When Suicidal Thoughts Come Back

I know the title of this post is a bit intense, so let me start off by saying that I’m not currently suicidal. I have been in the past, but I’m not right now. I hope that sets  your mind at ease.

Yesterday I was feeling miserable for a large portion of the day. I had been fasting overnight for blood work and I hadn’t slept well. My late morning/lunch plans got cancelled, and my potential later-on plans also got cancelled. I was having a hard time doing art because my right wrist is in a spica brace. I had also missed my morning Deplin for the last few days because of a pharmacy screw up. Overall, I wasn’t feeling well at all.

I napped for 90 minutes in the afternoon and then tried various things and skills to help me cope.

  • I helped my sister with Spanish homework
  • I wrote a blog post
  • Watched Project Runway
  • Tried art (but it frustrated me)
  • I laid on the floor to ground myself
  • Called my twin for encouragement
  • Put an ice pack on my face

I was getting through my day but was still so miserable. I wanted to go back to sleep, to break objects, and to pull of my brace and draw until I couldn’t anymore. Finally I had the thought, “I can’t stand it. I just want to take a lot of pills.” I realized that I was having a suicidal thought and urge and purposefully thought:

  • “I just had suicidal ideation.”
  • “It’s NOT what I actually want.”

In order to get out how I was feeling in a healthy way, I wrote a poem and took the time to carefully copy it into my poetry journal with my left hand. I made sure I ate dinner and I considered calling my therapist.

I’ve been calling my therapist  a lot lately and I was hesitant to call her again. I was feeling insecure and a burden/imposition and I felt that I should be able to handle it myself. I called my sister and told her that I thought that since I wasn’t in a crisis that I shouldn’t call. Once I said it out loud, I realized that I wasn’t making much sense. I should call before I was in crisis.

While waiting for a call back from my therapist, I kept using skills.

  • TIP (temperature)
  • Effective Rethinking with eyes closed and open posture

When my therapist called back, she told me she was glad that I called. I was worried about the suicidal thoughts/urges and so she advised me to focus on nurturing and self-soothe. She reminded me that I am not my thoughts. I focused on the five senses for self-soothe:

  1. Taste – Hot tea with honey and sugar
  2. Smell – Body wash and shampoo during shower
  3. Sight – Looking at my paycheck
  4. Touch – Hot shower and lotion
  5. Sound – Listening to Lindsey Stirling’s “Elements”

Focusing on my senses allowed me to relax and get through the night. So, when faced with suicidal thoughts that came back after a long time of being gone, I used skills and reached out for help from my therapist.

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