Make a Contract With Yourself to Keep Living
A look at no-suicide contracts.
Trigger Warning: Suicide, self-harm, no-suicide contract
Life is worth living. It may not always feel like it, but it is always the truth.
It’s hard in those darkest hours, especially when you are alone in the middle of the night, to remember this truth.
If you need help, seek it out (suicide helpline information below) and make a contract with yourself to keep living.
NOTE: I am not a mental health professional. Speaking Bipolar is a collection of my personal experiences of living with Bipolar Disorder and Familial Mediterranean Fever. If you or someone you love needs help, DO NOT DELAY to get it.
Resources for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Chat option available
Telephone: 1.833.456.4566 – Available 24/7
Text: 45645 – Available Daily 4pm-12am ET
Chat option available
Crisis Text Line – 24/7 nationwide crisis-intervention text-message hotline created in partnership with Kids Help Phone.
Text: HOME to 686868 in Canada to text with a trained Crisis Responder.
Samaritans – 24/7, toll-free crisis line, as well as local branches.
Telephone: 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably – It has a limited-hour phone and webchat options every day from 5 PM to midnight.
Telephone: 0800 58 58 58
List of suicide crisis lines for other lands
Please forgive me if I have not listed your country. Your life is valuable. Do an internet search for “suicide hotline” in your country to find a local number or chat option.
Why Write This Post?
Recently, I started sharing more of my personal story of living with and surviving Bipolar Disorder. I was apprehensive to start for fear that some of my dark days would inspire negative behavior in others.
Still, I am working through a blogging course, and one of the tenants to blog success is to be open and honest with your readers. So for me, being open includes all the terrible parts that have been part of my journey.
With fear and trepidation, I set out to start telling my story, but then this…
Download Your Copy
What About Trigger Warnings?
It had only been a few days since I had posted my first part of Surviving Bipolar. I was browsing book blogs as I love books and people who talk about them.
Up into my window popped this title, Should Authors Include Trigger Warnings? from the lovely and talented Gunjan Maheshwari over at Bookworm Reads.
My first thought was, “Oh, no, this supports every bad thing I was thinking.” That thought increased as I read how the blogger was personally affected by a show she was watching with very dark subject matter.
Should I take my post down and stop writing? Would my story harm others?
What Are People Saying?
Almost immediately, I started to receive comments and notes from people who had read the first installment and been touched by my story.
Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s God or the universe talking to me or just coincidence. Some would say there are no coincidences.
Still, the matter has weighed heavily on me for some days.
When I was going through my darkest days, the worst days being in the mid-1990s, the internet was just starting to gain popularity. There were no Netflix or Hulu for online streaming and very few blogs to read.
Of course, there was MySpace, if you remember that, but seldom could you find any useful information in its pages.
The one thing I wanted the most back then was someone who understood me, someone who could tell me that things were going to get better.
Since I couldn’t find that validation, all I wanted was for things to end.
Why Keep Living?
I did eventually seek help, as I will share in my Surviving series. One of the first doctors I saw made me sign a no-suicide contract.
If you’ve never heard of a no-suicide contract, I found one online and you can see it here.
I signed the contract, as it was the only way they would allow me to leave, but my immediate thought was rage and anger and, “How can this stupid piece of paper do anything to help me?!?!”
I walked out to the parking lot in front of the clinic, and in a true bipolar fashion, I made a huge display of tearing the contract up into tiny pieces and scattering them into the wind.
The system had failed me.
Did It Work?
A funny thing, though, started to occur. Even though I did not have the contract to look back on, it continued to stick with me. I thought about the words and how I had signed my name to a promise not to hurt myself.
The days passed until my next appointment, and I still thought it was a stupid and worthless piece of paper, but it had done its job. It kept me alive for another week, and then another, and so on until I finally got the help I needed.
That brings me back to today. I’m going to continue to share my story, the good, the bad, and the truly awful parts of it.
It is imperative to me that I don’t do anything to hurt you. Additionally, I want you to know that no matter how bad things might be right now, it does get better. I am living proof.
You just have to keep going. The night will eventually end.
How did Speaking Bipolar start? Read a brief history here.
Will You Make a Promise to Yourself?
If you are contemplating suicide or other self-harm, I beg of you, please get help. Print off the no-suicide contract and vow to yourself to keep going.
It’s not 1995 anymore. You do have the internet. You do have suicide prevention hotlines that you can reach out to for help. Call, text, or chat online.
You also have me.
Truth be told, I know I’m not much and definitely nothing special, but I do understand. I know what it feels like to feel like you’re drowning or like you’ve fallen through the ice on a cold winter’s night and can’t find your way back out.
Yes, I have been there. I’ve cried your tears and felt your pain. I’ve spent long, lonely nights in what felt like unending agony.
Yet, I’m still here. Here for me, and here for you.
You are not alone.
Please don’t give up.
Until next time, keep fighting.
Here’s a positive poem of dreams for a better future.
Read Next: How To Cope With Bipolar Disorder in a New Season
You do such great things with your writing and openess. Like you I have lost too many people. I believe talking sbout it helps. And I for one am glad you digned that contract.
Hi Kim! Thank you so much for saying such nice things. All the encouragement I receive from great writers like you helps me to continue to tell my story. I hope you and your loved ones are well. Scott
Wow, Scott, this is really inspiring. I am going to adapt the suicide contract so it has Scottish phone numbers on it. (I’m in the UK). I will give a copy to my sister, too, which will help her understand. Thanks for this blog 🙂
That’s great. I hope it helps you and others.