Whatever the question is, Suicide is NEVER the answer.
If you’re reading this ….then Suicide may have been on your mind? I don’t need you to answer that by the way...but if you’ve heard a voice in your head , please don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. I want to dispel some myths about suicide and also offer a voice of support and help to anyone who may be experiencing these thoughts.
Today is National Suicide Awareness day. On this day we remember those lost…we think of those left behind and we reach out to those in the darkness (I try to do this most days but you know, a day is a day to sucker punch it to you). I’ve written about my suicidal thoughts before, not out of kudos but out of connection. I guess I want to show how normal they are. After all, the thoughts are completely normal, most of us have had them at one time or another and they are not overly linked to mental health issues either. In fact anyone can experience these feelings for a whole host of reasons. We may be unique in our being but we are not unique in our doing. It is through our experiences and emotions that we connect and overcome.
The stats for suicide are horrendous. The last quarter of 2019, recorded an all time high of 11.4 deaths per 100,000. This makes it a HUGE problem that rarely gets talked about, except for the unfortunate time, when a celebrity takes their life. We need to be more open about our support instead of cries to “man up”. I’m unfortunate to know 2 friends, who felt this was their only option. The most recent was at the beginning of the Covid Lockdown. My heart broke when I read of her passing, the pain of not being able to help, the guilt of not having visited when I had the chance. Mostly not being able to stop her was the worst. But mostly a question of WHY? This question will ring in my ears forever…….. however here’s the thing …...I know why.
Does SUICIDE run in families, is it hereditary? Or is it just a Mental Illness?
You may have asked if suicide is hereditary, if it runs in families. I too have wondered this. I think the most shocked I ever felt was when my own Mum told me she too had been thinking about ending it all. Thankfully being brave enough to speak up meant that we were able to have a frank discussion about it about what had gone on in those moments leading up to those thoughts and about why we didn’t act on our intentions. That being said, I don’t think that suicide is hereditary, I think that depression can run in families, fuelled by environment and unresolved issues. Past problems and abuses can continue to revolve and therefore make it (suicide) appear to then run in families. Ultimately we need to get to the bottom of or the root of the depression, the mental illness that we are experiencing. In my experience, it’s usually a build up of problems and feelings that need to be resolved. Problems we feel need to be overcome and have listened to. To ‘Lean into’ as a dear friend puts it. I’ll talk more about that later. Mental Illness comes in many shapes and forms, I have a few of the many mental health labels that can be applied to a person. However I also didn’t find it useful to be labelled per se, as most of the therapies I recommend don't necessarily need a label in order for you to benefit from them. The label was merely another ‘band aid’ , as too were the medications. I won’t get into detail about mental illness here. As to try and tackle it when I am not a psychotherapist would be wrong.
In brief the type of person you are or the type of environment you grew up in plays a massive part in your thoughts and processes. But the headline news is that you can change these thoughts. You can change your reactions and you can find ways to help manage your feelings. You’ll need to continue to read this post to get to the tried and tested ways to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Talking about Suicide will make matters worse?
Seriously this thought, is most probably, one of the reasons we have this problem to start with. With suicide on the rise as previously pointed out, the fact that we may only mention it when a celebrity takes their own life, is by far the main reason that we are not able to find a way out. Caroline Flack’s untimely death earlier this year paid tribute to all that is confusing in this modern life. The social media storm that followed also highlighted issues that plague so many, the airbrushed appearance of Instagram for one doesn’t always help with those down days. That’s what I hope we at Roo Betty can change, we’re not gonna sugar coat it.
By the way, Suicide is never the answer...I repeat “SUICIDE IS NEVER THE ANSWER” I feel I may have to shout that out, just to get the message across. Regardless of that I can relate all to well in thinking that it is. Feeling alone and not knowing who to turn to for help. Unable to talk openly about your dark thoughts is probably why you are feeling like this. But also the physical pain that you are trying to escape is why you are here. Please don’t despair, read on and start to help yourself. “You can do this, I believe in you”
Find someone to talk to.
The day I opened up about what I had been thinking, was the day I started to make real progress in finding ways to help myself out of my depressive hole I had dug. Finding that person to chat to may be your first step. Indeed there are a lot of organisations out there that can lend an ear . From the Samaritans with a FREE phone 116 123 or Ditch the Label who are specifically for the teen to 25ish age group and have brilliant forums to answer your questions and find support. Another point of call would be Young Minds . I may be past this age but I relate all too well with the battles of teenagdom and why you may be feeling alone.
