Updated: Sep 18
We look into the triggers and coping mechanisms along with the help available for #SuicidePreventionAwarenessDay
Today is Suicide Prevention Awareness Day and as some of you may already know, suicide is the reason why the Happy Thoughts Academy exists. Please take a look at the blog explaining this if you get a chance.
How many people have suicidal thoughts?
It’s a question I’ve asked a couple of people around me and I have become extremely aware that it possibly isn’t that normal to have them as often as I do.
I’ve had them fairly regularly since the age of ten, more so when events have happened throughout my life. I definitely feel the past couple of years they have been at least bi weekly where I just struggle with everything and feel massively overwhelmed and just don’t feel like I have the energy or even the will or want to get through it.
I’m here writing this blog, so I clearly made it through every single time I had that thought.
So, what kind of things push me over the edge and why does that matter?
I struggle between thoughts of people thinking that I use the blogs for my own personal journal and the constant thought of “If it affects me, it must affect others”. With this logic I feel like by telling you what takes me to the edge, you may become aware of others peoples triggers and be able to step in or even resonate with them in your own lives.
The biggest thing that has happened in my world over the past few years is my dad being diagnosed with dementia. Just me typing the words sets me off into flood of tears. It hurts my heart thinking that I am slowly losing him to such a horrible disease. We are so lucky to still have him now and I can’t imagine how it must feel for him to be aware that you have it and not sure of what you are and aren’t remembering. It’s just so horrible.
With COVID we haven’t been able to see Mum and Dad as much as we normally would and just sit and chill and hug which is so important to me. I’m been terrified that we might lose them to the virus (Mum has a lot of heart conditions too, which over the past few years medication has really helped plateau the effects of them) and not wanting to pass any germs to them but also conscious that time is not on our side with dementia. I’ve really struggled with it and most times when I drive away from seeing them, or dropping my dad off on his one hour and half outing a week at the club, I just drive home in floods of tears thinking I just don’t want to be on this earth without them. I really don’t.
I think it stems from my childhood. I used to have a lot of extremely vivid dreams where my Mum, Dad, Twin Brother and I used to die all together. Sounds strange but it would be numerous different situations. Jumping into a shark tank together, meteorite hitting the earth, all being in a car crash. It was just a dream that I had a lot and it’s just something that I feel is innate in me, its just how its supposed to be. I’m aware that it sounds extremely strange but I’m just being honest.
Also, anyone that knows me knows how much I struggle with a goodbye. I hate driving away from people, I can’t watch things in films and things, I can’t say goodbye to my students, it just genuinely hurts my heart. I just struggle with that part of life.
The other thing that I struggle with which I’m sure everyone can relate to is work and the stress of it all. There are major busy periods throughout the school term where you just feel like there are just not enough hours in a day to get the prepping, teaching, marking and feedback all done. I put as much time into spreadsheets and productivity and time management as I can but sometimes your brain function just gives up and I definitely feel like that has become harder coming out of the other side of the lockdown. My mind gets tired so much faster, I don’t know if you agree.
The way I deal with this when it becomes too much and I just think “I can’t do a good enough job, people would be better off without me, the world would be better off without me”, so on and so forth, is by noting the busier periods and working towards the end of that period and telling myself, I feel this because I am tired, I am overwhelmed, when I get to the other side lets re evaluate the feeling and see if it’s still there. Hopefully that makes sense to you.
So basically, my two main triggers are my family and work. Which I’m pretty sure everyone will relate to and feels the same.
What do I do to cope?
I have to practice a bit of self- care, I have an extra cup of tea, a hot shower, a candle, a lot of food (hence the major weight gain I suppose). I’ll be 100% completely honest, the main thing I do to cope is sleep. I just need to switch my brain off for a while. Most of my “free” time is taken up with napping. If I can’t do anymore physical work I will just fall asleep, if I struggle to process my sadness I just sleep, it doesn’t take it away completely but it just pauses it for a bit and I suppose gives me a bit of energy to deal with it again and see the gratitude in the positive. For example, even though I cannot cope with the thought of losing them, I still have them. Even though I cannot cope with the overwhelming work sometimes, I have a job and I remember that through lockdown I found it so incredibly hard not to work, to teach is my purpose in life, whether that’s dance or the importance of working on your mental health, they are both my passions and I need do them to feel whole.
If this all becomes too much then there are people you can talk to. I may have made my funeral plan in case it ever happens but it hasn’t had to be looked at that and that’s a bit positive for every day.
Telephone: 116 123
When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.
Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website
Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line
In a life-threatening emergency, phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance.
Telephone: Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41
Text: 07786 209697
If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus's HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.
The best thing I have done is to be more open about how I'm feeling, it's encouraged those around me to do the same and that's the only thing that will save our worlds. Being open and honest and there for one another.
I'm sending you so much to anyone who needs it.