There's nothing else you need to do right now, just breathe. Stay with us and breathe.
Updated: Sep 29
These were the first kind words I heard when I awoke from a suicide attempt. These words were the turning point. They would frame the beginning of the rest of my life. Why? Because they demonstrated compassion, understanding, empathy, connection, presence, and hope. These were the attributes which provided me with support after a suicide attempt. I would adopt them for myself and look for them in others. Not only were they vital in for suicide prevention but also for my mental health. They would ensure I survived and thrived the long, and often challenging, journey of healing.
Compassion and empathy would see me being as kind to myself as I would a friend. It would mean quieting the voice of my inner-critic and amplifying the voices of those who loved and cared about me. It wasn't about playing the victim but embracing the warrior.
Understanding was the acceptance that I did and would continue to do the best I could with the skills and knowledge I had at the time. If I was to make changes then I would need to learn and understand myself, what I knew, and how I behaved. Understanding also needed to be felt by others and shown to others.
Connection with people who had shared a similar experience, was vital. It provided a space to share, learn, and grow. It minimised the feeling of being alone in a room full of people, merely because I could no longer relate. The connections I made enhanced my self belief and confidence.
Presence is what helped me to reduce rumination and worry. It meant hours practicing living in the moment, becoming self aware, and appreciating everything that was in front of me. Presence let me embark on the path of recovery one step at a time, one moment at a time.
Hope, which was something I hadn't felt for sometime, saw me thinking about the possibility of a future. A future I could create for myself, with the support and guidance of others. Hope led me toward the path I am on today; supporting others who are where I have been. Hope restored my desire to live, and to live the way I wanted.