suicide

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suicide. i thought about it last night. more than that, i "contemplated" it. it's the first time i've thought about it in a good long while, but certainly not the first time that i've contemplated it. (or even tried it; the fact that i'm still here owes a lot to mostly laziness and fear.) yes, i know: it's not an answer, people will mock you when you're head, there's no tv in heaven, etc. has anyone else thought about it? or tried it? have any of your friends, family, etc. (one of my best friends from high school did and succeeded a few years back.) i know this might be a bit painful/uncomfortable for people to talk about, so no worries. but talking about it - even in the abstract - would help.

(i left this anonymous because i didn't want a lot of pity party "are you okay?" im's and emails. i'm here, so i'm fine. let's just leave it at that. i hope that dg and tom won't play sherlock holmes and try to suss me out.)

anonymous, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

new answers, please.

anonymous, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

whats the point in suicide? if you feel life is unbearable try to change it. If you care little enough abou t life to end i t needlessly, why not at least try taking some risks first, changing things, reaching out for people to make you feel better? whats to loose?

Mike Hanle y, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I had to think very carefully before I answered this. I have had a lot of experience with suicide, on both sides - having tried many times as an adolescent to do it, and having had to deal with the aftermath of people who have both attempted and suceeded in it.

I don't think it's necessarily morally wrong or anything like that, so I'm not going to address it on those terms. But there are two big things I would say about it.

1) It's a cliche, but it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Mike may be being somewhat facetious, but what he says is true. Even if you feel like you are trapped in an unworkable situation, you have not tried every option. Quit your job, leave your home, there are a thousand things you can change. Even if the worst thing you can possibly imagine happens to you (and trust me, I've been there) it's still less final than being dead. Sure, no matter where you go, you will still be yourself, and the same problems may resurface, and you can't change your life until you've changed yourself, but fuck. Wouldn't it be better to change yourself, even temporarily, rather than end yourself forever?

2) If suicide *is* wrong, for any reason, it is for the mess that it leaves behind, for those who care about you. I've seen parents, children and lovers DESTROYED by their loved ones' intentional deaths. Yes, that's a strange reason to ask someone to stay alive, but it is still a valid one. Even if you think no-one will care. Suicide is ultimately a selfish act. *Especially* if you are committing suicide with some sort of "I'll show them, they'll regret it when they're dead..." attitude, or if you are committing suicide to escape a painful relationship. This may be a controversial stance, but committing or attempting to commit suicide because of, or to spite another human being is as much of an emotional and psychological attack on them as if you had put the razor to their wrists. Don't do it.

I don't know the reasons why you want to die. I don't really want to know them either. Sorry if that sounds harsh or uncaring, but I just don't have a lot of excess emotional empathy left to spare right now. (I've come pretty close to wanting to kill myself too in the past few months.) But whatever is troubling you, there is ALWAYS another way. It takes more courage to stay alive and find it than it does to die, remember that. Failure isn't falling, it's staying down.

I wish you luck. I hope you do find someone helpful to talk to about it. I hope you find the courage that you need to make the changes that enable you to stay alive and carry on, on a different course.

Sorry if these words sound empty. Even if they're not helpful to you at all, I couldn't just say nothing.

kate, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

My friend Rob threw himself into the Thames in 1987: a defining event in my life. Rob was an enormous influence on how i tht about music, and just abt stuff: on how i live my life; i adored him.

For the longest time i didn't even try to think abt it, or what i felt: it plopped into the already voluminous "if i say i want/like it, i shall lose it" room in my brane, and festered there

the next time i decided i wanted something (= [xXx]) and realised that saying so wd certainly drive [xXx] away, even as an occasional friend (which = what happened), i found for weeks i was being struck by gusts of grief over rob, by then 9 yrs dead. Inc. bursting into tears in the street, once.

But what I increasingly realised I felt and feel today is NOT "Oh, if only i'd known, i'm sorry now he's gone how horrible things must have been" but instead "YOU BASTARD! How dare you think so little of me! How dare you run away and leave me with this stuff that can never now be resolved or explored or quietened away"...

He's turned himself over the years into this selfish kid who I no longer really like, in other words. By not being there to be who he really was. I'm just so ANGRY about what a hostile act this was, at ppl he may never even have intended hostility towards (but how will io ever know?)

