The usual disclaimer: if you think your life is in danger, get help. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
That said, I’ve been having some suicidal feelings recently and have taken the opportunity to work with them.
I knew I was safe while doing this, firstly because the feelings were not as strong as they have been, and secondly even in my most intensely suicidal moments I’ve had the clarity that I still have to live, no matter what my cravings are — and I’ve had the willpower to stick to that clarity. So know yourself, and only do these exercises if you know you’re safe.
Now, what I’ve experimented with the last few days started with the thought: If “I” want to die, who am “I”?
The interesting answer was that my assumption with “I want to die” was always that “I” was a body. This is not my usual belief, and if I shifted perspective to seeing myself as a spirit, the thought of wanting to kill my body didn’t hold the same attraction. I imagined standing outside my dead body and still feeling like shit, which could make a lady feel kinda stupid.
I experimented with using this perspective shift whenever I returned to suicidal thoughts. Without exception, it stopped the thoughts in their tracks, at least for a little while.
Later, I tried something slightly different: I decided to interpret the desire to die as the desire for my ego or false self to die.
You’ll need to read something like Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now to get an impression for what I mean by “ego” here. (As “ego” has multiple meanings and seems to lead to no end of confusion, I often prefer to talk about the “false self”). I’ve spent years exploring myself with a basis in the understanding which that book gave me, and have a feeling for what different subtle energies and sensations inside my body can mean.
So today I’ve taken the energy of wanting to die and directed it inwards, saying “let me die”. This wasn’t a desire for my body to die, but instead a desire for my false self to die. I feel that suicidality is a reaction against the heaviness and pain of being, and that perhaps there is a true instinct there which knows that the false self – what we often interpret as “us” – is the source of pain.
So I pulled the energy out of my mind and sort of directed it inside like a fire that would scour out my heavy, false self. And it seemed to work; after doing this today I not only feel not suicidal, but I feel oddly light and clear.
This is something I’m currently actively working with so be warned that the ideas are still in flux. That said, feel free to take some inspiration if you want.