Coaching was the difference. It gave us the edge between staying stuck or moving through. And we have moved through.
The day my daughter attempted to take her life was a low point for us, We (my daughter, myself, the medical team we worked with, her counsellor) had thought we were making progress. We thought – we trusted – my daughter was getting better. All the evidence was pointing that way:
- She no longer spent her days in her room crying uncontrollably
- She was leaving the house without a panic attack
- She was joining in conversations with her siblings and her friends
- She was back at school part time
- She was doing some gymnastics again
- The self harm was slowing down
All signs indicated she had ‘turned the corner’ and was now on the road to recovery.
Suicidal thoughts are sneaky. I thought it would be okay for me to go back to work. Just for a day. And I inadvertently gave her the opportunity to be on her own.
She took that opportunity.
The voices that had been waiting quietly, patiently in her head were with her when she woke that morning. They were mean. They were nasty. They were insistent. And they did not stop. A panic attack began. The voices got meaner. Nastier. And they promised not to leave her alone. Not now. Not ever.
Being the considerate adolescent she is, she put her washing on. She didn’t want her mum to have to deal with her dirty washing.
Then she followed her plan, the one she had that was labelled, “Take your life.’ She had tried before. There had been other attempts. This time though, she knew she had a good plan. And she ran with it.
Ok. Done. The end. This, finally, was what she really wanted.
It wasn’t. She didn’t really want this. Only the voices did. She’d been brave. She’d done what they told her to do. And now she was going to end up dying. She didn’t want that. She just wanted to know how to live.
Panicking, she made a call. Then she collapsed.
The events of that day, in our kitchen in August 2018, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We had to go there as part of her journey. They were the turning point.
From there, for us, we could only go up.
And here was the gold of coaching. I received a call that turned my world sideways. And through the turmoil and anguish that followed, I was able to stay calm. Which kept me connected to my daughter. At first it was like a well conditioned response. I was grateful for it. And even more grateful when it didn’t leave.
My awareness of, and my ability to, manage my own emotional state was what made guiding her to wellness possible. Without the work I had done in coaching, I would not have been able to be the parent she needed.
The next day I asked her, “Honey. Are we at the bottom?” And she said, “Yes.”
From there we have only been able to heal.
Let me walk beside you on the journey to wellness. Get it sorted now.