July 7th, 2014 11:41 AM
The first thought you may have is something of the following, “what do you mean by NEXT attempt I thought you have NO reason to make another attempt…” Let’s be frank or let me be frank with you, I cannot predict the future or foresee my next step or action let alone the day I wake up and feel completely not like myself. I cannot promise myself to not make another attempt but I can pledge to live my life to the fullest. And I am doing this everyday. So why am I writing this post? To be the voice for the ones who are currently struggling with thoughts of suicide and cannot speak up about it; I want to open the door and provide the warning signs for a friend/loved one to look out for. But at the end of the day this is for my friends, the people who look up to me and love me, to understand my triggers and know my warning signs. All of my posts are connected to my Twitter account and I only know of 3 people, 3 friends of mine, who read my posts every now and then to understand who I really am. These people make sure to check in on me. A small part of me wonders what the other 150+ people or so-called “friends” with extreme quotation marks think of me and the headlines I post. When I post entries that mean a lot to me and only 3 of my friends take the time to read them, in my mind, my “messed up” “psychotic” mind, I just want to suicide again and end my life for good to show those people yes, I am deeply struggling and need support. I need love. I need “friends” to help me recover. I need people to check in, call me, every once in a while to hear my voice and hear the pain or the happiness. Such a big – small favor but means absolutely the WORLD to me. Okay now that I’ve said that…back to the purpose of this post!
What to do during my next suicide attempt? Below you will find a stage progression beginning with a month prior to the attempt to a couple of days before the attempt and the things I almost always do. This list is based on my personal experience from my several attempts in the past and my most recent one in May. I wish I could speak for everyone struggling but I cannot. I know I do show some of the major red flags that is common in almost every suicidal individual. While I was hospitalized, part of my recovery was to identify my triggers, stressors, and warning signs to create my safety crisis plan. **I am not a mental health professional, just a survivor speaking about my story**
1 Month Prior to Suicide Attempt
- Start to become extremely irritable, every little thing will start to bother me. In person I may not want to engage in the conversation, become quiet and not speak in the group. (note: I may not show irritability in front of people I will usually wait until I am alone to deal with the situation)
- Change in my appearance (hair is usually up and my attire consist of t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants – even in the summer I will wear sweatshirts/sweatpants sometimes to hide the self-harm)
- Eating habits: start to eat less food.
- Consume more alcohol than usual.
- Start to isolate myself from crowds of people (including friends, co-workers). Have the urge to work and do things in solitude.
- May engage in more verbal arguments or altercations than usual (I am the type of person who never talks back to others but I’ve noticed when I want to take my life I tend to argue more leading up to the day)
- Insomnia (usually trouble falling asleep which will make the next day hard to get through)
- Start to skip classes and run late to work. (Academics are highly important to me so when I miss class, you should be worried)
- Have no motivation or energy to do homework but tend to force self to complete it. (This is where my suicidal intentions start to get stronger as I get frustrated with myself because I cannot seem to complete the homework or get through it successfully as before because I have little to no energy – here I never seek help)
- Withdraw myself from major activities, cancel my attendance to outings, not show up to my favorite organizations/clubs meetings.
- Start to plan suicide by researching methods, crafting a plan that I usually write down on college ruled notebook paper in black ink pen. (ALWAYS! I ALWAYS do this! and if you are looking for the plan it will be underneath my mattress!)
- Start to say the following statements: “It’s complicated” “I do not want to be bothered” “I cannot do this anymore” “This is too hard for me” “I do not want to be a burden” <— this statement I usually say to my mom or someone I truly do love
- Start to purchase items needed to commit suicide.
- Excessive splurging on self: pizza & alcohol are the top two. I rarely buy clothes, I know I can’t wear them when I am dead.
- Look sad, angry, or mad.
- Extremely emotional. I tend to cry for no apparent reason.
1 Week Prior To Suicide Attempt
- Do not attend class or work. I stop going to the things that are important to me.
- Severe isolation. Tend to stay in my room all day long do not leave for anything.
- Drink alcohol excessively. Make more bar trips than usual.
- Eat less.
- Sleep more, excessively.
- Do not talk to anyone, start to avoid social media (stop posting on IG, Twitter, Facebook), calls, text messages, and activities.
- Start to make suicidal comments to close friends: “It would be better if I was not here” “If I was to die today, what would you miss the most about me” <— this is my signature question I ALWAYS ALWAYS ask before I want to commit suicide. I rarely say, “I am going to kill myself”.
- Cry almost every day.
- Stop taking medications.
Now, here’s where things start to get weird and is probably why people cannot understand why I may be suicidal at times or truly see the signs…
2-3 Days Prior to Suicide Attempt
- Happier and calmer than usual. (This is because I know my life is about to be over…)
- Talking excessively and engaging in conversations with other people. But here’s the catch with this one…I do not start the conversations the other person usually does and I start to feed into it to mask the sadness.
- Engage in social functions. i.e. bar trips, dancing, dinner with friends, or movies.
- Continue to ask the following question: “If I was to die today, what would you miss the most about me?”
- Cannot sleep.
- Get headaches more often than usual.
- Do not take medications.
Night Before Suicide Attempt
- Make last post to social media accounts. The post usually has something to do with “farewell” “love” something sad.
- Send last text message to good friends. Usually saying “You know I love you?” “I love you” “You mean the world to me” etc etc.
- Cry myself to sleep and start to tell myself : “I am doing the right thing” “This is what’s best for me”
- Typically I do little to nothing the night before.
- Ignore calls and texts. But, sometimes I make outgoing calls to important people to talk to them to pass the time at late hours in the night (after midnight).
If you see any of the above here’s what I need you to do:
- DO ask me is everything okay. (9/10 I will be honest with you but there is that 1/10 chance I am going to ignore you)
- DO ask me if I am having thoughts of suicide. If I say “yes” get immediate help because my plan has either started or is in the works of getting started. If I say “no”, that means “yes” and you should continue to get help. (Sorry for being complicated but I tend to lie when I am serious about taking my life)
- DO stay with me or come to me.
- DO NOT let me be alone.
- DO ask me what’s been going on, what’s happening, and why I feel this way. To get me talking.
- DO ask me if I have a plan to kill myself. (10/10 I will tell you my plan and what I am going to do in great detail and I need you to listen to me and NOT tell me you do not want to hear it. If you know you cannot listen to my plan in great detail, try to contact another friend or person to come over or talk to me. This is where I need to be heard out and listened to)
- DO search my room for knives and scissors and remove those items.
- DO express concern for me.
- DO NOT argue with me or tell me “suicide is not the way out” blah blah you are just going to increase my chances to take immediate action.
- DO ask if I took my medication. (9/10 I did not…)
- DO contact my parents so I can get help.
- DO take action if that means you take me to the hospital or call for help. (Of course I will be mad and upset but at the end of the day I know you are trying to help and I will thank you later)
- Please, try to be calm. If you are not calm, I will get excited and take action. (Sounds weird but this happened once)
One thing I should add is that I am highly sensitive and fragile even now, with my medication. This means that you can say or do one wrong thing to me and the solution that pops in my head immediately is suicide. Suicidal ideation is my biggest weakness. It’s hard to control but I am working with my therapist to control these thoughts. Almost everything is a trigger to me: comments, actions, and even some conversations or words. But please, act normal around me and work with me. I will let you know if I do not want to engage in a conversation with you to avoid suicidal thoughts.
Please be there for me and anyone who is struggling. Knowing that I matter to someone and that you care about me will help solidify my purpose to continue to live.