punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

So You're Suicidal...

[this is a film I wish I could do]

You really don't want to kill yourself. You just want to escape, and some faulty decision process thinks that death will sever all commitments. Yes, that is logically true, in the way that blowing up the car with mortar fire will solve that squeak in your breaks. But hear this, if you think life's unfair, what's your basis of comparison? Death? No, "life as it should be," which is an illusion in its own right.

Some background: I suffer from depression. I lived a hellish childhood where I had a father who abused me, an alcoholic mother, and attempted suicide 5 times, and never really got it out of my system. I am neither perfect, nor a therapist.

Right now, you are suicidal for a few reasons, most of them lies or at the very least, logical fallacies:

- You suffer from depression. Chemical, psychological, whatever.
- You are overwhelmed. You think all your problems are One Big Problem (tm)
- You are egotistical. You think your problems are so unique and weird, that nothing can solve them, ever.
- You are antisocial. You have so few supportive people around you, you don't know any better. This may or may not be by choice.
- You're lazy. Killing yourself seems like an easy, all-in-one go at solving everything.
- You're a murderer. You're actively thinking about killing a person.
- You're overly dramatic. You think people will care if you die, there's a soundtrack, and that your death will be a milestone to something.

Some of these sound harsh, but you need to hear them for a reason. Many are interrelated to the point they sound redundant, but each one addresses the most common thoughts about being suicidal. If you have read this far, which 99% of you have because you know that killing yourself is a bad idea, consider yourself worth saving.

I also want to state that this entry will not cheer anyone up. Suicidal depression is not something that I cannot turn off in a person just by slapping themselves in the head and saying, "Snap out of it." You won't. It's going to take years and years of work and sacrifice. But what I can give you are thoughts, tools to help you get help before you do something stupid. There's also a lot of dark humor, because right now, you need cheering up.

First, you're worth saving. I'd go into this long diatribe about it, proving it with charts and graphs, anecdotes and experience, but your eyes would glaze over, and you'd shoot it all down with nitpicks and psychological dodges, so you'll just have to accept the fact I am right, and you are wrong: you are worth saving, and that's all there is to it.

No. I am right. The voice in your head is lying to you if it says any different. The fact you don't know me is meaningless.

I hear that voice. What a liar. Look at him go. Blah blah blah doesn't understand blah blah made fun of in gym blah blah parents sucked blah blah ... whatever. Everyone has that voice, it's just yours needs a volume control with an "off" switch.

Second, go eat some chocolate. It will help.

Now that you are back and happier with chocolate, you can finally hear some truth.

Depression is real. Even yours. I don't care of people say "you only think you're depressed," because, duh, if you think it, you are it! I don't care if you think you made it up or if you have some chemical imbalance. All of it can be fixed. It takes work, but it can be. If you cure depression, let me know, because I am sick of mine, too. Depression is the root lie. It doesn't even have to say anything specific, just give you that hopeless "ahhh whatever... fuck it" feeling that influences everything, including how dark you want your waffles. Just put this aside as "real, a problem, solvable" for now.

You are overwhelmed. This is like the #1 problem with human brains. Think of a funnel going into a soda bottle you want to fill with cheap hooch. If you pour the hooch in slowly, it goes through the funnel and into the bottle. If you pour it in all at once, the funnel overflows, and your hands smell like alcohol. Problem solving is the same way; it's the river of your thoughts have dammed up with a huge clog of problems. Right now, you have to sort your problems.

This is how you start in a crisis: write down five specific, individual problems. Only five. YES, I know you have eighty-bajillion or some other fictitious number (this is the depression talking), just write down five. Not six. Not ten. Five. And they have to be specific. Like "mother said I was fat," not "I suck." "I can't pay the cable bill" is good while "job bites" is bad. Now look at those five, and think about NO OTHER. Write down why each one hurts you, how you feel about it, and what you could do to fix it if you had unlimited power and money. Yes, I know you don't have unlimited power and money, but there's a point to this. You have to see problems AS solvable. You have to rethink how you approach problems.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

No, not kill yourself. That's dumb and illogical, but understandable given your current state. But understand that mistakes are a valuable tool and failure is nothing more than a type of experience. Don't take failure personally. NONE of us really know what we're doing, and those that say they do are liars, in denial, or just damn lucky... and luck favors the prepared.

