My Coping Mechanisms

MY COPING MECHANISMS:

Here are some things that have helped me to work my way out of a suicidal episode.  Perhaps they may help you too:

*I went to sleep (even if it meant taking a sleep aid).  Often I woke up in a totally different, positive mood.

*I prayed.  I asked God for an understanding of His will for me.  I asked Him to help me learn whatever He needs me to learn.  I prayed for strength, patience, and endurance.

*I wrote in my diary or expressed myself in some other way.  I did art, poetry, writing, talking, exercise, etc.  I created art alongside someone else who knew how I felt. “Draw with me,” I asked.  I didn’t have to retreat into loneliness.  It was possible to accept having companionship at that difficult moment, and to accept the person’s support.  My friend who drew with me was incredibly encouraging to me, and made me feel loved, even though we didn’t really talk about anything.  This person’s support may not have changed my desire to die, but he kept me safe for some time, until the feelings passed.
*I made a connection with someone supportive and talked out what was bothering me.  Although I tended to retreat into the woodwork when I felt suicidal, communication was a very helpful option for when I felt a little better.

*My self-esteem must always come from seeing myself through the eyes of God, not anybody else’s eyes.  I chose to see myself through only God’s eyes, because people are faulty, fickle, and can turn on me easily.  God is a stable entity who has constant love for me.  I rest easy under His overseeing eyes.  I read the Bible and learned of His love for me, His plan for me, and His wishes for me to follow His will.  I learned who He is and what I could do to please Him.  I read His promises to me.  I made a commitment to do His will and be His daughter.

*I closed my eyes and used a visualization of a dove (the Holy Spirit) landing on me and healing me.   I imagined a light shining on me from heaven.  I’d breathe into me the goodness and healing power of the light.  I’d breathe out the pain and all the bad feelings.  I also tried imagining myself in God’s giant hands.  He was holding me, as He watched over and protected me.

 

*Music –I played songs with encouraging, positive lyrics.

Listening to positive, encouraging music can definitely help.  Christian music will help you to remember who you are to God.

*I wrote a list of reasons to live when I felt momentarily happy to be alive, and I kept the list always with me in my pocketbook/wallet.  When I felt suicidal, I’d take out the list out and read it.

*I envisioned my future happiness.  I chose to believe there is a place for me somewhere in the world.  I thought, “There is a friend (or mate) somewhere right now (who will later bring me great happiness), and I just have not met him/her yet.  But I will.  I must be patient.”

*I just waited and watched to see what would happen next. I bought myself time. I told myself, “Something good may happen later.”

*Copy about a dozen of these affirmations and visualizations and hang them up where you sit a lot or where you brush your teeth.  Read them twice a day for at least three weeks until you feel you have absorbed them.  Write your own, customized to your specific thoughts and feelings.

Visualizations (By Sarah Praise Given):

I AM IMPORTANT.

I’M WORTH JUST AS MUCH AS ANYBODY ELSE.

I AM WORTHY OF MY OWN PRAISE.

I CAN ENCOURAGE MYSELF.

Man holding arms up in praise against a sunburst

I DON’T NEED APPROVAL TODAY.

I CAN ALWAYS CONTROL MY BEHAVIOR.

I WILL FIND A BALANCE IN MY LIFE.

IT’S OK TO REST AWHILE AND DO NOTHING.

I CAN BE CREATIVE AND EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.

I WILL BRING BEAUTY TO THE WORLD WITH MY ART AND MY TALENTS.

I WILL INSPIRE OTHERS.

I WILL NOT HELP OTHERS AT MY OWN EXPENSE.  I WILL THINK FIRST.

I WILL BE NEEDED BY OTHERS IN A HEALTHY WAY.

I WILL DECIDE MY BOUNDARIES AND ENFORCE THEM.

I WILL GET IN TOUCH WITH MY ANGER.

I WILL BECOME COMFORTABLE AROUND PEOPLE.

I AM WORTHY, DESERVING OF HELP.

Affirmations by SarahPraiseGiven:
(Practical use is in lower case & affirmation is in CAPITALS.)

My apartment is messy/ hair tangled/clothes wrinkled, etc.

THE MESS DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ME, A CHILD OF GOD.

Self-conscious/fear of criticism

I AM FULLY ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD.

