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If I had cancer, I would understand my relationship to that cancer with my brain. If I had diabetes, I would understand my relationship to it with my brain. There is something wrong with my brain. How am I supposed to understand that? With my foot?

Suicide is a thing that is always waiting to suggest itself to me. Other people have problems and struggles in their lives, but not all of them turn directly to thoughts of suicide when things go awry. Suicide is the perennial salesman, always on the bullet point.

I don't know how to explain my salesman passenger to other people who don't carry the same passenger. I guarantee you, if you do not have the passenger, there is nothing I could say to explain it to you. If you do have the passenger, there's nothing else I need to say.

I guess there is a loneliness to being down, because the only comfort I can find when I am down is to seek out art created by folks who know what it's like to be down. Nothing direct helps lift me up. I am only lifted by catharsis. There is a song by Florence and the Machine called Never Let Me Go that is a romantic ode to drowning that has kept me afloat lately. I listen to it over and over again and really know what it means. I don't think my disease would be bearable without art.

Similarly, I also have to write. I mean I have to write. Otherwise it knots up inside of me and makes me too heavy to do anything. I have demons that I have to answer to. Some of them are beautiful and some of them are horrible. I use the beautiful demons to chase away the horrible ones. Sometimes it is all I can do to remain functional.

I'm coming out of a fog lately. The medication I have been on has been working pretty well, but there are still cycles. Luckily, I have been able to take some time off of work in order to sort these things out. It's something I need to do every now and then. I feel tender. I wince at human contact. I'm going to grow stronger if I am patient with myself, I know, but it's a matter of waiting. One does not simply walk out of Mordor.

I know it may be unwise to share these things with you, but I'm not the only person with demons out here. Life can be a cold business and it is inherently without meaning. We have to create our own meaning and share our meaning with each other. We all carry this life around on our back, and it is good to share our loads. It's good to let others who have a similar load that you know what it is like bend beneath the weight. At least I think that's true. It has helped me.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." ~ Samuel Johnson

    by Spencer Troxell on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 08:52:43 AM PDT

  •  Very powerful text... (8+ / 0-)
    Suicide is the perennial salesman, always on the bullet point.
    I hope someday the demons will retreat.  In the meantime, continue writing.  You are extremely good at vivid descriptions.

    "Hate speech is a form of vandalism. It defaces the environment, and like a broken window, if left untended, signals to other hoodlums that the coast is clear to do more damage." -- Gregory Rodriguez

    by Naniboujou on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 09:05:41 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for posting (7+ / 0-)

    I am glad you are having some success in your battles against the dark. Unfortunately, I understand your struggle, although at present, I seem to be losing mine. Good wishes to you and I hope you continue to prevail.

  •  last 15 years only time when suicide not on mind (4+ / 0-)

    really helped to find out about a life long ADD problem

    good book "The Depression Cure"

    well written

    the basics that we know - sleep, exercise, diet, etc.

    just found the book in the last few years, but a good handbook for a plan

    I have known for years and years about the importance of exercise. In Scandanavian countries it is prescribed for depression. You might pick up the latest Scientific American with the article on exercise. New research on the importance at the cellular level and between cells.

    One of the big things I learned dealing with a lifetime of self hatred and then ADD, is that the conditions are very complex, but the treatments are straight forward

    Over the years I have read many, many things about what was going on and what to do about it.

    One of the books was "Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Depression" by the psychiatrist Theodore Issac Rubin. He tells the story of himself. He is a well known psychiatrist in NYC who came down with a serious bout of depression. He went to the shrink. He tried this and that and nothing worked. It was not until he realized that it was up to him to love himself. As long as he hated himself, nothing could break through. None of the talk or drugs worked until he gave up the self hatred.

  •  Well, we don't have any control over when (0+ / 0-)

    and to whom we are born, so I'm not sure why we should have no control over when we go out. I suspect that in the U.S. death is such a fixation (abuse and suffering get much less attention) because the state still insists on the right to determine when a man/woman ought to die prematurely.
    The state's claim to the right to determine when a man dies is what makes suicide an insult and, in some jurisdictions, a crime. And those who assist are adjudged complicit and punished in the suicide's stead.
    Moreover, it's this claim to the right to decide when a man dies that also leads to the determination that the right to life is also a state concern. The state giveth and the state taketh away. Or, at least that's how some people would like it.

