A Letter to a Friend: Suicidal Thinking

Hey hun,

You asked today about the right way to answer the Dr about suicidal thoughts. There were others there; we glibly laughed together that they only wanted to know that we weren’t about to rush away and top ourselves.
But I am uneasy in myself- to hear you say the thoughts help keep you sane. Cos whilst I agree that there is barely anyone I know who hasn’t contemplated ending it all and a good fair few who have considered ways and means, ethics and benefits And whilst I hear your words on the logical comfort of knowing you have that power over your own life I fear there is an edge behind the light remarks.

When you say you have thought about it for the last 20 years, what sort of thoughts do you mean? The quick moments where you are suddenly aware that with one step into the traffic or off the bridge you could end it all. The absent-minded glance at the painkillers to check there are enough to do the job. The default setting that presents death as the easy solution to each problem. The dull ache of wanting it all to stop. The nagging never-ending urge to give up. The distracting repetition that almost seems alien telling you to get on with it. The sharp unassailable certainty and drive that obliterates all other thoughts.
I have wanted to die, to cease to exist or to stop hurting, in so many different ways and in so many colours I can say without a doubt there is no glib answer to the question “Are you having suicidal thoughts?” But I can say that thinking about suicide is not the same as feeling suicidal.

Talk to me honey, tell me about the thoughts..tell me about the feelings.
You can’t frighten me.

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