On being alive

CN: passive suicidality.


Friends tell me on the regular, especially when I’m struggling, that at least I’m still alive.

They tell each other, “yeah things are tough, but I’m alive.”

People share on social media how lucky they are to be alive, after near-death experiences, or just because the world is so wonderful, or because death is so final.

I have come to the conclusion that those people and I are not on the same page when it comes to being alive.

Alive is not a positive

I am all too aware that I will be seen as ungrateful for saying this (which is a topic for another blog post), but ‘alive’ is not a positive for me. ‘Alive’ means sadness, pain, hate and disappointment. It means feeling useless, guilty and selfish. It means facing my daily failures, mistakes and differentness.

Sure I see beauty in the world. Sure I can appreciate cuddling my pooches, drinking a delicious iced coffee, hearing laughter, but it doesn’t come close to neutralising the awfulness.

Alive is something I don’t want to be. Alive feels like something I’m doing to shut other people up or keep them happy. I’m not doing it for me, and I resent it.

Living a passively suicidal life

I don’t think I have always felt this way but at some point, around my late teens, I began to notice that suicide was always this open option for me. It wasn’t a front and centre thought most of the time, but it was always there, just in the corner, just in case. I also noticed that it started becoming a front and centre thought much faster when my mental health was unsteady than it had initially. It went from a ‘rock bottom’ thought, to a ‘minor stumble’ thought.

I notice that it’s hanging out in the corner of my brain at the weirdest moments, and I rarely talk about passive suicidal thoughts because between a lack of understanding and the ‘over reacting/attention-seeking’ stigma, it’s not a fun conversation to have.

It’s a fact though, and the idea of even trying to remove suicide as an open option terrifies me to the point of nausea & panic. The option of suicide is in some, if not most, cases, the only thing that keeps me alive. I realise that that sounds counter-intuitive and illogical, but in those moments I tell myself that it’s OK to stay alive right now, because tomorrow/soon/one day I can end it.

To be honest, what I actually wish for is to never have existed at all. Suicide is no easy option. For me it comes with a lot of guilt because I know it will hurt people I care about, and I know there are so many people who have their lives taken from them when they would have dearly loved to live. But I feel that guilt anyway for being mentally ill, for being a burden, for not appreciating that I’m alive.

I don’t see ‘alive’ like you do, but plenty of people see it like I do. Too many people see it like I do. Just know that.

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash


Originally published at Mrs TeePot.