Stabilizing Stage

Can we pause?

Lesson 1 Section 1

Would it be ideal if we could stop all of the suicidal thoughts? Sure. That would be preferable, but it might not be possible right now.

I get it.

The suicidal thoughts might feel uncontrollable and trying to keep up with them can be both frustrating and exhausting. Even after the crisis point the emotional pain might barely be tolerable. 

Maybe you can't change all of that right now. I’m only asking you to pause.

Can you give yourself a break from planning or preparing? You can choose to do nothing, even if you can’t direct your thoughts or take positive actions right away.

There are alternatives to consider, but only you can judge them because you're the expert on you. To seriously think about other life possibilities you can't be working on death possibilities at the same time. Put that on pause.

I wish I could make your suicidal thoughts disappear, but I can’t.
What I can do is teach you how to get through those excruciating moments
when every cell in your brain and body is screaming I want to die.
- Susan Rose Blauner

How do you pause? 

The main idea for pausing is to take a step back from your suicide plans.

You deserve to have time to consider other options including ones you might not know about yet, and options you already learned about but can’t remember right now.

When you're moving through a thick fog you can only act on what’s right in front of you. One option is to stop for a little while (pause), and let the fog clear away some before you keep going.

Pain clouds our minds like a thick fog. That's why I recommend a pause. You can pause by stopping the move toward suicide.

Resources for pausing
  • Now Matters Now: "Hacking suffering" - Videos for people going through a crisis, by people who have lived through a suicidal crisis.
  • 100 Ways to Get Through the Next 5 Minutes: Some self-care tips, some health tips, and some quirky or fun ideas.  The site is maintained by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • Crisis Trends: Proof that you're not alone, graphics showing crisis text trends. The site is maintained by Crisis Text Line.
  • My3 App: A mobile app that gives you a way to quickly access your personal crisis plan and support network.
  • Suicide: Read this first - An internet letter for anyone considering suicide. It's kind of long, but a worthwhile read that helped me when I was a college student in crisis.
  • Breathe2Relax: A mobile app to help with paced breathing, a stress relief strategy that you can use pretty much anywhere. (Apple iTunes | Google Play | Amazon Apps)
  • Colorfy: Coloring therapy for adults is useful for reducing anxiety. Here's an easy way to give it a try.

“When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. 
Press pause.” 
– Douglas Rushkoff

Why Pause? (Click the sections below to open more information)