Long time suicidal thoughts but I'm now thinking about it analytically

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by jb1, Oct 6, 2012.

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  1. jb1

    jb1 New Member


    I'm in my early 40's and have had suicidal thoughts since my early teens but this is the first time I've ever mentioned them to anyone.

    I get exhausted thinking about continuing on with my life for however many years I have left. I really don't see the difference in the long term if I spend 40 years or 80 years here. The only thing that's making me hesitate on just ending it is the huge regret that would occur if there really is an afterlife or some higher reason for being here and I throw away my chance at it. If I was convinced that there was no afterlife then this would be a quick decision and I'd be done with it.

    At the same time, continuing on just checking off days with no real meaning sure isn't worth much and makes me full of regret for another wasted day. This makes me think I should take the chance on there be nothing after this place.

    Here's some background in no special order:

    -- My stepson has left the house and is doing well in college.
    -- I have a well paying job that I've peaked at. The next 15 years will just be a repeat of the past with no personally rewarding goals.
    -- My marriage is unhappy but not miserable. I've tried to increase communication with my wife but her idea of 'talking' is me just listening.
    -- I used to have some hobbies that really motivated me to get through work so I could enjoy my off time. I set some large goals with my hobbies and now that I've met them I've lost interest.
    -- I have a huge resistance to taking medication for mental illness
    -- I come from the old school of "suck it up and don't show weakness". I would have a very difficult time seeing a Dr about these thoughts.
    -- I probably have PTSD but have not been diagnosed
    -- I am a drunk but haven't touched booze in 6 months in hopes that it would help me make my life better. It hasn't.

    I don't see any better way out of this than just to end it and I spend time thinking about how to do it in a way that definitely won't fail.

    I know you've been through this before. Do you have any thoughts that might help me decide?

    Thank you for your help.
  2. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    I can't say that I'll be any help but here's some thoughts on the matter -

    Can you identify any reason why you had suicidal thoughts when you were younger. Your life hadn't reach such an impasse then so what was it that made life difficult?
    Do you think that your drinking might have been an attempt at self-medicating yourself?
    Is it that you feel there's no reason for you to be alive? If you could give yourself tasks - make yourself feel useful - do you think that would help?
    Do you think that if you wrote your feelings down, you could then give that to your doctor rather than talking to him?
    What makes you think you have PTSD?

    Logically it makes sense to be sure that you've exhausted all other possibilities before taking a step you cannot undo. Btw-just so you know, we're not allowed to discuss methods here so no-one will be able to post ways that might work. Also there are no ways that are 100% effective. Sorry.

    Take care and I'm sorry if I've offended in any way.
  3. jb1

    jb1 New Member

    Your post isn't offensive at all. I appreciate you taking time to help and I value your questions. You've given me quite a bit to think about.

    I was self-medicating with alcohol. Numbness and shutting off my brain was easier than trying to make sense of these feelings or address stress in my life. Eventually I realized that getting through life drunk was actually more difficult than trying it sober.

    I always thought that if I just XXXX (fill in the blank with job goals, life goals, personal goals, etc) then I would be happy. I now see that I've accomplished most of what I thought would help me turn my feelings and thoughts around but there's still something significantly missing. I've run out of "if only I had or accomplished X" then things would change. Things haven't changed. I'm out of ideas to pursue and am even more depressed upon realizing this. The desire to break down and cry has been coming over me for the past 3 weeks. Usually it's not this bad.

    Then there's the guilt of knowing that I'm better off than most people in the world but am still miserable. How ungrateful is that?

    The PTSD guess came from researching symptoms and coming across a close match. I can point back to difficult situations from my childhood and military service that most likely are the root of it (violence/death/stress in the military and one example from my childhood was watching my Mom go after my Dad with a knife when I was very little).

    From writing this I wonder if I'm too self-centered but then I think about at work and at home (community service jobs and family) how much I put into trying to make other people happy or to meet their expectations.

