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TW for talk of unalive and suicidal thoughts
I feel that Autistic, neurodivergent or otherwise disabled people experience unalive thoughts more often than most. And I use “unalive” thoughts rather than “suicidal” because it is something I’ve picked up from friends. Using “unalive thoughts” is more fitting to me because the truth is I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die by suicide. But sometimes in my darkest hours or during tough times I just don’t want to be alive and in my opinion those are two different things.
As you read this I ask that you do not be concerned for me as this is just another of my thinking out loud posts. I’ve had countless unalive thoughts over the years and they seem to increase around the holiday period. Maybe because of the social anxieties of Christmas, my routine changing and people being in the house and in my space I’m not used to. Or maybe it’s New Year and feeling scared that I may have wasted another year of my life to achieve nothing that I wanted to. Or perhaps it’s because my birthday is coming up and I massively struggle with my birthday and feelings of loneliness and whether anyone cares about me.
There are numerous possibilities for these bad intrusive thoughts, not necessarily due to my Autistic experiences per se as I do experience depression but I would be lying if I said the ableism, bullying, loneliness etc that I feel isn’t partly, if not mostly, due to me being Autistic and the rest of the world having a problem with that.
As I talked about in my Autistic suicide post, it isn’t uncommon for Autistic people to take their own life because of all the hate and lack of belonging that we feel. Whilst uncertain of my future actions, I can say right now that I would never take my own life. I just couldn’t. The hyper-empathy I feel about leaving my family and friends behind stops me. The fear of pain stops me. The fear of not doing things I wanted to do stops me. This is all because I don’t want to die. But sometimes I just don’t want to live, or at least live the life I’m living. And that’s okay. There’s no shame in feeling this way.
I think it is important for us to be able to have these open discussions about suicide, unalive thoughts and our mental health. I don’t know if I have a point for this post or whether I’m just over-sharing my thoughts and feelings but ultimately I wanted to be honest and let you know that if you experience unalive thoughts too then you are not alone.
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