TRIGGER WARNING –thoughts of suicide
There was a time in my life when I thought that everyone on the planet thought about suicide like I did. That every depressed person obsessed over it, that it was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, even when the feelings of depression had diminished. That is was the first thing every person thought of when they woke up, or when they drove over a bridge, or when life seemed even slightly too cruel.
My thoughts turn toward giving up at the slightest provocation. They have been that way for a really long time. Decades. I’m not sure how it got that way. I have (obviously) not given up, because I’m sitting here typing this, and haven’t given up (ever) in the sense that I have tried to end my life. But, man, do I ever think about it.
All the time. In good times and in bad. The thought is always right there, hovering near the surface. When I say I think about it in good times, the thoughts are always much more passive, such as wanting to sleep and not wake up or wishing that I didn’t exist. Times other than the good times, the thoughts are quite a bit more graphic.
I think its possible that the thoughts themselves have become obsessive, in a way. I used them as tools to get through some really impossible situations in life. When life is harsh and ugly and you are being beaten over the head (sometimes quite literally) with your own illness, the thoughts that you wish you would never wake up are comforting. The thoughts that you could just oh, say, slide your hand a bit to the right on the steering wheel as you take this curve make you feel a little bit more in control of things.
I’m not sure if anyone is going to understand that, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to publish this post, because I fear that I’m going to have a whole lot of people tell me how beautiful life is and how I am cherished in it and how I have so much to live for. Yes, I know these things. The thoughts still come. This has become about the thoughts and how the thoughts have taken over my life.
I don’t talk to anyone (at all) about this. I fear rejection, stigma, and I fear having to look another human in the face and say, lying all the way, that, oh yes, I know things are never that bad that I should have these thoughts. Because having these intrusive, repetitive, obsessive thoughts is not something I choose. I don’t *like* these thoughts, but I do have to deal with them. I do have to live my life, with them whispering about in my head.
I do a lot of living inside my head, I do a lot of not going places, and not talking to people. Not going places I love to go, like to basketball games, and not talking to people that I love more than any on Earth, like my sister or my dad. I can’t tell them these things, about these obsessive thoughts. I can’t picture the words coming from my mouth, even if I think there is a good chance that they won’t immediately commit me to a locked ward somewhere.
If this post reaches even one person who can relate, who can understand what I’m saying, and they can know they are not alone with these commanding and hostile, yet sometimes just whispering thoughts, then that is all I really wanted. So much of having a mental illness is feeling alone and misunderstood. I get tired of feeling that way, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’m tired with it, with the isolation and the feeling that no one is really grasping what is happening in my head.
But my story, it’s not ending this way. I have a million different endings churning in my head, vying for space and attention, and if I have anything to do with it, the ending I will forge in time’s book is that of a person who never fully gave up, even though the thoughts tried to convince her every day. I may have to deal with the thoughts, but I can vow that I will do my best to not give in, and to continue to try and learn to silence, to ignore, to resist them along the way, as best I can.