How Can I Overcome Suicidal Thoughts?

How Can I Overcome Suicidal Thoughts?

This one’s a toughie. When suicidal thoughts show up for real, they don’t just vanish in a puff of smoke when you want them to. They stick around, they taint everything with a touch of darkness, they poison excitement, healthy challenge, and kill feelings of success.

But there are ways out that can work for you, if you are carrying the burden of suicidal thoughts.

Learn the Al Anon acronym for handling emotional overload: HALT.
You can keep terrible, defeating thoughts away, even if they have been haunting you for years. A part of the solution at least, is fairly simple. Don’t let yourself ever get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. That’s it: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If it starts to happen, course-correct, and change what’s happening immediately. Make your own comfort, your sense of safety in the world, a top priority.

Why? Because you matter. You matter a lot to people who know you. You are aware of some of the people who care about you, but there are others, many others, who would miss you terribly if you were gone. For their sake, take care of yourself when you start to feel pain. Feed yourself, rest, find a friend who lifts you when the sadness comes, and talk out your anger. And then look together for solutions.

When you feel angry and you notice you are stuck feeling upset, say to yourself: “I feel really angry right now. What can I do for me that will make things better, just for myself and right now?” Focus on something that will empower you. That is a surefire fix for feeling that there is nothing you can do. You can’t change others, but you can empower yourself. How? Check out the article, Empowering Yourself 101. You mean something, and you matter. And, you can find a way out.

Practice extreme self-care.
For now, make your survival your top priority. Watch out gently for your own feelings; respect them, and keep your inner mood as light as possible. Retrain your mind by learning successful self-distraction techniques. (You can learn about these from an expert health care provider.) In the meantime, remember HALT, and stop yourself from sinking into distress.

Over time, you will be surprised at how much these simple techniques can help you. They are designed to keep you out of a self-destructive mode.

Don’t be shy! get some support from a person who really, really wants to help you find genuine solutions to the things that feel so overwhelming in this moment. You might feel that no one can help you. Maybe you don’t want to disturb them or you are too embrace to share. The truth is that people love to help their friends and family. The truth is that what might look like a big secret for you, will sound much smaller to them. Ask for their help and support in a very frank way: “I need your support and help. Can you help me?” If you feel that you can’t trust anyone, there is still a good solution. You can find support at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Did you know that more than 4 out of 5 people who tried to commit suicide and failed are grateful they are still alive? Suicidal thoughts like any other thoughts, are temporary and eventually are replaced with new thoughts.

Share with others who are struggling with the same life and death questions, what solutions help you to feel better as you work toward recreating your own experience. Become a part of the solution when you comment on this article.

To summarize, keep in mind that suicidal thoughts can kill, but they don’t have to. If you recognize today that you are not your suicidal thoughts, but you are just a person who has temporary suicidal thoughts, than you can get help in time. Give yourself a gift–care for you, remember there is help out there, and reach out to get support. I have faith in your power to heal your pain.

 

 

43 Responses to How Can I Overcome Suicidal Thoughts?

  1. Pingback: should I stay alive, or should I choose to die? « My Suicidal Thoughts

  2. Its like you learn my mind! You seem to understand so much approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some percent to drive the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  3. manuel says:

    i really want to better my thoughts

    • glenda says:

      Dear Manuel, your thoughts are always up to you. If you don’t like them, don’t just watch them go past like traffic in the street. Learn how to direct them, like a traffic cop. If a thought seems to hurt you or feel bad, then say ‘no’ to that thought taking over the inside of your mind. Just decide to change what you’re thinking about. Take control of your thoughts a little at a time, with practice every day.

      Do it like this: notice what you’re thinking. Do you like your thoughts? If you do, then great. If you don’t, then move your mind to some other thought. It’s as simple as that.

      You’ll be amazed at how much this changes your life. Good luck! :D

      • Casey says:

        You don’t know the first goddamned thing about suicidal ideation, do you, Glenda?

        • glenda says:

          Aside from spending more than two years of my life contemplating ending my own life–I don’t know a goddamn thing about suicidal ideation.

          Hope that rage of yours takes you to a good place. Looks to me like you’re trapped. Good luck with your downward spiral. By default, you’ve forfeited the right to ask for help on this blog. Maybe a professional can help you. But, wait–it’s likely they won’t know anything about suicidal ideation, either….

