Life has hardly been easy lately. COVID-19 has catapulted even the mentally healthiest among us into fear or anxiety, and some warn that a global mental health crisis is looming. I consider it a gift, then, that it’s been a long time since I thought about not wanting to live.
Passive suicidal ideation — thinking about, but not planning, one’s own death — became a familiar coping mechanism between my late teens, and it persisted into my late twenties. I’ve never actively wanted to die. Most days, I enjoyed my life. I was invested in my plans and looked forward to the future. But every now and then, when things were particularly difficult, I wanted to close my eyes and disappear. Thinking about no longer existing was like an emotional reflex, something I sometimes defaulted to when faced with internal pain.
I’m not alone, yet this subject is infrequently talked