Coping/Responding Without Avoidance?

How do you cope with (or respond to) suicidal ideation, without avoidance?

I know I used to have tools/skills, but right now, all I can think to do when the thoughts get more intense is to shut down and avoid everything. Protective, but not productive.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I know I used to have tools/skills, but right now, all I can think to do when the thoughts get more intense is to shut down and avoid everything.
Oh, I can identify with this so very much. I too want to come back to this thread, and it will have to wait til the weekend when I've not got so much work I'm behind with.

But one thing I can throw out there is - just the fact that you're aware of the avoidance as a less-preferable management tool - that's not a small thing. That's pretty much step one.
Protective, but not productive.
I'm curious, what do you do when you shut down?
 
Thanks, both.

avoidance as a less-preferable management tool
Avoidance/dissociation => not keeping up with my responsibilities well => louder/more insistent negative thoughts => deeper avoidance/dissociation

I'm curious, what do you do when you shut down?
Dissociation, losing time. I have to-do lists from about four days in the last three weeks, and that's theoretically something I write every day. I'm doing better this week, but:
  1. my vision/depth perception are off
  2. I'm physically numb and have poor balance
  3. I struggle to remember what I am doing (there is butter on the counter? I was baking? .... muffins!)
  4. my ability to find and speak words in a timely way is usually the first or second thing to go. Syntax goes funny too, which might partly be a bilingual thing.
(Used to be a sorta shapeless sea of shame, fear, and self-harm. I'm a lot better about burying myself in a book/movie/etc and waiting that out).

Definitely not operating heavy machinery right now.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
  1. my vision/depth perception are off
  2. I'm physically numb and have poor balance
  3. I struggle to remember what I am doing (there is butter on the counter? I was baking? .... muffins!)
  4. my ability to find and speak words in a timely way is usually the first or second thing to go. Syntax goes funny too, which might partly be a bilingual thing.
These sounds very familiar to me as well.

But it also sounds like what you do is, keep trying to go about doing things as best you can. Or would you say you more frequently just sit and stare, or do you disappear into the internet, or sleep?

Avoidance/dissociation => not keeping up with my responsibilities well => louder/more insistent negative thoughts => deeper avoidance/dissociation
Yep. That's the cycle.
 
Used to keep pushing myself to work, until I was so distressed/frantic about failure (because my work was increasingly bad) that all I could do was collapse into self harm.

This round, a lot more stare/internet. Sleep is more complicated, cause sleep deprivation is a trigger. I am embarrassed about the internet because it seems undisciplined. A former core belief is: "at least I am a disciplined person, this makes me somewhat useful and trustworthy." Nowadays harm reduction mostly comes before being a hardheaded idiot.
 
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