This is a weird post for me to begin. I am really hoping that the words come together well today since my head still feels unsure of how to express this concept that is new to me.
For decades I teetered on the edge between silently contemplating suicide and being actively suicidal. The best days I could have at that point in my life were a day or two where I actually didn’t think about suicide for a whole day. It didn’t happen very often but I truly enjoyed the days when it just seemed to go away and leave me alone. Suicide was a very constant thought though. How would I do it? Who would find me? Did I have everything in place? Rewind and then play it all again.
Then came a stage where I began to view suicide as a negative choice. It wasn’t before but I was beginning to see it as an unnecessary end to my life. Suicide always made perfect sense to me but now it was beginning to show itself for what it really was. I began to be able to see that I would hurt people in my life and they would not be better off without me as I had truly believed before.
Thoughts of how to do it became fewer and further apart for which I was truly grateful. I felt like I was finally at the best space that I could get and I was pleased to be there.
I did not realize that not being suicidal was good but there is an even better stage beyond that. It is “wanting to live”. More than just not thinking about death any longer, this place is about actively wanting to live. To have reasons to want to stay alive for. To make plans for more than the next day but to think about where you might like to be in 6 months or a year. I NEVER planned ahead before. Now I am. 🙂
Wanting to live is a novel place for me. I’ve never really been here before. Not in my memory. As a child, I almost never thought that I would live to see the next day let alone the next year or become an adult. Why bother making plans for days you think will never be there to greet you? I often paid more attention to whom had died than who lived because it was those who died that I expected to more likely see sooner. This was not a depressive or suicidal state, this was reality in my world.
As I lived through each age and each stage, I still never developed the ability to really look or plan ahead. There was just always this block in my mind that said “don’t even bother”. Geesh that is sad to say.
Eventually when my life was no longer in danger at other people’s hands, it became in danger of my own. I am sure this sounds horrible but I didn’t really know how to live. I’d only ever contemplated being gone. The idea of living was an out of reach concept.
So here I am.
What do you do in this space?
How do you live?
For me it has been a few things that have begun to change. Writing this blog, gaining new readers and feeling responsible to maintain it. I love doing it and I feel as though I have more to say so I need to still be here in this world for a while. I feel that I have taken on a longer term goal that has allowed me to see a world beyond today.
Now my art. To think that people actually like it and are willing to pay for it? I don’t charge much at all ($20-25) but each comment about it makes me feel as though I have something else to offer the world. Something that is unique to me.
I am also starting to put ideas of a vacation in to place. Not this year and likely not the next but to actually be thinking about something that won’t likely happen for 2 or 3 years yet still think about it and plan for it as though I am quite sure that I will still be here then? Amazing!
I am well aware that anything can happen at any time to any person but that doesn’t seem to stop others from making plans. Now it doesn’t stop me either. 🙂
If you are out there and you are suicidal at all times or some of the time, I hope you will find a way to hold on and continue to work towards a better life. It is not only possible to get past the suicidal feelings and get past the idea of only planning for today, it is possible to get to a place where you can look a month or two down the road and actually see yourself being there. You can get to a place where buying green bananas is not a daring statement of your will to live long enough to see them ripen. You can get to a place where you can buy a small fruit tree and plan to still be around long enough to enjoy its eventual harvests.
It was not easy to get here and I could not have done it alone. It is possible though and I think I can safely say that I was as low as you can possibly get for decades. If I can find my way from wanting to die to actually wanting to live? So can you. I promise you that.
Some helpful tips that I would love to pass along would be to:
- Start trying new things until you find something you REALLY enjoy. That project or hobby can help you want to stay in this world.
- Try to talk about your suicidal feelings or how you feel “flat”. Good friends, a good therapist, even if it is only you in the room, putting actual words to the feelings and then hearing how they sound can help you make more sense of them. Monsters hide in the unlocked corners of your mind and seem to die a quick death when exposed to light and reason.
- Think about what your purpose is in this world. It might be to be a good parent or spouse. Perhaps you want to change the world in some small way. You could be an awesome friend that would be very missed if gone. Your purpose doesn’t need to be as big as the earth or as bright as the sun. Our purpose can be to make a difference in just one persons world.
I hope you will always keep striving for better. I am THRILLED to be at this point of actually wanting to live but now I am almost wondering, what if there is even better than this? 😉