It has been a week – I am feeling better than I was. The beginning of the week didn’t go well, although I am not sure what I expected. I talked to my wife about my suicidal thoughts, her response was ‘yes, but you wont do anything will you’. Now at the time I heard this as ‘ yes but it doesn’t matter because it is not as though you will act on those thoughts and this isn’t very serious’. But now, following counselling – which I will come back to later, I acknowledge she could also, and probably did say ‘Oh, OK, but you wont act on those thoughts will you? I am really worried by what you say’. She then saw the damage to my arm from self harming and said something along the lines of ‘how could you do that, you know how much it upsets me’, which again I could only find the negative interpretation off.
Anyway, got to Friday, and had my counselling session at my local Mind. I was determined to talk about my suicidal thoughts and we did. It has helped, verbalising my thoughts and trying to summarise them in some kind of cohesive way. I confessed to myself that I had done some reckless driving, which I had really thought about the implications of on the drive to therapy. Anyway, I am not going to go into the detail, but we talked about the change in my suicidal thoughts, the fact that my safety net of the impact on others was not feeling as strong and that I had self harmed again. I think in part I was looking for reassurance about what I was doing to try and manage my thoughts. I wasn’t contradicted, so guess I am doing all I can.
So my strategy for managing my suicidal thoughts (god it is hard even typing that, let alone talking about it) is
- I have the telephone numbers for Samaritans and Sane
- To use writing as a release, either in my journal or here on my blog.
- Breathing exercises and distraction, e.g. music on my headphones
- Not driving
- I want to type tell someone/my wife, but not there yet – i worry I would just cause her more worry. I am telling someone however, using blog/journal
I also have better clarity on my triggers, which are:
- Taking on too much, I have to be more realistic about my own abilities now, which are massively lower/less than they used to be (pre 2009), being particularly aware of appointments.
- Not enough sleep and/or disturbed sleep
- Maintain availability of my safe/quiet space.
- Winter (possibly SAD)
But I think the key point is to be more realistic about my abilities, and don’t take on to many which is (2-3 items/appointments/activities max) in a day and reduce that if I am having sleep issues.