Unexpected Ideation

Some days I want to live. Some days I want to die. I’m not suicidal – not any more. Or not at the moment at any rate. If I’m careful with self care, and practice what has been preached the past 12 months, I can expect to die from natural causes in the distant future, and not at my own hands.

This does not stop ideation appearing at unexpected moments. I wonder if it’s always been there? Now that I look back upon it, I think it was. I just didn’t recognise it. Since going through a period of making concrete plans, I can notice those suicidal thoughts, out of place like an autumn leaf drifting through the winter snow. When they strike, I find myself having to distinguish between the fantasy dream, Wouldn’t it be lovely!, and the genuine desire for, I can’t do this any more.

It’s an odd thing – and if you’ve never wished to close your eyes and slip forever into a blessed and eternal sleep – then perhaps it is difficult to understand in any capacity.

Suicidal plans must be bred out of depression – surely happy people don’t want to die? But suicidal ideation – the thoughts that flit through your head when you least expect it – they can come at any time.

One day it might just be exhaustion. Not enough sleep the night before, a long day at work, then while driving home chaotic thoughts are calmed by contemplating the how, why, when, what and where of all the different lethal options there are.

Another day – when everything that can go wrong does go wrong – the thought of never having to go through another day of shit is heavenly. No plans in place. Just a blissful, mesmerising moment, realising the finality of death would bring an end to all of life’s painful moments.

The most disconcerting suicidal thoughts come out of the blue – when there’s no exhaustion, no sadness, no stress. Just a contented day, with hope and dreams for the future, and yet the mind drifts again to the pleasant nostalgia of going to sleep and never waking up. Of never having to deal with life again – the good, the bad, the ugly. The mundane, the exciting, the horrific. All the things that life is – gone.

These nostalgic, dreamy moments are not the same as being suicidal. Not at all. I’ve been there, and there is no comparison.

Being suicidal is an intense darkness in the deepest part of your spirit and soul. Born out of a deep depression that has lasted long enough to leave nothing but numbing blackness and strips away all hope there is any chance of reprieve. Life is not worth living depression tells you.

Day after endless day it relentlessly marches on and each relentless day is harder to survive than the one before. Suicidal plans are made. The suicidal dream is becoming a reality. An increasingly tempting possibility and the how, why, when, what and where are constructed and put into place. Each day is a trial and survived only by setting small goals and having enough loving family and support around, that the final decision is never reached.

With support and time, the unrelenting desire for eternal rest, diminished. Will it ever go entirely? I suspect not. I have become sensitised to every suicidal thought that passes through my consciousness. But ideation does not involve plans. Ideation does not bring with it spiralling depression and obsessive thought patterns. Ideation does not mean the end of all that is near and dear. Suicidal ideation is simply dreaming of a fantasy that will never be pursued. It is not reality. It is not fact. It is not healthy. It is just a dream. A tangled web of desires. A dark dream that can hit at any time. A dark dream banished by focusing on the light.

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