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"Contemplating suicide" continued

(37 Posts)
BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 18:21:31

The first thread I made is about to be shut down cause it's gonna exceed maximum posts allowed. So I made this one.

working9while5 Fri 16-Aug-13 18:45:39

BT, I think an important point to remember is that anyone who has been suicidal has at that time believed truly they are one of the people who will never get better. That's sort of the essence of suicidality. If you could see and believer you would be well, you would already be well.

I just want to pick up on your pointlessness point. I too have had the whole 'what's it all about?' ennui. I used to reason that as I and most people I knew could hardly name their great grandparents that was pretty good evidence life was all a bit of a joke. You are right. In 200 years time most of us will be forgotten.

But ask yourself this: is being remembered in 200 years what matters? Why?

The point of life is surprisingly simple. The point of life is to live. As long as you're breathing there's always more right with you than wrong with you because even if you don't feel it, you have potential. The energy and risk of potential is what life is always about, whether you are 16 or 66 or 106. Life, fully embraced, is vital even if it is painful. Your huge raw pain comes in part from your deep capacity to love as does your grief; your desire for meaning is a desire for life even as it threatens to swamp you. That's life to. The point is to stay the course and discover what it is your life, however fleeting and brief in the grand scheme of things, is to be about. What you are going to stand for in your brief time on this planet even if no one remembers in 200 years: to do what brings you vitality. Note I say vitality: not happiness. What makes you feel alive.

The point right now is just to ride out the storm where that seems unreachable. One foot in front of the other and don't forget to breathe.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 19:04:44

But what's the point of living? It doesn't make sense to me.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 19:05:30

And it's not that I want to be remembered in 200 years time. It just feels like in comparison with the bigger picture, it's all a joke.

working9while5 Fri 16-Aug-13 19:12:39

What is the bigger picture as you see it?
What would a life that wasn't pointless look like?
Does life need to have a point? Why?

Sorry for going all Zen on you but these are serious questions.

working9while5 Fri 16-Aug-13 19:13:07

Oh and also, why does it have to make sense?

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 19:13:55

I honestly wish I was never born. It's something that I always think or say to myself at least once a day. I've had good times in life but that doesn't make up for it.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 19:17:24

There are loads of people that go through an entire lifetime of struggling and in the end we all die. Stuff like that doesn't make sense to me. For what is the question I guess.

And yeah I think life needs to have a point. Without a point/purpose what is there really? I'm not ignorant enough to think that what I think is fact cause it ain't. A lot of people have a point to life. Stuff like jobs, family and whatever. And that's great. That's sorted. But I don't feel the same.

mummylin2495 Fri 16-Aug-13 19:35:46

Hi BT glad you did the new thread. I suppose at the moment it's difficult for you to contemplate next week yet alone years into the future. But with the right help you too can have a happy life.i am lucky I have never felt the feeling that I don't want to be here. Yes there have been some very sad times. But I still want to live.
You have to fight for survival and it will be a fight worth winning. We have talked before about how you feel you should not of been born.its a pointless discussion because simply put You were.
Your dad looked after and loved you all the time he was able to. He loved you. No doubt of that. If he didnt and couldn't cope he could of had you put in care. I expect you made his life liveable and you were the reason for his day. His night and anytime in between .we are not expecting you anytime soon to say that you feel differently. But over time you will and all of us will be thrilled for you.
From what we have learned of you, your family and yes even your problems. You are a Very likeable person and are willing you on to fight this awful illness.

mummylin2495 Fri 16-Aug-13 19:37:44

Oh and of course you don't think like the rest of us do at the moment,you are in a depressive state. But when you are well you will think differently

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 19:44:58

@ Lin - It's just really tiring. I think a lot and it becomes exhuasting.

working9while5 Fri 16-Aug-13 20:04:16

Okay. I think you are basically trapped inside a painful story. There's a theory about this.

Humans are different from animals because we can talk, right? If you sit and quietly and calmly stroke a cat but under your breath tell them they are a good for nothing piece of shit that will never amount to anything in a nice even tone, they will just go on purring and stretching and doing what cats do and rather enjoy the whole experience. Do this to a 5 year old and you will seriously screw them up.

Words hurt us because we learn that words mean things. Babies learn that this sound they make, say ball, gets them a ball. So ball becomes a lovely word to hear and say because it makes them feel all the warm happy feelings playing with a ball makes them feel. Over time, we connect up words and ideas so words make us feel more and more. I can still never hear the word refresher without seriously wanting one NOW. Even writing it puts the flavour in my mouth and sets me off thinking what shop did I see them in, could I nip out in a while to get one, would I rather strawberry or lemon etc. I am not kidding with this, this is really going on in my head right this second.