It's a very hostile and aggressive act, is what I think: and the ppl who get hurt are almost never the ones who you meant to hurt, and NEVER the ones who deserve to get hurt. It's almost the only way of behaving i'm this uncontrollably judgmental (and unfair?) about.

mark s, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

don't do it thom.

keith, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Hi A, I have never thought or contemplated suicide but have known many who have done it leaving children , wives , parents to mourn forever. Please don't do anything to harm yourself. You have a whole list of people here and you aren't alone.You also have a good life ahead of you. Try keep talking about it with someone and you'll see things will improve for you.Ask God to help you get through this bad time that you're having. He will help you.

Gale Deslongchamps, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I can totally understand what Mark is talking about, when I was ill last year I thought about suicide a lot and it seemed SO...well, more than tempting, more like seductive. But after that was all over LC told me that if I'd killed myself she would NEVER have forgiven me for abandoning her. Suicide causes more problems than it solves.

DG, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I wont be able to say anything that isn't full of spite and vitriol here - so I'll just say it's not a good way and leave it at that.

Kim, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

My nan successfully killed herself on the third serious attempt 10 years ago. It's odd reading mark s's post on this, because I also didn't feel it properly at the time (steeped as I was in my own petty self-hate, low-grade by her standards), and I wonder whether her death will ever come back into my own narrative. I've felt guilty about this for years, and guilty that the thought ever crossed my mind that because her suicide hadn't triggered terrible the emotions in me that the rest of my family struggled with, I was the only one clear-sighted enough to realise that she got what she wanted, and she didn't hurt anymore. She spend her penultimate five years an almost dignified alcoholic struggling with her depression and her faith, and the last five painfully sober, struggling with her depression and her faith, and suicide was her project that whole time, I think.

I don't agree entirely with what everyone's said here, although I respect it. I don't quite believe that suicide is finally a uniquely selfish act - no more selfish than the other kinds of solipsism we routinely wrap ourselves in and which too often colour the way we act towards and think about other people, no more selfish than my inability to fully feel the death of someone I loved and who had loved me.

But I know that as an often miserable but living and breathing person I can't properly mentally figure death and I don't want it in my heart or my mind if I can help it. And I know that when my best friend began his string of suicide attempts a year after my nan died I didn't have to question my assumption that if I could override his death wish with my dumb life-force I would, and I don't question it now. I'd lend my life-force to anyone who needed it; I'd argue till I was blue in the face for anyone's right to kill themselves and till equally blue to stop them exercising that right. I'm glad my friend is still alive, and so is he - really, really glad. Not always happy, and often angry, and often bored, and for long periods directionless and distraught, but very, very glad.

Ellie, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I don't have any really good advice but I wanted to reply because I've suffered from major depression and the only thing I could think of afterwards was please, please, don't let anyone else ever have to feel this way; and wanting so badly to be able to seek those people out and comfort them, and be around them unconditionally as only a person can be who has been very very sick and knows what it's like. So if you're feeling this way, please try to understand that ... I felt like I had rocks on my chest for months and was so lonely, didn't see anyone and couldn't sleep, and it may not even be this bad for you but if it is, please accept the only benefit of my suffering which is that I would never judge anyone for being sad and I love you just for being sad. And one day you'll feel better too and be happy, that's for absolute sure, I can personally guarantee it ... but please don't be insulted if you're not this sick/sad! It only happens to the best people, you know.

In reply to something Kate wrote - sometimes sadists use the threat of suicide as an equivalent to threatening murder, but I don't think this is the case here.

notimportant, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

A few years back I suffered from such terrible depression I thought about suicide a lot, to the point where I was engaging in a lot of self destructive behavior so that I could go ahead killing myself in a passive/aggressive way. I just felt so miserable, and my circumstances in life at that point seemed so hopeless. There seemed to be no way out of the pain and despair I was feeling, and things didn't seem likely to change.