    You've given me more to think about. Maybe thinking about your questions will help me overcome my resistance to seeing the professionals. You deserve thanks for helping out a completely anonymous stranger.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2012
  4. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Hey JB,

    Yeah, I hear you loud and clear! I can't address each of your issues presently but admire your ability to analyze and express yourself! Your probably right about PTSD. It's common with alcoholics. It comes from being raised in an alcoholic home, which you probably were. I have it. I quit drinking at about age 48 and thought I'd feel better but what I've actually learned is that there were pre-existing problems which my drinking "cured." I have been sloggging through the debris field of my childhood since then. I have learned a lot about treating depression and anxiety w/o drugs, which did not help much anyway and take far better care of my body than previously; this helps.

    Finding purpose and meaning is a big subject. I spent 3 months on my back in a deep depressions after losing my job in 2008 and finally figured out who I was which gave me my meaning and purpose. I then went back to school.

    Socialization has been my biggest problem and enemy. Coming here helps but I really need to make some friends who I can connect with. I'm thinking about heading to some AA meetings. Maybe something good will happen. I won't know unless I give it a chance.

    Women do want men to listen. When they want to talk they are usually not looking for advice which is what guys always want to do- we fix things! Woemen just want to be heard. Of course, is she isn't listening or responding to you then that's a separate issue. Personally, I would be inclined to tell my wife if she isn't going to respond verbally to me while I discuss something on my heart, then can she give me a back or shoulder rub while I talk to the wall. This is not as crazy as it sounds. Physical contact releases oxytocin in the brain which promotes closeness between couples. It's behind the therapeutic effect of dogs on people. When people pet dogs bothe the dog and the person benefit from oxytocin release.

    I have to go now. By the way, I am sixty years old and in school. Your life sounds pretty good to me and it will really piss me off if you "check out." And yeah, if you are asking if I know " a way that definitely won't fail," I do, but you're the last person I'd share it with.

    You might get a kick out listening to "Dear Abby" by John Prine on Youtube.

    Keep in touch,

  5. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    No need to thank me, I haven't done anything.

    There's a lot that you've written that is very familiar to me. I know the feeling of always thinking that if only I did this or achieved that, then everything would be ok. I, too, have come to the conclusion that that was an error on my part. Nothing I do or achieve will ever make things 'right'. I realised that it wasn't things that weren't right - it was me. Is that how you feel too?

    As Gilly has said, women need to be listened to. Often that IS fixing them (or at least the problem). Not being heard can be hard for women but I suspect that that's true of men too. Have you tried asking your wife if you can each have time to talk to the other? To explain to her that, as much as she needs to feel heard, so do you? Do you think that she might know/suspect that you're unhappy?

    I'm sorry. I'm probably going too far. I don't mean to intrude.

    Gilly, if I might, you say that you have a way that definitely won't fail? I'm intrigued, any chance you could tell me about it?? Please?
  6. jb1

    jb1 New Member

    Hi Gilly,

    "I have been sloggging through the debris field of my childhood since then. I have learned a lot about treating depression and anxiety w/o drugs, which did not help much anyway and take far better care of my body than previously; this helps. "

    Can you talk about this some more or give any links to what also helped you? My general M.O. is to just ignore issues from the past but that hasn't brought about positive closure. The regret and guilt are still there. It feels more like I'm ignoring something that's still there instead of somehow accepting the past and moving on positively.

    In my earlier posts I wasn't surfing for ideas on how to bail on this life. I had meant to communicate that I am/was well down the road on knowing how to make it happen. This isn't just a passing thought. The plan was made - it was just the date/time that I was struggling with.

    That's great that you mention the John Prine song. It's a good one. I've been to a couple of his shows and am a big fan of him and also Tom Waits (especially "I don't wanna grow up")

    You nailed it on the alcoholic family thing. It helps to know that I'm experiencing things that other people have also experienced. Other people have made it through this stuff. I just need to find the way.

    Good luck with school. That sounds like an adventure. Thank you again for taking the time to help -- and for being here to help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  7. jb1

    jb1 New Member

    "I realised that it wasn't things that weren't right - it was me. Is that how you feel too?"

