The strange little paradox: passive suicidal ideation.

“I should explain better; sometimes being suicidal is different than suicidal thoughts. It’s an actual feeling. The feeling that you have an itch you can’t scratch, that a dark cloud is shrouding you. It’s anxiety and depression, it’s mixed state” – Tea Jay, The Mighty
Ah passive suicidal ideation, perhaps the strangest and slightly twisted little life saver you’ve probably never heard of.  Earlier today I stumbled onto this article from The Mighty,  When you feel suicidal but don’t want to die. As a general rule I love The Mighty and think they nail both helping people understand mental health and not feel alone in their experiences, and while this article isn’t bad, it did make me want to have a little rant.
Clinically, passive suicidal ideation is defined as the “desire to die, but with no plan or intent to act on it”. Any talk of suicide can of course be a big yellow sign to ask the magic question, R U OK?, or to raise your hand and ask for one – life is a rollercoaster and we all need a friend sometimes. 

Need help with knowing how to ask, and talk, with your mates?
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For some of us on the rollercoaster of depression though, passive suicidal ideation can actually be a reasonably common, normal and healthy part of the ride. Like the ride itself, I think it ca have a different twist for all of us, at least it does for me. It can be the draining, grey undercurrent feeling of not wanting to be alive – so you’re just existing ( which is different to wanting to die)  or, my most common and regular, daydreaming  plans and ways to check out – usually during some kind of spiral -with not even one single thought, intent or desire to.


My empty plans, thoughts and daydreams feel ( and are) less exit strategy, more creative stress relief ( a fucking weird one admittedly) – a sort black bubble burster.  This passive suicidal ideation is as normal to me as any of my recurring dreams, like the ones of Rebel Fighter Drag Queens from Space, rescuing the kidnapped Princess of Glitterous ( aka Dolly Parton) or saving the Glamourverse in the Starship Sparkle ( you think i’m joking, but 15 years later and that ship is still making dreams sparkle  #gayasfuckbabes)

“Dreams, if they’re any good, are always a little bit crazy. ”
― Ray Charles

This article from The Mighty is interesting, because it talks about passive suicidal ideation as the normal thing it can be, which is great for understanding it. It’s just not always the dark, drudgey days that the story makes out – although the hours, days, and months of deep black holes and thick grey fogs that depression fucks you with absolutely are.

Like sure, some days I can see myself ( melodramatically) thrown under every bus that drives by, and I wonder how peaceful and free it would feel knowing I didn’t have to deal with the next day, week, month ( or even the last ones) and I imagine the unimaginable bliss and calm of not having to deal with my-fucking-self anymore… 
And then I remember things like no one knows or would guess my passwords – they’d be lucky to get past the devices with their two factor auth passwords, or I think about the story ( and scar) the poor fuckers on the bus would have to tell about why they were late or that no one deserves to have the challenge of trying to make sense of my paperwork and filing system inflicted on them…. or even just the simple joys of ice cream, lego, good but rare catch ups with friends or summer days at the beach.
“I’ve crossed some kind of invisible line. I feel as if I’ve come to a place I never thought I’d have to come to. And I don’t know how I got here. It’s a strange place. It’s a place where a little harmless dreaming and then some sleepy, early-morning talk has led me into considerations of death and annihilation.”

― Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories

After a few deep breathes filled with the meditative calm meditation fails me of… I pack up the daydream and dive back into reality, feeling a little bit fresher. They clear my mind, lighten the weight, calm the beast and burst the bubble. It might sound weird as fuck, and it took me a long time to learn and understand but not every thought or talk is a danger sign – sometimes it’s just part of our ride.

The Mighty – Let’s Talk About the Difference Between Passive and Active Suicidal Thoughts

I’ve vaguely daydreamed and planned in detail hundreds of these empty plans,  with no intent they don’t lead where you probably expect though. The three times I planned with deliberate intention felt like being stripped of life piece by piece, most of the time these passive plans and daydreams give me life, like finally being able to breathe,. At other times I’m too drained, emotionally bare or lost in the grey that even trying to escape it isn’t worth the effort or energy of getting out of bed, or caring. There’s a paradox for you, the thing dragging me into hell and is the same thing saving me from taking a step too far. #mindfuck

This is only my experience, everyone has their own ride, and we all do it differently. Any talk of suicide can of course be a big yellow sign, so check in with your mates, ask r u ok? and talk – or ask your mates for a hand and get the help and care you need – we all deserve friends, support and to learn and grow – riding every twist, turn, low and high of life. 

The strangest and most challenging thing about the normality passive suicidal ideation, I find, is how cray and fucked up our versions of normal can sound to each other.

….and people wonder why mental health is so complex…

rollercoaster modern family

“A flat rollercoaster is just a slow, boring train to nowhere.”

We are born with a roller coaster of emotions because we are meant to ride it. From the dark depths of sadness and shame to the starry heights of pride and joy, we’re meant to embrace, experience and learn from them all. We’re just not meant to live in any of our emotions permanently. As the TED talk says, this is the gift of having emotional courage

It’s ok not to be ok, but it’s not ok to go through it alone, because you don’t have to.

The Mighty connects and empowers people facing health challenges and disabilities. They have some great content and are definitely worth a visit –

Related Posts: Self Care and Mental Health 
Find Help: Where to find mental health support and services when you need them
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R U OK Day Ambassador, Social Media and Content Strategy, Social Media @ TEDxSydney, LGBTI+ Blogger, Influencer, Model, Speaker, Lecturer and occasional Ranter

Speaks and talks- Social Media, R U OK Day & Mental Health, LGBT Life & Advocacy

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