For nine days in a row, I have been totally free from suicidal ideation. This has been my longest streak in the past few months, and I can’t put into words how grateful I am for it. Since my depression also reduced significantly, I began to hope that maybe the depression monster was finally thinking of leaving me, if only for a little while.
But my relief and hope were short-lived because when I woke up this Monday, the urge to end myself was back and how. The thought entered my head the very second I opened my eyes: you. need. to. die.
I was so shocked by this sudden appearance and intensity of suicidal ideation that I had to go outside and take a few gulps of fresh morning air to get a grip on myself. It barely helped, how could it? I did NOT see this coming.
My next reaction to the ideation was to try and ignore it. So I went to the loo, brushed my teeth and as usual, entered the kitchen to fix myself some breakfast. When I saw the knife on the kitchen counter, all hell broke loose. The words ‘kill, kill, kill’ played over and over again in my head and it took all of my willpower to not follow my mind’s orders. I then realized how much trouble I was in, for not only did I have suicidal ideation, it was active instead of passive. To make matters worse, I was unable to consult my therapist as she was not well enough to conduct sessions at the time.
And my family, no matter how supportive, couldn’t help me as they had no idea what was going on in my head, and I did not intend to tell them either. What was the point? All they would do was worry and with my serious guilt issues, I didn’t want another situation to deal with at the time. Telling my friends was also not an option because come to think of it, could they, or for that matter, anyone physically stop me if I had made plans to take my own life?
The only person who was best equipped to talk me out of it was my therapist and since she was unavailable, it was now up to me to save my life. **
So after breakfast, I forced myself to shower. Somehow, a shower almost always helps me feel better. Only this time it didn’t, but at least I felt clean. The next thing I did was what I often do in crisis mode: I reached out for my personal diary. I wrote about how miserable I was feeling and how I wanted to end it once and for all. By this point, the voices in my head had multiplied and become louder, with each one giving me reasons why I should leave this world. As the voices became more belittling and vicious, I began to believe them. Maybe I really was as worthless and unlovable as they said I was. And perhaps listening to them was not such a bad idea, after all.
I closed my diary and kept it back as I thought: tonight is the night I will finally use the knife. But God had other plans for me because as I was keeping my diary back in its place, I saw a book I was supposed to read everyday right next to it.
That’s right, it was my book ‘30 Powerful Affirmations To Boost Your Mental Health‘. At the very beginning of the book, I mention how I read it on the daily and readers should do the same. But somewhere in the middle of my nine-day streak of zero suicidal ideation, I had grown cocky enough to believe that I didn’t need to rely on it every single day. Maybe I could read it once a month or something. Whatever. I was finally in control of my mind.
So anyway, I lunged at the book and read it out loud – not once but many times over. And then in the middle of my nth read, I began to sob uncontrollably. I got some sense of worth back and my survival instinct finally kicked in. I quickly texted my best friend aka my younger sister and told her about my disturbed state of mind. A good cry and a quick conversation later, I was already feeling a little better. Although my desire to use the knife had not gone away, it now had an opponent called self-preservation to counter it.
All of this happened five days back and today, I am still in the grip of active suicidal ideation. But I have my affirmations, I have my best friend, and God to help me deal with it. Fingers crossed, the ideation will become passive soon and eventually, disappear for a while.
So now that we have reached the end of this post, I want to tell you, dear reader, that if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, PLEASE do not forget to read ‘30 Powerful Affirmations To Boost Your Mental Health‘ every. single. day. Who knows, it might just help save your life, just like it helped save mine.
**Disclaimer – If you are having thoughts of self-harm, whether passively or actively, make sure the people in your life know about it so they can keep an eye on you. Please do not keep it to yourself like I initially did.