this helpful
  5. ecomama
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    6 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK, what a spectacularly useful thread!

    Yes I would think having a plan would help alot. I haven't been suicidal for years now but there are warning signs of thinking in certain ways for me.

    If i'm in extreme distress, the first thing I do is call a Helpline. The major traumas of my life have been DV & FV so 1800RESPECT has been brilliant and they have notes on myself and my family... therefore I'm put through to a trauma psych to speak with.
    I may cry a LOT on the call but I always feel a ton better by the end.

    So my 2nd go to is to drink cold water.

    I avoid alcohol entirely as it turns the volume up on any thoughts and feelings.
    I also avoid driving unless I drive straight to buy a chai latte and to the waterfront to cry, read, view the water and usually all 3 lol. I also do the latte run and park at the waterfront when I'm happy or if it's a beautiful day some times.

    For me, depression was / is suppressed anger, frustration, sadness.

    It's like on a spectrum for me.... depression way down left, suppression from the mid line to the left. So when I notice my feelings going left towards depression.... I do an activity that matches the feeling.

    These work for me:
    For anger - "Angry cleaning".... heavy cleaning housework or heavy gardening work.
    For frustration - get out of the house. Take dog for walk or if safe, do the latte run.
    For sadness - I journal, cry, sleep, cuddle a pet or child, text a friend, have a hot bath with Netflix on. Not all at once lol.

    For any day, in any mood or in any state, I pop on the forums.

    EM

    3 people found this helpful
  6. white knight
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    6 September 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi everyone, Thankyou for your contributions all of which are so valuable.

    For a few years my own safety plan that I didn’t even know was one was taking the advice of my most cherished guru “Maharaji Prem Rawat “ that has many Youtube videos.

    You climb the nearest hill and watch a sunset, have you ever watched a sun...set? It takes two hours, how many of us have done that.

    No distractions, sit there and watch the most beautiful process, hear the birds, rest, let your tears fall.

    Google

    YouTube Maharaji sunset

    YouTube Maharaji the perfect instrument

    YouTube Maharaji appreciate

    These videos ground me just like the beach, a lake with ducks or a child’s hug.

    Again Thankyou for your replies, imagine how many readers will now create a safety plan from your examples

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  7. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    6 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    THE CORNER OF THE BUSH

    Giving society a gentle push
    arrived at the corner of the bush
    moved fast lane aside for harmony
    closer to ones own destiny

    Shadow moon shines infinitely
    night owls a symphony
    sitting, arms in Buddha pose
    allow a spider to dance upon your nose

    Furry paws best caring hand
    no mask needed in wonderland
    no internet, no dog, no bone
    all the stones are never thrown

    In the corner of the bush
    give society a gentle push
    blending bark with your skin
    protesters nearby - but they wont win

    Children nearby 'hide and seek'
    Strength mustered as I weep
    fun and more fun echoes around
    some life lived- some never found

    Further and further into branches and leaves
    like us- do animals grieve?
    bush has no need for duck and weave
    only matter- what you believe

    Hark the bells of sanity
    no mirror for your vanity
    cyber rocks thrown from a cowards lair
    I'm in the bush- no quarry there

    Trip over plastic traps
    cradle broken bird in your lap
    send society off with that push
    from the corner of the bush.......

    TonyWK


    2 people found this helpful
  8. Guest_1643
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    6 September 2020 in reply to white knight
    hi all thank you for sharing your self-care processes.

    Tony, you nearly brought tears to my eyes... at a particularly low time in my life I went to a small country house air bnb alone - on a big farm. I sat in the barn cottage at night, (it was Summer) with a blanket and tea and watched the sun set over the beautiful expansive horizon, accross the trees, kissing the tops of the heads of the alpacas and horses, on the farm. I was alone with the universe. Watching the sun set is magical. I sat there for two hours and took it all in, and will never forget it.
    2 people found this helpful
  9. white knight
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    6 September 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    Thankyou Sleepy

    that means a lot to me.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  10. white knight
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    7 September 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi EM,

    Im impressed with how you categorise your symptoms and used certain distractions according to that symptom. I’ve never done that.

