A Wake-Up Call About My Schizoaffective Suicidal Thoughts

December 26, 2019 Elizabeth Caudy

Warning: this post contains a frank discussion of suicidal thoughts related to schizoaffective disorder.

I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. This wasn’t unusual—the medication I take for my schizoaffective disorder makes me sleep late. But the call I was about to take would prove to be very unusual.

The Phone Call that Changed My Mind About My Suicidal Thoughts

I pressed the “accept” option on my cell phone to take the call.


“Biddit, is that you?”

It was my youngest brother, John. "Biddit" is my nickname--one that he started to use when he was a toddler.

“Yeah, it’s me,” I replied.

I noticed it was 9:30 a.m. Chicago time—so it was 7:30 a.m. in California, where John lives. That’s pretty early for him.

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

“Oh, my God,” he cried. “It’s so good to hear your voice!”

“Yeah . . . um, it’s good to hear your voice, too,” I answered, confused.

“It’s just, uh—I had a nightmare you weren’t here anymore. I dreamed you went up to heaven.”

When I asked him how I died, he said that he’d rather not say. But, later, I coaxed it out of him that I’d died by suicide. When he told me that, he started crying.

“I really don’t want you to do that,” he said.

I started telling him the facts. Yes, I have schizoaffective disorder and, from time to time, I experience suicidal ideation, which means you think about suicide but are far from actually doing anything. I have never attempted suicide. I had a close friend who died by suicide, and I didn’t want to do to my friends and family what his suicide did to us.

This Schizoaffective Does Not Want to Die

That phone call stayed with me. I named an amber ring John gave me when he was little my “anti-suicide” ring. I now wear it whenever I’m experiencing suicidal thoughts. It reminds me of that phone call—and him.

Another thing that reminds me of that phone call is a photo of John that I keep by my bed. He’s little and adorable, with a mischievous smirk and laughing eyes. I look at that picture and think to myself, “Would I want to kill that sweet little boy’s big sister?”

I also have a picture of myself from when I was about two by my bed. I’m playing in a sprinkler and I look so happy. When I look at that picture, I think, “Would I want to kill that precious little girl?”

When I experience schizoaffective suicidal thoughts, it scares me much more than it makes me want to hurt myself. I am lucky that I have so much to live for. I have my family—especially my husband, Tom. I have this blog. Would I still be here if it weren’t for that phone call? Probably. But it was not just a phone call. It was a wake-up call.

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, click here for hotlines and resources.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2019, December 26). A Wake-Up Call About My Schizoaffective Suicidal Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 28 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

John Caudy
December, 28 2019 at 6:07 pm

This was hard to read but Im so glad you're still with us too! You are so strong Elizabeth, and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I love you so much!

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