Suicidal Ideation–Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide. Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide.
The first time I heard this term, I was involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility. A suicide attempt did not put me there; taking three Ambien did. Talk about a lightweight when it comes to meds.
Unfortunately, I was incoherent and unable to explain to the medics, nurses, or doctors. I was a talker while in this state, my confused language interpreted as death threats to myself, admitting my deep depression, ratting out my failing marriage, and who knows what else. Given the chatter of my drugged up self, an M-1 hold was issued, and I woke up with no recollection of the night’s events.
The following three days are a blur. They diagnosed me with bipolar. My husband confirmed five pills were missing from the canister. (that didn’t get me released though) They required group therapy, which I hated, physical therapy (disliked), eating with strangers, and watching the ‘real’ mentally ill folks freak out.
Convinced I didn’t belong there; I played the game. Then, on my second night, a girl was rolled in with bandaged wrists and sleepy eyes. It was the bandages that woke me up to my lies.
Had it been a few months earlier, I would have been that girl. Had it been a few years before, I did swallow a handful of pills. No one knew. I covered the truth with long sleeves, cared for my wounds, and recovered from the pills, alone.
Suicidal thoughts have haunted me my entire life. I never knew it as anything other than usual. I wish I had been stronger. I never thought anyone cared if I lived or died. My mind was mangled by abusive torture, followed by self-hate.
Suicidal thoughts are hard to fight. Even on the days we win, we struggle. The exhaustion is consuming. It is true, trusting Jesus doesn’t always take them away. We have to believe in Christ’s love in the battle and that He hears our pain. If the day comes I fall to doubt, I will probably lose.
I used to hate myself for this thinking. Convinced no one thought like me; I kept it a guarded secret. I discovered something along my walk. Other people are habitual liars, even as believers. Many people suffered adulterous thoughts or jealousy. Christians battled envy, hate, and doubt. Their thoughts were as troubled as mine. Not only that, but they were just as damaging to relationships, including the one with God.
In all the years of Jesus guiding me in this mental health journey, I’m still not healed of this dark truth. Thoughts of suicide remain part of my battle. They may be here to the end. I am at peace with that. Equipped for the fight, I no longer fear. I know escalated pressure escalates my dangerous thoughts. I cover my mind in prayer and scripture, and take back my thoughts one at a time, day by day.
I stay faithful, as God is faithful to me. Satan uses my faith against me and entices me with eternity. I trust God’s plan of living. I will believe all the days of my life. Eternity comes through Christ alone.
I pray you always remember you are valuable and loved, and you are never alone.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:
text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741
or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.