          • Destiny says:

            Hello Glenda , I came to your website to learn of Kurt’s death which helped alot but I then related to him in a small way I have tried to commit but failed twice I do have anxiety,stress, and depression problems and a rocking problem I have cut but stopped for the sake of my bf and him caring about my well being but I was wondering if you could help me with any daily things I can do to calm my stress and depression and suicide thoughts and I agree with demons in the head they make you believe that your worthless or no one will care what happens to you..and some suicidal people are scared to be forgotten and some are even scared cause people will look at them as cowards taking a easy way out…it’s not all that easy to take your own life . I love your web page Glenda it helps people with these intentions or thoughts and this might not matter at all but I am a young person of age 15 but young age or not I do understand suicide is not something I should be wishing to do at my age of still growing. But my mind does its hardest to make me happiest days into the worst
            Hope you read this , Xoxoxoxo Destiny

          • Glenda says:

            Dear Destiny,

            I read everything posted to this page. Don’t worry, I heard every word you shared. (:
            I know that it’s tough being 15 at this moment in human history. I know you are doing the best you can. Keep in mind that each time you give into the feeling of hurting yourself, including dark internal thoughts; you are making it easier to go down that road in the future on a bad day or a day when you feel less than your best. Turn your mind consciously. Distract yourself. Don’t sink into darkness. Find new hobbies, passions and activities. They can help you find something beautiful to live for. That helps greatly.

            Thanks for your kind words about this site. We are serious about helping those in distress, and our blog is a way to create a safe space for those who struggle with suicidal feelings, to get some support and discover some new ideas that may help them leave the temptation to commit suicide, behind.

            Remember that everywhere in the universe, there are particles of darkness and particles of light. In each moment of your life, you must select the light thoughts, feelings, and actions rather than the dark ones. The more you choose light thoughts, the easier it gets, and the more momentum you will feel behind supportive choices that make your life better. Always watch out for getting too hungry, too lonely, too angry and too tired. When you are in one of these spaces, care for yourself gently. Eventually the feelings will pass and leave you in peace. Each time this happens, you have triumphed.

            I am convinced that every choice that leads to your sense of personal power, will create feelings which make life your easier. I know too, how easy it is to be hard on yourself. What would you say to your bf if he was brutally hard on himself? Hold those words you would offer him; maybe write them down, and pull out the words you would share with your bf if he was feeling low and sinking into the darkness, when you feel you going there yourself.

            The story people tell about losing courage and taking the easy way out is kind of a lie. It’s something people who’ve never seriously had to deal with suicidal feelings, say to cope with the pain of another’s horrifying suicide. This statement also makes their feelings more important than the feelings of the person who sunk so low as to take his own life.

            The solution? Keep track of how low you are, and pull yourself back up when you feel you are sinking. Like anything else, it can become a habit and get much easier with time. Before you know it, when you feel darkness, you’ll know what to say and do that will start to lift your feelings. Dark thoughts are something of a habit, like two cups of coffee in the morning, or wearing a blue sweater more often than a gray sweater. Simply train yourself to feel differently about who you are.

            Also, I suggest finding someone you can really help. Like a kid who has no family and needs a mentor. Or a refugee who can’t speak English and is trying to take classes. Most communities have programs you can join, even at age 15 , to give real help to someone who is overwhelmed with challenges. Become someone’s hero. Your dark and suicidal thoughts will swiftly go and leave you in peace for the rest of your life.

            Hugs,
            Glenda

          • Patricia says:

            Listen, I am 62 and I could not get a job for years I have lost everything and I am homeless. I cannot survive on disability and without anything.
            What the hell am I living for and how can I live like this? I have no family and friends can’t help me.
            I have nowhere to live.

        • Michele says:

          These suggestions sound trite and pat to someone in the throes of the pain of depression, but speaking as someone who has struggled with depression since childhood (having contemplated suicide beyond count and hospitalized a number of times), I can vouch for the fact that they actually do work. They’re not miracle-cures; they don’t work instantly to lift a person into high spirits, but when they are diligently applied, over and over again, over time, they offer a ladder to help a person to climb out of depression. It’s hard work to retrain the depressed brain, but it can be done. Depression is a monster that feeds on itself, and the more “real estate” you give to depressed thoughts, the more they’ll demand from you. Working to replace suicidal thoughts with calmer, more beautiful thoughts shrinks the size of the area that suicidal thoughts occupy.

          I hope since you lashed out in your frustration and pain that you’ve begun to learn this. If not, why not give these techniques a try?

  4. constance says:

    Hi

    Please help I don’t know how to overcome this suicidal thought, I can’t find any solution to all this problems that I have.

    Is been some weeks I just don’t know how to do it, no one around cares or notice anything, I even lost self confidence in anything I do, and I feel so lonely than ever.

