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Does anyone have experience overcoming habitual thoughts of suicidal ideation?

HomeForumsShare Your TruthDoes anyone have experience overcoming habitual thoughts of suicidal ideation?

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 52 total)
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  • #404676
    Helcat
    Participant

    Thank you for your kindness Honey Blossom! I’m feeling better now. Lovely to hear from you. How are you doing?

    #406915
    Helcat
    Participant

    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Anxiety has served a purpose in an attempt to protect me from danger yet, it is an addiction like any other. I wonder which schema is linked to it? My therapist would tell me that a schema’s function is to keep on existing.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>As I learn to relax my nervous system, I’m learning that my health issues are a result of the anxiety condition. It prevents me from getting adequate sleep and disrupts my partner’s sleep too. It discourages me from trying new things and being open to new experiences. The emotional pressure on a daily basis as a result of anxiety, is a form of suffering. This habit once had me believe that it was preparing me for reality. But the emotional response is disproportionate and complicated new challenges arise regularly. More often than not, my fears don’t materialise. If I wait for each challenge to be over for my anxiety to reduce, I would be waiting forever.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Meditation has taught me to clear my mind, but it’s time to put this into practise through the day. These methods put a stop to regular anxiety attacks, now I need to use it to manage my daily anxiety levels. Even as I say goodbye to this habit, it seeks to preserve Itself. It would have me mourn for it. I consider this unnecessary and that it would only do harm. I will have to decide each time anxiety is triggered, how I would like to behave. I will have to consider the emotional impacts my choices and decide which would be most beneficial. I will need to reflect on the realistic impact that stressors have.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>I have been practising a loving kindness meditation, this is one tool that has been helping develop my self-compassion. Like many others, I am filled with love. Yet it can be difficult to turn this love towards myself.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>I differentiate between shame and social anxiety, though the two are linked. To me, shame is internal and isn’t an immediate result of interaction with others. What has helped address shame is to accept why I feel unlovable and to understand that I am worthy of love.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>For example, I felt unlovable because my parents didn’t love me. This occurred not because of fault with me, but due to winning an unfortunate genetic lottery. Experiencing unconditional love has helped me with this, as being accepted by one person is enough for me.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Regarding social anxiety (Anxiety based around interactions with others), I found this to be a result of not liking myself. Whilst learning from behaviours can provide short term relief, this behaviour tends to reoccur unless the underlying issues are faced.</p>
    <p style=”font-weight: 400;”>For a long time there was a narrative in my mind claiming that I didn’t know how to love myself because I didn’t feel it. One day I realised that my actions show otherwise. By overcoming the self abuse and being kinder to myself I was practicing self-compassion. By developing my skills and overcoming my fears I was developing confidence. By having conversations with people about boundaries and not allowing myself to be bullied, I was protecting myself.</p>

    #406918
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    I admire you for being vulnerable in your recent post and sharing about your struggles and successes. As I often do when replying to an original poster, I will quote from what you shared and respond, part by part.

    <span class=”x_elementToProof”><b>”Anxiety…  is an addiction like any other… Even as I say <span id=”SmartSuggestionsKeyword855314″ class=” owaSmartSuggestionRemoveOnSend RSwkJ” title=”Search for suggestions”>goodbye</span> to this habit, it seeks to preserve Itself</b>”- I too think of anxiety as a habit: a chemical-physical habit of the brain-body that involves habitual secretions of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) and in the body (hormones). </span>

    My health issues are a result of the anxiety condition. It prevents me from getting adequate sleep …  a form of suffering. This habit once had me believe that it was preparing me for reality“- my lifetime anxiety habit was definitely a form of suffering, great suffering, and it did not at all prepare me for reality (at least not in adulthood). Instead, it often distorted my perception and understanding of reality and led me to significant dysfunction in real life.

    But the emotional response is <b>disproportionate</b>”- my emotional responses were indeed disproportionate to the events in reality: often things happened in reality that required that I respond, but I did not. At other times, things happened (or didn’t) that required no response, but I responded and I responded inappropriately.

    If I wait for each challenge to be over for my anxiety to reduce, I would be waiting forever“- exactly my thought.

    I will have to decide each time anxiety is triggered, how I would like to behave“-this has been crucial in my struggle with anxiety: to not behave in such ways that fuel and maintain my anxiety. For example, I had a habit (until recently) to unnecessarily confront members in these forums, a habit that added to my anxiety (and did not help others), and so, I am successfully changing this habit. I find it quite doable.

