How Hurricane Irma Made Me Recognize My Passive Suicidal Thoughts

Hurricane Irma has caused an immense amount of destruction. Not only did it cause damage to homes and businesses, but it took an emotional toll on those who went through it. There were days of sitting and watching the projected path shift over and over again. There were classes cancelled, evacuation orders made, and shelters opened. It was a stressful event for many people. 

Sleep was lost worrying about the hurricane — how to prepare, if we should evacuate, if the path would shift again, where she would make landfall. In addition to the normal stress associated with preparing for a hurricane, I had another emotional reaction to the storm. Although I did worry about my family, my friends and my house, I had a strange sense of complacency about myself. I thought, “Whatever happens will happen.”

I joked with a friend who lives out of state, “Either I’ll get to say I survived a hurricane or I’ll die and I won’t have to put up with anything anymore.” Shortly after saying that, I finally acknowledged to myself I am still passively suicidal. It was something I already knew deep down, but something I ignored because I didn’t want to deal with it. It was something I tried not to think about because of how much it hurt especially after all of the progress I’ve made.

So what exactly does being passively suicidal mean to me? It means I have no plans of killing myself. I am in no danger, but sometimes I just don’t want to be here anymore. Sometimes I wake up disappointed that I have to face another day. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had never existed. If I were to die now, there are people who would miss me, but if I had never existed, it wouldn’t matter. They never would have known me, and I never would have had to deal with all the crazy stuff that life throws at you. Being passively suicidal doesn’t necessarily mean I want to die. It just means I’m trying really hard to find reasons to stay.

I think acknowledging that I’m having these thoughts is a good thing. Maybe it will help me get to the root of why I feel this way.  Maybe it will help me fix the problems in my life or at least learn how to better deal with them. I think admitting to having these kinds of thoughts is an important part of the healing process. No matter how much it hurts, nothing will get better until we look at what’s wrong and try to make it better.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via New York Times Facebook page.

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