After a Suicide Attempt – for the Attempter

treenage girl suffering with depression in a conversation with therapist or psychologist

You’ve been in a low point and it took you as far as you could go, so far that you felt ending things was the only way to get out of your misery. And it didn’t work. Maybe you were intercepted or your method wasn’t effective or executed in the right way. You’re going to have a lot of feelings interspersed with feeling nothing at all. This is normal, if anything can feel normal right now.

You might feel anger at your choices, your method, those who intervened, or God. You might feel worthless for failure at the attempt that was unsuccessful. You might feel just as (or more) sad, lonely, or depressed than you did before the attempt. You might feel guilty over the fallout to your loved ones, or inability to provide. You might feel numb, hollow, or empty – this one is especially tough as it is a protective factor, but means you cannot absorb any good feelings being sent your way during these times. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. If you’re feeling something, that’s positive. Here’s the thing to note: feelings change. If you can feel this, you can feel something positive – maybe not today, but there can be hope. You’ve felt good feelings before, even if not recently, and you can feel good feelings again.

Please don’t try to do this in isolation. Maybe you can, but you don’t have to, and it’s too hard to try. When everything else is already so hard, let this part be easier. There’s hospitals for inpatient help if you need to be monitored for additional attempts and need round-the-clock care (search “psychiatric receiving hospital near me” and read the reviews to choose one), outpatient services like therapy (there’s different levels of therapy like weekly or multiple times per week, in person and online) and psychiatry. Psychiatrists prescribe medications, and it’d probably be good to look into this as your chemicals are likely lacking in one direction or another and need servicing like your car needs proper gas. I’d advise you to tell one person close to you about your attempt. Maybe someone already knows, or multiple people do. It’s okay to share as much as you’re comfortable with with these people and half your burden. Therapy is a great outlet for this, in addition, but do lean on your loved ones as they want to help you through this.

How do you get back to living? Do you just pretend everything’s fine? That’s too much effort. Be where you are. Take a break as much as you can. Step back in gently. Do a bit of work. Do a bit of hygiene. Do a bit of housework. The stuff that makes life feel normal, do some of it. If the house is still a mess, that’s okay, too. But spending 5 or 15 minutes doing the dishes or making a dentist appointment is what life is, that little stuff. And by gently, I mean even if you spend 15 minutes washing the same dish while zoned out, that’s okay. It’s still one dish down. Sometimes you have to plod along, and this is that transition point. Get by and get through.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Virginia. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.

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