It is Time to Talk Suicide, Again

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Fair warning, this will be a different approach than I have ever taken in the time since this blog became a reality. My approach to suicide as it has been in the past changed in October. Suicide is a challenging subject to talk about, and if you are not ready for what I will write here, you may want to stop reading any further. There is nothing wrong or right with suicide. It just is something that happens. I told you it would be different.

Listen to my latest Podcast episode for the latest about the last year of my life.

The last thing I wanted or needed when I had a suicide plan in place was for other people to talk me out of it. I was in a dark place in October. No one in that amount of pain that comes face to face with suicide, especially when they thought that part of their life was over, wants to hear that things will “be okay.” Or worse, have people tell you what to feel at that moment and the very worst that you need to be committed. I have been in those places, and they fail to help. It frustrates that person, and if they have the willpower to reach out, it took me almost two days for me, then that is okay. The last thing someone might need is a trip to the psychiatric ward (I will explain this more in another post.) Perhaps all that person needs is to be heard. Sure psychiatric ward visits are necessary, but I am going to say something radical. They do not actually help anyone!

I have been in psychiatric wards plenty in my life, and they medicate you. Then if your “stable,” whatever the hell that even means, then they release you. In 2007 I was in for a week and a half around Thanksgiving, and before I knew it, I was back in the same place again by New Years’ Eve 2008. A handful of weeks and nothing got better. I was suicidal. I wanted to not be a part of this world and be honest when we try to stop people from suicide, does it actually work? Think about it, it never did in my case, and while I count myself lucky to be a survivor, no one could have stopped me anyway. Something I experienced in the same scenario was a game-changer. It was called a safety plan, and it meant that I HAD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. 

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This will sound harsh, and I will preface it with this, I failed for years to take responsibility for my suicide attempts. It is your choice, and if you make that decision and live, you have to live with that responsibility.  Taking responsibility is not about blaming the good or the bad that is going on in life or the good or bad of the suicide itself. Instead, taking responsibility is allowing yourself to be okay with that decision. As a result, if you die, it was your choice, and I know so many people have lost loved ones to suicide, and I have empathy, but you can’t take that pain on forever for another person’s choice. 

There are things that you can do, like reach out to places like the ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program, LivingWorks, which you can visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist. You can learn how to guide someone the right way who is suicidal. I know I am working on getting this training, and I think everyone should have this training if I am honest (no, I am not getting paid to promote this.) But, I have experienced ASSIST firsthand with the safety plan and how the person trained in it approached me telling them I wanted to end my life. It changed my view of how suicide is treaded with the people trained in this program. 

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The most important thing, and I will keep harping on it because it is vital that the person who is suicidal has to take responsibility. A safety plan is excellent, but it is up to that person, in this case, back in October, it was me, to take the plan and implement it. Then I had to follow through or not, the other person will not know, and that is why I say it, the person who is suicidal is the person responsible for the fallout and everything that comes with it. That is how I feel, and it lessens the pressure that suicide is this super taboo thing. 

I know some of you that read this will be mad at me and say, “how could you, of all people, James.” Perhaps some will look at someone they lost and understand that they were in the worst emotional pain imaginable. Deciding to end your life is the hardest thing a person can do, in my opinion, and so trust that you will be okay. It is not about YOU. It is about the person that is suicidal. 

If you want to debate this or discuss it further, I am willing to Zoom with people or come on my Podcast and share your ideas. No one opinion is right or wrong.

The worst thing I have experienced when suicidal is someone taking on my pain to “try and make it better,” because at that moment, the now, none of your feelings actually matter. Imagine if you will experience the pain that the person feels and understand that they do not want to be fixed. Helping can be more effective, and if they reach out, try and not fix, just be there for that person. Perhaps it is controversial, and I will lose people following the blog, but if you’re suicidal and see this, know that I understand the pain and the choice. It is yours, but it becomes your responsibility. My next podcast will touch on this subject further. 

Always Keep Fighting.

What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye

Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me

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31 Replies to “It is Time to Talk Suicide, Again”

  1. Exactly. I don’t think suicidal ideation is a selfish desire. The person who has the suicidal ideation is the person who is suffering from within. From personal experiences, I’ve been suicidal and I can personally say that it comes from a place of frustration, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, and generally feeling stuck in life. Major setbacks or loss can trigger suicidal ideation. And yes, it’s painful for the ppl around us to see us suffering but I do agree with you – it’s not about them; It’s about us. And the fact that you’re able to recognize that and seek help/accept help when it’s offered is a very good thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. I know that people within the community will not be happy about my change of ideas, but it is the truth. I know people will disagree. It was a change to reach out and I am glad I did, and I hope others do as well. At the end of the day suicide belongs to the person. It is painful to see someone suffering but it is no ones place to change your mind. We need to take responsibility!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think that you have a very enlightened view on this James. I have been in that place and have know several people who have been in suicidal ideation. I often wanted to talk to someone but did not because i was already too edgy to deal with panicked reactions, overbearing interventions and pep talks from clueless but well meaning people. In the end I could only talk to myself, so I did. I realized I was the one responsible for how I dealt with my depression. I love knowing there is a resource that you found a great help and I am certainly going to follow up with that.. The right kind of support is crucial, the wrong kind can be devastating.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes the right type of help can be helpful and wrong could push that person over the edge for lack of a better word. We do need the responsibility because it is ours. I also want to join ASSIST because I can help people with not only my platform but with my advocacy work. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with a lot of what you’ve written. I have a question though… would you equate someone who dies from cancer has any more of a choice then someone who dies from suicide? It goes back to me to having an invisible illness that is not a choice to have and how we cope or respond to it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your question is a good and legit one. From my experience someone with cancer does not have a choice and in mental illness it is the same. At the same time, it is a choice, not good or bad but it is, yes mental illness is an invisible illness if we let it. I am not just saying things I am doing what I can to change how mental illness is treated. The old way of only medication, therapy, and working with a psychiatrist is not enough. I did some work this summer with professionals and all they talk about is medications and treatments. Thats fine but they are not open, and I have experienced this, to change. What I am saying is that someone that is suicidal in my own personal experience is making their choice. Yes there is fallout but that is more about people taking that on when it is unnecessary. Its my opinion but my experience has led me to this conclusion. I am not right or wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another question… or two if you don’t mind… if it’s a choice how do you make change when all you feel is pain? And do you think suicidal ideation or thoughts is a mal adaptive coping mechanism? I have felt it is for myself… like a fail safe if you will. Not always by varying degrees of my planning but the want to not exist. Hope that made sense