I am so thankful now that I didn't do anything! I would have missed out on so much. My life is completely different now -- I wouldn't say I'm violently happy but I'm pretty satisfied and content, and my circumstances are a lot healthier and happier. My point is that you may be feeling a lot of pain right now, but you never know what's just around the corner. Things could be totally different for you a few months from now. But you'll never find that out unless you stick around and give life a bit more of a chance.

anon2, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

the perils of anonymity are that you immediately set yourself up to have to communicate through a gauze of trickery to keep yourself secret. it makes responding to your own questions and thoughts harder than one would think.

i've had friends die recently, lovers even, smacked down by fatal accidents in their prime. i've had friends kill themselves, acts of the ultimate in confusing desperation, especially through a veneer of the "perfect life" (beautiful, successful, etc.) no excuse, yes. horrible wound on those close to you for all time, yes. but i suppose i've seen both sides (as close as one can really, since i'm not writing this as a ghost.) the pain of my best friends suicide a few years back was softened somewhat by the fact that we had already fallen out of contact owing to a pre-existing rift. but he was a beautiful human being, much like mark's friend above, someone without whom i'd be a very different person indeed. but he did seem to have the "perfect life" so his death was even more baffling; the questions thrown up were not so much "how could you do this?" as "why would you do this?" the friend who was killed had one of the hardest, most soul-grinding lives i've ever encountered in either the annals of real life or fiction; yet, through all the pain and bullshit life thew at her she continually perservered, never once stooping to thoughts of suicide, always amazed at the beauty to be found in life.

i agree with much of what mark and kate and others said above. i also agree with what ellie said. i suppose something to be remembered in all of this is that people who are pushed or push themselves to the brink of suicide are probably not in their "right mind." therefore, it might be a bit of an impossible imposition to assume that they have the mental wherewithall to think of their friends and loved ones in the moment. it is selfishness on a grand scale, yes, but it also often seems to happen when one has been - if not self-less, then certainly not taking care of themselves for quite some time.

if he's reading, it was anthony's list of "real beauty" which made me reconsider last night; not because we necessarily share the same ideals, but that it made me contemplate my own (writing with your fingertips on a foggy car window, the delicate heartbreak in a joseph cornell box, the impious life in a cecil taylor solo.) i didn't do it. so thank you.

i doubt i will ever commit suicide; i really was thinking of it in an abstract. but that lame nitchzesian option remains, and here we are. i've been massively depressed for a good chunk of my life owing to any number of things (parental...issues, molestation/abuse, drug/alcohol issues, image issues, etc.) but i've managed to make it thus far, reveling in what little, small beauties i've experienced along the way.

and so far, that's been enough.

anonymous, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

and for any of the other anonymouses above (or anyone else) who want to talk about this further, i've set up this email address. (it was all hotmail would let me come up with. sorry.)

anonymous, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

it made me contemplate my own (writing with your fingertips on a foggy car window, the delicate heartbreak in a joseph cornell box, the impious life in a cecil taylor solo.) i didn't do it. so thank you

I am by nature an eternally optimistic, merry person, and I admit I could have little to offer to this whole thing that hasn't been said by others. All I could say, though, has already been said in this statement of your own, really. Right now I'm watching my Rocky Horror DVD, and the thought of never being able to see Tim Curry just eat the camera, the audience and most of the cast alive again would just be miserable. But not as miserable as never being able to blast "Soon" again -- very very loudly.

Support and love to you. *hugs*

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

All I have to say is something along the lines of point two that Kate mentioned. It happens to be the only reason Im alive is that I couldnt put my mother through it. I am quite normal now. :P

I found something I could do no matter how boring I find it. I can loose myself and code and sit infront of a computer terminal and hours can slip by. I reach Nerdvana quite often nowdays.

Mr Noodles, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I have had two friends kill themsleves this year. I have tried thru pills to kill myself. I tried to hang myslef. I drank shots of rubbing achol and ended up in the hospital with vomitted charcol form head to toe. i never thought about anythign but my own pain and then i went to a shrink . this was years ago but calling her up and just talking helped . She hospitalized me and that helped as well.

anthonyeaston, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I didnt mean that i tried to kill myself this year, when i was an adolsecent i tried three times. And you do not want to hear about me . This is a really crude question but if you wanted to die why arent you dead , To me its obvious that you need someone to tell you that there are things to live for, and of course there are. However you are in a place a bb cant help. GO SEE A DOCTOR !

anthonyeaston, Saturday, 24 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

please see yr doctor - I found that help is out there

, Sunday, 25 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Dear Anon, you shouldn't be ashamed to withhold your name.

