Bravery, cowardice and suicidal thoughts

Trigger warning: Please read with caution.Suicide, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide plans. 

 

I haven’t blogged for a while.  I have a number of half written posts in my drafts folder but haven’t been able to finish them.

The reason is, I’m still depressed. The same depression I wrote about at Christmas has persisted and got worse. I suppose you could say it’s reached crisis point.

It’s hard to write about life with depression. Depression is boring, most of the time. Stare at the ceiling, trace patterns in the Artex. Try to distract, try to keep out the black thoughts. Scroll mindlessly through social media.

I thought I was getting better. I  started to think about work again. Feel a bit more positive.

Then I had a Work Capability Assessment (to claim Employment and Support Allowance) In this assessment I was asked “Is there any reason why you haven’t killed yourself?”

This question touched something deep and painful inside me. I frequently have suicidal ideation which as depression gets worse turns to planning. I’ve made attempts in the past, gone to some low places. That voice telling me to kill myself, that suicide is an option is frequently there.

It hit me hard. Why haven’t I succeeded?

In truth?  I’m a coward. Some people think that suicide is cowardly but I’m scared of dying and I think my inability to kill myself is cowardly.. I think frequently of killing myself, how I might do it, how I can do it successfully. I’ve done enough research. I know how to do it, I won’t make half-arsed attempts like I did in the past. But I’m also scared. And so far that has stayed my hand.  It’s not thoughts of my loved ones. When I’m suicidal, I think they’d be better off without me. Selfish too then.

I’m not sure I managed to convey all of this to the assessor. I cried through the rest of the assessment stumbling to answer the rest of the questions. The assessor was kind. My support worker said there are much worse out there.

Since then I’ve had repeated suicidal thoughts. I’ve been searching in the shadows of the internet, where they talk about means and ends. I feel black and helpless. I can’t see any positive future. Suicide often feels like the only viable option. Having a plan is comforting. Although I doubt my bravery, I also feel like I can’t control these feelings. That I may kill myself impulsively.

But there’s another part of me that’s scared of how compelling it is. I suppose writing this blog is a way of trying to express it. I’m calling out my suicidal voice. Trying to bring it into the light and show that it’s full of shit.

Tomorrow i’m seeing someone from the Community Mental Health Team.  Somehow I have to talk about it, say I’ve got plans.

The same people who say suicide is cowardly would say that’s the brave thing to do. To talk about how out of control I feel and how I don’t know if I can keep myself safe. Trust an almost stranger who I don’t think likes me very much.  Hope she gives me some hope to grasp onto.

I don’t think either way, I’m brave. I feel pretty scared.

 

If  you need help with suicidal thoughts please contact the Samaritans – I find emailing them sometimes helps (jo@samaritans.org) or you can call 116 123 in the UK.  If you’re not in the UK, Befrienders Worldwide have information about worldwide help. 

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2 thoughts on “Bravery, cowardice and suicidal thoughts

  1. I wish I knew what to say – I feel helpless being unable to help you …
    All I can say is that, in a strange way, I’d like to thank you for helping me understand the suicidal thought process.
    My mother committed suicide when I was 10 – now I.m 45 and have a 10-yr old daughter of my own.
    I still haven’t moved on and the pain is so raw.
    Your loved ones love you. They are not better off without you.
    My daughter is on the spectrum – as I now suspect I am as well (explains my sometimes shitty life!)
    My mother was certainly depressed and probably autistic so your post has given me an insight into her world.
    You’re brave opening up your soul in this blog.
    Life is scary for me too – mistake after mistake … I hope your diagnosis has helped you understand who you are.
    Whenever I feel the despair squid trying to take hold, I just look at a flower, or a tree, or a cat :).
    I really look. Wallow in the sheer peace & beauty of nature & breathe in xx

    • Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry about your mother…I don’t have children myself but I still have family. The suicidal thought process seems so logical when you’re in it although it’s not to anyone else. Depression is mental illness so we don’t necessarily think straight. Writing that yesterday actually helped me and I’ve seen my MH worker and feel a bit better. It does help knowing I’m autistic, I think I’ve more work to do on autism acceptance and internalised ableism. I think I’ll always have depression too. I hope you get a diagnosis if you want one. It does help with self-acceptance. I’m not the best example at the moment but there’s a wonderful #actuallyautistic community out there if you haven’t already found it. Thanks again for your nice comment x

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