This week I was contacted by a suicidal transwoman who asked me what I would say to a trans-woman who felt like she didn't have a future and who wanted to take her own life.
This session works through the advice I gave her to help her get through her struggle.
I split this help into 5 simple steps, I would recommend listening to the free podcast as well as watching the YouTube Video (links below) to get the most from this.
1) Everyday wins - When we're feeling so low that we want to end things, we fail to see positivity in anything. In fact committing suicide seems like the only way to end the pain. I've been in this position before, as well as struggling with bulimia and depression. Take strength in the little successes you can do every day. Set yourself 3 tasks per day, if getting out of bed, getting showered and going outside for a 10 minute walk is all you can manage, then do this. It starts with the small steps - the small wins. After you've done these things you can start to add more each day.
2) Keep Perspective - When we're stuck in depression or feeling like there is no future, it's difficult to have any. I get that. So please reach out and speak to someone. It could be a friend, a colleague but speak with someone who you trust. If you're not able to speak to anyone like that, there's suicide lines, Samaritans, and LGBT Switchboards too. What helped me more than anything when I was struggling was having the support of my peers. They knew what I was going through and were able to give me strategies to cope. I also had therapy for 3 months. Therapy can really help you to see things in you you can't. It worked with me and I'm sure it can for you too.
3) Learnings - Ask yourself what can you learn about yourself in this period of struggle. You know every successful person fails their way to success, right? Every self-fulfilled/happy person uses ALL of their experiences to help them to understand more of who they are. I'm willing to bet that it's likely that you've not always felt like this. So remember that this is going to pass - as has everything else you've ever gone through.
4) Best Self - Can you remember a time when things were tough and yet they didn't affect you as things do now? How did your best self act then? What strengths did you draw upon and could you possibly use? Quite often the things you learned in the past can guide you through the thing you're going through now. I guarantee you that your best self has elements you can use and apply to your current struggle.
5) Gratitude - Again this one is difficult to have in times of struggle. But we've made a decision to make a massive change and we've started that change. Be grateful for this opportunity - for the ability to have the freedom of choice and to be able to make progress towards the person you want to become. Without ever starting and getting through the tough times, you're not going to build that solid foundation on which to build that happier you.
The podcast to go along with this weeks blog is available for free here