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My family is very competitive and I try not to get caught up in this. I also realize that I don’t have to attend every argument that I am invited to!
I have had to be really honest with some friends– in the nicest way possible. If I want to continue the friendship then I tell them how I am feeling/what is bothering me. Usually when I use “I statements” and talk about my emotions, the other person understands and doesn’t become offended.
I feel that I can relate to other people to a degree who have experienced loss and pain due to loss I experienced in my childhood. Not all pain is the same. It looks different for everyone. I find it easier to relate to individuals who have experienced struggles in their life because I have, too.
This took some practice in asserting what I wanted and needed in my relationships and friendships. It is always better to communicate how I am feeling then to let it bottle up and turn into resentment or anger.
Suicide is such a challenging topic. I have had a cousin attempt. I avoid trying o attempt to understand why it is that he felt that much pain, rather I try to be there for him in any way that I can. I try to treat him as “normal” as possible. I don’t want him to feel even more isolated by a previous attempt.
It’s easy to get caught up in certain thinking patterns and fall prey to these “shortcuts”. I do it often with people close to me and I think it prevents us from getting closer in some ways. I try to work on letting go of negativity and negative templates to allow room for growth in my relationships.
I tend to do this too in large social situations, Sunshine! I think the worst and forget the other people are also experiencing some level of anxiety, too. Often they aren’t so focused on me and what I am doing. Facing my fears and walking through them is the best way for me to learn to change my perspectives.
A lot of people who attempt suicide seem to struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse. I know that I can’t singlehandedly change someone’s mind about their own life–but I try to make myself available to be a listening to ear to those who are struggling. I also need to know my limits and know when a professional is best fit for the job.
I think I will always struggle with this to a degree. Now, I am aware of it and laugh at myself when I do it. The key for me is to talk to friends who are similar to me, too. It always helps to remember I am not alone!
In the winter time, I try to stay motivated by keeping in touch with my mom, grandma and friends. I always read inspiring scripture and quotes. Music helps me get motivated. Social media networks help me socialize sometimes. It is difficult to stay motivated to socialize in the winter because of the weather conditions. It’s always tempting to stay to yourself, but then again, you don’t want to separate yourself from others. Everyone should try to look at any upcoming events and try to reach out to others to get up to go somewhere. It should be a balance between staying to yourself and going out to talk to others
I go through bouts of sensitivity where I make assumptions based off of a few words someone has said. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that a lot of what other people say, even when it is directed at you, has more to do with them than it does with you. When my mind starts going to that place of feeling hurt, paranoid, or highly offended, I try to remember this. It’s not always easy, though. Nowadays, I generally try to listen to myself and pay attention to what I’m feeling. This helps me recognize when I am feeling a lot more sensitive than usual. On those days, I try to constantly remind myself that I’m feeling sensitive, and I might need some more time to myself than usual to ride out the proverbial wave. Different things work for different people, but perhaps getting in tune with what you’re feeling and taking care to remind yourself that everyone has their bad days where they can say hurtful things that they don’t mean can help!
I really appreciate what mmariani41 said. I think it is really difficult to completely understand what a suicidal friend, acquaintance or family member is truly feeling. I agree that the best thing you can do is not to dance around the topic. It may be overkill to constantly as the person if he or she is suicidal, but I think being there for him or her and letting them know they can talk to you is important. Like many people who have responded, I have not had a friend or family member die by suicide, but I know a number of people who have survived the suicide (or attempted suicide) of friends and family members. From what I’ve seen in them, that grief never goes away, and I don’t think it’s supposed to. I do think that with time, it is easier to cope with that grief, though.
Setting boundaries has ALWAYS been a struggle for me. I’ve grown up as a very trusting person and tend to open myself up to people very quickly. Most times, this is a good thing because I can then be a person who others know will be there for them when they really need it. But I have had several times where people have taken advantage of my kindness and generosity. I let things go on so long that it became more difficult to set boundaries. I still have trouble with this now (I had a real problem in this area with a coworker last year), but sometimes, no matter how difficult it is, it is really worth setting those boundaries for the sake of your own peace of mind and to be able to work or generally function as a human being. I know when I try to ignore these situations, I get very anxious or I suffer as I let the other person take advantage. In the long run, it has always been worth it to set the boundaries, no matter how late in the game it is or how hard it may be to muster up the courage.
I really agree with Nana— what people say has a lot more to do with them then with you. There is an agreement in “The Four Agreements” which is- “Don’t take things personally” and I have found it to be extremely helpful.
When I know I have to go on long drives I make sure I leave early or else traffic and the slow drivers always get the best of me. I have my favorite playlist, full tank of gas, and the reminder that this drive is going to something that’s really positive in my life!
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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