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Thinking about death can happen subtly like when everyday thoughts about life's challenges change from ideas that support staying alive (or neutral ideas) towards thoughts about not wanting to keep living through difficulties.
It's easy to casually drift into thinking that because life is hard, it is also bad. This can eventually become defeating negative self-talk. The practice of thinking that life is too hard to handle can form a habit that includes escaping what feels bad. A person can start to believe that death is a solution rather than an additional problem.
In 2020, 12 million people had suicidal ideation—they had thoughts about escaping a difficult or unhappy situation by not living through it. Without meaning to, many of these people allowed a death wish mentality to begin forming. That is the idea that death solves problems that it can't solve. On the path towards devaluing life, this early point is where a detour sign needs to be placed.
A Real-Life Wish is a detour away from death wish formation. We know we won't stop people from thinking that life is hard, unfair, or seemingly impossible. We can help people shift back into life-affirming patterns that are realistic and meaningful.
The information provided on RibbonofWorth.com should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a medical professional or other healthcare professional specializing in mental health diagnosis and treatment. Please consult with your provider about an assessment and treatment protocol if you are suicidal or call 1.800.273.8255
Suicide Prevention Information, Suicide Prevention Ideas, How to Stop Suicidal Thinking,
Having a Real-Life Wish, or many, and being aware of their existence, possibilities, and sheer force can be the ultimate life energy booster! Because once we understand we can make life-affirming wishes, we learn of the uniqueness and partly invisible nature of these personal pursuits. We can better understand the nature of the journey, we and others are on.
We can see that the path we are on is similar to the way others must travel, easy or difficult. We can see them as we see ourselves in a new way, with empathy and compassion, because we know that none of us know everything about affirming life. As smart as we can be, there is no expert better than ourselves, and each of us is a lifelong apprentice at best.
One way to think about a Real-Life Wish is that it creates the desire to be open and connect to the most personally inspiring and motivating aspiration for your own life.
Think of a neurosurgeon and (assuming you're not one) try to imagine what it's like to be one, and that same neurosurgeon trying to think what it's like NOT to be one. Both of you have NO idea, really, how it feels to be that other being, on that other journey, in that other experience. There are words and language that can be used to try to explain it. But language, though it can sometimes access and invoke experience, it can't duplicate it and install it in another human being without the rework and reconstruction our own emotional and psychological lenses, to transform it in OUR rendition of the felt experience.
And yet, realizing the impossibility of one hundred percent access to the experience of others can finally give you a break from a false pursuit...and liberate you to be free to honor self-expression. A life-affirming wish shared, acted on, and visibly held in shared awareness can be celebrated and enjoyed for its own sake.
We're an infinite field of life-affirming wishes all so unique - alone - and yet we're all together, walking with each other. The energy to live is all around and in us. It's in that shared energy where all real-life wishes can be found and adopted.
A Real-Life Wish can be a quest for connection to something beyond our immediate reach. It can also be a returning to contentment within ourselves. The safety and love and comfort we seek are in knowing we're all part of a life wish, a story, with chapters of our own making - our design - our own felt experience. Each life-affirming wish is the truest expression of you being you, the one and ONLY you that has ever been or will be. It's sacred and yours.
We can honor the many different expressions of real-life wishes all around us - to borrow some energy or gain some wisdom from others' stories that tell us how to keep making the wishes that give our lives meaning.
Do you know what your life-sustaining wishes are? You can write a philosophy of life that is life-sustaining; a friend or therpist can help.
In his research and writing, clinician Jack Klott discovered that four things are essential in the occurrence of suicide. They are; Hopelessness, Aloneness, Self-Hate, and the Inability to Cope.
Jack Klott, MSSA, LISW, CSW, MINT, is a suicideologist with over 35 years of experience working with clients and writing about what keeps someone from acting on suicidal thinking. He shared with me that the protectors "that almost guarantee they will not die by suicide are resilience, hope, social connections, stress tolerance, emotional availability, and a reason for living."
Suicide and Psychological Pain: Prevention That Works by Jack Klott is available at Amazon. It is an excellent resource for understanding the risk factors, social stressors, and psychological vulnerabilities which can decrease the desire to live. It also includes strategies for treatment planning and evidence-based interventions.
The Trevor Project National Survey Results 2020 are here- https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/
Hope Center NAMI (877) 535-4357
M.H.A. Compassionate Ear Line (866) 927-6327
Participation Station Peer Warmline (877) 840-5167
Samaritans Cape Cod 1-800-893-9900
The Institute on Aging Friendship Line 1-800-971-0016
Suicide Prevention Resources are available here- https://afsp.org/suicide-prevention-resources
Call: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Text: Connect to 741741