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Megan Griffith
In general, suicidal thoughts are not normal, but they have been for me lately. I have been actively working toward my recovery for over six years now, and yet for the last two months, I've experienced some kind of suicidal thought nearly every day. I don't want to die, I just want to hit "rock bottom" so I can finally actually get better. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
Lately, I have been thinking about what it looks like when someone experiences mostly invisible illnesses, like anxiety and depression, and feels suicidal. Depression and anxiety are not always visible. People have expressed to me their surprise that I have dealt with chronic anxiety for a long time. But it's true, and I guess at some point I became really good at always acting like everything was fine. (Note: this post contains a trigger warning.)
Jessica Kaley
I started doing monthly check-ins a couple of years ago when I first recognized that I had a self-esteem issue. Poor self-esteem often keeps us stuck in the past with regrets or pinned to the future with hopes and dreams. My monthly check-ins keep me grounded in the present and give me a realistic view of my accomplishments and productivity level, which keeps my self-esteem healthy. Before I started doing monthly check-ins, I lived with a never-ending to-do list which made me feel like a failure and less than enough.
Martyna Halas
Self-harm and suicide are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Many consider them a teenage fad, a call for attention, or, worse, an act of selfishness. On the other hand, research suggests that self-injury and suicide often go hand in hand with trauma, which is a serious matter. And yet, the phenomenon is not fully understood. Is it because we choose to suffer in silence? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Laura A. Barton
What is it really like to live with suicidal ideation? Suicide is still heavily stigmatized, with accusations of selfishness being one of the most prominent pieces of stigma used against it. Would knowing about suicidal ideation help reduce the stigma that's so quickly thrown at those who struggle with thoughts of dying by suicide? I believe understanding its impact can shed light beyond the misinformation that fuels suicide's stigma. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
George Abitante
Anxiety disorders and suicidality are connected, but when I think about how anxiety is perceived by society, I think about what I've seen on tv and in movies. I've seen so many shows where anxiety was portrayed with someone sweating a lot on a first date or being unable to speak when asked to talk in public. Some forms of anxiety are even used for comedy, like in "Parks and Recreation" where Leslie's mom meets a former love interest whose anxiety led to a comedy of errors after Leslie brings him to a party. There isn't anything wrong with these portrayals, but it is striking to me that none of the imagery associated with an anxiety disorder implies suicidality. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Jennifer Lear
My name is Jennifer Lear, and I am the co-author of the "Coping with Depression" blog here at HealthyPlace. I am thrilled to be joining this community and am excited (and nervous) to be sharing my experiences with you. I started exhibiting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at age six. By 18, I was riddled with so many ticks and compulsions that I could barely function, and I finally took it upon myself to seek help from my family doctor. I was diagnosed with chronic OCD and depression and placed on medication. There was no offer of counseling, no reassurance that I was not alone, and I was left feeling more depressed, more ashamed, and more terrified to publicly acknowledge how I was feeling.
Mahevash Shaikh
Birthdays are supposed to be exciting. Unfortunately, for many of us, birthdays trigger depression, anxiety, and stress in general. Given that I happen to be one of those folks who suffer from birthday blues, I can tell you that just like clinical depression, birthday depression too is real and not a choice.
Kelli Anderson
At a time when the outside world feels chaotic, I've found myself turning inward as much as possible by using visualization to feel better. It's one of my favorite ways to block out circumstances and events that aren't within my control by visualizing things that make me feel happy.
Amanda Richardson
As someone who has not only personally experienced addiction recovery but has also worked as an addiction professional, I know all about the idolization of the sacred sobriety date. However, if you've followed this blog for long, you've probably noticed that I've never given my exact sobriety date or the precise weeks, months, or days I've been free from my addiction. This is because I really don't honor the sacred sobriety date like so many others do in addiction recovery. I have no ill will towards those who do participate in this ritual, but I've learned over time that it just isn't my thing.

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Comments

Ellen Mott
Dear Meghan, thank you for this article. I'm so happy to hear that you are well on your way to achieving your goals/goal. It was great how you listed what helped you get this far and how.
Me? I'm 41 and I have faced many difficult experiences with bipolar 1 disorder. I rarely got fired from jobs but they were always so hard and mania-triggering that I ended up losing them.
These past four years have been very, VERY hard for me. I faced depressions so low that I tried hard to do lethal damage four times. And the mania was interspersed inside those times. I feel rather unstable after all of that, but I am experiencing a med change right now that is indeed making me feel stable.
I'm not married and decided I couldn't have children because of my illness' severity, and I think it was the best decision though I have some feelings of loss over the operation that sterilised me. Anyway, I desire a mate for life, also; I want to be married someday.
This leads me to tell you my career interest: it's working with bridal gowns! I also desire to become a full-fledged wedding dress specialist or seamstress. I want to work at a salon as a consultant, but I have not been ready for that sales-type job, mentally.
Thus, after reading your article, I am inspired to take the route of seamstress career even though it will be a much longer process than taking the sales route. I have to learn how to see, for one thing. I know very little but not nothing! I worked as a seamstress volunteer in our local live action theater costume shop and learned how to use a serger!
Thank you so much for your inspiration, Meghan. I was ready to give up on my dream of any kind of achievement until I read your article. Now, keep on keeping on, and the best of all wishes for your health, wellness and happiness!!
Sincerely,
Ellen Whitney Mott
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Frank,
Absolutely! External pressures expectations from others most definitely contribute to anxiety. Sometimes, expectations might be unrealistically high. Other times, they might clash with what you want for yourself and your life. Other times, we think that others expect certain things from us and we conclude that we can't or don't want to meet them. This can contribute to a host of anxious thoughts and feelings about yourself, others, and your life. It can lead to excessive worries about the future and what might happen in your relationships, career, finances, or general life satisfaction. Everyone's anxiety in this area is unique, so your experiences might be slightly different than what I've mentioned here. Do know, though, that outside expectations (whether they're actual expectations or your own assumptions and thoughts about them) can definitely cause anxiety. It can often be helpful to work with a therapist to explore what, exactly, is going on, why it's happening, what you want to do about it, and how to go about reducing this anxiety.
Ruby
Its a really nice article, I feel like I am living a lie. DID, and just wanting to stay protected. I reject everything. And it is self destroying. Wish I could feel how to begin.
Sarah Sharp
Jenn,

Thank you for sharing so much of your story with us. It sounds like everyone close to you is going through a lot and is in a lot of pain.

Thank God you put those pills back in the bottle. Do you have a therapist, doctor, or another advocate you could talk to? If not, there are suicide and domestic violence hotlines you could call to get more information about where to turn for help. You can learn more about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at https://www.thehotline.org/.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that eventually, life WILL get better, no matter what I'm going through at the moment. It can't hurt forever. There are moments in my future I WILL want to be here for. I just need to hold on tight and keep doing the next right thing.

We at HealthyPlace are here if you want to chat more.

Kindest regards,

Sarah Sharp