    I feel like I’m not important to anyone as no one cares about me but themselves, I just hate my life and I think is not worth living.

  5. glenda says:

    Constance,

    It sounds like you are standing in a very painful place. I am sorry you feel so lonely. But it also sounds like you’ve just realized how most people live: they are selfish, and some try to take advantage of everyone around them.

    Rather than be sad that other people think always of themselves, try to work around this truth. Each of us is blessed with a different, very unique perspective. This means that your point of view is special, as it belongs only to you. Use the situations around you to your advantage. This doesn’t mean you have to hurt others–you don’t. But think of the places you go, and even the feelings you have, as raw material. Use this raw material to get where you want to go in life.

    Think of all of your life situations as raw material. You can shape them, slowly learning to get outcomes you like. No one limits your outcomes, no can say what you need, no one decides who, or what, you are going to be. In a way, it’s a helpful experience not to be loved by everyone around you.

    Because when you’re not universally appreciated, then it’s you that decides on your value, it’s you who chooses how to spend your time, who to trust with your kindness, and what to do with your life. When you get too much approval from the people around you, it makes you worry too much about pleasing them.

    While you don’t want to be unkind to anyone–if it can be avoided–don’t give them your power of approval. You decide what you care about, and where to put your time and energy. Don’t wait to be noticed or appreciated. Create your own value and enjoy it, all on your own. Make your life about your happiness–not about other people liking or appreciating you. It’s a given that most people don’t really enjoy the goodness in others. For many people, that’s because they’re so busy trying to get through the day.

    Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Shape the raw material of your life, and live as you please. The future is yours. Let others tend to their own messes. You can make your life what you want it to be, don’t wait for anyone else to fix things; you fix them. You can do it.

    Hugs,
    Glenda

  6. anhelica says:

    i have suicidal thoughts every day i try and change my thoughts but they just keep coming i need help because i have came close to killilng myslef one day please help. noone understands me. i get everyone has them but the thoughts that go through my mind help please!!!

  7. Glenda says:

    Dear Anhelica,

    Your situation sounds intense. I’m going to make five recommendations. First, you need to find someone to talk to, someone professional is best. Most towns and cities have a toll free suicidal hot line. Get on the phone with someone who is not afraid to listen to you vent your intense feelings. That’s the first layer of proactive response to your feelings. It sounds like you’ll need a little help to get yourself grounded enough to work on the next step.

    The second step is to really look at whether you want to live or die. No one can answer this question for you–it is actually extremely personal, and ultimately has nothing to do with anyone else or what they want you to do. I sense that you would not have reached out if you really didn’t want to stay alive. So if you do really want to live, then you need to find as many ways to support yourself with kindness, loving actions and positive surroundings as you can think of.

    The third step is to get rid of negative dark music, negative dark movies, negative dark people and depressing circumstances. Be quite deliberate and determined about this. Make up your mind that nothing that adds to your sad feelings, will be tolerated in your space. Shower yourself with gentleness. Say only nice things to yourself. Comfort your own heart.

    Forth, adjust your thinking. Decide that each time a thought about killing yourself comes into your mind, you are not going to freak out and you’re not going to worry about it. Instead, you’re going to be patient with all your feelings. Don’t seal anything off. Feel what comes up, without fear of what those feelings are. Even dark feelings are part of life, so be kind to yourself when you think them.
    As part of this step, distract yourself ‘gently’ when those thoughts about dying come up. Think of something silly, like pink elephants. Or think of something beautiful, like splashing in the water on the seaside, or walking through a meadow full of flowers. Soothe yourself with kindly, gentle thoughts. Remember, don’t fear the darkness. Make peace with your fears. This will take time, so be patient. Changing your mind won’t happen overnight, but the process is definitely under your control.

    Here’s the last step. Most everyone who feels suicidal doesn’t want to die, they just want the pain to stop. Stopping the pain is up to you. No one else can make it happen, but you can.

    Fill your life with meaningful distractions, things that you enjoy like your favorite foods, people who inspire you, and most of all, gentleness with yourself as you learn to discover new reasons why you want to be alive. Be proactive. Protect your needs and protect your heart, which is hurting. Trust that you can solve this–because you can.

    Live for yourself. Live for what you can become. Give up the wish for others to understand or agree with you. Instead, stand up for yourself, for all your feelings, for your sadness, and above all, don’t wait for anyone else to fix your pain. You can heal it and you can become strong. If you need more help with this as you move through your healing process, feel free to come back and check in. I’m here for you.

    Best luck with your challenges, and a virtual hug.

