Suicidal Tendencies – Time to Talk Tuesday

*Possible trigger warning* This week I am going to talk about suicidal tendencies; what that means to me and how it has affected me. I am the person “left behind” due to friends committing suicide; how awful it is knowing there wasn’t necessarily anything I could have done to help, but still knowing that they suffered in some way and even though it has crossed my mind a number of times over the last 15 years I never have come close to doing it until last year.

I had been referred to the community mental health team by my GP because of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder I have been dealing with. So I had some contacts to ring if I felt low and if I am honest I wasn’t ever going to ring the Crisis team as at the time I had low estimations in regards to them. I am glad I rang the lady who is now my care coordinator who helped talk to me to see if there were any triggers etc.

I remember feeling so flat no beyond flat as it definitely was the lowest I have ever felt. Button was downstairs sleeping in his bouncer and I decided to go have a bath; annoyingly the water hadn’t heated up. But I decided to have a bath anyway in the hope that the cold water would make me feel something, anything at all. I remember just kneeling in the bath periodically letting the water out and putting more in to try and warm the bath up.

I have only three fears in life :

  1. depths – this presents as looking down from/up at heights, and suddenly losing my footing in water (if I know it’s deep it’s not a problem)
  2. losing those I care about and being left alone
  3. drowning – there has been a couple of times I have felt like I was close to drowning – once at the beach when a wave came over me out of nowhere by the rocks and the second when I did my first ever dive from a board I didn’t expect the water to be as deep as it was!

So imagine my horror when I “woke” from a daze I was in and my nose was touching the water; I kept thinking everyone would be better off with me. Drowning is definitely not a way I would like to die so it really frightened me that I was even contemplating it. I don’t know if I could have gone through with it as I couldn’t leave my children without anyone to look after them. That’s not meaning their Dad couldn’t quite the opposite but he wasn’t at home so Button would have been left completely alone.

It took the mental health team over an hour to get back in touch however I didn’t tell the receptionist the reason behind the call so it wasn’t like they didn’t care – I felt ashamed that I was even ringing to be honest. To try and get over the fact I really felt so close to even attempting it I went downstairs and brought Button up into the bathroom so I had a constant reminder not to act in haste.

Rachel from Rocking2Stomas was the only person I told in depth about how I felt and she took it upon herself to message me everyday even if I didn’t want to talk but just so she knew I was here and I knew someone cared. She mentioned to me after that if I didn’t have Button there she was worried I would have done something stupid. I know this to be true and I am lucky in a way that I 99.9% of the time have my at least one of my children with me. They truly are my protectors along with 00Steve.

I usually can’t visualise things – for instance how 00Steve wants to redecorate rooms even though I live here too; although I have been able to fully visualise strangling myself with my neck scarf. It isn’t a fun thing to think about in the slightest and I think it was heightened by the feeling of being left by the mental health team after having an initial assessment and the life triggers which like many people money is a huge factor in it. Within the phone call from my care coordinator she told me that I would need to see the psychologist for a full assessment of which I have since had and I will write about bits of it at a later date.

So like I said at the beginning of this post it isn’t all about actually committing the act it can be a number of things hence tendencies rather than thoughts; these tendencies can range from:

  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

These don’t necessarily mean that you or someone you love will commit suicide but they still are things that aren’t nice to live with and should be mentioned to a doctor.

If you missed last weeks instalment please click here.

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