Suicidal thoughts can be like a storm. They often start quietly but then can grow louder as the storm grows. Like the winds just before a storm, a nagging voice starts making suggestions that can throw you off balance. “Maybe the world would be better without you." “Maybe things would be easier if you didn't have to face your circumstances." If you're currently hearing these types of nagging voices, challenge them.
- Talk back. Tell those voices to be quiet. Use an out loud voice or stronger language if you need to.
- Remind yourself that those thoughts are part of your bad day or situation right now, they are not part of your future.
- Firmly tell the voices that you want to make it through this awful time to see what life has in store for you.
- Be proactive! When you see a forecast of possible storms coming to your life, make sure you have a safety plan in place.
If you can, turn away from those nagging thoughts before they get too loud, then you will be able to stop the storm of suicidal thoughts from overwhelming you. It's like you are seeing a storm in the distance and are making a choice go the other direction knowing that you don't want to hang out near the storm.
But sometimes the storm of suicidal thoughts comes out of nowhere and sweeps over you. When the storm is at its peak, your suicidal thoughts are SO LOUD and intrusive. They are like the winds of a storm that threaten you and try to overcome you. Your emotions are heightened and scattered. You may cycle through many emotions at once. No matter what emotions or suicidal thoughts cycle through your mind, you DO NOT have to give in to them. Just as when you are suddenly stuck in a storm, you have options:
- You can find your footing and run out of the storm. Distract yourself while you work on moving to a safer emotional space.
- You can find a quiet place to get out of the storm and wait for it to pass. Remind yourself, ALL storms have a beginning, middle and end. There is not a single storm in the history of time that has not come and gone. Sometimes, this knowledge is comforting. Remind yourself that you have faced other storms before and you have made it through.
- You can reach out for help. Get someone to pull you out of the storm. Make a mayday call to a friend, family member, therapist or crisis hotline.
Whatever you do, DON'T give into the storm. Tell the storm of suicidal thoughts that it DOES NOT get that kind of power in your life. You still have places to go and memories to make.