    What has helped address shame is to accept why I feel unlovable and to understand that I am worthy of love. For example, I felt unlovable because my parents didn’t love me. This occurred not because of fault with me, but due to winning an unfortunate genetic lottery“- “genetic lottery”- I like this wording. It is never the child’s fault that her parents didn’t love her, but the child naturally believes that it is her fault, and shame gets attached to this belief like glue.

    “By having conversations with people about boundaries and not allowing myself<b> to be bullied, I was protecting myself</b>”- in regard to being bullied and protecting yourself from being bullied… can you/ would you like to give me an example, a recent example perhaps?

    anita

    #406919
    anita
    Participant

    I’ll resubmit, hopefully without the excess print:

    Dear Helcat:

    I admire you for being vulnerable in your recent post and sharing about your struggles and successes. As I often do when replying to an original poster, I will quote from what you shared and respond, part by part.

    Anxiety…  is an addiction like any other… Even as I say goodbye to this habit, it seeks to preserve Itself”- I too think of anxiety as a habit: a chemical-physical habit of the brain-body that involves habitual secretions of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) and in the body (hormones).

    My health issues are a result of the anxiety condition. It prevents me from getting adequate sleep …  a form of suffering. This habit once had me believe that it was preparing me for reality“- my lifetime anxiety habit was definitely a form of suffering, great suffering, and it did not at all prepare me for reality (at least not in adulthood). Instead, it often distorted my perception and understanding of reality and led me to significant dysfunction in real life.

    But the emotional response is <b>disproportionate</b>”- my emotional responses were indeed disproportionate to the events in reality: often things happened in reality that required that I respond, but I did not. At other times, things happened (or didn’t) that required no response, but I responded and I responded inappropriately.

    If I wait for each challenge to be over for my anxiety to reduce, I would be waiting forever“- exactly my thought.

    I will have to decide each time anxiety is triggered, how I would like to behave“-this has been crucial in my struggle with anxiety: to not behave in such ways that fuel and maintain my anxiety. For example, I had a habit (until recently) to unnecessarily confront members in these forums, a habit that added to my anxiety (and did not help others), and so, I am successfully changing this habit. I find it quite doable.

    What has helped address shame is to accept why I feel unlovable and to understand that I am worthy of love. For example, I felt unlovable because my parents didn’t love me. This occurred not because of fault with me, but due to winning an unfortunate genetic lottery“- “genetic lottery”- I like this wording. It is never the child’s fault that her parents didn’t love her, but the child naturally believes that it is her fault, and shame gets attached to this belief like glue.

    “By having conversations with people about boundaries and not allowing myself to be bullied, I was protecting myself”- in regard to being bullied and protecting yourself from being bullied… can you/ would you like to give me an example, a recent example perhaps?

    anita

    #406940
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    It’s good to hear from you.

    I’m glad that you have had success with not behaving in ways that fuel and maintain anxiety. Any advice or tips that you have for managing anxiety would be welcome.

    Trauma is a doozy. It’s a shame that there are e such far reaching impacts.

    I heard that someone who lived to over 100 was asked their secret to a long life and they said the key was to never argue with anyone.

    #406955
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    It’s good to read from you too. As far as advice and tips in regard to managing anxiety, there is so much that has been written on the topic, so many, many books, workbooks and online sources, including on the first page of tiny buddha under BLOG (“Mindfulness and Peace“), as well as the Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal. I would add today that I agree with what you mentioned, “to never argue with anyone“- that’s an excellent advice to reduce and manage anxiety. This does not mean of course, that one doesn’t assert oneself with people. As I think about it now, arguing weakens assertion, it doesn’t strengthen it. So yes, I vote for never arguing with anyone (unless one is part of a debate team whose objective is to argue under agreed, fair guidelines).

    anita

    #406988
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I’ve read a lot of general advice around managing anxiety. I think that a lot of general advice lacks detail.

    I appreciate your advice, but my anxiety doesn’t come from arguments. It’s a general over response to situations. For example, I had a job interview and there was a level of anxiety present all day. Today, a coworker sent me an e-mail which created a scheduling conflict. There is a level of anxiety occurring due to this.

    #406989
    Helcat
    Participant

    I have been managing to control ruminating on my worries for the past couple of days. But I’m learning there is more to anxiety than worried thoughts.

    So far, I see three elements to anxiety. Rumination on thoughts, the emotion existing with the body and situations that act as triggers for anxiety.

    Behind each situation, there is a worry. The scheduling conflict caused me to be concerned about the impact on another coworker. The job interview caused me to question my ability. Did I do a good enough job?

    I read an article that mentioned victim language and power language.

