Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I love this: "Using a Safety Plan to Not Kill Yourself When the World Is a Shitshow! "

I cried through this video, partly from gratitude: 
"Using a safety plan to not kill yourself when the world is a shitshow!" (it's 36 minutes; I embedded it here, also it's here:
I copy-and-pasted the Safety Plan here too, below the video.

I love that it's practical:

Carey walks you through how to fill out the safety plan to have when you're thinking of killing yourself, so you don't.
She's not a therapist, she's just someone who's been there, and she talks a lot about how she answers the questions.

She's so kind and so real--I love that she offers zero "positive thinking". (If that sort of thing works for you, you might not find this video your cup of tea. I myself don't find that trying to convince myself of how good things are, or are going to be, or secretly actually are, helps me at. all. because my inner child is Buddhist-y, and finds it way more helpful to acknowledge that life is suffering--and then ask, now where do we go from here?)

For instance, when Carey comes to the step to list 3 people you can turn to for help, she gets sober and says that probably a lot of people aren't going to have three people, or any people, when they're in a crisis. Thank you! Those sort of requirements are more depressing, when you can't fulfill them. She had one person, who lived in another city, when she was at her worst.

She goes pretty dark, and I am entirely with her on this:
One reason not to kill yourself is BECAUSE things are dark, and you could be that person who does one tiny, kind thing for someone else caught in darkness...

A note:
Carey's backstory--which doesn't matter much for this topic, but which she mentions--is that she lived as a transgender man for... I think a couple years? and it wasn't right for her, so she de-transitioned.
It was pretty hellish for her, but she's very cool and nonjudgmental and supportive about everyone doing what's right for themselves, and she doesn't get into the politics of that here--(she does elsewhere and it's super interesting, but it's really beside the point here).

Unless it's a trigger topic for you, I don't think it needs to even affect you, if you're interested in the video's topic, which is 
1. not killing yourself
and also, maybe, 
2. helping other people get through suicidal times.

She posted this  on Nov. 10, 2016, and the first 3 minutes are about the shock of Trump winning the US election, so you could skip that if you want.

[begin Carey's notes]
Call for Help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Trevor Project (a national 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.): 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline (crisis hotline by and for the transgender community): 1-877-565 8860

The prompts for making your own safety plan! 
Step 1: Warning signs that a crisis is developing (thoughts, images, mood, situations, behaviors).

Step 2: Things you can do by yourself to take your mind off your problems without contacting another person

Step 3: People and social settings that provide distraction
1. Name and phone number
2. Name and phone number
3. Place
4. Place

Step 4: People you can ask for help
1. Name and phone number
2. Name and phone number
3. Name and phone number

Step 5: Hotlines you can contact (above)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Google two hotlines local to you! Then you have the numbers for you, your crew, and anyone else you meet!

Step 6: Making the environment safe- removing means of hurting yourself, strategizing how not to be alone

Step 7: What has kept you from harming yourself so far? (family, friends, children, religious beliefs, pets, future hopes, etc.)

Please leave examples of the coping strategies you use to take your mind off of your problems in the comments!

[end Carey's notes] 

I [Fresca] am not actively suicidal, but I left this comment, below, saying what my coping strategies are for when I just don't want to be alive (very different than living with intrusive thoughts of suicide). I've always known people who are actively suicidal, so I found this video encouraging for both situations.

Things I've found helpful include: 
1. Learning something new
 I love Wikipedia for this--it takes my mind off me & how crap I'm feeling + it activates my curiosity (curiosity for me = a life force). After years of wanting to, I finally started to edit Wikipedia too --which, again, takes my mind off me, plus I'm helping others . . . but I don't have to socialize (yay!) or even get out of my p.j.s. (Depending on how your brain works, editing Wikipedia is either easy or it's a real pain--but if you're interested you can find out how--steps here: "how to edit wikipedia".) 
2. Also: volunteering someplace I can be around people, but don't have to engage much: I used to volunteer at a thrift store where I could just sort donations.

P.S. I also think the idea of filling out this Safety Plan for a character who I love, like [Carey] did, could be really helpful-- again, it might help me get perspective, get out of my self (when that's not a good place to be).  
Like, "Why shouldn't Captain Kirk kill himself?"
That may seem like a ridiculous question for the captain in the original series, but by mid-life, at the end of ST II: Wrath of Khan, when Spock is dead, and the beginning of Star Trek III: Search for Spock you could conceive of it being a real question for him.


The Crow said...

This is heavy, but good. Thank you.

Fresca said...

CROW: Yeah, it is heavy, isn't it? Sigh... (You're welcome.)