Facing the Specter of Suicide - Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I have just finished uploading the last of suicide-themed posts (all reruns) onto my Knowledge is Necessity blog. Suicide is a topic I am very uncomfortable writing about. Indeed, in nearly six years here at BipolarConnect, I can only recall one piece I authored related to suicide. That occurred almost three years ago to this day when I heard the terrible news that a good friend of mine had thrown himself under a train. He was 28.

    Depression is a constant in my life. Even when I’m feeling up, dark thoughts run through my brain. Deeply dark thoughts, very dark. Often I find myself playing with my dark thoughts, which I am told can be very healthy. Other times, I find myself pushing them away, which can also be good for you.

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    Funny thing, at mental health conferences and events I find myself walking past the booths and tables having to do with suicide prevention. It’s as if I feel myself in the presence of that very tall specter with the black shroud and the scythe. The temperature in the room (even in the outdoors) seems to drop ten degrees. I move on ...

    In order to lead healthy lives, we have to pretend the unthinkable is safely in our past. But at the same time and for much the same reasons, we also have to acknowledge its likelihood in our near-future. Like just about all of you, I have been to the edge, peered over it, looked down into the abyss, and felt drawn into it. Yet, somehow, every time, I managed to walk away.

    There will be a next time, and, honestly, I cannot predict what will happen. I have the coping skills and the support network, but when the most destructive force on the planet decides, yet again, to unleash its full fury on my fragile brain, I know that the odds will not be on my side. Each day that I find myself still breathing is something of a miracle, and for that I give thanks. But still, I can’t help but think my life is a constant series of stays of execution. Next time around, will I be granted clemency?

    Question: Dealing with the unthinkable - how do you do it?

    Please feel free to share your experiences. Comments below ...      

Published On: September 10, 2011