Thankfully I was able to chat to my husband, but that took a lot of courage and a fair few attempts to make myself heard. You too have this courage, believe me you do. Remember it doesn’t have to be a family member or friend that you confide in, the Samaritans free phone number is there for that very reason. After I managed to air my feelings and emotions I was able to find supportive ways to start to overcome my root causes of my depression. Speaking to your GP, may be your first point of call but as I have spoken about on many occasions before, please don’t be deterred if they are not able to help instantly. My experience of NHS funded help has not been the most useful to my depression and again it’s why I started Roo Betty as a beacon of hope for those in despair. Having tried many therapies including medication ,CBT and Hypnotherapy to name but a few. I found the most beneficial was the 8 week mindfulness course as championed by Jon Kabat Zinn. You can find someone in your area who provides this therapy by simply googling it or if you would like some recommendations of people I have personally used then please feel free to email email@example.com. Meditation and living a more mindful life was by far the most useful and being a 121 therapy that too was very helpful. This is where I learnt to “lean in” to listen to what I needed from me, where I learnt to care for myself in a loving way. It’s not the cheapest therapy around but I do rate it as a great starting point. It also has provided me with the ongoing tools to manage, as well as the understanding that I already had a lot of my coping strategies already in place - “Remember you are stronger than you think”.
You are NOT alone.
You may be feeling alone…... but it’s rarely the case. Having felt like this for most of my teen and early adult life, I can now reflect on why I felt alone and also hopefully give sound advice on what you can do to overcome that feeling. Navigating the modern world can be overwhelming at times and it’s probably one of the reasons you’re not feeling too great. Connecting with others is a fantastic way to get out more and feel better but I do understand when this isn’t an easy task. I too have felt too shy to speak to others and very uncomfortable in groups. It's a reason my drawings are important to me. As connecting with myself was actually how I got out of the worst part of my depression. When you find your connection with what you love, you’ll find it blossoms and grows and it’s that LOVE that gets you through. Finding your “thing” that you love, will help you find others to connect with as well.
Building on that seed of LOVE.
One of the main reasons for feeling that suicide was my only option, was the pain I was feeling. You may be feeling it too? I wish I could take it from you , the best I can offer right now is a virtual hug and this blog. I hope it helps a little?. That physical pain becomes too much to bear and so you feel that by ending your life you stop the pain. Here’s another NEWSFLASH. You only transfer that pain onto another person (or if you believe in reincarnation, the afterlife or other such beliefs. You’ll be back and you’ll be experiencing that pain all over again and again until you master the art of self love and forgiveness.) So how do you stop the pain? Now I can’t do this bit for you. I wish that I could, remember being here and reading this is your first baby step - so give yourself a pat on the back because you do deserve that.
Learn to love yourself.
Can you really love another person if you don’t love yourself? Some people find being in love very easy. They also appear to love themselves as well. Here’s the crux, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and really don’t compare. Ultimately it’s a losers game and you’ll find yourself spiralling. So where do you start?
Learning to love yourself can be quite tricky. I get it, I’ve been there. So don’t go all out with the hearts and flowers, start small, the baby step approach is considered a good way, then you won’t feel overwhelmed. Start with small things you love about you, things that you love to do. For example, maybe it’s your amazing eyebrows? Maybe it's the way you’re great at organising? Maybe it’s just the way you sign your name? It doesn’t really matter what you find to love about yourself, as long as YOU love it! As I say start small, plant that seed and it will grow. Soon you’ll be thinking how brilliant you are at everything….well, almost everything, nobody’s perfect huh?
Now here’s my little caveat the twist if you like. “It’s ok not to be ok”. I know that must come as a lightning bolt from the blue (or black, in case it's not all rosy where you are? - jokes) But it really isn’t all swings, roundabouts and a walk in the park for everyone. Whatever others say or appear to show. We’re not all having the best day of our life every damn day, sometimes things don’t fall into place. Sometimes you just want to cry because you couldn’t tie your shoelace (believe me I’ve done that!) And guess what that’s ok. We can’t all be living our best lives all the time (although I do try to live a pretty OK ish life as best I can - try it? that works too, living as a decent human being counts for ALOT!) Another great piece of advice is to treat yourself like a friend - just as if a friend was telling you these problems you wouldn’t go about saying how useless they were for not getting it, not being their best, would you?. You’d be kind and generous with your guidance. So give yourself a break, stop being so hard on you! Give yourself that much needed hug a gentle smile and tell yourself “It’s OK, you’re doing OK” and if you need that duvet day just curl up wearing your favourite sweater, watch some trash TV, maybe go do some Yoga? Dance and sing around the kitchen, doodle on a drawing pad? Whatever it is that you do that makes you feel more you, is what you need right now. So go do that. Have a little smile to yourself because “You’ve got this!”
NOW READ THIS...... 💖CLICK HERE
Sending you much love as always - and if you would like any recommendations of people I have personally used then please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Roo Betty x
Points to explore
- Find someone to talk to. Family, Friends or - Samaritans Young Minds
- Meditation and Mindfulness (either self exploratory or via a therapist)
- FREE meditation UK - CLICK HERE
- FREE meditation USA/Spanish speaking - CLICK HERE
- Find a hobby or interest
- Move more - Gym, Yoga, even dancing in the Kitchen.
- Self Love
- Be Kind to YOU! - follow Roo Betty here
YOU are loved, you are SPECIAL. Always remember this xxx If you want to read more tips on how to support your mental health have a look at