The first time I realized suicidal thoughts weren’t normal

I’ll never forget this memory. I was 18 years-old and it was the year I took off after high school before going away to university.

I mean I knew something was wrong at the time and that I was more than just sad and needed help. I was with a happy-go-lucky guy at the time so I knew what normal (if not an outlier, he was naturally a really happy guy) looked like but it wasn’t until a conversation with my father did it occur to me that what was happening wasn’t normal, in particular my suicidal thoughts.

We were visiting the West Indies and driving down a mountain road. I remember being maybe mid-way down and still being able to see the land and houses down below. And my father said to me how I was talking and what I had said wasn’t normal. I remember his tone of voice, it was an all-knowing “Dad” type of tone with a dash of emotion and conviction in it. And the realization just washed over me. People fight to stay alive, to propagate and to live. The desperate steal and murder to survive. Not the opposite. Evolution pushed us towards this goal, a natural instinct. And there I was wanting the complete opposite. I guess then is when I truly realized I had an illness.

When did you realize something was amiss with your mental health? Did someone point it out to you or was it a quiet moment by yourself?

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