Bipolar ThoughtsObsessionsSuicide

Train, Train, Go Away

I had a strange, but not at all uncommon experience driving my car this afternoon.

I was stopped at the train-tracks today. I was second in line, and therefore saw the gates coming down. The car in front of me decided he didn’t want to wait and drove around the downed gates before the train came. And so I pulled up very close to the gate myself.

And as soon as I saw his car go I couldn’t stop thinking about his car being crushed, and then I couldn’t stop about my own being crushed.

I assume that isn’t uncommon. I think this is a common fantasy people have; same as the desire to jump from a high open location.

I could not get the urge to pull my car up and stop on the tracks. But then the thought shifted, quickly in fact, to me getting out of my car and running in front of the train. Right at the last second. So no one could do anything, and maybe the conductor wouldn’t even be clear on what happened. I inched my car forward. I put it in park. I even undid my seat belt as my mind raced about all of the things that needed to happen. Should I take my phone with me and destroy it or leave some kind of message. Should I call someone and hoped they answered just before the train smashed into me? How could I make it as clean as possible for all involved?

I finally decided I was going to do it. I let go of my seat belt and put my hand on the door handle and looked out the window only to find the train much to close for me to get in front of it in time. I considered if I could jump between the cars or under it or how any of that would work. But my thinking was about dying, not brutally injuring myself. So I decided to leave my door closed.

I’m not sure if any of that sounds weird to any of you. I like to think that none of that is that uncommon. None of that is the real point, that is just the story.

This is the point: these thoughts are extremely powerful and convincing. There is a loud voice and an incredible urge to fulfill these thoughts. It just pounds away. Over and over and over again.

Jump in front of that train

None one will miss you

Jump in front of that train

You don’t matter

Jump in front of that train

You make everything worse

Jump in front of that train

You have absolutely no talent and no worth

Jump in front of that train


The thing about it is, while I had a down day today, I’m not depressed or suicidal. This event made me much sadder, it is clearly very upsetting. To that point: I get these impulses maybe 5-10 times a week. I get them regardless of my mood; although they do tend to come out on stressful days.

They are almost always involving driving. I believe I have mentioned these before in this space: driving into the lake, driving off an overpass, driving into the median on the freeway. These thoughts consume my mind.

A good way to describe the feeling, and this isn’t a good way at all, is when you really have to pee. And I mean like drinking 8 beers at a football game have to pee. Having to pee so bad the teeth in the back of your mouth hurt. When you have to pee that bad, it is the only thing you can focus on. There is nothing else going on in your brain. Your every thought and action is related to that pee. Your entire body needs the release.

That’s similar to how this urge to kill myself is. I can’t control it. I can’t stop it. I can’t even mitigate it. It just comes on and then goes away.

Once the gates opened up and I drove away, I was shaken by the experience, but it was assuredly over. I could no longer even imagine doing what had just consumed my mind for only a couple minutes. Just as suddenly as it came on, it left. All due to those gates coming down.

Jump in front of that train