As someone who has BPD, suicide ideation is a part of life. It’s a constant black cloud that is always drifting close to you. Some days are worse than others. You could be having a good day, be at a party, be sitting watching tv and the thought will just pop into your head. You should just do it. You should just swallow a load of pills and be done with it. This isn’t a strangers voice telling you this, it’s your own voice, the voice that’s supposed to be in your corner, telling you to die. You’re supposed to trust your instincts but what do you do when your instincts are telling you things that are so obviously wrong? There are no easy answers, and these thoughts are frightening no matter when you have them.
Over the years I have become used to having these thoughts, although they never become easier to listen to, you do find ways to cope with them.
Like a lot of people with BPD I don’t have particular triggers to look out for, I may be fine one minute and totally different the next. All I know is the strategies I have to help me cope with the thoughts when they come, so I will share some in the hope that they may be beneficial for someone else.
Don’t be alone. Even if you don’t talk about it to who you’re with, just being with someone else helps. If you have no-one to sit with, consider calling the Samaritans or another helpline. If you feel you are at serious risk of harming yourself call 999.
Distract yourself. Put some cheerful music on, draw, watch funny or cute internet videos, do a puzzle, go and have a shower, anything that takes you out of the moment you are in.
Promise yourself you are not going to do anything right now. Make a promise to wait and see how you feel in 24 hours, or a week. Thoughts and actions are two different things and putting some distance between your thoughts and your actions is a very powerful thing.
Make a list of things you love. Include people, places, feelings, anything you can think of.
Don’t take drugs or use alcohol. This one’s pretty obvious but not so easy to do. It can be quite easy to turn to drink or drugs in the hope of feeling less or better, when realistically it will only exacerbate the the situation.
These things have really helped me with my thoughts, I hope they will be of use to someone else. Above all else, there is hope. You are not your thoughts, no matter how loud they are shouting in your head.
The Samaritans number
116 123 free 24 hours a day