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries and I am avalible to Zoom if you have more in depth and I will be sharing more in an upcoming podcast. With that you make a change the same way you make the decision to make a suicide plan and follow through, you make a choice. I made a choice and took responsibility to reach out to someone I trusted would not make me feel worse. It does help to have people and I get it, not everyone has that in their life. I was not sure about the second question can you rewrite it.

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  4. I wholly support you. We were never consulted when we were born. If our pain becomes unbearable to us we have every right to end our lives. Anybody who says otherwise has likely not suffered from severe depression.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It usually is when someone is familiar. I hope to reach those like you but also those who live or have someone in their lives that are dealing with suicide.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I understand James. In my own case the cause is 99% physiological and the only help I could ever get is chemical. Which, sadly, is currently lacking. And no new drugs in sight. So much fanfare around stuff like psychedelics and so little truth in it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I feel what you are sating and I agree. I did this thing with a company and worked with some professionals and they just wanted plans to keep the same old medications. I went through 2 antidepressants for 11 years before I decided I had enough. I have had enough on all medications if I am honest.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’m not taking anything at present. Tried psychedelics. Too much makes things worse. Short term they switch it off which is great. It may be a case of getting the dose right. Also thinking of trying Syrian Rue – effectively an MAOI…or there again perhaps I’m better off toughing it out. 64v years of misery and still going strong(ish!)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. If you add the complications of life then endure that chemical imbalanced vise, may I never have to walk in those shoes, never know what you will choose when you believe theirs nothing to lose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James, I totally get what you are saying. Suicide has taken the lives of two of my cousins on my mother’s side. However, I do not have anger for them, having been close to that state myself. I understand something of what they were going through, and I know that medical intervention did not help in either case. What has helped for me is to have regular visits with a psychologist where I could work out a safety plan, and learn how to change my negative thought patterns, taking responsibility for my moods instead of blaming everyone and everything else for the situation I was in. Yes I may have a chemical imbalance that causes the low moods for no real reason but I also tend to feed the negativity instead of fighting it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. I am the same way. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your loss is not minimized by what I said but it’s good that you connected to the words. I also did a podcast with more explanation about what I talked about. The podcast is called The Bipolar Writer Podcast.

      https://anchor.fm/james-edgar-skye5/episodes/Lets-Talk-about-Suicide-eo19jf

      Thank you again for sharing I know it’s never easy. I am glad you are taking responsibility for your situation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Regular therapy visits have also helped me manage my negative thought patterns and given me insight into how to handle triggers. My therapist has used EMDR which I have found useful for helping me manage my PTSD and depression. It has helped me take ownership of my moods and to not blame others.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Then right therapist can be amazing. I had a great one until about November of 2019. Now I have issues trying to get my new one on the phone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have heard of EMDR but I can’t remember exactly what it entails. I’ve had cognitive behavioural therapy so far.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It helped me process several traumatic events in my life to give me a better understanding of how they impact me today. I found it effective in helping me manage triggers associated with my PTSD. My therapist used a back and forth movement with her finger and I stared at her moving finger as I focused on images of the trauma. Then we would discuss what I saw and felt. It helped me uncover things that regular therapy did not.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I would consider suicide, & think I would do it, if I were ever in intense pain. For me, that’s physical, but of course mental pain, wanting to be gone from it, meds don’t work, is just as valid. Thank you for writing the kind of post almost nobody writes. I don’t think suicide is wrong. It’s choice. I have known for many years that it’s possible I will come to that choice. Hoping for brighter days now that you’ve shared your truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your response. It is a choice and if you go down that path you live or not with the responsibility. I also expanded on this in an episode on my podcast, I had an issue last night with one of my segments not being recorded but I am fixing it this morning. If you want to learn more about my ideas on suicide please visit the Podcast here: https://anchor.fm/james-edgar-skye5

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  8. Thank you for pointing out that the well-meaning folks who do not understand mental illnesses and do not feel the pain are often hurting us more than helping us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi James! This post was really fascinating to me. I agree with so much of what you said and wanted to share a story. I am a social worker and research suicide prevention strategies for a living (mainly the process of being reported then detained by police/EMS). I took the ASIST suicide prevention training a few years ago and at the start they asked everyone some establishing questions about their thoughts on suicide. Two of the questions were, “Is suicide wrong?” and “Is suicide a sin?” I was shocked that, in group of mostly mental health workers in Canada, most people answered that yes, it was wrong, and yes, it was a sin. Shocking! I ended up arguing with everyone and my boss at the time had to give me a stern talking to about how I was representing the company lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s sad that it’s looked at like that on the outside. I know this may sound weird but would share that experience and also would you do on a podcast. You can use a pseudonym if you want and it’s just the audio I use. Your perspective would be amazing!

      Like

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