Think of what it feel like to drown: the water covering your head, entering your throat and nose, trickling into every possible entrance, smothering, choking, burning. Imagine the panic that bubbles beneath the surface, the terror that streams from your stomach to your chest and up out of your soul through tensed shoulders and a gasp. Imagine the sensation.
Now imagine drowning in thoughts and distress.
Imagine that every torrent of thoughts is a wave that threatens to drown you. That your mind whispers to you over and over and over to just do it, just do it, just do it you useless bitch. As if it wasn’t enough that you were drowning already, your body – which is desperately refusing to sink – now has to fight against your mind – which is desperate to do the opposite.
Just do it. Just swallow a handful. Just get a knife. Just close your eyes. Just walk into the ocean, never to walk back out.
Imagine that this is something you fight daily. Every moment is part of the flood. Every second, you are torn between drowning and death and life, stuck in a limbo where there’s only faltering hope and misguided dreams and darkness to light the path. You’re reminded of every failure, every mistake, every anxiety that has ever concerned you comes streaming back into your mind, to match the tears streaming down your face. These memories pummel you. Over and over and over. See, they scream, see why you deserve this. Just do it.
But still, instead of listening, instead of drowning, you let yourself hang. Struggle. Thrash between the current. There’s light at the surface, and there’s darkness down below you, but here you drown in between. There’s an escape, and it would be so easy, it’s so close, it’s within reach, just a swallow, just a slash, just a step away. But still you struggle. You let yourself drown, without dying, without returning to the surface. Perpetually drowning.
This is what it’s like to be suicidal.
This is what it’s like in my mind tonight.