I myself posted a particularly desperate and partly incoherent post in early October when things just didn't seem to be happening and I was - literally - minutes away from actually ending it all. I won't go into specifics but I had already started to instigate the process. My reasons for this are well documented elsewhere on these boards.

Fortunately, as a result of several similarly incoherent 'phone calls and e-mails (not to mention the replies which I received here) I quickly decided not to take it further and instead resolved to see my GP next morning to try to get a psychiatric referral (with a splitting headache!). Dr L was very understanding but reckoned that this was standard post-bereavement behaviour and thought that I just needed to get out of Oxford. So I muddled on and eventually did it. Now I'm more settled and find it a bit easier to deal with the things which have happened this year. It's still very borderline - as ever, I have to be careful not to think about things too much, and there's what would have been Laura's 37th birthday coming up next week, not to mention Xmas - but I have no doubt that had I stayed in Oxford I would have been dead by now. And I'm not being melodramatic - I really do think it would have come to that.

There are no easy answers; I'm just lucky that I have the "safety valve" within myself which I can activate at times of extreme crisis. In terms of yourself and other posters here, all I can really advise is that, dull and unprofitable though it may sound, it does pay to at least have a go at trying professional advice - not from spiritual types, necessarily, but from medical professionals who know what can be done biologically and/or physically to help you live with this state of mind - not asking you to bottle it up or discard it but rather to come to terms with it; even to use it in whatever powers your life.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 26 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

six years pass...

So I just found out that my best friend overdosed in an attempted suicide. I've known her for about 8 years now, and she's always been a bit unstable but this comes as a complete shock. I just gone done talking to her and she seemed to be herself... but something was off, and I'm sitting here afraid that she's going to try it again..Normally I would go to her house and keep her company, but she moved away about a year ago so there's really not much that I can do. Any advice?

The Brainwasher, Saturday, 19 April 2008 00:34 (fifteen years ago) link

The Suicide Prevention Center has this to say about helping friends:

Helping Your Peers
If you think that any of your friends or classmates may be thinking of killing themselves, there are two important things you can do: Talk to them, and express your concern to a responsible adult.

Having someone to talk to can make a big difference. College students will often share secrets and feelings with their peers that they will not share with older adults. However, you may need to be persistent before they are willing to talk. Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. Talking about suicide or suicidal thoughts will not push someone to kill themselves. It is also not true that people who talk about killing themselves will not actually try it. Take any expressed intention of suicide very seriously.

You should be especially concerned if people tell you that they have made a detailed suicide plan or obtained a means of hurting themselves. If they announce that they are thinking of taking an overdose of prescription medication or jumping from a particular bridge, stay with them until they are willing to go with you and talk to a responsible adult-or until a responsible adult can be found who will come to you.

Don't pretend you have all the answers. The most important thing you can do may be to help them find help. Never promise to keep someone's intention to kill him- or herself a secret.

If you have talked with a friend or classmate and think that person is in danger, yet the person refuses to get help, you need to talk to a responsible adult who can intervene. You should also find a responsible adult if your friend or classmate refuses to discuss the issue with you, or if you think that you don't know the person well enough to initiate a personal conversation.

Find someone who is concerned with and understands young people and can help. This might be a member of your friend's family, or it could be a residence assistant, a professor, an administrator, a member of the clergy, or someone who works in campus mental health services or the health clinic. If this adult doesn't take you or your friend's problem seriously or doesn't know what to do, talk to someone else. Most college campuses have a mental health or emergency support network that will respond to your concern.

Don't be afraid of being wrong. It is difficult for even experts to understand who is at serious risk of suicide and who is not. Many of the warning signs for suicide could also indicate problems with drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, depression, or another mental illness. Young people with these problems need help-and you can help.

Not sure if your friend is in the age bracket this is directed toward, but it sounds like solid advice regardless of age. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 19 April 2008 00:48 (fifteen years ago) link

that's it, baby it's over
su-su-suicide summer...

chicago kevin, Saturday, 19 April 2008 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

After thinking about it, i have too many cool items i couldn't leave to anyone. i decided to grin and bear it :(

not_goodwin, Saturday, 19 April 2008 00:59 (fifteen years ago) link

brainwasher, i'm so sorry. how is she doing? are you in touch with her? be in touch, i would say...

Surmounter, Saturday, 19 April 2008 02:01 (fifteen years ago) link

x-post - :-( I hope you're ok NG.