    Glenda

  8. anhelica says:

    Thank you Glenda, i appreciate you taking your time an actually speaking to me. it helped me a lot. gave me things to think about. god Bless you for taking you and taking your time to write to us and helping.

    • Glenda says:

      Greetings Anhelica dear,

      It sounds like you’re beginning to feel better. Keep in mind that being depressed is actually a good sign. It means you’re moving out of numbness and inching toward anger (which will help you create changes) and also toward frustration. Which means you can start to adjust your life actively, instead of passively waiting for something outside you, to fix your experience. (:.
      I’m glad I can help and I wish you every evolving happiness.
      Please get back in touch if you feel stuck once again–we’re here for you.
      Blessings,
      Glenda

  9. anhelica says:

    Dear Glenda,

    i have overcome my suicidal thoughts. But now i cant overcome my stress, so much is happening, and i stress myself badly, and depress myself and, i try and think about pink orange monkeys and it works, but it last for 5 seconds. Then my head is just idk im hurting inside i cry to see if it helps, i try and talk to people, friends, family but nothing. It all comes back. I try my best to beat it, but it comes back all thoughts and worries and depression my heart is starting to hurt.

  10. anhelica says:

    Dear Glenda,

    i have overcome my suicidal thoughts. But now i cant overcome my stress, so much is happening, and i stress myself badly, and depress myself and, i try and think about pink orange monkeys and it works, but it last for 5 seconds. Then my head is just idk im hurting inside i cry to see if it helps, i try and talk to people, friends, family but nothing. It all comes back. I try my best to beat it, but it comes back all thoughts and worries and depression my heart is starting to hurt. im starting not to sleep much nor eat.

  11. Glenda says:

    Okay, I understand. Stress is also part of the process.

    Know that ‘demanding’ a lot from yourself adds to the pressure you feel. Learning to like your life is a skill set, it takes practice. Deciding to live is something you do just for you, it’s got nothing to do with family, friends, or other people you care about.

    Don’t let yourself get too worked up, each time you don’t feel good. Accept all feelings. Accept feeling ‘blah’, feeling uncomfortable, feeling angry, feeling bored, feeling misunderstood, and all the rest of it.

    You sound like you might be best served by talking to a professional, who can help you figure out so much complicated stuff. Know that you’re doing fine; all you have to do to succeed right now, is to keep breathing. You don’t have to be happy or peaceful or anything like it, until you’re good and ready. Which could be a while.

    Living well is like planting a garden. You put the peas and carrots and tomatoes in the ground and they grow ‘after a while’. Not instantly. Feeling good is the last layer of a process, most of the time. The process is called ‘allowing’. Which means you allow all feelings, you allow people to be who they are (yes; even the messed up ones); and you allow circumstances to take their course. That’s the solution.

    This is a day and age when many things are happening, and they happen terribly fast. You don’t need to get things ‘right’ before moving onto the next experience. Just do what you can with whatever situation is going on; let go of perfection, and see what happens. Risk making mistakes.

    Think of your life as an experiment with the truth. This means that you trust life to create outcomes you want.
    You trust life to make you into what you want to be.
    You trust life to help you heal.
    You let go of fixing your actions, your feelings, your future, and everything else.
    This is called radical trust.
    It is a high-order skill, something that sages and gurus slowly achieve.
    Dear Anhelica, your process will take time.
    Just keep breathing. All is well and you are loved. Things are ‘good enough’.
    ~.^

  12. Anhelica says:

    Dear Glenda,

    I have been doing better than what I was, I learned how to stop stressing so much and put things aside me and let God handle it all and help me out. Im feeling great, im happy, having fun and living my teenage life now.

    You have been helpful to me, and have helped me when noone else understood my meanings of what I have been through. Thank You, Glenda for helping me.
    May god bless you for helping us and being there.!

  13. soumya says:

    Hi

    I have everything in life, a job, lil money that I ear, good family and friends.Still I am depressed.I just cannot be happy for more than an hour.I look for sadness.Its like I feel good when I m sad or when I cry.Please help me.Am I suffering from some kind of disese?

  14. Glenda says:

    Dear Soumya,

    You will find the answer to your questions as you read the last eight messages I’ve posted to this blog. If after reading them, you still have a specific question to ask, you can post it like your first message.

    Aside from that, I will just say: Looking for sadness is a choice. At any moment, you can choose to change this decision. No one can cause you to make a decision about your feelings, which in your heart, you don’t want to make.

    The final say about what you look for in the world, is always yours and absolutely no one else’s. Stay confident that you have the power to feel better, even as you train yourself to live a life which feels ‘lighter’ and more empowered.