Luck favors the prepared.

Suicide is considered "the ultimate selfish act" because it's like you are so important that your decisions and judgements about who lives and who dies are worth carrying out. "Either this life goes, or *I* do...!" It is the definition of egotistical. Whatever. Many suicidal teens play sad music and plan to give out all their stuff because they think their problems are the center of the universe. Here's some harsh truth:

When you actually die, people move on without you. Funerals are for the living, not the dead.

I have lived through some suicides of friends. Each time, we are shocked, upset, grieve, have the funeral, and then move on. These people become little more than anecdotes, and you can see. Being suicidal is neither heroic nor respected, because face it, you're a cold-blooded killer. I can't think of one statue dedicated to a suicide. You fucked up other people's lives because you considered yourself more important. People find your suicide tragic because you succumbed to depression, not because they should have acted in a manner you considered appropriate.

Also, keep in mind the afterlife holds no parties for the deceased. They will laugh at you. You tossed away something very valuable because you wanted an easy way out. You're a lazy coward and a short-sighted dork. Sorry, it had to be said.

So. I bet that whole thing upset you, and you have over a zillion reasons why I am wrong. No, you are wrong. Because I said. I won't even bother explaining it to you because you'll counter everything I say with some lies, or at least your depression will. I bet you never even made a list, and that's because you have fallen for the belief that nothing is worth trying because it's hopeless.

Hopelessness is a funny thing. No, really. If hope is an illusion, so is hopelessness by default. It's a word like "infinity" which isn't a real number but an abstract concept rather than "the biggest number ever!" But without infinity, we can't have "zero" (the opposite) because 0 means nothing. I'd explain this math further, but for now, just assume nothing is hopeless because if it was, you'd never even know it existed. What you probably mean to say is, "I give up because I feel I have exhausted all the ideas for solving this." Remember, you have only exhausted all the ideas you can think of, and probably shot a whole bunch down without even trying, because you take failure personally, and so you try and avoid getting hurt.

But you are hurting. A LOT. The funny thing is, you are willing to DIE for your ideals on hopelessness, but not take a hit for failure. A common response to this is the lazy, "See? I tried ABC, and I got hollered at, so I am not trying anything else because it's useless." What you're really saying is, "Failure is pain, pain hurts, I am sick of hurting. I am scared."

See, depression is all rooted in fear and insecurity. Fun, huh? So now you know what it really is, and why it appears to be like a heavy comforting blanket that's quick to run to, but is really a suffocating vacuum.

1. Get help. If they don't help, go find help that does. At the very least, you'll see what help does not work. Take their advice, even if you've tried it before, even though you think it won't work. If it does not work, document it, and present documentation. That way, if you get the common, "You're not trying hard enough," you know you did, and that they have run out of ideas. eek someone who has new ideas.
2. There is no shame in medication. It may not work, either, but at least try. Nothing will cure depression, but at least you'll have a break here and there.
3. Get friends. Do daring and fun things. Don't sit around and do nothing. Let your pain motivate you to stop the pain. Don't go "Waaaagh, what will I do???" go "Waaaaugh, I have to do something, even if it's jog a block!!"
4. If you're brave enough to contemplate your own death seriously, you're brave enough to do anything, including fail, which means you'll learn, and finally improve your life. Even pinballs find their way home by randomly banging into things, and they have those people with paddles to consider, too.
5. Understand if you DO get over the hump of depression, and have few relapses, many people won't take your advice, even though you proved it worked. They have to find out on their own. Don't be one of those zealots that claim St. John's Wort (or therapy or a dildo or whatever) solved everything, even if it DID solve it for you, and then bitch "they aren't trying."

Last of all, don't take yourself or your life seriously. No one else is. None of us know what we're doing; it's just that some care about it more than others.
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