Living With Passive Suicidal Thoughts
It was the 18th floor. At midnight I was standing at the balcony shivering without sweaters and staring down at the quiet roads. The temperature was 3 degrees and the wind was flowing through my hair.
I was standing at the edge of the balcony and had gripped the railing so tight. I could hear the blood rushing to my ear and there was a tingling sensation in my feet. My face was hot because of adrenaline and the wind on it felt like a thousand pieces of glass piercing it. It stung to breathe and I was gasping for breath through my dry mouth.
The only thought that was running on a loop in my mind was how many bones will I break if I fell from here and how long will it take my drunk friends to find out I had fallen and died. This went on for a solid 15 mins that felt like an eternity when I hear a roar of laughter from inside the room.
My feet give way, I crumple on the floor and cry hysterically. Grateful to God for giving me common sense and all those beautiful people in the room behind me.
Reflecting back on that day I comb my memories for an event that could have triggered this behavior of mine. There is none. Would have I jumped that night? Hell no. My entire thought process was built on the notion of what if I accidentally fell and not on what if I intentionally jumped.
What I experience are passive suicidal thoughts. And they are quite different from active suicidal thoughts. Being different does not mean passive thoughts are less of a threat.
On the contrary, it’s more difficult to identify for both the person suffering and the people around them.
Passive suicidal thoughts are like the waves of the ocean. You know another wave is coming but you can never predict when it’ll crash on the shore or how weak or strong will it be.
Active suicidal thoughts usually have triggers. You see a knife and your wrists start to itch. You see out your window and your brain goes JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!
A person with active suicidal thoughts when walking down a busy street would likely want to run in front of speeding cars.
Whereas a person with passive suicidal thoughts would walk on the sidewalk and wish a car to hit them or a streetlamp to fall on them. But will are not likely to act on those whims.
But the word to focus on is likely because one can never be too sure about anything.
In the words of my quirky therapist, ’It doesn’t matter if you have a gun for self-defense. The purpose of a gun is to fire bullets and injure. Any thoughts of suicide are red flags.’
Such people even though don’t intend to kill themselves and expect the universe to do the ‘deed’, they still roam around with a death wish on their heads.
So what can you do if you notice yourself having passive suicidal thoughts?
Well, you’ve already completed the first step. You were able to recognize that your sense of impending doom is not normal.
- Start monitoring your behavioral patterns. Usually, such thoughts are accompanied by mood swings, loss or increase in appetite and lack of or increase in sleep.
- Keep photos of your family and friends near you. Either in your wallet or on your phone screens.
- And lastly, find a little more courage to talk to someone. It could be anyone whom you trust will understand and shall not judge you.