ENBB, Saturday, 19 April 2008 02:04 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Youngest brother, age 16, has been suicidal for months. I know my parents are the worst with this kind of parenting and that his life has to be hell right now, dealing with them on top of that. Things:

1. Naturally I've had the fantasy of moving him down here (family lives 1,100 miles north of here) but it wouldn't work, if for no other reason than he has type 1 diabetes (which fucks w/a mood enough w/out my parents, high school, first breakup, puberty & clinical depression). I couldn't supplement his supplies – no insurance.

2. My parents ace at making their kids feel guilty about needing health care. Mental health stuff isn't covered under their insurance. He got anti-depressants from the family GP and has been taking them but he says they don't make that big a difference. No counseling. When he wanted to check into a local 'behavioral clinic' for teens he was told he couldn't bcz of $$$. My parents aren't poor by any means.

3. My parents just don't take this shit seriously. They write it off, even actual attempts, as 'attention-getting.' I've asked them to take the guns out of the house, and the bullets (my dad shoots handguns for fun), and they're ALWAYS like 'oh yeah, we should, huh.' Even after I told them he said to me, "It's a good thing I didn't pay attention to how to load a gun in hunter safety class, or I'd have shot myself last night." But I can't go hide guns for them!

I'm always there to listen & he calls all the time, but I hate that there's nothing else I can do! What I'm asking is: IS there anything else I can do?

baleen, the krill queen (Abbott), Monday, 29 June 2009 21:31 (fourteen years ago) link

possibly find him a decent counselor and pay for it? tough situation.

sleeve, Monday, 29 June 2009 21:36 (fourteen years ago) link

They have guns in the house AND he is threatening suicide? Call the police and ask them if there is someone who has expertise in this situation, i.e. dealing with an emotionally unstable person. This is an emergency situation, IMO. If you are at all unsure, double check with a suicide hotline. I know that IRL such people let you down, but you have to at least give it your best shot.

I DIED (u s steel), Monday, 29 June 2009 21:46 (fourteen years ago) link

^^^^

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' (k3vin k.), Monday, 29 June 2009 22:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Get the guns out of the house. Just take them if you have to.

Nhex, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:16 (fourteen years ago) link

(family lives 1,100 miles north of here)

la belle dame sans serif (c sharp major), Monday, 29 June 2009 22:18 (fourteen years ago) link

National suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (I'm assuming you're in the U.S., but maybe you're not). You can call them even if it is for another person. They may be able to offer local help or at least put you in touch with some other resources. Guns in the house increase suicide risks greatly which I'm sure you are probably aware of. Is there any other family/friends local to them who could help get the guns out? I would also suggest trying to locate free or low-cost mental health clinics in your brother's area. If money really is the barrier (it sounds like it's an excuse in this case), removing it could help.

I'm so sorry you (and your brother are in this situation). Good luck getting help.

wmlynch, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:30 (fourteen years ago) link

(and your brother) are in this situation.

wmlynch, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:30 (fourteen years ago) link

You could also try contacting the local Child Protective Services office - although your brother isn't a "child" at 16, he is still of an age that the CPS (or equivalent) would have jurisdiction over.

Jaq, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Keep listening to him and being there when he wants or needs to talk: that's the best thing you can do for him. I know you say you wish there was more, but fuck, dude: that's so much you're doing already right there.

When you say he's suicidal: what's he actually said? From the (minimal) training I've had in these things, I understand it's best to deal with it as directly as possible: "OK, so are you seriously thinking about suicide?" And if he says yes, he is -- which it sounds like he will - then follow up with: "So do you have a plan?" Then: "Can you tell me what that plan is?" This can help in two ways: not only in terms of giving you a better understanding of what he's feeling and what kind of state he's in, but also in terms of your brother articulating and -- hopefully -- rationalising his feelings. The key thing to remember is: talking openly about suicide isn't going to "give him ideas" or "put it in his head" or anything.

But yes, I'd say the next thing is that he should talk to a professional about how he's feeling. I don't really know much about what services there are in the US, but it sounds like the number wmlynch links to is excellent and you're probably best giving them a call yourself, and/or encouraging your brother to do so. Is there anyone else he might be able to talk to -- any other adult figure in the area whom he looks up to and who might be able to help? What about his/the family doctor?

