What does it mean to be “baseline suicidal?”

This term has been used to describe me.

So what does it mean?

It means that on a day-to-day basis I think about ending my life.

Does it mean that I’m going to do it? No.

But it does mean that the plan is always in my head. It means that when my emotions run too high, (as they tend to do on a daily basis), I think about it.

I often wonder what it must be like for people who don’t think about it every day. What must that be like?

I don’t know any other way of existing. Really.

It’s my escape plan for when things get too difficult. My “default.”

I used to think I belonged in the hospital all of the time because of it, but I realized that wasn’t the answer. I have better tools now for dealing with it.

I know now that the feelings and thoughts will pass. I know that while it’s a part of my every day, it’s not all day.

Sometimes it’s multiple times a day and sometimes I have to call in backup to help me with them, but I know to do that.

It used to be a lot worse and it does wax and wane. Obviously when depression is higher, the thoughts are more intense. They never go away though. Not completely.

I live with them, like a parrot on my shoulder, or a dog chasing me around the yard. I can’t ever quite outrun them.

I don’t know how “normal” this is, or how many people walk around with thoughts like this, but it definitely makes me feel like a stranger in the world sometimes.

Thankfully, therapy helps and I’ve learned a lot about how to manage them.

If you or someone you know is actively suicidal however, please reach out. When in doubt the suicide hotline in the US is 1-800-273-8255. Google can set you up with the appropriate hotline in your home country if you are not in the US.

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