Now that's unique to me right now. Many other people will read that word and not know what a refresher is or think vile disgusting plastic sweet, maybe feel their teeth get sticky or their stomachs churn. The associations we make are based in part on the shared knowledge of what words mean but WAY more on our learning history: on all the things that made us learn to react as we do to refreshers or balls or hugs or dreams. There's endless variety in how we make links between things. Lemon refreshers also make me think of the cinema and that makes me think of my favourite cinema in Ireland where I used to get great buttered popcorn which makes me think of my first date there with my husband watching this miserable film about alcoholics and that makes me miss home, as well as a twinge of deep sadness I haven't spoken to my alcoholic unwell dad in months. All this from a lemon refresher. And tomorrow the links might be completely different, the same thing could take me somewhere else entirely in my mind. Yet I can guarantee you where it goes will be unique to me and my experiences, no one but me will ever have that response exactly as I have.

Now... you tell yourself every day your life is pointless and you wish you'd never been born. And it makes you feel shit and life feels, well, pretty pointless.

What if this were all a language trap your brain had accidentally fallen into by making painful associations between words and thoughts, dragging you into a hole.

What if you decided, hey, I don't have to chase these thoughts or find a grand meaning right now. What if you just thanked your mind for making its associations but told it to butt out for a bit.

What if you undid the power of these thoughts and their importance a little: seeing them as words instead of the truth about you and your life?

Here are some exercises to show you that you can put a bit of space between these words and your feelings sometimes:

1. Say pointlesspointless pointlesspointless pointlesspointless over and over again and even my life is pointlesspointlesspointless again and again for at least 45 seconds. Eventually the words will run into each other and seem a bit meaningless. Try this with any words you habitually use to describe your life in harsh or critical ways.

2. Imagine a range of stupid character voices telling you your deepest fears. Bart Simpson. Stewie from Family Guy. Darth Vader. The more ridiculous the better. Do it until it just seems totally and utterly ridiculous to hear those words, I wish I'd never been born.

3. Sing it. In lots of different styles. Seriously.

4. Imagine it on a screen: the 'I wish I'd never been born' story, coming to a cinema near you!

These are all from a form of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It helps a lot of people get well even after very brief goes at it.

This is a bit of a clunky intro but there's a book called The Happiness Trap which is on Kindle Summer sale for about a quid right now, you can download the Kindle app to a smartphone or pc for free and get it that way. There's also a book called Get out of your mind and into your life and there's a teen version that is, well, all about working out the point of YOUR life.

But first you've got to stop your mind from trapping you in all this. I know this place, it's a blood awful place. But you can get out of it your mind is just trying it's damnedest to keep you in your head instead of your life.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 20:30:57

@9while 5 - I know what you mean about making links and associations with history. Happens to me all the time when I listen to music from the past. I repeated the term "life is pointless" for 45 seconds and it kinda lost effect cause I think I repeated it so much. That's a pretty interesting theory.

I'm getting spurts of anger more and more. I smashed my old PS3 recently and I swear I was this close to smashing my new one. All because the computer AI was beating me on a basketball game. And I know that's not rational. I'm a competitive person yeah but when it comes to losing on games it annoys me but I don't go into a rage fit like I did the other day. It's happening more and more.

How did you get past suicidal thoughts if you don't mind me asking?

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 20:37:31

I'm also listening to music that is very explicit and angry (Tupac, Rage Against the Machine). I've been feeling much more angry than I usually am.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Fri 16-Aug-13 20:53:35

I will post again tonight: I just had to pass this on, with love, BT.

Anger is normal.
To be expected.
It's part of the process; it's good.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 21:01:35

TD - thanks for the link. Never heard of the 5 stages of grief before.

working9while5 Fri 16-Aug-13 21:09:45

You know, I'm not sure.

I know I spent most of my childhood depressed. I wrote a poem about being lost in a wood all alone when I was eight and every one thought it was great but bloody missed the point. I think it peaked between 14 and 16 and a lot of that time is a blur. I remember sitting in the bathroom after my kid sister had gone to bed, my dad was gone and my mother was off somewhere and I would just stare at myself in the mirror and cry and hate myself and wish I had the guy as to end it and hate myself for not doing so. I kept going for my sister.

Like you, I learned a lot about my parents at that age. My dad has a history a bit like your mum, he was sexually abused by priests at school which led to his issues and walking out. It is a very scary and shocking thing to realise and it carries a weird guilt when you're young, like it means you are not justified in feeling your own pain. That is complex because actually they are unrelated but it took me many years to know that.

