Another Option…

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…

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31 thoughts on “Another Option…

  1. Bradley

    Great post, Cat. There have been so many times I’ve thought of taking that plunge, but backed off before I started. How sad to think of the many who changed their mind when it was too late. As Lucky said, glad you chose to stay with us,

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  2. sensuousamberville

    “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.”

    I like that Cat. I always say, today may be terrible, tomorrow may be also, but one of these tomorrows may be a bit better, just a bit, it could be the first of many, we have to allow for tomorrows because there are no do overs.

    Not that long ago, I was with an ambulance crew, I was asked to ride along. I was the first on the scene and pounced on her, attempting to stop bleeding. After a moment her eyes flickered and she whispered… oh so quietly, you could barely hear it “please save me”, if my forehead had not been pressing on hers, I would not have heard it.

    There are other options, but depression is so deep and dark, it lies and twists truths, so other options are not seen, not clear. Often not wanted. Until.

    Cat, remember, there are tomorrows, always wait for them. It may just be a flicker, like when a candle lights, but that flicker grows too. Like you said, it sneaks up on you.

    *big hugs*
    Amber

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  3. brokenbutbeingrepaired

    It`s good to know you found that other option.

    Have lost some people to suicide and to be honest; miss them so, so much and feel massive guilt that none of us could help them more. Acknowledge that for them, there was no other option though.

    Being totally honest, I (and others) felt so much anger and resentment at being “saved” and left to deal with the consequences (brain injury, additional trauma, a long stay in hospital [psych and general]) and the only choice I had been able to make was reversed against our will.
    Life has moved on and am over that resentment and anger now.

    Suicide prevention is a great concept, but maybe it would be more helpful if MH orgs promoting it helped push harder for people to access the right help at the right time; not have to fight for it for years while their lives are deteriorating.

    Hoping that between you and Paul, you are able to find ways of integrating some of those compartmentalised parts of who you are. You’re doing great, sorry this reply is so [too?] negative, but am really pleased you are finding ways through all the darkness.

    xxx

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    1. Cat Post author

      Yes, I’ve experienced those years of desperately looking for help, only to come when that inevitable crisis came crashing home.
      Your reply is not long and they are ALWAYS extremely helpful. I really do appreciate the support, thank you.

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  4. mandy

    Cat, this is a most powerful message (and visual) you have shared here. To think about those who “jump” and halfway to the end wish they hadn’t . . .also, you said here: “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” are the very words I’ve been mulling in my own mind about that tunnel… To have been suicidal (as so many of us have) and to have reached this place of understanding is no small thing, Cat. You are doing a great job pushing forward through those blind-bends. Thank you for this. ❤

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  5. Priceless Joy

    Cat, your 5th paragraph hit me right in my gut. I remember so well feeling that very same way. I wanted to end the internal torment (but I didn’t want to die) But, was that what I needed to do to end the torment? Believe it or not, I felt every single thing you felt, even the feeling of desperately wanting to see/feel the light at the end of the tunnel but not even sure if I could find the tunnel! I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THERE IS INDEED A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! (Even if you cannot even see a tiny bit of light right now). In my class the other day we were writing stories and one person wrote something like this, “In my recovery it seems I am always taking one step forward and two steps back and one step forward… Then one day I realized, I am doing the cha-cha!” GBY!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Ha! I love it – the cha-cha… nice one. Hope you’re doing well, Joy. Thank you for dropping by and commenting, always greatly appreciated

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  6. kat

    you said “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.”

    you state this so well, you have captured mine (and i’m sure many many others) torment and feelings so vividly. i hope, i, like you, will have ‘another option’ just sneak upon me as well. but i really don’t expect to.

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      1. kat

        you are so positive, it is almost unbelievable! but i know you speak from the truth and would not lie. what you say helps; thanks for that. hope you are moving forward little by little too.

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        1. Cat Post author

          It’s easy to be positive, Kat, when we’re feeling okay. If I was where you are right now, I would usually fail to see past it. I’ve also read you being positive in the past and I’m quite sure I will read it again sometime in the future. Hang in there…

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  7. manyofus1980

    Hi there…those of you who read our old non private blog, I am asking you if you’d like to read our new privatised blog. We have dissociative identity disorder and PTSD, we write about our journey to healing, our therapy process, and our ups, and downs in life. Our blog is currently private because we write about some heavy topics but if you request access we will approve you. To request access visit http://multime1980.wordpress.com/ thanks for reading

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  8. Bourbon

    Probably the only post I will read on that day this year. For some reason I am avoiding them this year. But that gives us all much food for thought. Thank you for writing xx

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  9. idiotwriter

    Bravo. So well expressed and written –
    There is a place where you say here about …’it kinda snuck up on me’ –
    Why do we insist on miracles and epiphanies in life? Looking back is so useful to see how far along we have come right? Ok – so I know it is flippin hard to do that in the dark! LOL!
    But still – hope is an amazing thing – it could lay just around that next corner…not always the light but a glimpse of it…giving us hope to continue.
    Loved reading these words of encouragement you have written to bring just that to folks…
    Hope. For another option.
    YOU are proof right? Thank you for sticking round 😉

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  10. manyofus1980

    wow cat, very inspiring post. I’m late reading it as usual though. I’m glad I did! As a suicide survivor, surviving many attempts, it was very powerful, and yes, I agree, there is always another option. XXoo

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