suicide on my mind (but I’m fine, really)

“Overcome writer’s block with Plinky prompts,” said the blog alert I got from WordPress just yesterday. I was intrigued, because honestly, I’ve been having a hard time posting my own words lately. It’s not that there’s been nothing going on in my life. For example, I had a very emotional session last week during therapy with Dr. L. Somehow, I feel the hesitation to write my real thoughts out in my fingertips. The hands just seem to come to a halt or find itself pressing the backspace button to erase whatever I had written out. But my head hasn’t stopped thinking about what I wanted to write about all last week. So, here it goes…

I’m familiar with suicide. I’ve talked about it on several posts in the past. So, when the topic of suicide among the elderly came up in class the other day, I thought I’d be fine about it. The facts on suicide and the elderly were really interesting, and I was just intellectually intrigued, but not emotionally stirred. However, we also talked about when suicide sometimes becomes a ‘rational choice’ for older people, rather than something caused by some mental illness. I began asking myself, ‘can’t young people commit ‘rational choice’ suicide, too, if the elderly can do it?’

I immediately grew frightened by my thoughts.  After all this time, do I still find suicide to be a feasible option for me? While I can usually write openly about these thoughts in this journal, I hesitated to write anything about it because I think the topic of suicide isn’t something that’s discussed honestly…and when it is, I didn’t want people to mistake my thoughts as a sign that I’m suicidal or something. I think I really just want to talk about the topic of suicide with someone, and not just with my therapist.

So, it’s now the following week and the class has moved on to talking about the elderly and dementia, but I seem to be stuck on thinking about last week’s topic.

If I write any more about this topic, I know I’ll start tearing up, which is not a good thing since I have get ready to attend a wedding in Bowling Green, Ky., today. Any thoughts?

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5 Comments to “suicide on my mind (but I’m fine, really)”

  1. I think about suicide and I’m not suicidal, maybe once you’ve “been there”, it never really leaves your mind, I’m not sure. I don’t think of it often, but it intrigues me, I’ll study the San Francisco bridge and leaps of suicide, things like that. Before I was suicidal, it never entered my mind, I couldn’t conceive what it was like. But now that I’ve experienced it, I know it will always be with me, not haunting me, but as something familiar.

  2. Any time the topic of suicide comes up I am also intrigued. Having a personal experience with it like yourself, I think it is normal to start ruminating and thinking upon these things when they are brought up.

    I think that awareness of your thoughts is really important for wellness. The fact that you realized your mind might actually be able to see it as a rational choice somehow, that’s important information to know about yourself. You can work towards changing that perception and understanding it in order to keep yourself healthy.

    I would be really interested to hear what your class said about “rational” suicide. Is suicide ever rational? I don’t know that I can answer that question, but I would hesitate to say yes.

    My grandfather committed suicide. He was elderly. He was lonely. He had lost my grandmother, his wife of 54 years, a couple of years prior. He dealt with health issues for a long time. He also struggled with mental health issues, that no one really ever talked about.
    As “understandable” as it may seem that an elderly man in his circumstances would consider suicide, I don’t think the actual act of taking his life was a rational decision.

    It would be interesting to bring this topic up for discussion at WEGO Health (http://wegohealth.com) in the Depression & Anxiety group and/or Mental Health group. I would love it if you would consider doing that! I would like to hear what others have to say.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
    Amy K

  3. KansasSunflower, Thank you. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in having these thoughts. It’s just hard to just tell people around you that you are thinking about this topic. Maybe I, too, just need to realize that it will always be with me.

  4. Amy K, thank you for sharing your story. The class didn’t have too much to say about the topic of suicide, but I plan on talking with my professor a little more about it when I get a chance (He’s the one that brought up ‘rational’ suicide). I do want to delve some more into this topic since it is intriguing albeit not always the most ‘fun’ thing to think about.

    I think I would like to bring this topic up on WEGO health. Thanks for the tip!

  5. It’s such an emotionally laden thing. I think of suicide differently than “normies”, in part from the personal experience of it. With that experience, I “know” that I’m capable of “killing” myself. This is a knowledge I think a small minority (suicide-survivors) has. It’s a strange self-knowledge to live with. On the one hand, I believe in my own free will, on the other hand, I sense that I am occassionally out-of-my-mind with the grief and despair of depression and not thinking so clearly. I know that the depth of the depression makes me crazy, but I also can’t let go of the single thread (that I hold on to) that, if I decide, I can end it and not have to suffer that kind of despair anymore. And the roulette wheel goes round and round again…. And yes, it is anxiety-provoking to see that marble spin and not know where it ultimately will land. Will I get better, stronger, ultimately survive and live a long “happy” life despite my illness… or will this illness eventually get me as it already nearly did. It’s been fourteen years since my nearly fatal attempt. Unfortunately, having just gotten through another literal mind losing spell of despair, the question is as fresh and unnerving as it was more than a decade ago. I am proud of myself for the fight I do fight. And I am gentle with myself for the thoughts (be they of ice cream sundaes or the best meds for overdosing) which I can’t control. But I am quiet with most, because it’s too bizarre, even for me, to understand … how I could have done that (something so violent) to myself. I could swear it off, make a contract that I’d never do it, but … having been in that state of mind … well, I know in certain states, all bets would be off… I recently discovered ECT and the thinking is less, who knows, maybe enough ECT and they’ll be gone for good. Ya never know….

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