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 reported having 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, a detour sign needs to be placed at this early point.
A wish that affirms self-worth is a detour away from death-wish thoughts. 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 with meaningful worth-affirming patterns. Wishes come before choices. Choices are a more direct and active step to make life better.
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
Having a worth-conscious mindset, and being aware of the existence, possibilities, and sheer force of that mindset can be the ultimate life energy booster! Because once we understand that we can make worth-affirming choices, 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 worth. As smart as we can be, and there is no expert better than ourselves, each of us is a lifelong apprentice at best. This first thing we can do is wish for better.
One way to think about a worth-consicous wish is that it creates the desire to be open and connect to the most personally inspiring and motivating aspiration for your own life. Stepping through that open door involves adding choices to your daily routine that affirm self-worth.
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 worth-affirming wish created, acted on, and visibly held in shared awareness can be celebrated and enjoyed for its own sake.
We're an infinite field of worth-affirming wishes 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 worth-conscious ideas can be found and adopted.
A worth-conscious choice is 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 worthy story, with chapters of our own making - our design - our own felt experience. Each worth-affirming wish, becomes a set of choices that are 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 self-worth based choices all around us - to borrow some energy or gain some wisdom from others' stories that tell us how to keep making the choices that give our lives meaning.
Do you know what your self-worth sustaining wishes are? You can write a philosophy of life that is worth-conscious; 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
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
Older Number: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Text: HOME to 741741