    In another thread (Distraction and variety) I highlight the importance of distraction but to divide those distractions up is another useful idea.

    Thankyou

    TonyWK

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  11. ecomama
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    7 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Thanks TonyWK, what "works" for people can be so different for each person but having a MENU and choices is empowering in itself.

    I love this thread because it will help provide that "menu".

    Your sun set scene is peaceful and beautiful.

    During my most depressive times, I found night time extremely difficult. The darkness and relative quiet seemed to close in on me. Despair often washed through me.

    So remembering that sun will RISE in the morning and saying that as a mantra then watching the sun rise - which I can see from my balcony - is like a fresh start, a new beginning.

    The endless possibilities of this new day.

    Holding onto those thoughts on repeat (which takes discipline) helped changed my mindset.

    LOVE your poem!

    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  12. white knight
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    7 September 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Thank you EM.

    If readers feel comfortable please post. We are talking about survival techniques that avoid suicidal thoughts and plans.

    I want to mention "courage". It comes in various forms but courage won't imo stop suicidal thoughts and plans but it might deflect the actual event and save you. Let me explain-

    Our illnesses contribute to our emotional fragility as does our relationships and environment financial pressures and loneliness. So contentment is elusive.

    Suicidal thoughts and sometimes, plans, are not very preventable. What can be added to this process is a time period, to introduce delay can be your saviour. Add to this - move yourself! A short walk for example. After a period of time that is when courage comes into its own. To rise up from the depths of despair to rethink your immediate future. From a rash thoughts to a desperate plan to ...stop and delay then reconsider your journey to survival. This last period of that sad process -the turnaround is your finest moment. To claw your way back, be radical in any other option of changing your life will save everyone great trauma.

    SOCIETY OF SAND

    I’m sitting in a desert

    Upon sand of friend and foe

    Can’t find a piece of turf

    Where I cannot stand on toes



    I collect a handful of grain

    Then watch as it escapes

    Just like some friendships

    A barren temporary landscape



    I create my own oasis

    By weeping on a weed

    But the sand around me laughs

    Because it doesn’t have a need


    Until lately it be the friends

    That helped me walk the land

    They holding me up under my feet

    -supportive grains of sand



    I begin to sink so slowly

    As they gather my precious hide

    The quick sand laughing so loud

    A kind man says goodbye



    And as I become one of ‘them’

    My heart now granuled and dry

    I try to weep to water the weed

    But sand has no means to cry



    Damn it! I struggle so

    Be damned if I be like them

    I crawl out of the society of sand

    To gather all the courage that I can....

    TonyWK
    2 people found this helpful
  13. Chumptastic
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    18 September 2020 in reply to white knight
    Hi Tony the second paragraph in your 1/ caught my eye. Calling negative people sad souls is a tad harsh and comes across as judgemental. I don’t think I’ve ever been an optimist. I call myself a realist. At the moment I’m pessimistic and I don’t think, with everything that’s happening in the world, climate change, covid, uprisings in many countries just to name a few, that it’s unreasonable to be pessimistic. It’s a rational response to how the world is. Did you know a study into optimistism/pessimism some years ago found that when predicting outcomes of events, the pessimists were right muck more often than the optimists?! I think the trick is not to go down the rabbit hole of depression from a pessimistic world view. But pessimism in my opinion is rational.
    1 person found this helpful
  14. white knight
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    19 September 2020 in reply to Chumptastic
    Hi,

    Yeh, ok, that's fine. My "sad souls" comment- well when I was young and negative I was a lost sad soul. Can only describe from my experience.

    If people are content being a pessimist then that's fine also.

    Not me.
    TonyWK
    2 people found this helpful
  15. hello, hi, 😀
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    21 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK,

    Your poems were amazing! I missed reading your poems.

    I never knew that "introduce delay can be your saviour", sometimes when the suicidal thoughts get too strong, I try to force myself to sleep, I guess it is a delay - more time on earth.

    I had a question, if it is alright can I ask?

    What if you are not enjoying life because you don't want to live anymore?

    What if you don't have enough hope to keep you on earth?

    And in your first post, you said " you let loved ones know you are ok", what if no one knows that you have suicidal thoughts?