Self-punishing/fear of failure or mistakes

JESUS PAID IT ALL, EVEN IF I FAIL.

Anxious to find out or know something

I KNOW EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW FOR TODAY.

Crying out for freedom

HOW CAN I GRANT MY OWN WISHES?

Others suffering- I feel responsible (irrational thought)

WE ALL SUFFER FROM SIN AND I AM SUPPORTIVE.

Fear I am contaminated

EVERY PART OF ME IS IN CHRIST JESUS

Feeling that part of me is foreign

EVERYTHING THERE IS AS IT SHOULD BE JUST FOR TODAY.

I don’t want to stop compulsive behaviors.

ABSTINENCE IS NOT A SACRIFICE, BUT INFINITE GAIN.

I imagine I am causing evil

THERE IS NO POWER IN ME BUT CHRIST.

Need to change my focus

I WILL DISMISS MY THOUGHTS AT WILL.

Emotions are unbearable

I CAN CRY ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME.

Self-esteem problem

I AM WORTHY, A CHILD OF GOD.

Dr. Coue’s affirmation for general health

DAY BY DAY, IN EVERY WAY, I AM GETTING BETTER AND BETTER.

Low self-esteem

I AM FULL OF RICHES.

Made a mistake

I WILL LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.

Anxious

GREAT PEACE AND LOVE LAYS OVER MY HOUSE.

Feeling falsely responsible

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE’S FEELINGS BUT MY OWN.

Feeling trapped in routine/trapped in general

I HAVE FREEDOM AND I USE IT.

Poor body image

MY BODY IS GOOD.

Needing self-care

I AM GOOD, THEREFORE I CARE FOR AND PRESERVE MYSELF.

Focusing on others’ lives/codependent

-from Al-anon slogans

I KEEP THE FOCUS ON MYSELF.

Self-esteem

MY SELF-ESTEEM IS DEPENDENT ON WHO I AM, GOD’S CHILD.

Controlled by others

MY VOICE IS STRONGER.

Others blame me

I AM FORGIVEN BY THE MERCY OF CHRIST.

For growing self-love:  Dan 9:23

I AM ONE GREATLY BELOVED.

Strong feelings

FEELINGS CAN NOT KILL ME.

Affirmations From SMA 12-Step Group:

1. I LET MY BODY HEAL.

2.  I STAY CONSCIOUS OF MY FEELINGS AND WRITE THEM DOWN.

3. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ABSTINENT, NO MATTER WHAT.

4. I APPLAUD MY WILLINGNESS.

5.  I’M FREE TO SPEND MY TIME AS I CHOOSE.

6.  MY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL;  I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF IT.

7. I DESERVE TO COME INTO THE INHERITANCE OF MY OWN BEAUTY.

8.  LIFE IS SAFE.

9. I ACCEPT MYSELF EXACTLY HOW AND WHO I AM TODAY.

10.  I AM WILLING TO BECOME INCREASINGLY MORE GENTLE AND LOVING TO MYSELF.

11.  I JOYFULLY SAY, “NO.”

12.  I HAVE SURVIVED MY CHILDHOOD.

13.  I DESERVE TO BE THE MAN/WOMAN I AM.

14.  MY HUMOR IS A SIGN OF MY RECOVERY.

15.  IF AT FIRST I DON’T SUCCEED, I LOWER MY EXPECTATIONS.

 

 

IN CONCLUSION:

These are my ideas.  I’m sure there are many more ways to cope.  I will continue to seek out ideas from other people who have gone through similar trials.  I am now in control of my life.  And I have chosen to do away with Darwin!  I have chosen to do away with the perceptions of both friends and enemies!  I even did away with my own self-perceptions.  What would I know?  I come from a dysfunctional background.  I have my own illness.  God will see me through because God is merciful and loving.  If God is for me, who can be against me?  If I am for myself, am supportive of myself, and take helpful actions, I will overcome.  I am stronger than I was before.  And I now toss away Shakespeare’s question: “To be, or not to be?”!  I have grown in many ways: I now have a loving husband, a beautiful home, a career in nursing, and a beautiful life. I love myself and I am happy to be alive.  I look forward to an even better life in a perfect heaven after Jesus returns. But for the time being, I serve the Lord and do good works because I am so glad He has adopted me and saved me from certain death.

Reasons to Live

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1-800-273-8255