A couple of days ago, Chase, my son, shared his story. In his story, he stated that suicide was an addiction. I wasn’t quite sure if that was true. I could see how it might be physically addicting like other emotional thoughts may be addicting. (Check out the video What The Bleep Do We Know About Water. Parental supervision recommended.) But, it was going to take me some time to think it through. Then I had an experience this morning that brought it all into focus! Yes, I believe it can be and what a gift! Wait for it……
I was messaging with a young person last night. They were in crises. We messaged for quite some time. It was clear to me that their thinking was causing all their pain but I can’t really just say, “Hey, your thinking is off.” I wanted to but going to the bottom line in a crises situation doesn’t always work. So, I just listened. Then I offered the UNI chat application (UNI is the 800 suicide hotline in Utah). They loved the idea but were afraid of being identified as suicidal and their parents getting a call. (I know, I could take this blog post in a million different directions.) I explained that it was anonymous. Then I shared with them that they are trained and know the difference between having suicidal thoughts and having a plan. Then I shared that I often have suicidal thoughts – bit of a risk but I’m also seeing that we can’t expect our kids to be honest about such things unless we are! I explained that I have thoughts like, “God, can I just please come home? I’m tired.” Or, “I hope a car could hit me and that would be it.” Then I explained that when I have those thoughts, it’s my wake up call that my thinking, my thoughts that brought me to it, needs to be questioned, looked at, understood, loved. Then it hit me! OH MY WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suicidal thoughts are an addiction and a gift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Background….I’m an addict. My drugs of choice are alcohol, food, and tasks. I haven’t drank in 25 years. Yea me! But, the other two….well……. When I overeat, binge, then I gain weight, then I can focus on losing weight which in my world is the way I feel in control otherwise I don’t feel in control. And it appears control is important to me. (This is where I chuckle to myself – it’s really all so amusing in retrospect.) When I eat, or tempted to overeat, tempted to drink, tempted to hurt myself in any way, I know that something is happening in my world that I’ve not questioned but simply believed and is causing me pain.
This is when having an understanding of the 12 Step program would be very helpful for you. If you don’t, then just let this soak in:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Or in other words, the truth shall set you free.
My addictions are a gift to me; a signal that I’ve got some stinkin’ thinkin’ that needs some lovin’ and adjustin’. And guess what? My suicidal thoughts are NO DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not a victim to them any more than I am a victim to any other addiction.
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an insight! I shared all of it with this young friend because they have an identified addiction and I’m fairly sure they will tie the two together. And while they had never thought of it that way….they have now. They are smart! They’ll get it! Of course, I’ll be right here to help them.
Suicide is an addiction wrought with shame and so what do we do? HIDE IT! EVEN FROM OURSELVES!!!! What happens when we hide in fear? That fear isn’t resolved. It grows until it consumes us! We actually believe that story it’s telling us! What is the solution? TALK ABOUT IT! Most importantly, question the thoughts that bring you to it! If you’re sitting in suicide, you’re believing lies. Simply, lies. You’re wrong and being wrong is sooooo nice to know! That simply means there’s options, right? I look for ways that I’m wrong! In a loving way, of course. <wink>
At this point of insight, it’s 6 am. I can’t stand it. I run downstairs and wake up Chase. Oh, I wish you could have seen his face. “Chase! You were right! Suicide is an addiction! How did you figure that out before me?” Yep, that’s really what I said. He smiled and just said, “I just thought about it.” Now, that’s the thinking that we want to be doing!
Now what? If you’ve never had or faced your addictions, there are several great avenues to learn more. There’s the Addiction Recovery program, the AA program, the Scriptures – yes, they are filled with truth, Praying, and my most recent favorite – The Work. The Work is a simple straightforward processing tool that helps you identify and question your thoughts. And of course, everything thing on this site is focused on getting help….so use it!
Addictions are gifts. It’s all a big ginormous pain in my butt gift. I love truth!