Hello again Friends, it’s another day in Mental Health Month and I present to you another topic that confuses me.
Let me preface this by saying that I am absolutely positive I’m not the only one who experiences what I’m about to describe, however, I’m not quite sure of how common (or uncommon) it is. I’ve seen some posts on Yahoo Answers, and asked a few friends who have depression/suicidal thoughts if they’ve ever experienced the same thing and the responses have been mixed, but most of the people I’ve spoken to have leaned toward the “I’ve never had that” side of the spectrum.
At any rate, it’s not something I hear or see talked about very often, and I’m not sure if it’s because there’s no real solution to the problem, or if it’s a difficult topic to talk about because of how weird it sounds to anyone that hasn’t dealt with it, or if it’s really not that common, but I don’t shy away from very many topics — if any — so here we go. The topic for today is: casual thoughts of suicide.
Now, let me be clear, I don’t mean the early phases of actually planning a suicide attempt (that phase where you might be thinking about it but don’t have the details nailed down yet. That’s what doctors and intake nurses classify as “casual thoughts of suicide”, apparently). No, I mean in my personal experience suicidal thoughts occur even on “good days” when absolutely nothing is going on to trigger them.
Before I started to live with these thoughts, I never would’ve considered thoughts of suicide “casual”. My suicidal thoughts used to occur only during dark episodes or surrounding bad life circumstances, however, in the past year or two, I’ve noticed that I can be feeling “good” (If you’re wondering why I keep saying “good” in quotation marks, it’s because I hardly ever genuinely feel good. I have days that are better than others, but I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say I have really “good” days) and still, if I see a bridge, or a bottle of Tylenol, or a car going faster than it should, it’s almost like a computer popup shows up in my head and says, “Excuse me, there’s something that could kill you.” And sometimes it’s a fleeting thought and other times it’s something that sticks with me for a while, but even when it sticks I still don’t feel too bad, I just have to deal with intrusive thoughts of death and being dead, which sounds awful, right?
Imagine someone you’re close to calls you up, and you have this conversation:
Them: “How are you?”
You: “Oh, yeah, I’m good, I’ve just been having intrusive but totally casual thoughts of death.”
When people think about death, especially self inflicted death, it’s often associated with darkness and sadness, so these thoughts that feel as natural as saying, “I like ketchup on my hamburgers” don’t add up, and I know when I’ve voiced these thoughts to others, I’ve gotten some interesting responses because let’s face it, casually talking about ways to kill myself in the middle of hanging out with somebody definitely makes me sound more crazy than I actually am (if that’s possible).
Anyway, we’ve reached the crux of this post, and here’s what I have to say about the matter: as I stated at the beginning of all of this, I’m not sure how “normal” it is (as one could argue that no thoughts of suicide are normal, ever) but if you’re having thoughts like this, I don’t believe you’re crazy, and you’re definitely not alone.
Some people are just made up differently, and thoughts happen. For me, these casual thoughts of suicide don’t mean anything, and even though I don’t enjoy them and I try my best to make them go away, they could be worse.
However, if you do feel like these thoughts are too frequent or if they really bother you (and definitely if they become more serious!), then I’d highly encourage you to talk to someone about them, but if you’re just thinking about them like you might think about y’know, circuses or something (what are normal thoughts even? I’m drawing a blank right now :3 All of my thoughts at the moment are related to cool bands!), then in my personal opinion, I wouldn’t worry too much. You’re okay.
I feel like we spend too much time telling people how to fix their problems, and not enough time telling them YOU’RE OKAY! YOU’RE NOT CRAZY! I STILL LOVE YOU! (And even if you WERE crazy, I’d STILL love you!).
Stay safe, my Friends! I’ll write to you tomorrow (if not sooner!)