Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of death and suicidal ideation.
My boyfriend and I were eating our usual Saturday morning breakfast of bagels, a smoothie, and coffee as our cat sat in the dining room window, taking in the sun and watching the neighbours move around the alley below. My boyfriend scrolled through the day’s news headlines, reading a few aloud while we ate; it was like any other morning.
I forget the specific line he read, but it was one of those headlines we hear far too often about some tragic, accidental death. While I don’t recall the story itself, I vividly remember feeling a pang of sadness and anger that sometimes life gets cut short. This pang surprised me, I rarely, if ever, feel such strong, if any, emotion from a headline. Most of us are inundated with negative stories and are desensitized to the news. Furthermore, as someone who struggled with depression and suicidality from elementary school through early adulthood, thinking about dying was a constant for so long that for most of my life, I didn’t bat an eye if it was mentioned.
On this very ordinary morning, I noticed that my nearly lifelong apathy towards dying was gone. The thought of dying was suddenly so much scarier and sadder than ever. Why this drastic change? I’m deeply content with my life, I’m happy more days than not, and I no longer have suicidal thoughts. As we were sitting at breakfast, I tried to remember the last time I had a suicidal thought. It was at least a year and a half prior. A year and a half?!
I thought I’d never be without suicidal thoughts. Sitting at breakfast on that ordinary Saturday, I realised, from a random news story, that I was past that part of my life.
No matter how long you’ve lived alongside your suicidal thoughts, they go away if you’re able to push through them. Sometimes it’s a slow fade, and sometimes it’s abrupt, but they aren’t permanent.
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