This is an excerpt from an article one of our listeners shared with our cadre of Concern Compassionate listeners. If you are having suicidal thoughts… or trying to keep a friend with suicidal thoughts safe… this might be a good read.
“Now I want to tell you five things to think about if you are thinking about suicide…
1- You need to hear that people do get through this — even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.
2- Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.” Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things – just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal action. Even if it’s just 24 hours. You have already done it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page. You can do it for another 5 minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on it. That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.
3- People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.
4- Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.
But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what’s going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Try:
Call the Concern Hotline 540-667-0145 24/7 365!!!
Send an anonymous e-mail to The Samaritans
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)
Text HOME to 741741
Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line
Call a psychotherapist
Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen
But don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.
5- Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet.