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When Suicidal Thoughts Make You Feel Like You're 'Pretending' to Live

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Experiencing suicidal ideation does not mean a person is suicidal; but when suicidal thoughts get more intrusive, it can make it feel like you’re living on borrowed time.

I’m a pretender.

This is a word I’ve chosen to adapt to describe my relationship
with the idea of suicide. I do not at this point in time have any plan or intent to take my own life, but neither do I have the strongest faith in living.

I use the word “pretender” because that’s what I feel like I’m doing. I’m pretending to live. I’m carrying on in a “normal” way. All the while my head is clouded with suicidal thoughts convincing me that if I truly want to stop experiencing this
misery, taking my life is the only way out.

This is not an unfamiliar place for me. Theses intrusive thoughts exist in a dark chasm, one that I have pulled myself out of before. But the rope I once used to take myself out of this dark place has become more of a thread.

And I don’t know how long until the thread snaps.

I fear that it is just a matter of time before I will no longer be able to pull myself out. Like there is a countdown until I am completely blind to any other option. I don’t want to die. But I have become increasingly exhausted fighting my own fucking head. So I feel like I’m just pretending while I live off borrowed time — and borrowed time eventually runs out.

The main (and sometimes only) thing that prevents me from
listening to the thoughts of suicide is guilt. Guilt for those I’d be leaving behind. Because I know exactly how the people in my life would deal with it. I know which ones would be crushed, I know which ones would be angry, and most strongly, I know who would blame themselves. This is what keeps my clock running.

So whether there’s a whisper in my ear that says I’m better
off dead or a bombardment of screams telling me to do the unspeakable, I still wake up, I push myself to do new things, I try to see people. I still live.

Unsplash image via JR Korpa

Originally published: July 19, 2018
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