    Glenda

  15. Kaitlin says:

    I think HALT is a great thing to remember. I have included in it my crisis plan.
    I have been in and out of hospitals and rehab centres all year and this is one of the most helpful things I have read to date! Thank you

  16. Glenda says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Kaitlin. This is to wish you all wellness and feelings of balance and harmony.

    HALT used to be key to my crisis plan, too. (:

    I sometimes think that this one core idea saved me from disaster, back in the day. It became my mantra. For new readers, HALT stands for how to keep yourself out of crisis. The idea is deceptively simple.

    Never let yourself get too HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY or TIRED.
    When you are in one of these situations; you can stay out of crisis by addressing your need immediately. Honor your discomfort, by resolving what’s troubling you.

    When hungry, eat something nourishing. When angry, distract yourself with something that pleases you and reminds you of your own value. Don’t dwell on how you’re feeling powerless. When lonely, don’t be afraid to reach out. Someone loves you. And when tired, heal your weariness by resting. All of these will make you feel better, and your feelings will shift as if by magic.

    Do this each time you feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired, and your concerns will begin to resolve themselves. But if you’re in crisis, also seek professional help!

    Remember, you matter and you have loved ones who truly care for you. Everything that’s a crisis now, will resolve itself as long as you learn to think outside the box, remain patient while your worldview shifts, and find true companionship.

    Blessings,
    Glenda

    • Hendrik says:

      Hello Glenda.
      I’ve been reading those comments here for a while. I’m wealthy enough to not get hungry and I’m not an angry person. Usually I’m not tired either. But the problem is that I almost always find myself feeling lonely. I literally have noone, who even cares how I’m feeling today or wants to go spend some time with me. All childhood friendships are fading away, I got none of my friends left.
      Thank you,
      Hendrik.

  17. glenda says:

    Greetings Hendrik.

    It’s good you’ve been reading these posts. They can provide a unique, helpful perspective for some of life’s toughest questions–as you know. (:
    Here’s my answer to your interesting concern.

    First of all–you have YOU to care how you are feeling. You have YOURSELF to rely on, to keep you safe and to take an interest in your well being; and your own company to enjoy.
    If you don’t truly enjoy your own company, no one else can satisfy your need for understanding, for long. You’ll find that they cannot meet your need.

    Once YOU have met your own need for companionship, then interesting other people will find you; and their company will be frosting on the cake, as it were.

    I personally take it to be a good sign that your old friendships are fading away.
    Dismal as the feeling may be; rootless as it may leave you sensing that you have become;
    overall, leaving friendships behind actually means that you’re evolving yourself: your consciousness is expanding, growing and moving into completely new territory.

    This is a rebirth of sorts. Leaving what you have outgrown, is a tremendous gift (though at first the feeling can leave a gaping hole, which may feel like you’re drifting in limbo).

    Exceptional souls have always been ‘lonely’ in the most technical sense of the word.
    When I was a girl, I found my best friends in books. I searched for and found those who inspired me, who had passed on and already left their mark in some way on the world: Xunzi, Dostoyevsky, Einstein. Julian of Norwich, Karl Jung and Francis of Assisi.

    As an occasional pang of loneliness washed over me–even in the company of other people–I learned to seek out the most inspiring minds I could imagine.

    I sometimes said that my best friends had already passed over. I was comforted to know that there have been shining stars, luminaries who have lit the landscape for those of us who can make out the forms their insights have illuminated.

    Consider it a mark of wisdom that you are no longer drawn to keep company with those who are satisfied with basic things–be honored to find the gifts buried like treasures in the books and the wisdom that have come down to us.

    For myself, these powerful communications from the past have helped to form the template for how my mind has evolved–the discovery of powerful ideas is an antidote to loneliness; and great ideas compel fascination. They draw our minds forward in a cutting-edge way.
    Ennui is a sign that you are ready for more, that you are ready to push your limits. Open yourself to going beyond them.

    And not just that–as you find yourself immersed in journeys that take you in directions that few have traveled; those who share your passion for what is truly new; will find you and join you, and your loneliness will dissipate. You will find that the right people for you appear at the right time, and give you the sort of company you’ve always wanted to find.

    Here is my treasured Buddhist mantra: “turn yourself into gold, and then live as your heart pleases.”

    Sending you blessings to speed you on your journey,
    Glenda

    • Hendrik says:

      Hello Glenda,
      I did not understand everything. I have some more questions and I was wondering if it’s possible to continue using email? Well, if that sounds fine, then my email is hendrik989@hot.ee
      Thanks for everything,
      Hendrik.