    This is exactly how I feel. Why is it so hard to appreciate what I have? Why can't I just accept things as they are? Why do I continue to feel like I'm broken or screwed up no matter how many times I prove this isn't so through different tests or against different yardsticks? Why do I feel like I have to be perfect?

    Is there anything you can share since you seem to be (or have been) in a very similar spot?

    I'm not sure where my marriage will go. I had a bunch of stuff typed up about it but the short version is that I completely agree with both of you and those are things I was trying to work on. It felt like I was getting nowhere and I somewhat had given up. Because of your advice I will take another shot at talking about it with her.

    It sure feels like there is some kind of physical or chemical issue with my body and mind. I'm in a better spot today than I was when I initially posted but the last three weeks were horrible.

    Thank you for the help. I am concerned with your last line though. You seem to have so much together and offered me so much. Why the interest in methods?
  8. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Hi JB,

    You don't have to thank me. I am grateful to have someone to talk to about this stuff. As far as links go, no, I don't have any. It shouldn't be hard to find these though. Most of what I've learned has come from books.

    First, lets give this "pathology" a name. It's called being an ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic), however, many of the same symptoms can be observed in similarly dysfunctional families. Yes, all families are dysfunctional (a commonly used defense against taking action), BUT all families are dysfunctional along a continuum from least to most.

    Psychotherapists (PT) began to notice in the early 70's that ACOA's exhibited behaviors very much like PTSD; in this case the trauma was not some sudden, violent trauma, but the result of living in an unpredictable and volatile environment over a long period of time. The main "need" of an ACOA is to exert control over his or her environment. This happens through playing various predictable roles and can be viewed as coping mechanisms or survival strategies. The other main issue confronting ACOA's is fear of abandonment. This breeds a sort of sick loyalty and anxiety. I have this one in a bad sort of way. All alcoholics are emotionally unavailable to their children, at least in any positive sense, which is experienced by the child as abandonment. Sometimes, kids are also physically abandoned for varying lengths of time, and this is not helpful. The book, "Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics" by Gravitz and Bowden is enlightening. They are founding members of the board of directors of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. Joan Larson also has a great book on alcoholism called "Seven Weeks to Sobriety" which is primarily concerned with rebuilding the bodies and brain chemistry of alcoholics. This is an invaluable book in understanding the physiological aspects of alcohol cravings, anxiety and depression. Genetic issues are also covered and very interesting. Do you have Celt or Scandinavian ancestors?

    I'm not certain how PTs specializing in ACOA issues (there are some) treat patients, but I think it is a long slow process. Ignoring the issues will not help and probably feeds self-destructive impulses. Don't expect a lot of company on this journey. If you see a PT, make absolutely certain they have ACOA training otherwise you will end up misdiagnosed and progress will be hampered or confounded. There are some ACOA meetings in some locations and probably some on-line forums which, now that I think of it, I may peek into.

    After about 6 months of sobriety I suddenly experienced an episode of what can only be described as raging anger. I was alone and driving down a lonely highway when it happened and it shocked me. What shocked me even more was that I realized that the person who was voicing this anger was me, at nineteen years old, the age when I began drinking in earnest. The alcohol just masked the anger for the next 26 years. So, where did the anger come from. This took years to figure out.

    I read book in which a psychologist stated that anger is a primary emotion and we can't do much with it from a therapeutic perspective. He explained that underlying anger are 3 main emotions; frustration, hurt and fear. When I began to view my childhood through these lenses I could see that my sick parents had often frustrated me, hurt me and caused me to be afraid. Talking about some of my experiences with siblings has met with a stony wall of silence, which is another ACOA hallmark.

    So what now? There is some catharsis to be had from reliving these emotions, letting them express themselves through an adult mind, but there is another aspect; forgiveness. In some cases, as with my mentally ill (paranoid schizophrenic) mother, this was not so hard. With my Dad, it was impossible until I left it on God's doorstep. He picked it up and now I am free from all the frustration, fear and hurt he laid upon me, unintentionally, throughout my entire life. I am free, but no longer speak with him because he is remorseless and will die this way. The warm glow and snarky humor booze gives him is all the "relationship" he needs.