    Here is the result of my changing the language.
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>If my coworker is upset, it is a result ofmy supervisor’s decision making. It’s not my fault. Perhaps my coworker won’t even be upset, perhaps she will be understanding.</span></p>
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>I just have to wait and see what comes of the interview. The interviewer said that I did a good job answering the questions. The previous interviewer said that I did a good job too. I could  see an interview coach for some advice.</span></p>

    #406992
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    In two recent posts addressed to me, you wrote: “Any advice or tips that you have for managing anxiety would be welcome… I’ve read a lot of general advice around managing anxiety. I think that a lot of general advice lacks detail“- I know that you are educated on mental health issues, familiar with mental health concepts and tools and you had lots of psychotherapy. For the purpose of giving you what you asked for (specific, detailed advice), best I am able, I re-read and studied all your posts on this thread, and on your other thread  (“Buddhism Journal”) this morning as well as a few of your replies to other members (close to 4 hours so far).

    I just started organizing quotes from what you shared in categories so to come up with a reply specific and detailed, hoping it will be of some help to you. I then thought to myself that maybe you wouldn’t like to read your own words in regard to painful emotional topics (ex., your mother’s abuse of you), and maybe you wouldn’t like me analyzing your words, and come up with my understandings. Therefore, I ask you: would you like me to proceed and submit a post to you in a couple of hours or so?

    anita

    #406993
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Please feel free to analyse away and share your understanding. I appreciate the time and effort that you put into your messages.

    #406994
    anita
    Participant

    Okay, Helcat. I think that it will take me a couple of hours before I submit my next post to you.

    anita

    #406995
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helcat:

    I am not anywhere close to finish my post and I am not focused and calm enough to continue this afternoon (Thursday, 2:04 pm  my time), so I will continue Friday morning.

    anita

    #407001
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    There is no rush! Please don’t worry.

    #407005
    anita
    Participant

    I suspect that this post will have lots of excess print, so if it does, I will repost and you can skip this post.

    Dear Helcat:

    In this thread, you shared: “The level of abuse and neglect I experienced at the hands of my mother was severe… From the age of 4-5 I used a stove to prepare simple meals for myself and my brother if food was in the house…  Most of my childhood she spent sleeping, the rest of the time she was out (leaving us home alone), rarely purchasing food, watching tv,  getting drunk and abusing us…There is no polite way to describe the things she did… My mother was institutionalised because she expressed a desire to harm myself and my brother to a doctor. We were placed in short term care whilst she recovered in hospital“-

    When I read the above yesterday morning, I remembered that I read it before, it was not news to me.

    In your Buddhism Journal thread, you shared: “My mother was fond of suffocation and drowning. I practiced free diving breathing techniques to survive this. I was scared of dying in this violent way“- when I read these two sentences  yesterday morning, it was news to me and I was very surprised that I failed to read it earlier. At first, when I read this, I  “heard” myself  asking you incredulously: did it REALLY happen? I was surprised that you didn’t share such a severe traumatic detail in an original post on your first or second thread.

    Not that it doesn’t happen that mothers drown their children. Very recent news, 5 minutes ago, Friday Sept 16, 2022, abc 7, ny. com: “The mother accused of drowning her three children off a Coney Island beach was arraigned on murder charges Friday from her hospital bed at NYU Langone, where she is receiving psychiatric attention. Erin Merdy, 30, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts each of second-degree murder, both with depraved indifference to human life and murder with victim under 11 years old, in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Zachery Merdy, 4-year-old Liliana Stephens-Merdy, and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev. According to the criminal complaint, Merdy was caught on surveillance camera walking toward the ocean with the children just before 1 a.m. Monday. About two hours later, police observed a ‘barefoot and wet’ Merdy on the boardwalk by the beach. At about 4:20 a.m., police found Zachary Merdy and Liliana Stephens-Merdy ‘lying on the shoreline unresponsive, wet and with sand on their bodies'”.

    From the news yesterday “Merdy had at least two reports of neglect filed against her with the city Administration for Children’s Services for failing to bring the kids to school… (one of the children’s fathers) told the New York Times his son was often dirty and hungry when he showed up for mandated custody visits. He told the outlet he reported the mom to ‘child protective services’ and attempted to get full custody of their son, to no avail. It’s not clear to which agency the father reported the mother.”

    And of course, there is the infamous Andrea Yates from Huston, Texas who drowned her five children in the bathtub of their home back in June 2001.

    Back to you, Helcat: you shared about physical pain: “I have had a chronic pain condition for many years now. The level of physical pain fluctuates, when I relax before going to sleep is often when I experience the most physical pain. I find muscle tension reduces the amount of physical pain I can feel, when my muscles relax (the physical pain)  can be overwhelming… I have a bad habit of avoiding physical pain by focusing on anxiety… Worries are easier to think about than allowing myself to be immersed in the experience of physical pain.. I also have a tendency to dissociate to escape physical pain“-

    – As I read this, I wondered if there is a connection between your personal experience with physical pain, particularly at night and the drowning experience. I read about people’s experiences with almost-drowning in  ranker. com, lad bible. com and in Quora. com: the reports of the experience included Panic, Pain, a shot of Adrenaline followed by Powerlessness, and the feel of Eternity.

