I’m currently working on a poem called, “Every Day is Suicide” that in many ways is highly flawed and will never live to see a reader. Capturing the essence of feelings as deep as those involved in a psyche contemplating suicide is difficult at best, if not impossible. Luckily, many people never have these feelings while others have them frequently.
As a sufferer of bipolar I disorder, I am all too familiar with thoughts of suicide and personally, I have been hospitalized three times for my own safety. Fortunately, I don’t live with daily thoughts of suicide but some times they appear intrusively during regular moods and I have to remind myself that I am okay. I once met a man in a support group that said he had daily thoughts of suicide and that he had learned to live with these thoughts.
Whether you only have the rare thought of suicide, occasional thoughts, or constant thoughts about it, it is important to have a safety plan or a crisis plan. This piece of paper should list the addresses and phone numbers of area hospitals, your primary care doctor, any mental health professionals you work with, a current medication list, and symptoms you experience when manic or depressive moods affect you. The list should also include a suicide hot line such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk (8255).
To cope with suicidal thoughts, be active or write in a journal. I wrote the following poem, “Melancholy” while I was severely depressed last year in between hospitalizations and just one month prior to receiving electroshock therapy.
Melancholy drops like a water molecule
slowly sliding off a leaf, quiet in a forest full
of chattering animals. The fog of air hugging
the circular sadness as it cycles down to the
mossy floor of the earth. Damp thoughts
stick to the ground like wet leaves,
muddied and grave, death written in the veins.
If you want to help and don’t know how, consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Mental health advocate and friend, Alexa Poe, is accepting donations for Richmond, VA walk, which will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Click on the link to donate and learn more: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=418501.