I kept myself safe. Now what?
After surviving a storm of suicidal thoughts, the aftermath can feel very confusing. You don't want to turn back to the dark thoughts that were trying to sweep over you but you're not sure how to move forward either. You look around and see the debris left from past choices and circumstances and you feel anxious, overwhelmed, and tired all at once. You're not sure what to do next.
Does this sound familiar?
If this is you, here are two things for you to remember:
- There is hope. Things will get better. Here, at Boys Town National Hotline, we know this is true. We have talked to many teens, who months later, have shared amazing stories of recovery and success.
- It takes time. We know this is also true. Real lasting change means moving forward step by step.
Steps you can take now to clear the debris in your life and move forward:
- If you haven't done it already, create a safety plan to prepare you for the next time those thoughts of suicide or self-harm start creeping in.
- Work to clear the negative thoughts from your mind. If you refuse to give your time to these thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts, they will eventually leave.
- When intrusive thoughts try to take over, use grounding techniques to calm them and bring your emotions back to neutral.
- Allow other people in your life. Be honest with them about your struggles. Remember: They can't read your mind. They can't tell what's bothering you just by looking at you. Tell them what's going on so they can help. If talking about things seems too hard, try writing a letter.
- Be proactive. Sort through your feelings right away, don't let them take over.
- Rebuild your life with self-care.
- Journal, draw or write a song about the things you have faced and have overcome. When you use your creative powers to address your hurts, the pain is reduced, and healing starts.
- Start practicing gratitude. This allows you to shift your perspective from the hurts of the past to thankfulness in the present.
Keep working on these steps to rebuild your life. It takes time but you will see results if you stick with it. You can be stronger and healthier. You can find hope!