Step too far

Depression is myopic.

The thing is, thoughts about suicide are no longer rare for me. Yes, when I’m feeling fine, happy-as-larry, they never cross my mind. But even a mild dip in mood can reveal them. There’s a good argument to be made that depressive thoughts (depressogenic cognitions, if we’re going to be opaque about it) always sit under the surface of a recovered individual, a dark city under a sunlit sea. Suicide stands bold and bleak above so many other such thoughts, is it really a surprise that it’s the first to be revealed when the waters dip?

I’m not in the dark yet; but there’s a risk of sinking. Suicidal thoughts are only half a warning; the real danger sign is a mental cruelty, a shortening temper and growling, gutteral distaste for the world.

Some people seem to get by fine with a curmudgeonly attitude to life, relish in cynicism. Some do great with playful one upmanship, managing to keep it playful. But eventually I learned to read the signs. Even frustration at other people holding up the bus queue, other people blocking my way on the pavement, indicates an impatience with others, with the world; impatience which grows to frustration, anger, exhaustion.

So I got some meds next week. Suicidal ideation is just something I do every now and then. But tutting in a checkout queue – that’s a step too far.

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