Being in a relationship with a partner who is experiencing suicidal ideations can be emotionally taxing and daunting. There is this complicated pattern in my dating life in that the partners I loved most threatened suicide at least once. I am still trying to figure out exactly why I am drawn to individuals who experience such turmoil. Perhaps it is because I had ideations when I was in high school, and I feel like these partners understand me. Maybe I cannot compartmentalize the social worker in me when it comes to dating, and I want to try and "save" everyone I meet. Regardless, here are the things I wish I had known when I dated someone who threatened suicide. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
I've been considering the idea that suicide attempts are underreported. The theory of this is simple, the only way a suicide attempt gets reported is if a person gets medical help for it and admits to it but how many people have attempted suicide and not gotten medical help for it or have denied that it was a suicide attempt? I know one person -- me. I didn't get help for my suicide attempt. My attempt isn't part of the statistics about suicide attempts in bipolar disorder. So are suicide attempts underreported in general? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
I’m writing this from a hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m here for a week to go to a metal festival, and I’m having the time of my life. I don’t often take many out of state vacations, for a number of reasons, but being here reminds me of how much of a benefit going away really is.
In my observation, nearly every individual in addiction recovery has either heard of or experienced the 12-step groups or the 12-step curriculum. Some recovering addicts swear by 12-step practices and principles and other addicts convulse at the thought of attending a 12-step group meeting to share their feelings with a bunch of addicted strangers. I feel that I have a rather unique perspective on the 12-step model because while I don't actively participate in every principle and policy they suggest, I have developed a deep respect and admiration for the community as a whole and what they represent.
It can be hard to tell when you're in a relationship: Is it verbal abuse or something else? Over time, every relationship develops a unique dialogue that you share with your partner--a communication style you both understand. But what happens when verbal abuse gets mixed into that dialogue? Is it a unique love language or is it verbal abuse? This was a struggle I faced in many forms over the course of one of my longest relationships.
What are the signs of self-esteem? What does it feel like to have healthy self-esteem? Is it unconditional adoration of yourself? Is it the confidence you can do anything? Is it the belief that you're beautiful, both inside and out? In an ideal world, we would feel all of these things. But realistically, our relationship with ourselves is complicated–we all have things we like and things we wish weren't a part of us. A completely positive self-view is overly idealistic and, frankly, inauthentic. So, if self-esteem isn't all sunshine and daisies, what is it? And how do we know if we have it--what are the signs of self-esteem?
Sometimes, it seems as though feeling anxiety is the only thing I can feel. Everything seems to provoke my anxiety—even seemingly simple tasks such as bathing and washing my hair. I am constantly worrying, even when I’m supposed to be having a good time.
Constant anxious thoughts can induce great misery and suffering. Automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs, are patterns of thinking that cause anxiety and keep anxiety strong and powerful. Words like "should," "shouldn't," "always," "never," and a host of negative labels we place on ourselves are part of those automatic negative thoughts that can keep us trapped in our private world of thoughts, worries, and fears. Because understanding the nature of constant anxious thoughts can help you choose what to do about them, here are a few facts about anxiety and thoughts.
Let's face it -- getting through the day with a mental illness can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, so having good mental health habits is priority one. My biggest challenge is avoiding stress-induced mental illness symptoms. It helps to go day-by-day, step-by-step, and to remember my priorities. Here are a few everyday habits I have developed to keep my recovery on track.
If living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is not challenging enough, it can be even more difficult and imposing when learning your system might include opposite-gender alters.