    I hope this helps you. Write anytime you like. If you click on my name then you will be able to send a private message which goes directly to my mailbox and alerts me you have written. In the public forum, I won't know unless I go to your original post and look for your response.

  9. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Dear Wisp,

    I just happened to read you note to JB and noticed you had written "Gilly, if I might, you say that you have a way that definitely won't fail? I'm intrigued; any chance you could tell me about it?? Please?

    I was not certain what JB was looking for, it sounded like he he might be asking for sure-fire way of killing himself. My response was that if that was what he meant, then yes, I do, but I wasn't going to share it. The rules on the site specifically forbid this type of banter and I would not do it anyway. I lost the closest, dearest friend I ever had and likely will ever will have had to suicide 23 years ago. I don't want anymore people like my best friend offing themselves and I don't want anymore people like me losing the one person they connected with the most being alone in a world of relative strangers.

    Anyway, I think this is sort of insanity is highly personal. My friend Chris, hanged himself. Curiously, looking back, I think his primary motivating emotions were feeling like a failure and being suffocated by life. Had he not moved away prior to his death, who can say what we might have discussed together. I certainly never saw him as anything even remotely like a failure.

    As for myself, although I have had thought about suicide for a long time, I never had a method till last summer when it suddenly appeared in my mind. I realized I was getting into much deeper waters. A few weeks ago, I scared myself badly because I realized that not only could I do it, but that it was likely going to be just a matter of time. That's when I wrote my first post here.

    The responses I got helped me sort something out which was really weighing me down regarding my current direction and future. Now, I feel much better and am back on track. I have discovered what gives me the greatest (deepest) joy and pleasure in my life. This is something more or less unique for each person. Without it, a person is adrift and living an inauthentic life (a charade) which can make life literally unbearable; as Thoreau said, "The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation."
  10. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    I'm not certain that any advice I could give you would be helpful (since I'm not exactly 'cured' myself). I'm trying not to compare myself to others or to what I feel that I should be able to achieve in an effort to limit how much I fail at everything. Unfortunately I find myself failing at that so...umm...oops. My thoughts on why I feel that I need to be perfect is down to self-worth. I think I'm not acceptable unless I prove myself useful or good enough. There's a certain element of religion in there since it extends to the afterlife but since I figure I'm damned for wanting to kill myself (although that doesn't extend to anyone else) I figure I'm already too far gone to be saved. It may be different for you but sometimes asking yourself 'why?' alot can lead you to some answers. Or not.

    Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

    It may be helpful to chart your feelings - to see if there's a pattern to it. Just a thought.

    Basically I'm searching for a method that I'm sure will work and preferably be written off as an accident or natural causes. The last thing that I want is to survive. It's one reason I haven't seriously attempted anything (just experimented). No-one must know. I understand that methods aren't to be discussed on the forum boards so don't think I'm actively trawling for ideas here. It's just that it was mentioned so I had to ask on the off chance. I hope that I haven't offended anyone.
  11. Wispiwill

    Wispiwill Well-Known Member

    Dear Gilly,

    As I saw your PM to me first, I answered that. I just thought I'd reply here so that others didn't think I'd just ignored you. I hope that's ok.

    Sorry to jb1 for interrupting your thread.
  12. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member

    Well you ask and I can answer there is a life after ... just getting there is the hard part , in the end the ultimate judge of all things , is nobody but you .
    Why cause it is the most fair system , who know yourself best , your lies your kindness your goodside , your deeds .

    But the truth is that answer alone won't suffice for you ,
    Well tough it out , cause others might need you , while life is boring and so without hope of progress .
    It is the way society is , you just have to learn to laugh and enjoy the few moments in life , that makes laugh.
    And embrace it as special , instead of taking it for granted .
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