When Suicidal Thoughts Don't Take a Vacation — Even When You Do

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

It would be so easy.

Everyone around me was distracted with their own thing. Some were even asleep, already turning red from the sun beating down. Even if someone happened to be watching, it’d be easy to slip away and find an empty spot away from prying eyes.

How could I consider this? I remember thinking. After all, it didn’t make any sense. I was on vacation, for crying out loud. Cruise ships pretty much demand you relax. I was surrounded by miles of picturesque blue water. There was a crew that would do nearly anything I asked to make sure I was having the time of my life. I had nothing that I needed to do and no one to answer to.

And yet, one thought that kept slipping into my mind: It would be so easy to die by suicide right now.

No one would have guessed I was contemplating suicide while reclining on a beach chair doing absolutely nothing. In fact, I probably looked completely content and relaxed… on the outside.

Just because you’re on vacation and likely having fun doesn’t mean depression takes a vacation, too. After all, your mind goes wherever you go, and though getting away can be an excellent way to ease the pressure – though it doesn’t have to be as far away as the Bahamas – the symptoms don’t always stop.

It’s jarring to feel so relaxed and pampered, and yet still have thoughts of dying. It’s a reminder of just how important mental health is and how it can interfere with something even as fun as a vacation.

There’s also something important to remember – this isn’t just exclusive to vacations. The person you joke around with every day could be putting on the same front. People you know online who don’t seem to have a care in the world might have ideas of suicide surrounding everything they do. Perhaps there was even someone on the same ship I was that had the same thoughts, but we were all none the wiser.

It’s so easy to hide those idealizations with a fake smile. Even if you’re truly having a good time, those thoughts never really seem to leave. Maybe depression creeps in and makes you wonder if you even deserve to have fun or be on this vacation.

You do. In fact, you deserve it more than anyone, for always carrying such a heavy weight. Keep staying strong, and maybe one day, those thoughts won’t invade at all.

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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Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure

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