My first exposure to suicide was a cousin dying by suicide when I was seven years old. From then on, thoughts of suicide were in my life. When life was good, it was maybe only every couple of months that I would think about it. When life was not good, I thought about suicide everyday. I believed that everyone thought about it. I thought that part of living was at times wanting to die.
It wasn’t until I was in my second year of university that I learned that these thoughts could be decreased and hopefully, eventually go away. Unfortunately, it took me going into crisis, harming myself, and ending up in hospital to realize that help was out there. It took many years of hard work to remove suicide as an option from my life. I believe that my brain had gotten so used to the idea of suicide that whenever anything stressful happened my brain jumped to suicide related behaviour as the way to cope.
Luckily, like breaking an old habit, I have changed this by practising new habits (self care, increasing my self esteem, increasing my coping skills, etc…) so now my brain jumps to safer options like “have a cup of tea” or “cry” instead of “hurt self and want to die.”
It all happens in a matter of seconds, the choice between engaging in suicide related behaviours or living related behaviours.
When that moment of worthlessness and the sense of life is not worth living comes over me… I take a deep breath and have a cup of tea.