Suicidality 

If you Google, “How to tie a noose”, the first result that comes up is a message assuring you that help is available and to call a crisis line number. 

I told S that today and he responded with an enthusiastic, “That’s cool!” 

While I do agree with him wholeheartedly that it is cool, I also noted that what I’d said piqued his attention. He sat up a little straighter and leaned forward a little more. 

How would I know this if I hadn’t done this search? 

Well, the fact is, I have. I did this search sometime earlier this week…. Or maybe it was late last week. I don’t remember anymore. My days are melding together… 

Last night, I was in the deepest part of the pit. I’d fallen back. S noted that whenever I fall, I fall hard and I fall steep. I go from any slight frustration to full blown hopelessness and despair at the drop of a hat. It’s insane. 

My friend noted that by doing so, repeating negative patterns in my life, I will keep getting attention from people which is a good feeling to have and is therefore very addicting. She might be right about that… I do recognize a child-like need for attention. And I can’t deny that I do like attention. 

I was angry earlier. I was angry at a lot of things. I was grocery shopping and while I was angry, the anger turned inward and I marched straight to the hunting aisle to look for hunting knives. By my count, now S has a collection of my knives – I’m fast becoming a knife collector. He already has 4 of them. I wanted to hurt myself. I was angry at others but instead of allowing myself to feel that anger and to tell myself that it’s ok to be angry, I wanted to cut. Such an automatic response. 

It’s habit. I’ve been doing that for so long that it’s second nature to me now. I know it’s going to be hard to change that automated response but I’m going to have to try. The adult needs to stop feeling sorry for herself. She and the child are now a little more united than they used to be so now the adult is throwing rage tantrums. 

Anyway… I have a bundle of rope in front of me. It’s 50 feet long. Probably more than enough for me to do something stupid with. S asked me if I could bring that in to him. I said I would…. But I won’t see him for another week… In the meantime, I have this rope. I did the search. 

I know I’m smarter than this. So why do I keep throwing myself a pity party and wanting to do silly things like this to gain attention? How real is my suicidal threat? 

To be honest, I don’t know. 

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12 thoughts on “Suicidality 

  1. Hi Jules. I recognize a lot of what your write here–both being stuck on the idea of suicide and self-harm and also wondering if I’m just feeling sorry for myself and thinking this way out of habit. I have also googled ways to harm or kill myself, so I get that too.

    When I’m not deep in the midst of it, this is what I think: These thoughts are a signal to me that things are not okay. Ultimately, I don’t really want to die, but sometimes I can’t see a way to make things better and I just feel so tired and want to be done with this. Also, wanting to die or harm myself is like a signal that things are really bad, not just a little irritating.

    E is encouraging me to look at when those feelings start, to try to catch them very early. She wants me to ask myself, what exactly is going on when they come up? Perhaps I can avoid the triggers or adjust something in what I am doing to lessen them. Also, we are both assuming it will be easier to deal sooner rather than later when they come up, since they usually get worse before they get better.

    It’s so messy and hard. And it’s very challenging to motivate yourself to do it when you are already in that space of hating yourself. That’s why I’m trying to make myself some rules to follow and behaviors to use, hoping it will be more automatic when I really need it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JL says:

      Thanks Q! It’s good to hear from you. And it’s good to hear that you relate. It’s the “Am I just throwing a pity party?” that really bugs me because people seem to imply that I am. And my own inner voice tells myself that all the time.

      I guess I’ve never thought of it as a signal that things are bad… I found that interesting.

      I think S has probably also mentioned the triggers. That I need to identify them and try to avoid them. I know that one of the biggest triggers that I have is the divorce. The anger I feel about it has helped me cope better and feel a little better but at the same time, it’s still triggering and it still hurts.

      And yeah. I don’t want to do this. I am too tired to put in effort for this. I want to overcome it, but I also don’t. I think the best way might be to have some kind of better habit. Like you said, making it more automatic. Replacing the bad habits with good ones…

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      • I think it can appear to others on the outside that it’s an attempt to get attention. Because of course we do wish for attention and care; that helps us feel less alone. The thing I have noticed for me, however, is that when I feel a bit stronger and more rested, those thoughts go away. So they aren’t just something I deliberately pull out just to get a reaction. They are connected to depression and traumatic memories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JL says:

        Ahh… I suppose I didn’t think of that. I think I’m so critical of myself that I’m doubting even the motives of my feelings. I can’t get over shame, I think. I don’t know if I’m ever asking for too much from people and always feeling like I am.

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  2. I think that when we return to a triggering environment or state of being its natural to gravitate to what is ‘normal’, what helped us cope. I try not to think of my urges to SH or my drinking as a means to getting attention now, but as something that worked then.

    A says stopping these habits cold turkey isn’t helpful… that it’s like you’re rock climbing and you untie your safety ropes for a bit while you are learning a new way to be safe – that is a sure fire way to fall.

    So we slowly ease back on one habit and slowly introduce another, healthier one.

    Recognizing the habit, and the cycle, and the fact that you are in a dark place – these are positive steps. You know where you are and on some level you know you don’t really want to be there.. but it feels normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself — you’re on the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JL says:

      Thanks, PD. That makes sense! Wow. I’ve never thought of that! I think the fact that I’ve never really had good relationship models or good relationships even with people, never learning what boundaries mean, and all that, just adds to my insecurities. So I punish myself when I feel vulnerable.

      S models good relationships and good behaviors but he’s trying to undo 29 years of me doing the same thing over and over…. I suppose you’re right. I never thought about how harshly I’m judging myself always…. It’s hard for me to accept that I *am* recovering because of how bad I still feel all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I try to always view it from the lens that maladaptive behaviours were my normal – they were adaptive. Now they are not. I spent 28 years behaving a certain way and I’m trying to change that.

        I judge myself harshly too, it’s part of the reason that I love this community. Another thing that helps me that Em taught me when I was seeing her is to think of what I would tell my best friend if she were me and I was giving her advice. I’m never as mean to her as I am to myself.

        It’s slow, and it is painful. But it is progress. You’re doing better at this than you think you are. I promise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JL says:

        Thank you, PD! I love the community for how they are supportive from an empathetic point of view because we all are going through the same thing and have experienced them.

        Yeah, I need to practice that – talking to myself like I’m my best friend. S has given me many resources to practice but I’m not doing any of them. I feel guilty because I don’t want to do them…. Or I’m too lazy to…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Or it’s scary too. A part of you protected you for a long time and changing behaviours is naturally scary to that part.

        You can both want and not want to do something. I don’t think it’s laziness – you seem committed to your growth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JL says:

        Scary…. Wow, I don’t know why but I’ve never even considered that. I’m limiting my growth or process because I’m afraid………. I *am* afraid. I’m afraid that people will no longer care for me or pay me any attention if I’m not broken and in pain….

        And I guess I’ve been trying to see things in only black and white that I forget that there are shades of grey (one of the downsides of having lived with an autistic ex-husband who thinks in black and white). I’ve never even considered that a conflicting thought can exist that way…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am afraid people won’t care for me too. It’s like I feel like I’m not worth attention unless I’m suffering. There are so many layers.

        The first thought I had where I realized two things can be opposites and coexist is when I was mad at my fiancé and went to Lu and was like “but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him”

        And she was like “of course not PD, you can love someone and be mad at them simultaneously.”

        My mind was blown.

        Liked by 1 person

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