Survivors of suicide can see the world in a different way. I know that I do. I tried to take my only life at 15 and almost succeeded. Being able to look back on that now, shows me truths I wouldn’t have seen back then. I am writing this because I care about you whether you have just survived suicide or it’s been a long time. I have written this post for you my friend to let you know you are not alone!
What happens after you survive suicide?
Before I continue, I want to share the information for the suicide hotline. It’s important that if you are in crisis right now you seek the help you need. I have a list of resource options below for you. Please choose to live. If no one else says it, I want you here!
- Suicide Hotline Number – 800-273-8255
- Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ Youth to reach Crisis Counseling – 866-488-7386
- Crisis Text Line – Text home to 741741
My Survived Suicide Attempt
Before I continue I want to be clear. I will not go into detail about how I attempted suicide. I will not offer methods as I don’t think it serves anything or offers any benefit to anyone.
From my first memory, I have always felt like a burden on my parents and those around me. Both of my parents had their own unhealed issues that meant they were not good parents in the slightest. My mom tried. She did. She was just in such a dark depression of her own that she couldn’t see anything beyond her own pain. My dad just didn’t see anyone in the world but himself and what made him happy.
After spending many years feeling unloved and unwanted, I met a guy. (I know. I know.) I thought he was the world because he was kind to me and genuinely wanted to be around me. I was 15 and convinced that I was deeply in love with this guy. Then my mom informed me we were leaving the state of Maryland to move to Alaska. My world was shattered and I was convinced I would never be loved or wanted again.
My mom sent me to stay with grandma after a few smaller suicide attempts. I was supposed to stay with her while mom drove across the country to take everything to Alaska. As I sat at my grandma’s house, I decided I was done. I didn’t want to live unloved and unwanted anymore. I didn’t want to live without hope or any kind of real future. I wanted to be done.
I didn’t write a note. I didn’t do anything that would say I was making the choice I was making. I simply went into a room in my grandma’s house and I tried to take my own life. Then I got scared. Scared because it hurt and let me feeling anything but the peace I thought I was getting from the attempt. It was brutally painful and at that moment, I chose to not make the choice I made. I climbed the stairs and went to my grandma to tell her of my choice in hopes of help.
Instead, she called my dad to come and they sent me back to bed. I won’t go into details but I will say it was good I had an uncle who had a drug problem and a certain smelling thing to keep waking me. He fought them on letting me “sleep it off” and because of him, I’m here today. They took me to the hospital where I was treated for my attempt.
After that, a great deal happened that would take me much too long to write. I will tell you that I spent three months in a psych ward and another year in a residential treatment center to try and work on my mental health. That was 17 years ago. Now my world is a million percent different from that day when I was 15.
I am loved. I am wanted. I am enough. I am choosing daily to live.
Things To Do After Surviving Suicide
Have you survived a suicide attempt? First and foremost, I’m so glad you’re here! Every day won’t be perfect. Some days you will still struggle and some days will be downright difficult. I don’t say that to make you upset. Instead, I want to be completely honest with you because honesty matters when we’re healing.
Find a mental health provider
Mental health providers are trained to help you get to the heart of the issue. Spend some time working to find yourself someone that will be in charge of your care. Having a quality counselor and potentially a psychiatrist can be a world changer for you! They are there to help you move through the hard stuff, overcome trauma, and if there is a chemical imbalance, get needed medications.
I completely understand that not everyone has insurance and finding mental healthcare isn’t always easy. I want to encourage you to fight for you. Even if no one else is willing to fight for you, fight to find the care you need to be healthy and live the life you saved.
Acknowledge and Work Through the Trauma
I’m not talking about the trauma from your past. That is something you will have to face. Instead, I am suggesting that you need to take the time to work on the trauma that came from your suicide attempt. It is traumatic to make that choice and the results of it are also traumatic. I see many people who have attempted suicide skip over this step. It is so so important to take time to process and work through (with a therapist) the choice you made and anything that resulted from it.
Forgive yourself for attempting suicide
It can be easy to blame yourself once you have some perspective. Everyone refers to suicide as a selfish choice and many will try to make you feel badly about attempting suicide. Forgive yourself for making a choice in the moment that could have ended your life. You did not do that to them. You did that to you and you need to forgive you for it.
Find Support Groups for Survivors of Suicide
Support groups can be a great place to find other people who understand what you’re going through. Surrounding yourself with people who understand and are choosing to live can make a world of difference. Not only will they have encouragement, they may know about resources for suicide survivors that you might not easily find on your own. There is no database of these groups so you will have to search based on your area.
*** Pro tip. – Please be cautious about the groups you join. Not everyone has a healthy perspective and it’s important that you find people who will help you to get healthier and thrive.
Find Reasons to Stay
Not all days will be easy! In fact, some days will suck on a level that can’t be quantified and on those days you will need to remind yourself why you are choosing to live. I have put together a great deal of surviving suicide quotes that you can download on your phone or print out to look at when you have a hard day. Get the quotes about surviving suicide.
Pro Tip – Have a friend who is safe to talk to. Reach out and let them know that you just need a reason or a word of encouragement. Make sure it is a friend who won’t rush to extremes on your bad days and instead will give you reasons to keep living.
We don’t owe anyone explanations as survivors of suicide!
One of the first things friends and family will do is try to understand why you made the choice you did. They will want to understand every component of the attempt and the heart behind it. I highly recommend speaking with your counselor about when it is healthy and how it is healthy to talk about your experience. No one other than your mental health professional is entitled to your experiences as a suicide survivor.
Learn your triggers and work to find ways to avoid them.
There are physical, emotional, environmental, and even chemical triggers for survivors of suicide that can lead you to consider making the same choice again. For some, it’s about a physical living arrangement they are in that leads them to have these urges. For others, it’s about someone or something that makes them feel a certain way that triggers these urges. For others it’s a hormonal shift or even a chemical imbalance in the brain. Other people find that when they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol they are more prone to consider suicide.
Take the time to find your triggers and figure out what you need to do to avoid those triggers. With time you may be able to be around those things safely due to coping mechanisms from your doctor. You may not as well. It’s possible that those are just going to be a no-go for you. Find your triggers and work with your counselor to find proper coping mechanisms to protect yourself.
Looking for more?
- The Truth about Suicide
- Free Mental Health Resources for Teens
- Suicide Survivors Tips for Survivors of Suicide Loss
If you have arrived at this post because of asking about helping a friend survive, please direct them to crisis hotlines that are more qualified to counsel them through the reasons they should stay. These suicide hotline workers are trained to intervene.
The most basic definition of suicide I can offer is to take one’s own life before it is time for the person to die.
While many will tell you the choice of suicide is a sin that is unforgivable this is false. Suicide is a choice made due to mental health issues. To believe in a higher power is to understand that they would be able to understand the mental illness and not condemn a person for it. (This could also tie in with the question, does God forgive suicide) The answer still stays the same.
No. In all reality when someone is considering suicide, they are not thinking of themselves at all. It’s less about escaping and more about removing themselves from a situation they don’t think they can ever fix. Suicide is not selfish. Suicide is a sign of a mental health need that was not met.
This will vary depending on the mental health professional. All should look into finding a care plan that meets your specific situation to make sure you are safe.
Suicide watch is when someone is keeping an eye for someone who is openly suicidal to confirm that they do not hurt themselves.