Sunday, 18 December 2016

Suicide/self harm is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain




I would like to commend anyone who is sitting in silence about their daily suicide ideation. The ideations so strong you have to find strategies to get through your day without acting on them. You could be sitting at the table eating your breakfast and a sudden feeling of anguish and emptiness enters your mind. You all the sudden are taken away from the present moment and you start having clear imagery of how you would act on your urges so you don't have to wake up. A friend could be speaking to you and your mind totally takes you away to this dark place. Feeling frightened is an understatement. People need to understand its not a 'choice' to have these thoughts. Its not a 'choice' when the pain becomes so unbearable you start to act on it when your rational thinking just doesn't seem to be working. 

In this blog post I will hi light some coping strategies I now apply in order to survive my day without a self harm episode/attempt.  Its taken me a lot of work to get my thinking pattern to stay in a rational space instead of acting on my emotions. Im hoping by writing this I can help people who had to struggle in isolation at their darkest point in their life. I was in the darkest period and I felt even the right people I was reaching out to couldn't stop the pain from surfacing. 

I will tell you about a recent time I had in Melbourne. I was in my room after an exhausting day. I had reached out and tried to call some friends but they seemed to be busy. My ideation was starting to heighten as a painful memory I had happen to me come to surface. I started to blame myself and my thinking pattern was extremely negative. The words that had been passed to me at the time weren't something I could just 'forget' and 'brush off'. A person I loved had said some of the most cruelest word I have endured.  I wish at the time I could have just gone to sleep and forgot about it. But having an active mind that thinks about everything like my mind does, it was hard to calm myself down. 

So the words that were passed were sitting in my head. Conflict with my own rational thoughts started to arise and I was getting severely worked up. I know it was a past memory but I never really got to express at the time how severely that had impacted me. I know this person knows how resilient I am so they thought it would be easy for me to just 'deal with it'. This is where I couldn't validate my anger and that I shouldn't care what this person thought of me. I wasn't allowing myself to be upset and I was emotionally manipulated to believe it was my fault this person had gone out of their way to pick up the phone and really put me down to the point I felt like nothing. I never got a sorry either and the sorry has always been forced. 

So I had gone to the bathroom and got the razor. I guess what people don't understand about self harm is its a quick release to a pain we feel every day. A lot of people with BPD tend to dissociate from the pain so that is when it can become dangerous. I took the steps to speak about it to my support network but they weren't available. I couldn't resolve the conflict with that person as they had blocked contact again. This is how I stopped myself from acting on the self harm or worse wanting to end my life as this situation had heightened my ideation that is always with me. 

I listened to how I was feeling. I realised I had every reason to be upset, especially how I felt about this person at the time. I started to self talk and say: I feel angry because_____. Usually I would say You deserve it and its your fault. I also self talked and reminded myself a compassionate person wouldn't say that to someone who is grieving over a death of a loved one. All these factors started to minimise the symptoms of my BPD and minimise the erupt of emotions coming up. 

I then had built up my self confidence back over time. Estelle had helped me especially get my self esteem back when I was belittled to the point I felt objectified each time I knew my feelings should of been validated and people should of been able to accept why I was upset instead of saying things like "It happens to everyone" and "It's only words". 

I learnt positive self talk when all I could do was put myself down when I was in my darkest head space. I also had hope in other aspects of my life and let go of the false hope I had held onto for so long. I focused on the positive people and care around me to filter out the negativity. I still am highly sensitive so words and actions were impacting me, I just learnt healthier ways to process it and express it instead of turning to self harm/ideation. I know a couple of weeks ago I couldnt apply it at the time when I was feeling so over whelmed, but I have been able to process it better and I know no matter how rational I am in confrontation, sometimes I cannot get people to understand the immense amount of pain I am in every day of my life. Please, if you read this and have upset someone in a state of their mental illness, please acknowledge how hard it is to do this self talk if you don't have the right therapy. Some people aren't lucky to have had the luck and insight I have into my mental illness. The change we can start to make is people changing their attitudes to someone who is suffering majorly. I know everyone suffers, but its all about learning about the specific person needs at the time and how you can contribute to supporting them. If you don't have that support network and suffer individually majority of the time like myself, I hope some of the skills I applied in a distressing trigger for me can help you cope in a situation you may be faced with in your on going battles. 



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