The Time Between
Preparations to end your life. It’s a stage that isn’t often talked about. We discuss the thoughts leading up to it, and then we discuss the actions of the suicide itself, but what about the in between when the person has made the decision but the date hasn’t yet come? The deceiving thing for the person experiencing it, is that is can be extremely calming. Comforting. Soothing. A wave of peace like they are making the right decision. It might be only thing that calms their panicked, angry mind. Suddenly, everything feels like it clicks in place and it just reaffirms to that person that this is the right decision, even though it most certainly isn’t.
The scary thing about this, is that person has made a decisive step forward towards ending themselves. It may seem like they are “handling things” or “managing it.” And they are, but not in a long term healthy way. Things are managed because they know they won’t be living with the stressors for much longer. They are being handled because that person has an escape plan, and very soon.
Preparations can look like:
- Writing letters to loved one
- Making funeral plans
- Deep cleaning the house
- Buying a lot of food to stock up
- Going on nice dates with a significant other
- Buying extravagant gifts
- Close emotional conversations
- Reconnecting with distant friends/family
If you notice a loved one doing any of these things, don’t be afraid to ask, “Have you ever thought about hurting yourself in any way?” or “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Get them talking, and don’t freak out. Support them in finding help and validate the heaviness and seriousness of where they are at. See and understand that to them life feels impossible to go in and something needs to change.
If you are there yourself, I see you. I know it’s terrifying to think of living another month. Living through what you are, holding on your shoulders what you do, facing another conflict again and again and again…. I’m not asking you to promise forever, but can you extend preparations for just another two weeks? Then another two weeks? Then another? And can you add on the list of things to do making a call to go see somebody? To go see a counselor? A doctor? It may not feel like it’ll make a difference, but let us just try it and see. Let us use every possible thing we can think of to make life better.
I can’t promise things will be perfect. I can’t promise things will be bright all the time. I can promise I will listen, I won’t judge where you are at, and I won’t freak out when you talk to me about these things. Let us prepare together for a life you want to live instead of your funeral you won’t even remember. If you are even thinking this may apply to you, please reach out to me at Amy Wine Counseling Center, 832.421.8714.
If you are feeling suicidal in this moment, please call 911 or get to your nearest medical provider. I can’t help you if you are not here.