Let’s Talk About Suicide & 5 Ways to Take Life Back

When people have suicidal thoughts and desires, we so often dance around those thoughts and feelings.

Instead, we go right into fix it mode. We write out a “no suicide contract”, assess, increase or change medication, develop a safety plan and support, assess for risk, intention, and a plan of action to carry suicide out successfully. When we’re done with all of that, we build hope.

Rarely do we ever talk about what the thoughts and feelings that cause someone to really want to die.

Here are some things that people have shared with me when I’ve listened to them when they really want to commit suicide:

“I want the pain to end.”

“I want the suffering to end.”

“I want off of this emotional roller-coaster NOW.”

“I want the feelings of being trapped in their body to end.”

“I feel alone. I feel I don’t belong. I feel no sense of purpose and value.  I feel like a burden to others.”

“I want to die because I can’t see my circumstances getting any better. I want my circumstances to end.

I feel out of control in my own mind and body and ending my life is the only act of taking control that I feel I can do.”

“I am carrying the burden or weight of not only my own life, but also the lives of so many other people and I can’t do it anymore.”

“I want the numbness to end.”

When I really listen, I am able to understand…

They don’t want LIFE to end.

They want these horrible feelings and thoughts to end.

They want to be able to take their life back.

5 Ways to Take Life Back

  1. We can’t always change the pain and suffering we feel. Nonetheless, we can change, influence and define the meaning we give pain and suffering and how we respond to it.
  2. We can learn how to identify what triggers our emotional roller-coasters and understand what fuels it. With this understanding we can intervene when triggered and remove the fuel of the roller-coaster before it takes control.
  3. When we feel trapped in our bodies or disconnected from our bodies, we can re-connect with our body by focusing on breathing deeply, feeling our lungs fill with air and our heart beat. We can notice the world through our senses – touch, taste, smell, sound, sight etc.
  4. We can recognize that everyone comes into life with a bucket of shit and a shovel. Our goal is to keep other people’s shit (ex. pain, negativity, judgment, criticism, issues, fears etc) out of our bucket. And we don’t have to let other people’s shit cause us to feel bad about ourselves and be isolated. We can stop carrying other people’s shit on our shoulders…and use our own shit to help us grow something beautiful.
  5. We can learn how to not use our thoughts and feelings to go against ourselves.  We can learn to think in ways that are not abusive of ourselves; that support us, nurture us and open our mind and heart to our own abilities, belonging, purpose and worth.