I am not a professional. If you or someone you know experience(s) suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
You cannot afford to wait.
I thought up this blog after my most recent post, “The Suicide Squad,” which talks about a group of us psychiatric patients joking about our suicidal tendencies. The list below may seem lighthearted, and possibly completely inappropriate, given the severity of the topic, but I mean it quite literally. Some of these seemingly small tasks have helped me rev up, calm down, yell, cry, breathe, and think rationally in the face of very irrational thoughts. In fact, after a long day of wrangling small children, I am in the middle of a nice long #17.
Surprise of the century: suicide is not a joke. In her memoir “Madness,” Marya Hornbacher states that, “about half of all suicides in the US can be attributed to bipolar.” Scary, right? I sure as hell think so. Bipolar disorder has “the highest suicide rate of any psychiatric disorder,” with 25% of bipolar patients attempting suicide in their lifetime. How comforting.
That needs to change. I don’t ever want to go through what the professionals call “suicidal ideations” ever again. This cover photo for me represents triumph, even though it was taken during the very short time I had between inpatient psych facilities. I was able to survive, to live, happily, during the darkest time in my life, even though I seldom remembered it. Suicide wasn’t fake for me, and it isn’t fake for anyone else. This is not The Boy Who Cried Suicide. This is real. It is happening all around you, if not deep within you.
So here you go, a nice conversation starter, 39 things to do today instead of committing suicide:
- Sit outside
- Listen to your favorite song on repeat
- Try yoga, rock climbing or hiking
- Clean your room
- Talk to a therapist
- Buy a journal and write or doodle in it
- Run as fast as you can for as long as you can
- Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy on Netflix
- Visit your nearest animal shelter and snuggle all of the loving puppers and kittens
- Fill out 25 Buzzfeed quizzes
- Write an email to your favorite teacher
- Remember that your memories cannot hurt you
- Read Harry Potter
- Watch Harry Potter
- Buy something (online shopping counts)
- Take a bubble bath
- Be with someone
- Drink hot chocolate (marshmallows optional)
- Take a nap
- Color in a coloring book
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in years
- Go kickboxing (good anger management)
- Write a letter for you to open in 6 months
- Eat some ice cream
- Put on bright lipstick
- Meditate (Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think are my favorite apps)
- Play video games all day
- Open the curtains
- Get up before the sun (bonus points for watching it rise)
- Print out some of your favorite photos
- Stare yourself down in the mirror until you think of something nice to say (smiling helps)
- Cuddle up in your favorite blanket
- Apologize for something you regret (and then let it go)
- Buy yourself a present, wrap it up and leave it in your closet to open on your birthday
- Think about your spiritual preferences
- Say, “I love you”
If you resonate with the title of this article, you have a story that needs to be heard. If you feel no one else is listening, I am. Please do share, to someone, somewhere, somehow. It takes the edge off; it really does. Thank you for reading.