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Episode 28

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or harming self, please proceed to your nearest hospital for medical attention.

PLEASE NOTE: This episode is a heavy topic and may be triggering to some listeners. Please proceed with caution.

Sheilagh provides some context regarding the interaction between the listener and the individual who is having suicidal thoughts; she describes it as both Breath Taking and Breathtaking and how the listener will have an intense visceral response when being told by someone they don’t want to live anymore. How do we go on to support these individuals?

  • Breath Taking – details of the impact, and how to cope, reclaiming the breath
  • Breathtaking – the soul connection, existential moment, being the “chosen soul”

What is the role now of the listener?

  • What to say in the moment
  • Be the life raft, one of those lovely soft sided, blow up life rafts
  • Create the visual and felt sense of that role

Death will take us, every one of us. There is an absolute commitment by Death to engage us. The question is… are we willing to make an absolute commitment to engage with Death. Will we accept its presence and its power over us? Will we allow it to say when and how it embraces us? Are we willing to relinquish control?

What is that suicidal person thinking? The suicidal person will often speak of embracing death before it can embrace them – in this moment the person is engaging in the ultimate autonomous act, not losing control to death, rather taking control of death.

The key regardless is to listen to understand not to answer. To hold space and stop time even if only for the moment. In this process the other may find new insights and with that a new quest or they may affirm that the quest is over, feel less distress, more relief and can cross knowing they were accepted, loved and released with dignity.

Please note, any and all information provided by this podcast should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional guidance that may be relevant to your own personal situation. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for mental health therapy.

O’Sullivan Psychotherapy