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Beastly Observations

The Beast I talk about is real. As real as it gets. It’s nothing to toy with. It’s potentially lethal. It, for lack of a better word, SUCKS. I’ve had a long time to think about the Beast, and I have a few observations.


First, the Beast tries to seduce you with its siren song. The alluring tune beckons you to follow it. It tricks you into believing everyone will be happier and better off, even if you aren’t around. But the biggest lie is that you would somehow be happier if you were no longer among the living. Um, happier? Not so much; you would be DEAD - the land of nothingness. Why does it seem like suicide is the best idea, and how do you turn off that relentless chatter in your head? Well, in large part, simply because suicide seems like an end to that relentless chatter.


Second, the Beast makes suicide seem like not only a solution to emotional pain but a logical solution to it. THIS is one of the worst parts of suicidal ideation – the allure of the suicidal siren song is unbearable, and the suicidal individual simply wants the noise to stop. And they feel that the only way out is death.


Third, as they say, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem – that has been my mantra during many suicidal moments. However, recognizing that current pain will pass is not always enough. The suicidal mind must believe that there is a day when their pain will either end or become bearable. You need to question (and question and question) why death seems to be the answer to your problems. Because – spoiler – it’s not.


Fourth, the idea of suicide becomes comfortable, like an old pair of jeans. It first seems like a foreign, strange, and highly uncomfortable idea. Unfortunately, this stage, while an end run for some, becomes a constant, nagging refrain for others who manage to hang on – and suffer from constant suicidality.


To those who read this and say they don’t ever expect to be happy, they just want to be dead. To them, I say, while life is not all “happy, happy, joy, joy,” all the time, there is always the chance that life can change; there is always hope that you can beat back chronic suicidality. 


Suicidality – especially chronic suicidality – is not a fun or productive state of being. Far too many succumb to the siren song; many of those who manage to stay alive face a lengthy and sometimes permanent state of suicidality.


The Beast can be conquered, but the road to eradicating suicide is not a quick fix. In my and many other’s cases, the goal is not the eradication of symptoms but the reduction of symptoms to a tolerable level. Do not give up hope if you can’t completely eliminate the Beast – you might fall into the category of those with chronic suicidality and need to learn how to manage it.


A last note is of particular importance: sometimes chronic suicidality, instead of being a loathed and despicable bedfellow, becomes a comfortable state of being. The chronically suicidal individual might start to use their suicidality as a crutch, as a security blanket, as the answer to all problems (“If X doesn’t go well, I can always commit suicide”).


The Beast is an awful bedfellow, and those who find themselves grappling with chronic suicidality are fighting a particularly nefarious state of being. Those people might believe there is no hope – I am, however, an example of someone who has battled back the Beast, who has held the notion of suicide as an option if things get unbearable, and though my suicidality has improved. My battle is definitely chronic. 


Despite this, I (mostly) live a life I am proud of, a life where the Beast doesn’t get the opportunity to beat or break me. I have a lot of people in my life who are my guardian angels who I can talk to. In contrast to when I was younger, I now seek people out when things are particularly bad. 


However you choose to beat back the Beast, put your energy into reducing the Beast to a quiet nag who you don’t need to listen to anymore. Try, try again, try even harder; put your mind to it and fight hard. You can do great things – you can do this.

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Liz O'Brien
Liz O'Brien
Jan 04

Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective with all of us! I always learn so much from you! I’m so sorry to hear how difficult this has been for you, & hope you have grown to feel better over time! Sending unconditional love & a giant hug, always!!! Liz

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cmoon6116
Jan 03

You put into words all the messy feelings that are always beneath the surface Thanks for your honesty and integrity

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