Today in my individual therapy session, we were completing a crisis intervention plan. It’s something Paul has been keen to finish, while I’ve been feeling more irritated than anything else.
The process forces me to remember a time of major crisis and to think about the things that might/did help. I live life in various compartments and it’s near impossible to imagine being back there again. The factual memories are easy, but the mental anguish more difficult to connect with.
We talked about suicide. Paul was evidently gaining an understanding of what to look out for in the future.
My danger point was never when I was deep in depression, but more when I was intensely agitated, or just starting to recover. I remember the inner terror that I might go back into that desolate mode again.
I used to cringe if someone said, “Things will get better”. Truthfully, I didn’t care. At that stage, many of us aren’t even interested in getting better. We’ve lost faith and spend most of our waking hours thinking of ways to end the internal torment. It can even become the central focus, robbing us of time to consider other possibilities.
Back then, every turn was met by another brick wall. I’m not exactly sure what changed or when, and neither can I say there is light at the end of the tunnel, but at least there is a tunnel.
If I’ve learned anything from that time, it has to be that sometimes that tunnel has a blind-bend in the middle, obscuring our view of the light at the other end. I can’t say if I’m anywhere near that bend yet, but at least I’m working towards it. That’s a huge transformation.
Of course I still get depressed. There are times when it’s difficult to function. I’m so introverted; it completely escaped me that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I learned this from A Canvas of the Minds blog http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/09/10/world-suicide-prevention-day-2/
For those who are feeling suicidal, I’m not about to tell you that, “It will get any better”. What I want to share is something I learned during the darkest times of despair. It was a sobering thought that still jolts me whenever I doubt recovery.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is well known for its suicides. Its massive height of 756feet almost guarantees few survivors. Without a doubt, the leap over the edge is most certainly that final decision.
Up until last year, out of more than 1,500 people to jump, only 34 survived. More than 50% of them said they instantly regretted jumping. Half way down, they suddenly realised there was in fact another option. I cannot help but think of those who took that final thought to their graves.
That “other option” might not come as an epiphany, in my case; it sort of slowly snuck up on me. It can be difficult to believe yours is there, but how would we ever know if we didn’t go that extra mile in search of a reason to go on.
Here’s to another option…