I know that somewhere between 16 and 17 it changed. I think part of it was seeking help outside the family. I ended up talking to this nun at school, she was a real support though one of those teachers every one walked all over in class. Then I went looking for support. I joined a group of Al Anon where everyone else was adult but they accepted me and talks honestly to me about life and their struggles, I suppose a bit like this thread is for you. It was a help to see how every one is working this stuff out and the support and approval I got from them was really needed because I needed that adult contact from people giving it to me just because, not because they were being paid to care. Later in life I found therapy helpful but at your age I was suspicious of it.

Working out feelings through books and music helped too. I read things like The Catcher in the Rye, books by Robert Cormier, self help books from time to time, mainly books about being lonely and isolated or in a dystopian world. I listened to a lot of Rage against the Machine when I was angry, Skunk Anansie, Morrissey, Nirvana. Some stuff when I was sad, like Massive Attack and for the life of me I can't remember the tune.

Allowing yourself feel the anger is good. Depression is like rage turned inwards, or like a friend of mine says, anger without the enthusiasm. Take it easy on the expensive hardware but breaking a few bottles can be cathartic. I have great memories of a friend and I at uni breaking a whole load of glass bottles when she was going through a tough time when her friend died in an accident. Just don't trash stuff you or others like or need or do anything to hurt yourself, others or break the law. Otherwise burn it up. You don't always have to be rational you know. Sometimes you have to ride the crest of the wave when it comes to rage. It will pass through. I guess that's what I didn't know at 16. This stuff does pass, even if its all you know right now. You're only just barely getting to the age where you have agency to change the shifty things in your life so how could you possibly know it will pass? Only living it will get you that knowledge. I'm just telling you it's worth the ride.

BengalTiger Fri 16-Aug-13 21:35:48

It doesn't feel like it's worth the ride atm, but I'll try to remember that. Thanks for sharing your story. It helped. I've got to go now. Hope everyone here has a nice night.

cjel Fri 16-Aug-13 22:31:54

Hello Bt, glad you are in a chatty mood again. Yes your anger is normal and good, it just needs to come out in a non smashing things up way!
I think my least favourite part of depression is that awful lethargy and really not finding anything good way, It is exhausting trying to pretend to be interested in something or thinking that you have to struggle your way out.
Hope you have a good night.x

Apileofballyhoo Sat 17-Aug-13 11:10:05


Just so you know I''m still here too. I'm glad someone linked to the 5 stages - it is of benefit to know your feelings are normal ones. I'm sorry you've been feeling so low and that life is pointless.

I am thinking of you a lot.

cjel Sat 17-Aug-13 13:48:43

Morning BT, Got any plans for today?

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sat 17-Aug-13 15:23:04

Thinking of you BT

Openyourheart Sat 17-Aug-13 15:40:51

Look, BT. you can have a philosophical debate on the meaning of life. However, I'm more concerned that you are not being treated for your illness properly. The drugs you are on, for example, don't sound very conventional for someone of your age. The other thing which frankly shocks me is that you say that your mother found you after a suicide attempt. Why on earth were you not admitted to a psychiatric unit?

Please go back to your GP and explain that you are seriously struggling and that you are having suicidal thoughts. The medical profession should step up and do more - for goodness sake, you are only 16 and it looks to me that their intervention is minimal.

You need better treatment.

working9while5 Sat 17-Aug-13 18:18:33

I think being open and honest with a GP is a great idea. It can really help to have some regular contact with adults outside of your family where you can be honest about your feelings. I don't know much about what psychiatric treatment for a 16 year old should look like, it didn't exist in the Ireland of my youth so I have no idea about drugs or psychiatric units. Youu are going for counselling, right?

I don't think there's anything wrong with having the big discussions about life though. Different people view this differently in terms of how helpful it is for them with their slumps but I know it has always been important to me. I have had dips again over the years and quite a bit of anxiety this last year but I am grateful I never went back to that place you are in now. I think your decision to go to counselling and to be honest here's about your thoughts and feelings is a sign you are in the fight and this won't have the better of you. But maybe seeing the GP might be good too, eh?

cjel Sat 17-Aug-13 19:41:04

I think the treatment BT is getting is right and he hasn't said he feel suicidal t the moment. He has a counsellor who he gets on with and really doesn't need to be in hospital. Sorry to talk about you as if you aren't here BT but don't let openyourheart depress you. I can ell you from personal and professional experience, you really don't need to be in hospital, out patients is working well for you and recovery from depression is not instant and you won't be helped by being away from normal life.

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