Stay alive.

The conservation of hope is one of the strongest forces in maintaining life.

If you have never been hospitalized for assistance with mental distress, it goes something like this (with variation because understandably we all independent and unique and no one person can speak for all our experiences) – but lets not stand on that protocol and be silent.

In my experience, if your mood is up, then being in hospital is not a drag. If your mood is down, it may be a different story. And life can ebb, more so over time, than just the first time you are down. Most of us can survive that. Over time, cycles of change may be more challenging. A person with bipolar by a factor of 6, is more likely to take their own life. A person with bipolar is 6 times more likely to die by taking their life than the average person. It’s a real danger but we need not panic. Lets talk about this.

One of the most dangerous periods in terms of taking our own life is coming from a period of lowness of energy into a period of energy. This is when we may be most at risk. When we are low, we don’t have the energy to kill ourselves. And when we are high, we wouldn’t want to kill ourselves. But the in-between spaces, where the rising reality of where we are at at the moment, or when we’re looking ahead to lost hopes and dreams – this can be very dangerous. You may find yourself in a place of looking ahead and looking back, feeling despondent, particularly if we have energy to do something about it.

But there is hope for you, and hope that you may stay alive.

stay alive, suicide, taking your own life, bipolar, hope, recovery

This same energy can however be the driver of change. But if we give oxygen to permanent solutions, indulging these thoughts, we run the risk that these thoughts build. So I am careful about what I give oxygen to, as tempting as that may be, for I never know when I might find myself in some mood, someday, and in some way, where such thoughts may be more a handful than I need. So I am quite careful what I give oxygen to. They say that with suicide, there is a danger window of 20 minutes where our body is chemically geared for it; that if we can get through those 20 minutes, no matter how we do that, we can get through. Don’t feed it.

There is hope. It may not seem like it but our judgement is poor. Our judgement is dependent on mood, dependent on history. What has that got to do with the future? If you are on a track trying to get somewhere, how often can you be surprised, feeling you are miles from anywhere, and suddenly you are there! Or all the trials and tribulations we face, can, in ways we not yet know, get turned from dross into gold, and something is made out of nothing. We all suck. I suck. So don’t be too wrapped up in either the brilliance of your judgement or your absence of it. Simply stay alive.

What was worthless (and may indeed be worthless) may not be unworthy of us. Of who we are. Of who we are becoming. Of who, in all the variation of mood we may have to play with, and work with, stay alive. Even thrive. That would be my hope.

Without risk (and responsibility) there can be no recovery. The self-same energy that may compel us to want to end things is surprisingly, the same energy that drives us to change. Don’t fear it. Suicide is a call for change but unfortunately not a permanent force for one. As successful as you may be doing one thing once, you are not anything anymore, and it hurts the world. You may never get the 20 minutes where your body questions whether you wish to be here, and has the resources to end things permanently – that may never happen. But it might. Plan ahead for life. And be careful what you give oxygen to. You are valuable.

That is why you can stay alive.