    Quotes from the sources I mentioned: “After about 10 seconds of being underwater, pain occurs. For me, this is the last chance of survival because pain tells your body to take action. And suddenly, adrenaline comes to the rescue. My body then kicked from the water so heavily, it felt like I flew, and then back in the shallow waters. And that moment I knew I was still alive because you can’t feel pain when you’re dead. I began to (drink) lots of seawater and it felt painful. But somehow, I was glad that I was in pain…  And then, my friends came to rescue me”, “Incredibly painful; a kind of tearing and burning sensation that occurs in your chest simultaneously“,

    You lose the use of your hands and limbs and become something of stranded blob with not a lot of hope left“, “I feel powerless, the water around me dark and cold”, “It’s probably been about 20 seconds but it felt like an eternity… What felt like eternity to me had really only been about a minute. I think that’s the craziest thing about this experience.”

    Back to your experience with physical pain: when you relax before going to sleep, you experience the most physical pain. I wonder if it is the Powerlessness part of relaxing and almost falling asleep that triggers the Powerlessness of the traumatic almost-drowning experience, which triggers Panic, a shot of Adrenaline and Pain.

    My habits of using anxiety to distract from physical pain are probably not very helpful as stress increases pain sensitivity“-using anxiety aka physical stress (Adrenaline) so to avoid Powerlessness..?

    “I still have a habit of an excessive anxiety response to small issues…Acceptance can be difficult for me. I am very stubborn and I believe in my ability to change things. This has led to me attempting to change and overcome difficulties throughout my life“- You are stubborn about NOT being Powerless, and acceptance (not trying to change things) feels like powerlessness…?

    But perhaps the nature of change itself means that I do not always have to try to force my way through a situation“- afraid of feeling powerless?

    Feeling powerless: does it have a feel of eternity to it?

    About shame and self-compassion: “I felt shame, anger and sadness  as I was being abused. I was bullied into feeling that I had it coming, not for doing wrong. But for existing. I felt that I existed to be abused and expected only that. This is why I chose the word shame…I would appreciate any advice you could give about processing my pain from the past regarding my mother seeing me as a mistake… What is interesting about love is that we are all born worthy of it, just by existing…To me, shame is internal.. By overcoming the self-abuse and being kinder to myself I was practicing self-compassion“-

    – Make peace with the powerless aspect of existing. Make peace with being without thinking about problem-solving and about doing anything. Make peace with going to sleep whether you wake up in the morning, or not.

    I am typing these words to you this morning while I am planning to go to Urgent Care in an hour or so because of an urgent health condition that was revealed to me only last night. My whole life can easily change today, maybe in 10 minutes. I am as prepared as I can be, mentally, although not practically. I know the nature of life and death, and I know that I am not more important than any one of the many billions of people and other life forms on earth. Life dies all the time and today it may be closer to me than previously. I need to relax more and more into Powerlessness and I think that you do too.

    I made lots and lots of improvement in regard to my mental health, and so have you in regard to yours.  And/ but, it is my conviction that we (people) are all mentally ill and mentally healthy, it is just a matter of how much of each is true to each individual at any one time. Mental illness exists in each human, starting in the first decade of life. It is the human condition- I see it everywhere, in real life and online. Therefore, healing and improving has no end point, not as long as you are alive: there is always more to heal, more to improve. And no matter how much you heal and improve, there will still be mental illness along with mental health true to you and true to every other person (in the 2nd decade of life and onward if not in the first).

    Self-compassion is indeed the answer to shame and to anxiety, and you already practiced it many times. But notice this: there is still so much more self-compassion that you didn’t practice. You (and I) need a whole lot MORE self-compassion. Whenever you feel emotional distress, think to yourself: this distress is happening in between my ears only. I suffer and no one benefits from my suffering. I don’t deserve to suffer. And then let go of the suffering. Let it go not because you solved this or that problem but simply because you don’t deserve to suffer. And… relax into powerlessness.

    *I will probably answer another thread before I leave. I will be away from the computer for much of the day, I think.

    anita

    #407007
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Good luck with your health treatment! Thank you for taking the time to write to me even though you are sick. I will be praying for you, I hope this is okay?

    We can discuss all of this another time when you are feeling better. I hope that medical staff take good care of you and you feel better soon.

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