“I understand what you are feeling”
How can you understand, are you suicidal?
“I feel your pain”
How can you feel the chaos?
“You are rational and why would you want to kill yourself”?
There is nothing rational in my thoughts?
So many of us who live with thoughts of suicide hear the above comments and we struggle with trying to respond. I once was asked to let someone see what goes on in my mind when I am in the grips of Dysphoric Mania or suicidal thoughts and my response was that they would experience the utter and complete chaotic darkness. It is kind of like looking into Pandora’s Box, thinking you will understand and the result being you experience insanity.
For me the faces of suicide fall under three categories: 1. the casual thought, 2. Depression related thoughts and 3. Manic thoughts of suicide when I am in a critical Dysphoric Mania episode
The first category is like the casual thoughts of drinking. I am a recovering alcoholic and occasionally I get the thought that I can drink normally. I usually tell myself “In what fucking universe do you think you can drink normally”. I once was driving and in a very good mood. It was a beautiful evening in Portland and I had the convertible top of my BMW down. Suddenly a suicidal thought came to mind and I was very much at peace with the thought. I was shocked back into reality and realized that suicidal thoughts could just casually invade my thoughts. Upon reflection, I realize that suicidal thoughts are more frequent than I would like even though I may not act on them, I find they invade even the days when I can say I am normal in the world of Bipolar Disorder.
The second category is depression relate suicidal thoughts. When life feels like I am walking in sand, I feel as if life is rushing around me and there is the overwhelming feeling of having hope sucked out of me. In these times suicidal thoughts can be recurring and though they don’t progress to plans or the determination of acting on them, I can’t shake them. I often think that no one can see the inner turmoil and I sure as hell do not want people to see it. In this state of suicidal thinking, I have to reach into my tool box and push myself away from isolation. I have to message friends and set up times to have coffee. One of the aspects of this state of mind is that nothing gets done at home. I am less likely to cook dinner, rather go out and get takeout food. The kitchen and bathroom may get spot cleaning but nothing major. I may go out and spend money on stupid purchases. Walking through sand and having suicidal thoughts seem to just part of my Bipolar Depression at times.
The third category is what I call Manic Suicidal thoughts. These thoughts accompany the critical Dysphoric Mania cycles where Hypomania and Manic Depression merge. I am beyond suicidal ideation and I already have figured out how I am going to commit suicide. In the 2 times where this has happened I have set in motion crisis plan. I have sent out the text saying “I am Spiraling” By the time intervention occurs I am pacing and very agitated. I am chain smoking and the only thought is suicide. I am angry if someone talks to me and I am like an addict in complete withdrawal seeking madly that next hit. My mind is complete chaos fueled by the manic thoughts of suicide. It is excruciatingly painful because light, sounds and even people around me are an assault on my senses. I do not have any thoughts as to what people think. I don’t care if people will miss me. Basically the only thoughts are suicide. When my friends were taking me to the hospital recently, they had the child lock on, and I was pleading with them to stop the car and let me out. In this state of mind, just being alive is painful. There is no hope or no reason to live, because the chaos I am going through is beyond dark and pure insanity.
This face of suicidal thoughts is the state of mind, where if you were to have a portal to my mind, you would be looking into the sheer madness of Pandora’s Box. If you looked too long you will go insane.