No, I shouldn’t be joking; or perhaps I should. Thing is, it’s Wednesday morning as I type this. I saw my therapist on Monday, and he suggested hospitalization. I saw my psychologist on Tuesday, and he suggested hospitalization. So – you might be asking – why on earth am I still at home?
Yes, I’m surfing waves of suicidal urges – but I’m surfing them, not succumbing to them. Yes, it’s a bit of a battle not to harm myself – but I’m fighting the good fight, and managing not to do those things.
It’s quite exhausting, managing all these things at the moment, but I am managing them, and while hospital is a wonderful place to be when you need to be there, I don’t feel that I absolutely need to be there right now. So I’m still at home.
I love my professionals, and I’m also completely honest with them, so if I’m having suicidal thoughts I talk about them. Thing is, I’ve been living with this stuff for a long time. Perhaps that’s part of my problem! My capacity to tolerate psychic pain without succumbing is quite high. They must take a conservative approach; it’s part of their code of ethics. I know that if they believed I was definitely going to harm myself, they would take action to prevent that. I love that they trust me and my self-knowledge enough that if I say: “It’s tough, but I believe I can manage it” they believe me.
For me, urges to suicide or self-harm are indicators that my mind cannot cope with what’s going on for me. At present, I am facing a whole heap of horrible psycho-social stressors, most of which are out of my control. This means that the best thing I can do for myself right now is focus on controlling those things I can control, and actively put the other things out of my mind, for the time being. In other words, I need to be taking positive, proactive steps to reduce my stress levels, doing nurturing things to bolster my sense of self, and constantly monitoring my thoughts and mood for negative trends. For instance, last night I had the stray thought: “What on earth will my next job be, and how on earth will I get it?” which instantly started a cascade of negative thoughts and feelings and urges. I’m proud to say that I noted the thought and feeling, noted that it was a valid concern, but also pointed out to myself that it wasn’t a problem I could solve last night, and deliberately started a new task – cleansing my face and then reading a book – to distract myself. I won’t lie, it took about twenty minutes to calm down, but I managed it. Yay me!
See? I can handle this.
Having said that, if you’re in my situation – experiencing waves of suicidal or harmful thoughts – I trust that you will seek out some help. You’ll notice that I’ve made the decision that I’ve made with the support of two professionals, and (although I haven’t mentioned this already) I’ll be speaking with them both today, and I have another appointment already made for Friday. Even though I am feeling terrible, I also feel supported and believe I have the skills to get me through. I have my crisis list drawn up, with phone numbers written down of the local CAT team and Lifeline and other people I can call to talk to.
It’s not so much that I’ve ignored the advice of my professionals, but more that I’ve worked with them to create a survival plan. If you’re having suicidal or other destructive thoughts, I’d suggest you do the same, and follow it – even if it means doing something you don’t want to 🙂 Yes, I am prepared to go into hospital later this week, if that’s what it takes!
Stay well, sweetlings.