The big S-word in bipolar circles and amongst our families. Don’t talk about it because that means your thinking about it and that’s some sort of sign that you need to be locked up to protect yourself from yourself. Considering 15% of bipolar people having a risk of committing suicide, I think it’s something we should talk about, and be able to talk openly about. Without your trained responses of “Do you have a plan”, ” Do you plan on acting on this plan”. No you quack! I have a great fear that I could fall to this beast, and it is healthy to talk about our fears, right? I have a fear of talking about this fear to my therapist because I don’t want to be locked up, but I need to talk about these things.
I have been plagued by suicidal thoughts to a varying degree my whole life. Now that I am functioning in a bit more of a shit-together healthy space, I can recognize them for what they are, what are they? Not mine. Not me. They are the dragon’s thoughts and they are quick and not fully formed. Intersections and bridges are danger areas for these thoughts. What is called passive suicidal ideation. It is in the back of your mind, but not something you dwell upon. Definitions are vague online, I couldn’t actually find one worth copy and pasting, no great article to enlighten us. Apparently ‘Fleeting” is the keyword. When I get them sometimes it’s like another person’s internal monologue intruding on my own. That’s why I dissociate it to a dragon. An uncontrollable raging beast who finds his treasure and sleeps in a cave in the back of the mind. The dangerous part for m has been when I was unable to recognize them for what they were. I spent years as a teenager plagued by these thoughts to such a degree I thought I should die, drinking and drugs ensued with actions considered to be ‘passive suicidal actions’. Ambiguous actions which tend to be self-destructive, but not actively, and is, at time, considered to depict suicidal intent. Instances of these actions include failing to feed oneself or to participate in basic self-care.
I could see how drinking oneself to sleep every night and waking up to drink in the middle of the night could be construed as a passive attempt at death and definitely there was self-punishment involved. I’ve been mostly sober for ten years now, from booze. Totally clean from all else since May of 2004. I know the day, not because I’m in AA, but because that is when I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful ten year old daughter. Nothing changes your life like becoming a mother.
The thoughts and urges for all those things are still there, but I have a lot of motivation to fight it now. It also helps to recognize them for what they are and to know that they don’t rule me and I can fight them back.