    None of which is to say that I approve of suicide. It's not up to me to determine whether another person lives or dies. For that matter, I don't kill any organisms unless I intend to eat them or they bit me.

    What I might share is that I've know two suicides in my life. The first used to play bridge with us; threatened suicide for a long time; committed himself to a mental hospital from which he was furloughed to teach his university classes, if he was sufficiently together to have prepared them; and eventually ran his sportscar into a bridge abutment on the Mass turnpike on his way back to the hospital from a parents' open house at Amherst College. He obviously had his act together since he'd put all his ID in the glove box and the impact of the vehicle was perfectly centered on the concrete post.
    As a neighbor, I was apprised of the event by a cop coming to the door in the night to tell me there had been an accident and would we come console the grieving widow and the four teens left behind.
    Since the widow did not want to be bothered with any details, the spouse arranged for the building of a box at the local lumber yard, the identification and collection of the body from the Mass. funeral home and, eventually, the disposition of the ashes in a shallow grave on our wooded hilltop.
    The event having been ruled an accident, the widow collected the insurance and bought herself and the children a house -- the first they'd ever owned. Because back in the day, physics professors didn't get paid much, but they did have health insurance and life insurance.

    The second suicide was perpetrated by an elderly woman whose contact with chemicals as a hairdresser had initiated a bout with cancer, which she "conquered" for a time. When it came back perhaps a decade later, the lady put her head inside a plastic bag and ended the saga. My mother, who had been agitating for the "friend" to share her house, was irate that her offer had been rejected and the woman had chosen death. Which struck me as a rather selfish attitude.
    Unlike the first suicide, the second didn't even leave a mess for others to clean up.
    I guess that's my bottom line. It's your right, but try not to leave a mess.

    Oh, the fellow down the road who shot himself in his bed I did not know. It seems he announced his intent, so the kin called the cops and the cops, as is now their wont, took the opportunity to set up a command center, close off part of the road and restrict access to the property until the end of the day shift when someone finally went inside and discovered there was no risk of anyone else getting shot. Which suggests an addendum -- don't tell anyone ahead of time.

  •  "If it wasn't for music, life would be shit" (4+ / 0-)

    -- Thelonious Monk

  •  Your line, "I know it may be unwise..." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, Spencer Troxell

    " share these things with you", made me think (well a lot of the things you wrote made me think). That line, and deciding whether sharing our own stories and struggles is a good idea, made me remember something I read which has been very useful to me so I'll share it with you.

    "Telling the truth when we feel vulnerable is one of the hardest things to do. We might fear rejection, abandonment, disapproval, disappointment, rage, hurt, or just the raw exposure that’s an unavoidable part of the process. Yet almost every time we’re willing to tell a hard truth, we grow and deepen in presence, no matter the response. The energy that we previously locked up to maintain a false front is freed to uplift and enliven us.”
    That's from Raphael Cushnir. I write too, sometimes, and  whether the writing is to exorcise something in me or because explaining it to someone else helps me understand it myself or whether it is for the reasons Cushnir spoke of, being able to convey what is happening to us is a gift. You've done it well here. Thanks for sharing it.

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

    by CenPhx on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 11:02:55 AM PDT

  •  "I have nothing to give but myself" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, Wee Mama

    I saw that on the cover of some self help book several decades ago ... along with  stick figure just standing there with her head hanging down.

    But the drawing and the words have been with me forever ... all I can offer is the world is myself, in all my imperfection and silliness and hurts and strength.

    So you offer us yourself and I for one am honored to have heard you and see a little of what you feel and see. I can't offer you any wisdom or experience or advice ... only my listening, my wish for your peace of mind and my virtual holding of your hand (if it is not intrusive).

    You write beautifully and evocatively ... it hope it helps you to write away the demons and laugh in their faces. I will read what you care to share.


    "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

    by CorinaR on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 11:58:28 AM PDT

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