Suicidal thoughts have been one of my biggest teachers in life and my suicidal thoughts saved also saved my life. It was when I began to develop a sense of compassion towards them that I began to reclaim my life.
When we first have a suicidal thought we label, judge, blame and shame it. This is when we become the most depressed, anxious and hopeless. It is not from the thought itself, but the attachment we give, society gives, our therapist gives, to the thought that makes it hard to function.
What I began to learn as my suicidal thoughts become more severe is that suicidal thoughts are not the same as suicide, they are only thoughts passing through our mind like a movie. The more we suppress them the more we feel ashamed and guilt of them the worse they can feel. Our body does not want us to stay in a state of depression or anxiety, it wants to help you release these feelings and it’s actually not healthy to suppress what we tend to label as bad or negative feelings (i.e. depression, anxiety, fear).
I discovered suicidal thoughts are very actually natural and I have the opportunity to choose how I attach meaning or judgement to them. When a flower wilts we don’t shame or blame it, we water it, we take care of it and we help it continue to grow.
Suicidal thoughts are the body-mind way of protecting yourself. A normal and natural response to trauma, an overwhelming experience, loss of a job, grief, etc. It actually makes sense the mind would respond this way, not to hurt you, but to protect and save you. You feel overwhelmed. You feel anxious. You feel depressed and you feel you have fallen into a deep dark hole. Sometimes your mind needs an escape and it creates it through suicidal thinking. But remember you are not depression, anxiety or your suicidal thoughts, you are a witness to them.
Suicidal thoughts have brought me to my breaking points in life. They lead me to understand what was not serving me and to begin to let go of thoughts, people and experiences that were holding me back from my highest potential. They became my greatest sense of agony when I labeled myself a suicidal person rather than acknowledge I was not defined by my suicidal thoughts.
Just like how we have back-up plans in life, suicidal thoughts are also processed as a back up plan in the mind for self-protection. When the mind becomes overloaded and overwhelmed and we are not present in our body suicidal thoughts will accrue to keep us alive and to wake us up.
Accept the suicidal thought is the first step. Not judging it, but simply accepting that it is there and it’s okay to be there. Take time to observe these feelings.
Suicidal thoughts also range on a scale from severe to minor. From thinking about hurting or killing yourself to actually implementing a plan, just become aware of where your mind is taking you.
A thought is a just a thought, a form of energy that eventually passes. When a thought passes through our mind we do not need to react, but rather just be with the thought in stillness allowing ourselves the permission to feel it rather than judge and criticize it.
Look at the emotion behind the thought try not to focus on the thought itself.
Your suicidal thoughts don’t happen because you are bad or weak, or that something is wrong with you. You are actually being real and whole. There is nothing to be afraid of, only aware of.
Come back to your breath. Slow down. Find ways to nourish yourself. Your suicidal thoughts are a cry for self-love. Take this opportunity to practice self-love and self forgiveness.
When you comeback to your breath, reexamine the situation. You always have the opportunity to change the thought and to practice self-love.
Think of the thought as the opportunity to change what is not serving you. It is not judging you, but rather it is sending an emotional message to you to look deeper within yourself and discover a beautiful gift that is about to emerge.
The more you can find compassion and love yourself during these times of your life the more you can help re-wire and train your brain to react differently to traumatic and overwhelming decisions and experiences.
Just breathe. It’s going to be okay, but accept that it does not feel okay right now. The more you can train your mind to not judge your thoughts, but rather sit with them in their wholeness, the more inner peace, clarity and empowerment you will develop.