  18. Whitney says:

    I am the 1 out of 5 people. It would be so easy to just check out forever. I know how. My life is too painful to keep living.

    • Glenda says:

      Dear Whitney,

      It sounds like your heart is very heavy. Turn to someone trustworthy for help. You need someone who can listen. I suggest trusting your best friend in the world–or if you worry about burdening that person, then turn to a suicide hotline. There is one for each region in the US.

      Someone who can help you hold the burden can help you survive your current crisis.

      That being said, here is my answer to the problem of feeling that your life is not worth living.
      I know what it’s like to outgrow your life and feel completely finished with it.
      This just means that you are ready to invent the kind of life that you really want to live.
      Think of your experience as raw material. Shape it any way you please. (Yes, you really can).

      It is your right to live is you choose. It is your right to keep company with people who appreciate you and help you do your best. And to be honest; for me, there is no other kind of life that I would even consider living.

      Seek help, then create your own new and different life. The world is full of possibilities. If your circumstances burden you then change them. If the people around you are negative, draining, condescending or always ready for a fight, then seek out new companions. And just because someone is a blood relative doesn’t mean he/she has the right to monopolize either your time or your good will.

      You deserve a wonderful life. And, if you decide to embrace it, then it can be within you reach.

      Best,
      Glenda

  19. Glenda says:

    Hi Hendrick,

    I moved this conversation to private email, as you requested.
    Best,
    Glenda

  20. gie says:

    I just wanna die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Glenda says:

    Dear Gie,

    Remember that all emotions pass, and most of the time, dark feelings don’t persist. Also keep in mind not to let yourself get too lonely, too angry, too tired or too hungry. That will always make a dark feeling get bigger. The acronym for this tip is HALT. When you feel terrible, check to see if one of these is amplifying the sense of pain you feel. Always distract yourself from heartache, rather than feeding it with additional dark thoughts.
    What is in your head is up to you. With practice, you can learn to manage even the terrible thoughts that lead to the wish for suicide. Good luck.

    Glenda

  22. Michele says:

    To Patricia, who posted above about her housing situation:

    I don’t know how long your struggle with financial problems will last, but you can last through them. The chances of pulling up out of this struggle may seem remote, but if you die, there will be no chance whatsoever of coming through them. I don’t mean to be patronizing, as I’m sure that’s the last thing you need right now, but people can feel desperate for all different reasons and later, after soldiering through the agony, find some beautiful thing about life that they were glad they didn’t miss. I hope that you can find some help, from a charity, a church or synagogue, or from a federal, state, or local government program, but in the mean time, see if you can’t find something to be happy about every day, even if it’s a reason as small as a birdsong or a ridiculous-looking advertisement that amuses you.

    Michele

  23. Jim says:

    I lost my wife to ovarian cancer 2 1/2 years ago and have struggled ever since. Mostly down days and lately and have been dealing with thoughts of self-harm on and off for a year. I have a lot going for me (and I say that humbly and knowing how lucky I am): I’m 68, financially well off, own a nice home, healthy, retired, two great kids with 6 grandkids, been to grief support groups and have many wonderful, supportive people making the grief journey with me; I have been in therapy since her death with many counselors but just don’t seem to get anywhere nor see that “hope” in the distance to keep me going; it’s not like I haven’t tried to “heal.” Losing my wife seems to have “disabled” me, as all my joys (golf, writing, cycling, enjoying so many things) are no longer of interest to me; I have just lost myself and intellectually I can’t believe I’m where I’m at: thinking of ending it all. But I’m getting so weary and just wondering how long I can hold out. Throughout my life, I had the usual ups and downs (even had a bad midlife depression at 40) but overall I thought, deep down inside I was an admirable person who I really liked and, in turn, really liked life. I just keep thinking: what’s wrong with me? Sometimes I think I don’t want to get better but here I continue to soldier on, feeling miserable most days. Why can’t I be “OK” wih a new life without my wife. I know people do it all the time, and with all the wonderful plusses in my life, why can’t I? Any feedback would be deeply appreciated.

    • Glenda says:

      Dear Jim,

      I am going to make an unusual suggestion. The life you have had, has simply passed away, and it is gone in a true and final way. You are in a process of internal renovation, reinventing the reality of yourself. You have perhaps exceeded what those around you, are fully content to live. In order to remain here, you will need to become someone else–to entirely expand beyond what you’ve ever been.

      Not due to the death of a loved one but for other reasons, I have experienced a process something like what you describe. As I worked through a deep dark funk where the meaning of my life seemed to have disappeared, along with familiar circumstances and people, I also wondered–”what am I still doing here? Maybe I could quietly slip away now, having lived a wonderful life.”

