Suicidal Thoughts

I’m in a safe space now and I feel in control of my illnesses, but I still have and will forever have suicidal thoughts. These thoughts are less frequent and they don’t last as long, but they are a symptom of my illness that I will always have to manage.

When I think back to my past suicidal thoughts, and the attempts, I can sum up my feelings in four little words- well, this is it.

For me, suicidal thoughts occur when stress, emotions, and depression build. At that moment, I don’t know where to turn. Sometimes it’s loneliness and loss of hope. Other times it’s the emptiness and wanting it to end. And it has also been uncertainty, not knowing how things will turn out.

The thoughts and urges are incredibly frightening and I can get stuck in them, like mud, dragging me down further and further. At this point, I feel stuck in emotion mind.

A person should never have to go through these thoughts alone. Yes, one may be able to work through them alone, but why?

Reaching out when suicidal thoughts occur is very difficult, but it is worth it. Experiencing these thoughts are not a sign of weakness, they’re a symptom of a challenging mental illness. Working through these thoughts takes incredible strength and determination.

Talking about my suicidal thoughts and urges has saved my life more than once. These thoughts are scary, but they’re more manageable when I have someone by my side, talking them through, and reminding me how important it is that I continue fighting.

Reach out; save yourself.

Allow Joy

There was a point where I didn’t want to accept moments of happiness because I feared my illness wouldn’t be accepted by others. I feared that if I expressed these moments, my depression would be overlooked and forgotten. That I would be forgotten. I feared that these brief moments would be mistaken for my entire reality. I didn’t understand that I could feel happiness without necessarily being happy.

It wasn’t until someone suggested that I could call it something other than ‘happy.’

This small suggestion shifted my perception. I can be unhappy and experience joy. I can be happy and experience joy. I can be however I am and still experience joy, but only if I allow it.

Currently, I am at a place in my life where I can say that I am happy. Yet, this does not mean I am always happy. This means that I am now able to allow joy in my life without effort.

Happiness is not an end goal, but if often mistaken for one. By acknowledging moments of joy, instead of happiness, this end goal perception is diverted.

So I will leave you with this. Be happy, be unhappy, be angry, excited, and sad, but remember to allow and acknowledge joy. Because without joy, life has no meaning.

Sick Enough

There will always be someone who doesn’t understand. Someone who rejects and invalidates your pain. Someone who judges your choices and actions.

Mental illness attacks from within. It changes a person in a way that many will not understand. Symptoms can be easily misjudged as rudeness, awkwardness, or unintelligence. This leads to continued stigma because many are unable to accept it as an illness and not a character flaw.

Your pain is enough. Your suffering is enough. You are sick enough.

You do not need to prove your pain. You do not need to cut deeper, eat less, or withdraw more to prove your illness. There will always be someone who is unwilling to accept what you’re going through.

Everyone experiences mental illness differently. For some, symptoms are easily recognizable, but for others they are hidden.

Remember, no matter the stigma, no matter the judgments, no matter the illness- you are enough. You no longer need to prove your pain; you are sick enough.

*This post was written to someone who needed to hear: “you are sick enough” Hang in there, you got this.

My Diagnosis Saved Me

After my second suicide attempt, I accepted that something has to change. Medication  changes and weekly therapy were helping me cope, but not enough. My life as I knew it was fading away. I was fading away.

Around the same time, my psychiatrist suggested psychological testing. By this time I had two mental illness diagnosis on my mental record, Depression and Anxiety, but I had never gone through formal psychological testing.

From an outside perspective I had it all together. I was high functioning and successful. I graduated with my BA in Psychology. I was accepted into a counseling masters program. I was in a loving and committed relationship and was close with friends and family. While all this was true, I was also hiding the chaos and suffering within.

For most of my life, I didn’t have the vocabulary to fully explain how I felt inside. Being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder helped me understand how I had always felt, but could never name or describe.

Now I understand why my body feels raw with emotion. Why I wakeup in paralyzing fear for no significant reason. I now understand why I quickly get attached to people, but once they’re in my life, I struggle attending and keeping the relationship. I push and pull people away using emotions. I now understand my impulsive self-harm urges and suicidal thoughts even when I’m not depressed. I can recognize the dissociation, splitting, and over the top emotions. Now I understand why I’ve always felt like I experience emotions differently than others, because I do. I’m emotionally sensitive and reactive, and now I have to vocabulary to express that.

I began to understand myself. For the first time I felt heard, understood, and validated. I had hope for recovery, love, life, and a future advocating for myself and others like me. I discovered my true self and all the wonderful skills, talents, and dreams that came along.

Don’t let the stigma of your diagnosis present self-acceptance. Understanding your true self is the first step to acceptance. I accept you just as you are and you can too.

My diagnosis saved me. I don’t know id my suicide attempts would have been controlled if I hadn’t been diagnosed. It allowed me to discover who I am, and be proud of that person.