Suicide. The word that makes every gaze drop to the floor, makes every person uncomfortable, makes every person abruptly change the topic because they have nothing to say on the matter.
Well, I do.
Tomorrow (the 10th of September) is World Suicide Prevention Day. And although every day should be suicide prevention day, tomorrow is the day when mental health advocates come together to remind people that yes, suicide is a real thing, and it's something that needs attention and awareness.
I don't know how many of you reading this have had suicidal thoughts in the past or at the moment (and no, I'm not talking about the jokes you make about how life sucks and how being dead would be better - trust me, I've seen these memes on the internet, and they are an insult to suicide awareness), but I can tell you that I've been there. I've been there.
A month ago, I was there.
My faithful Geeks, the followers of my blog, might know that I've been battling a few mental health issues over the past two years. I won't go into the details, and I won't label them, because I've come to realise that labelling them only makes me see myself as a psychiatric patient, and I'm so much more than that.
And so are you, dear reader.
A lot of shitty things happened to me in 2016, and that only furthered my suicidal thoughts. Every depressive episode I had led to suicidal ideation, and I had pretty much accepted it as my fate. I'd accepted that this was who I was, a victim to mental illness, and save for taking my meds and going to therapy, I had no other saving grave.
I never thought, once, to think of myself as a warrior. No, all I did was shun myself, blame myself, and hate myself for it. Worse still, I thought being suicidal and depressed defined me. I wasn't 'me' anymore. I was the depressed, bipolar, borderline chick.
But to hell with that. I'm Swati the Geek! Always have been, always will be. And it's that revelation that has helped me become who I am today. A survivor.
The thing that's changed about me in the past month - yes, in just a month - is that I've stopped seeing myself as a helpless victim. Instead, I've started seeing myself as my own doctor. I still see my psychiatrist and therapist, and of course, I'm still on meds. But that isn't the end of it. I needed to treat my own self in order to get better. And that's what I did.
It wasn't easy, for sure, to change my attitude or my mentality. It can be quite a struggle for people who have intrusive thoughts. You feel powerless and out of control. You feel like this is it, this is what the rest of your life is going to be like. I'm here to tell you that it isn't true, not in the slightest.
What I started doing was believing in myself. In the Universe (I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in God, but I do believe there's a higher power out there, vibrational energy, guiding us all. If you don't believe in it, just stick to believing in yourself). I started believing in a better future.
A few positivity practices helped me along this one-month journey. I start my day by writing what I look forward to. I write five things I'm grateful for every morning. I recite my positive affirmations that make me feel confident, productive, attractive and happy. I listen to vibrational binaural or isochronic beats that help me tune into my energy. I end the day by jotting down all the positive things that have happened today. It can be something as big as getting a publishing contract (though that hasn't happened to me... yet) or something as small as finding a shiny, pretty pebble on the road. Anything that makes you smile or feel better, even while you're depressed, counts.
These are the things that have worked wonders for me. I don't know if they'll work for you; we won't know unless you try. God, I hope they work for you. And if not, I hope you find the right approach with the help of your doctors, friends and family, but most importantly, yourself.
Remember that if you've been having suicidal thoughts lately, help is always available. You can find a great doctor within your budget on websites like Practo. You can always talk to a dear friend, mentor or parent, but I cannot stress upon the importance of seeking professional help. Medication may help to a certain extent, but the rest is all on you. Don't worry, I'm positive you can do it.
Comment down below and let me know what are the two things you're grateful for this morning. Or if you're reading this at night, what are the two positive things that happened today? Affirm something for me. I'll go first:
(what I'm looking forward to today)
1) Therapy with Dr. Anjali
2) Finishing work on my three manuscripts to be beta read and edited
(an excerpt from my gratitude journal, an app called Bliss, this morning)
1) I'm so grateful my working speed has picked up. My turnaround time has reduced considerably, and it's making my clients so happy. I'm so lucky!
2) I'm so grateful for my supportive family. They always side with me when I'm right. I'm so lucky!
(two of my favourite affirmations)
1) Every day I am becoming more and more positive.
2) Wealth is constantly flowing in every day!
(an excerpt from last night's positivity list)
1) Wrote 1,000 words of Beating Heart
2) Great arm and upper body workout
Also let me know what kind of posts you like reading. More on mental health? More book reviews? More personal stuff? More philosophical ramblings? I love hearing your thoughts.
See you soon, Geeks. :)