      The result of my ruminations was to decide that I had evolved way past all that I had previously known. I needed new adventures, new psychological enterprises, and new life experiences that I’d never attempted.

      I threw myself into an entirely new kind of life. I became very interested in giving back to life itself, in response to all the goodness that has flowed into my experience over the course of my life. The blog you are reading is one result of that new commitment to make myself available to those people that I am best suited to help.

      Search for a niche outside your comfort zone, outside the familiar conversations of all that you’ve been or lived. Consider that the ‘death’ you are considering, is actually symbolic in nature. Stretch past all that you’ve been. Getting bigger, deeper and wiser internally, is the finest life journey possible. And when you place that bigger self in service of others, in some meaningful way, your life can become a masterpiece which exceeds all dreams you previously thought were significant. Go forth–become more.

      I wish you well,
      Glenda

  24. Jim says:

    Glenda — Thank you for your prompt response. So reatly appreciated. You sound like a wonderful, compassionate person (as I have seen from some of your earlier posts as well as your post here) and everything you say I believe in 100 per cent. But it is so hard to “do” what you suggest because something is “disabling” me, keeping me from doing what I should do, and more imprtantly, USED to do. I know I need to do what Victor Frankel states so emphatically in his great book: search for meaning. It is necessary to my surviviaI. I don’t want to “leave,” but the hopelessness and lack of purpose and lonliness just seems too much of a burden to carry. But I will continue to solder on. Thanks again, you’re a jewel.

    • Glenda says:

      Hi again Jim,

      Odd as it may seem, I have truly stood in a place like the one you’ve described. You’ve outgrown your reality, and you may have also outgrown your previous interests, previous friendships, previous belief systems. In order to stay here in the world, you will have to reach for a radical reinvention.

      Instead of being worried by the process, open yourself to it the way that a flower opens up to the light. Trust your best instincts, trust life and the force that has created all life in the universe (whatever you take that force to be–attributions are not important in the face of the biggest questions).

      Reaching out to help someone who truly struggles with life’s simplest basic needs, will bring you a new kind of purpose and meaning. Find a child who suffers, a refugee, a person struggling with illness or recovery. Lift them, bring them healing, and find that your soul is blooming and glows from within, lit by a new kind of light.

      If the first layer of reaching out, doesn’t activate a new kind of life purpose and illuminate a different sort of sensibility, then step out from where you are by another layer–and even a layer past that. The light will come. And you will simply not be the same person you are now.

      This blog is just one of the processes and offerings I give to life (to Life, as it were). I find enhanced joy as I continue to step out into reinvented realities. You can too.

      Also, take good care of yourself. Rest when tired, eat well, say kind things to yourself in the midst of your uncertainty. I promise you that if you do these things with a willing and open heart; and then couple that approach with the patience to allow yourself to organically evolve rather than ‘solve’ everything this red hot minute–well then, I promise you that the best is yet to come.

      Sending you joy in the adventure of reinvention,
      Glenda

  25. Borut says:

    The suicidal thought is on my mind alot of times. Last week I thought I finnaly overcomed it, but yesterday it came back. I try to replace the bad thought with a good one and it works for few days but then it comes back. I also try to think that the bad thought can’t do nothing and that I control it. What should I do now?

    • Glenda says:

      Dear Borut,
      Your question is a very good one.

      You are doing the right thing, but you cannot expect instant results. If you have been making yourself bad or wrong for a long time, then that is not something that goes away in a few days. Just like changing your diet, your friendships, or changing any other unhelpful habit, noticing you are thinking ‘bad’ thoughts and changing them for good ones, is a process and a journey.

      Strange as it may seem, you also have to be willing to stop hating or disliking yourself for making mistakes. You will need to let your past mistakes go, and the mistakes of others, too. Leaving sadness, worry, self-attack thoughts, and anxiety behind is a process rather than a single point of arrival.

      Don’t worry–be persistent. Be very kind to yourself, get lots of rest, eat healthy foods, and hang around with people who bring you happiness. Over time, you will find it easier and easier to make your life better.

