Perfectionists Can Be Suicidal: How to Avoid the Dark Thoughts of Suicide

The frustration of writing and re-writing a story over and over again until it's just right, putting together a piece of furniture for hours, fixing something broken that can't be fixed, perfectionists can relate. Bawled up papers everywhere and tools strewn around, loved ones visiting your mess while helping you pick up your thoughts off the floor, consoling you with, "Is there anything I can do." Gently rubbing your shoulder, "Why don't you take a break?" You respond, holding back your tears of frustration, "I'm fine, thanks."

Memories of trying to stay between the lines of some goofy image you had to color back in elementary school come back to haunt you while sitting on the floor ready to give up. The voice of your parents standing over you, "Now that isn't your best work, try to color nicer. Stay in the lines." No matter how hard you tried, the white spaces never seemed to fill in quite right and crayon lines seem to go over black lines every time. To slow a building emotional outburst, you just kept coloring over and over again making more mistakes but hoping the picture would be to your liking and appease everyone else. Yet, once you completed the picture it was ugly and you were ready to throw that away along with the crayons, until mom came in to stop you.

There was also those days, back in your twenties, you came to work to find that nothing was left clean and organized as you left it, some one helped themselves to your pens, went through your drawers and made off with a notebook and opened up your snacks, the boss would hear about it. You were also still angry from the night before, because no one bothered to clean the kitchen at your home, pick up their shoes in the living-room or notice the dust mounting on shelves and you have found yourself having to stay up until almost 1 a.m. trying to organize things.

Bawled papers, trying to stay in the lines, and keeping a tidy environment was only just the beginning of how you would handle everything in your life from relationships to shopping. If it isn't any good just throw it away, you have told yourself. The standards that you have created for yourself are not easy to follow and they are your measuring tools for everyone else. There is no forgiving yourself for mistakes; therefore, it is often difficult to forgive others. You have a no nonsense policy about everything in your life and if someone has a valid crisis, concern or problem, you tell them, "That's just an excuse."

You have either received high honors and rewards or fallen short of getting them in the past and you never quite got over the times you fell short. You often wonder why can't you be more like this person and that one and are angry for everything you ever did wrong to yourself and others. In every relationship and project you begin, you have a great zeal and passion. You give 110% until...the warning signs come that the person you are trying to impress doesn't seem to give you as much as you give them. The project that you have been working on for months is becoming a headache and you are afraid you have bitten off more than you can chew. Where is the way out? When there seems to be none, when control is out of your hands, you grow distant into a dark world of hopelessness and emptiness. The sun doesn't shine as bright as it use to, the rain doesn't give you any peace, nights are sleepless, food doesn't taste good and all you can do is dwell on everything that is wrong in your life. In fact, you have grown to despise yourself and everyone around you. The dark thoughts have come to kill you and you are convinced that if you throw yourself away like you do paper, that all will be alright with you and the world--not so fast.

Let's go back to the frustrated writing scene, when you wrote and wrote eventually you did come up with something to write about didn't you? When you colored and colored you did end up with a completed project whether it was good or bad, right? Well, the thought of going to someone who understands you and will remind you of your strengths and weaknesses is what you need right now. You may call him Jesus, John or Mary, whatever the name, your first step will be to get on the phone and/or out of the house, surround yourself with a positive person, healthy place or thing that motivates and inspires you to move on. Make a doctor's appointment, there may be something more serious going on inside your mind - a chemical imbalance. Your problem may be coming from drugs, alcohol, unresolved past issues and negative people. Define the problem and find the solution that will help you feel better about you. Once you have done that, you will begin to feel better about others. You will find that the choices you have made in your life have caused the hurt that you have been experiencing. If it was a bad relationship, then you already know what you must do. If it was a bad experience, then you know what you will have to think about to change your thoughts.

Perfectionists can be their own worst enemies. They demand a lot from themselves so they demand a lot from others, but they are also some of the best employees because they will ensure that a job gets done and done right. A healthy balance in one's life of proper rest and achievement, a forgiving spirit of self and others and an appreciation of life is all one needs to begin to overcome dark thoughts. Don't let the dark thoughts get the best of you today, love yourself and focus on making a positive impact where it counts. Avoid spending time on people and things that only drain you of your energy and aid you in your depression. Consider moving to a place that may be better than where you are living, but whatever you do, don't throw anything in the trash unless you can afford to lose it.

Note: And just a reminder, make that doctor's appointment and be clear about what kind of symptoms you are having such as: headaches, backaches, missed or long menstrual cycles, hair loss, bad dreams, loss of appetite, thoughts of suicide, interests you use to enjoy but no longer and a combination of other symptoms with these...something is definitely wrong.

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