I really don't want to pass judgment on your parents but dismissing this as "attention-seeking" is at best unhelpful and at worse reckless. As a Brit, the idea of having guns in the house is totally beyond my frame of reference, and I don't really have any helpful advice there because to me it's as unimaginable as saying: "Yeh, we've got a hungry tiger that lives in the bedroom cupboard" ... but, y'know, cultural differences and that :)

Hope this is of some help. Ultimately, though, what you're doing is more important than anything else: you're listening to him.

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Monday, 29 June 2009 22:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Thx everyone. I think I'll have him call a hotline, or recommend he does – they'd be better able to connect him w/resources in his town than I wld, of course. And then if he tells me he's thinking about it

I think we've both gotten the same scant bit of training, grimly, and I try to be as open w/him about it as possible and never pussyfooting w/language or intent, which is why I think he's willing to talk to me (among other reasons). It's just so hard to try and stay calm and open, let alone come up with any solutions or ideas like you did.

And yes, my parents are being real short-minded assfucks. They're impossible to handle & they make no sense. I hope for everyone else's sake they never have to regret their actions, but I am consistently baffled by how fucking idiotic they are with their kids' mental & physical health.

baleen, the krill queen (Abbott), Monday, 29 June 2009 23:32 (fourteen years ago) link

And then if he tells me he's thinking about it call the ER in his town to come get him.

baleen, the krill queen (Abbott), Monday, 29 June 2009 23:32 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...

worried

youwillbeturnedintoapumpkin, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:22 (fourteen years ago) link

that im a bad person, that my friends dont love me, that i cant be understood, that im crazy.

youwillbeturnedintoapumpkin, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Doubtful all four.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

1. bad people don't usually worry about being bad people. You're probably obsessing over some mistakes?

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

2. if things with your friends have been different lately, maybe they are exasperated and don't know what to do about you, I mean, if you've been extremely depressed?

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link

But that doesn't mean they don't love you, those who do.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link

Or have or did before or whatever.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link

3. You definitely can be understood.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:31 (fourteen years ago) link

none of those things change by killing yourself.

bnw, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:32 (fourteen years ago) link

4. You maybe need therapeutic help or antidepressants or something else, but crazy? I mean, even if you were crazy, crazy is manageable these days.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, and what he said.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:33 (fourteen years ago) link

And you can't give in to the illogic of depression. It's a chemical inertia that you have to fight.

bamcquern, Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:33 (fourteen years ago) link

When I went for a minor medical procedure recently I was able to see my chart in the waiting area, upon which read “suicide risk.” I guess my primary care doctor decided that based on a 30 second conversation I had with him lol. Anyway I want a hundred more years, not 25 fewer

calstars, Saturday, 23 March 2024 12:51 (three weeks ago) link

i woke up this morning INCREDIBLY angry about something that happened yesterday. like, the second i had waking consciousness. i've spent the last 3 hours trying to talk myself down. i just can't go have a day like that. the brain she is how you say...fucked. but what ya gonna do? its the only one i've got. i just have to work around it.

scott seward, Saturday, 23 March 2024 13:07 (three weeks ago) link

NV sending you warm wishes my friend. I'm sorry you're having to battle this

CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal), Saturday, 23 March 2024 13:21 (three weeks ago) link

I hope you all find a break in the clouds. More than a break, a way out

brimstead, Saturday, 23 March 2024 14:12 (three weeks ago) link

NV you are the best & I send hugs or good music or chocolate or whatever you need <3

those voices suck and you don’t need that kinda noise. sorry yr going thru it. xx

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 23 March 2024 20:04 (three weeks ago) link

NV and Scott, you're both cool and I like you.

StanM, Saturday, 23 March 2024 22:39 (three weeks ago) link

<3 to all going through it. I do the yelling NO! thing too … even though I don’t really have anyone who would miss me that much. I feel like I have gotten this far, might as well see it through even if I am a nobody

sarahell, Saturday, 23 March 2024 22:58 (three weeks ago) link

i'm sure even when we don't believe it of ourselves we all have people who'd miss us badly

anyway thanks all, intrusive thoughts are some bullshit but we keep on cos fuck 'em

Bitchin Doutai (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:16 (three weeks ago) link

Damn, sarahell, we are all nobodies.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:18 (three weeks ago) link

^

calstars, Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:27 (three weeks ago) link

I know it's very little sarahell, but you are a somebody as far as I am concerned!

