Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The 'S' word

I understand a little bit about being suicidal.

That sounds terribly dramatic but it isn't; not really. All it means is that I think about killing myself more than I think the average person would. I don't know why; it's just something that I do. It's like a strange little mental blip that I have where, if my brain sits still for too long, it'll flash up unexpectedly. Sometimes - usually once a month - these thoughts spike in regularity and, unfortunately, ferocity. I get overwhelmed by things very easily and it presents itself as an easy, if rather lazy, escape route. You'd probably laugh if I told you some of the circumstances that had set off recent such trains of thought.

I think it's very important, at this point, to emphasize that I am not a suicide risk. Despite stating that my suicidal thoughts peak once a month, I'm not just a crazy pre-menstrual either; increased hormone levels just aggravate a tendency that already exists. Finding myself staring out of high windows and wondering how it would feel to jump is just a part of my life that I've come to accept. 

I believe that I've always thought this way. Or, at least, I have done for as long as I am able to remember. I'm also not entirely sure if I'm sorry about the fact: this little idiosyncrasy has  helped to make me who I am, and I quite like her. I can be very emotional and I'm good at putting myself into other people's shoes; a talent that often leads to spontaneous tears over a situation that few others would notice. I think about the effect that my actions will have on another person, or about how I can prevent someone in my family from feeling upset for even a moment. I don't always succeed and, sadly, sometimes my big mouth does run away from me, but generally speaking I'm a compassionate human being. This is because I know how it feels to hurt.

Again, I want to stress that I'm not hurting as I write this. I'm fine. I'm not planning to throw myself in front of a train any time soon. Or any time at all, for that matter. In fact, despite the sometimes horrifying tangents that my brain goes off on, it can also be surprisingly rational.

The suicide rate in my town seems to be quite high. I don't know if that is the case, or if it just seems that way due the fact that it's a small place and everyone knows everyone else, but we seem to have more than our fair share of suicides. Each time I hear about one of these tragic cases, I feel jealous for a millisecond; resentful of the fact that another individual has had the guts to go through it when I never have. Thankfully, this emotion is quickly replaced by the question: "If they'd waited just a week, a month, would things have gotten more bearable for them?". As far as I can see, the answer is always yes. Things do get better, no matter how desperate they seem at the time.

I employ this question when I need to steady myself: Will it be better by tomorrow? Of course it will; it always is. And I always manage to talk myself down from the metaphorical ledge. I have so much to live for, so many people who love me and who would be devastated if I left them. But, not only that, I'd missing out on so much life that I haven't yet lived. There are things that I'm destined to do that would go undone should I step off of this mortal coil and I simply refuse to let that happen. 

Every time something wonderful happens, I look back and think: "If I'd had the guts before, I'd have missed that" which is as good a reason to go on living as any I can think of. 

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