    Your friend,

    Neerja

  16. white knight
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    25 September 2020 in reply to hello, hi, 😀
    Hi Neerja, glad to hear from you.

    In my opinion suicidal thoughts are understandable if you are sad, lonely, have no support from those you expect to support you, have depression or other serious mental illness or you don't have the capacity to see life in a positive light.

    Thoughts are just thoughts. As long as they aren't acted upon, thoughts are harmless.

    Harmless as they are, they don't reflect a content, stable nor happy existence. So, as in individuals we should work towards eliminating them.

    To do that we should change our thinking to a more positive outlook and attitude.

    Some things we can change-

    Become independent. Stop having expectations on other people. In particular no longer expect from others things they are not capable of producing. E.g. support from a loved one that cannot provide it

    Communicate- if you want time out from friends or family then tell them you are ok. Some go off and allow their silence to hurt others. That isn't mature.

    Accept life's stages- a teenager won't have the same lifestyle 10 years later. Nor at 35 be the same as when 25 years old. Meaning life changes. Having a bad few years? That bad time won't last long.

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  17. ecomama
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    26 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi TonyWK and others

    Around 10 years ago I learned about the longest longitudinal study done by Harvard University following a group of Graduates, now for over 80 years.

    The study BEGAN in the Great Depression.

    You can google ted talks - harvard university longest longitudinal study to hear about it. 

    There is a talk of over 1 hour on this also plus lots to read on this.

    My take away from learning about this study is this. Crap happens no matter what your view is (I guess this is up for debate also from an individual POV lol)... but it makes the WORLD of difference in HOW you look at these crises in life or life changes or situation. And WHAT you do as a result of these events / times.

    Still only my take away from it.... the people who had a more positive view had better health, better relationships with family and friends and a longer life.

    Better health.... wow hey. I'm well into my 7th decade on earth and only been in hospital to have babies lol.

    I was a born optimist. I had a terrible childhood but it was my never give up ATTITUDE that saw me through.

    I KNOW I'm realistic - my evidence is achieving degrees against enormous hardship, battling through many Courts recently with the important outcomes I wanted, raising children on my own and they're doing remarkably well considering.

    You can certainly be realistic AND an optimist. I am. Realism isn't exclusive to pessimists only lol.

    I see it as a spectrum.... negative view to the left and optimism to the right.
    Being realistic covers both views along the spectrum TO A POINT at each end.

    It stops at the point of suicidal and losing complete touch with reality on the left, it stops at the point of delusional, losing complete touch with reality to the right. This is my view only and not endorsed by anyone else. Doesn't need to be. Though I'm happy to alter my POV along the way.

    The thing to know in life is that NO ONE on earth gets a "free path", regardless of your outlook. Stuff happens. Obstacles. Issues. Hardship. Events.

    It's up to each of us in how we deal with them.

    EM

     

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Deconstructing
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    28 November 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Apologies if this is _too_ light hearted, I read this thread and there is some great stuff, I am still absorbing it.

    But the topic caught my eye, and I have a friend who also had a particularly bad year at the same time as me. Although it was a while back now, and we were fit, martial arts training, educated in programming and electronic engineering, lockpicking etc .. nothing left to lose...

    So ovbviously...Sky scraper heist like in the films :)

    Sounds ‘stupid’, but it wasn’t, I won’t list our skill set a the time , but 15 years ago technology wasnt even close to today, and ...yeah ok, i’d have given us 60% odds tops. We both had genius IQ’s and creativity.

    Then he had a son, got married, had a daughter. I was made god-father to them, though that’s really just a friendship token these days, I appreciated it.

    He’s now a successful computer engineer.

    I’m.. . in a different story unfortunately.

    I don’t know if there’s a moral to this post, apart from the right family can make all the difference.

    I still regret missing out on the high-tech skyscraper heist though ;)

     

     

    1 person found this helpful
  19. white knight
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    28 November 2020 in reply to Deconstructing
    Thankyou for your comments.

    Both "be radical" threads are about survival when we are sliding down the suicidal path. We must try radical ideas to jump of that skateboard

    TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful

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