      I wish you light on your journey,
      Glenda

  26. Maddi says:

    Hey, I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts ever since last march when I took some birth control to help with my periods. The very night after I took the last pill the thoughts started. Now, I’m fairly certain that if I had been able to let the thoughts go, they would have left pretty quickly. But I have been living in a perpetual state of boredom and repetitive days for six years now. I don’t get out much. I don’t have work to busy my mind. I’ve spent the last six years of my life either watching TV, reading, writing, drawing, or on the computer. And thats it. Every single day. I barely slept, hardly ever got off the computer, and I ate maybe two meals a day if I was up before three. Now things have improved a lot. I’m seeing a counselor for my suicidal thoughts. But I’ve recently realized that I never really let myself believe that I could overcome these thoughts. I knew nothing about it, and in my mind once you had them you were screwed. It didn’t matter how long it took, the thoughts would get you one day. I don’t believe that anymore, but I also realized I never let myself believe I could do it, or built up my confidence, because I didn’t want to give myself false hope. After a particularly hard session where I went in feeling good, my stress score went down, and then my counselor suggested medication for reasons I didn’t understand but interpreted as her giving up on me or telling me that I would never overcome this without medication, I went home and could barely stop crying. She’d also told me to “validate” my feelings, which, to me, means the same as justifying them. I thought she was telling me to justify feeling suicidal. After reading some of the posts on this blog, I realized what she meant. But not before I had my worst panic attack yet, and thought things along the lines of, “Why did she mention medication? I was feeling good! She ruined it! What do I do? What if medication doesn’t work? If counseling isn’t working, and she made it seem like its not, and medication doesn’t work, what do I do then?” And then the thought popped into my head for half a second. “Kill myself?” I immediately shoved it away with a loud “NO.” to myself, and I went to my parents and cried for two and a half hours. Now, after that I ended up helping my dad lay down the wood flooring for my bedroom, and it seemed to pull me from my mind and lock me in the present. I was busy helping my dad, and talking to him, and chatting with my siblings as they came in and out. And slowly the room became more comfortable, and I felt okay. Though, at one point later that day, I did note that it felt like laying the floors just felt like I was putting off killing myself. Even though I didn’t want to. Now whenever I start to think a little bit about my troubles, I immediately start to feel like I want to die. Then, when I manage to pull myself out, I don’t anymore. Its obvious to me that what I need is more to do, and to keep away from those areas of my brain (which I’ve only just started doing, because I thought to get rid of suicidal thoughts you had to keep asking yourself over and over “do you want to die?” until you didn’t anymore, but that just made it worse, obviously). I already practice bridging, and I’ve started taking HALT into consideration, and I’m also taking up meditation and am trying to get started on yoga and finding more activities to do outside of the house, but I just…I think I want to know if there’s anything else I can add, or if I’m doing everything I need to and just need to give it time. I am more than willing to. I just want to know that I’m doing everything in my power to get back to being me again. I do not want these thoughts anymore. I’m afraid that the next panic attack will make me want to kill myself, and worrying about that only brings it to pass. I’m afraid of losing my life to a single moment of blind panic. So are there any other things I can do to bring my mind back to the present, where nothing is actually wrong? (other than my little sister thinking my religion is a cult and I’m just a brainwashed drone)
    I realize this is long. I just like people who are trying to help me have all the facts so they know where to start. Oh, and I make daily planners. Every night I write down what I’m going to do the next day. My mom suggested that one. Her and my dad are aware of my problems. I’ve never raised a finger to harm myself or kill myself, I just get so anxious I feel like I’m going to. And when I get stuck these days, its not much of a slow descent, its a plummet to the lowest pit in my mind where I feel like killing myself for no good reason.

  27. Glenda says:

    Dear Maddi,
    I support your quest into discovery and resolution of your difficulty. The choice to live it die is certainly the most complex of all questions. That said, I have to confess that if I had nothing meaningful to do in the way you describe, I would feel rather tempted to exit life out of sheer ennui and existential boredom. I could not live as you have for the last 6 years.

    A few points for you to consider. Why is your therapist’s view of your situation, more important to you than your own opinion about what will work for you? Why would you worry about negative thoughts, when you may simply reverse them with the choice of more positive thoughts? Keep in mind that everyone has occasional dark or self-defeating thoughts. They need not control your life, unless you surrender your power to your own persistent, unpleasant thoughts.

    Here is another extremely important thought. All of us need something meaningful to do with our time and energy. Otherwise time hangs heavy and the mind may turn to idleness, emptiness and finally to frustration. There are so many in the world who cry out for love, or even for simple kindness. Mentor an orphan. Teach English to a refugee from a wartorn country. If you are feeling disenchanted, helping a person who is genuinely suffering will provide you with purpose, joy, and spiritual companionship.

    Above all, your situation has the seeds of resolution imbedded within it. You are the one who can pinpoint effective remedies, decide how to use them, and transform your life.

    Virtual hugs,
    Glenda

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