Floating & Being Alive
Talk about suicide and suicide ideation. All thoughts are my personal opinions.
”I wish there was a nicer way to say this, but I don’t always want to be alive. Right now, I don’t actively want to kill myself — I don’t have a plan, I don’t check the majority of the boxes on lists of warning signs of suicide, I have a life I enjoy and I’m curious about the future — but the fact remains, I don’t always feel strongly about being alive and sometimes, on particularly bad days, I truly want to die.” — Anna Borges
In response to a great essay by Anna Borges about passive suicide ideation — I am not always very attached to being alive , I wrote about my own feelings on suicide ideation.
Treading water is an apt description for how I feel moving through life. Suicide no longer occupies my mind like it used to. I don’t envision how each method would play out. I don’t write farewell notes. What was once an inevitability has become only a possibility. These thoughts infiltrate and never leave though. Suicide is always a thought swirling around in me.
Dealing with the struggle of merely being alive is a topic my friends and I talk around but rarely directly confront. I want to make more space for it so maybe we can feel less alone though.
Neither one of us are want to exist, no amount of hopeful platitudes will change that. Similarly, affirmations from people about how loved I am are well-meaning and appreciated but I don’t want to think about myself much less my relation to the rest of the world. I don’t want to be here at all.
For me, making space doesn’t always mean a detailed back and forth discussion of each other’s struggles. Just describing problems can be a rehashing of emotions neither of us have the energy for. I believe we can find solace in each other by just being an active witness and sharing in the mutual experience that being alive feels like an overwhelming burden weighing down on us.
Perhaps you’re like me and find a tiny shred of comfort in receiving a text from a friend showing a cute meme or dog picture with the message “Yes, I feel the same and here’s a momentary distraction.” As I stare at a video of a fluffy round dog shuffle across the room, the heaviness of exist lifts for a second and I feel like we’re floating beside each other for a moment. It’s a small fleeting moment but a shared moment can be enough to make it through the night.
I don’t know how it feels to not float through life. I didn’t think I would be here for long enough to have steer myself. Floating is all I know and maybe that will never change. I’m just trying to hold onto to the little joys and people who make the waters gentler for a second.
Yet, as I float from one day to the next, I remind myself I’m still here. I want to try to steer. I want to explore and discover the things in life that will prompt me to feel enough to grab hold and swim.
More essays about mental health and the struggle of existing:
how I deal with wanting to disappear — Anthony James Williams
”What shifts is the intensity of the highs and the lows, but nothing completely goes away, I merely get distracted for short periods of time.”
depression feels like decay in real time — Anthony James Williams
”This, my personal experience, is why I know it is not useful to compare myself, my resume, and my accomplishments to anybody — including my past self. If you’ve been following me for awhile you know I do some cool stuff, but if I’m daily trying to find reasons to keep going, does it matter? I’m not suicidal. However I do get really exhausted — physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m only 27 and most of the time I feel like I’m too young to feel this way.”