Suicide is painless, apparently. Living with suicidal thoughts, on the other hand, is to live in constant, crippling pain, albeit of the psychological variety.
The lack of physical symptoms means that help and support must be sought – it is rarely freely offered. If suicidal tendencies caused a literal black cloud to follow you around, it would be far easier for others to recognise. As it is, you are often suffering alone and in silence. It is quite common for the suicidally depressed individual to shun the company of others, preferring to cut themselves off from social contact. This is not to allow them to sit and brood on their own, but to spare their family and friends the depressing effect of their ‘broken’ personalities.
Social contact is hard, full of pitfalls for the unwary depressive. Small talk is absolutely terrifying: trying to be personable when all you can think of is shutting yourself away and cutting out the pain, or smothering it with pills, creates massive amounts of stress. Even talking to people close to you, who know of your condition, can be incredibly painful. You find yourself trying to reassure them that you’re fine, you’ll be OK, it’s just a bad patch.
Every single day is a bad patch.
You won’t be OK.
You aren’t fine.
Negative thought patterns, constant fear of tomorrow, the absolutely certain knowledge that things will never improve: these are all illogical, irrational, but they are always there and they wear you down. Knowing that the way you feel is irrational doesn’t stop you feeling it. It can make you feel much worse, knowing that you cannot trust what your own brain is telling you makes any decision almost impossible. How can I make an informed decision when I cannot trust the information? How can I do anything knowing that part of me wants to die? How can I trust myself when cutting into my arm with a Stanley knife is the most effective way to make myself feel better?
I don’t want to be this person, but I cannot seem to change. I feel the pity and disappointment (real or imagined) from my friends and family and I just want to give up. I want it to stop.
Or, more accurately, I want out.
Stop the world. I want to get off.