Dan S, Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:38 (three weeks ago) link

I have thought about it but come to the conclusion as someone still with one vulnerable dependant it would be an unforgivable act. Even if I have minor health quibbles I turn into a drama queen hypochondriac. I dread to think what I'd be like after ODing on opiates and drifting into death! I'd probably ring 111 and say yeah I've just taken enough co-dydramols to kill an elephant .. but also this recurring mild discomfort I keep experiencing in my lower chest is highly troubling, I'm worried it might be....

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:48 (three weeks ago) link

I used to rehash in my mind my most embarrassing moments of my life constantly but medication has helped tamp that down significantly. Empathy to NV, Scott, Sarah and all.

Slorg is not on the Slerf Team, you idiot, you moron (Boring, Maryland), Saturday, 23 March 2024 23:59 (three weeks ago) link

I still rehash embarrassing moments, even have dreams about them, but have (I think) learned to get over them. Worse than those are the moments where I didn't act in the right manner and maybe hurt someone else, and the guilt of those moments still feels crushing to me

Dan S, Sunday, 24 March 2024 00:09 (two weeks ago) link

i dont like nor buy the casting of think of those left behind because who wants to lay another burden on the burdens

but nv a mhic, a stór, your depths regardless of the surface tempest have been a resource for many of us in ways you may never know

close encounters of the third knid (darraghmac), Sunday, 24 March 2024 01:10 (two weeks ago) link

"I still rehash embarrassing moments, even have dreams about them, but have (I think) learned to get over them."

I have had a greatest hits in my head for 40+ years and I really think I have just had to outlive them. Which unfortunately takes a hell of a long time. I also had to recognize them for what they are immediately and not let them go on and on. They suck the life out of you. It's kind of like realizing you are in a nightmare and trying to wake yourself up as soon as possible. Do whatever you can do to shut them down. You never learn from them. The loops. They're always the same. They are always dumb. If you told people half of them they would look at you like you were crazy for still thinking about some stupid thing you said or did when you were 15. At my worst, which was years ago now, I had no idea how to get out of my nightmares. My depression. I clung to the things I loved. That's all I could really think of to do. I wish I could say it was the people who loved me that kept me going but I truly believe it was art! The books. The music. Even when I didn't want to hear any music. Or read any books. Just looking at them reminded me that there were better things in life than what I was feeling. I say this in retrospect. I also self-medicated like hell. It's a fucking process. Unfortunately, I had to learn it all over again when I finally quit smoking and went on meds. It was brutal for me. Every day I wanted to die. Every morning. For a long time. And every day I somehow had to just get up and do it all over. THIS time, it was the people who loved me that kept me going. Because now I had forever love. I had a partner and kids who seemed used to my presence. And I made it through that. It really hurt. And I fear future pain. Something bad happening. Something I can't pull myself out of. So I surround myself with walls of art. I think positive. I do my best.

scott seward, Sunday, 24 March 2024 01:49 (two weeks ago) link

I can't go the Johnny Mandel route as long as my mom is alive - I don't believe in an afterlife but I'm pretty sure one would be whipped up to punish me for abandoning an increasingly elderly parent with no other family (my brother doesn't count because he's useless). Once she's gone, I dunno - I could see more hedonism in my future without much worry about the outcome. I haven't done coke in more than 20 years or had a drink in probably three - but if no one depended on me? Coke was nice. I miss American Spirits.

There's a lot of passive ideation for me - 'if my heart explodes, not gonna be too upset about it' - but I sometimes feel like really digging into it works like a pressure release valve? Like really confronting the darkest impulses, making them real, gets things to abate for a few days. And at the same time, the answer to what's the worst that can happen is usually death and if you're not supremely invested in living then that's not so bad. I worry a lot about things going even worse and ending up homeless or Alzheimer's skipping a generation and hitting me or so on.

Knowing that there's an escape hatch in those scenarios that doesn't bother me so much is freeing. Doc tells me I've got early-onset Alzheimer's I'm driving to Arizona and swan diving into the Grand Canyon. That sounds kind of fun, so why worry about dementia?

papal hotwife (milo z), Thursday, 28 March 2024 10:26 (two weeks ago) link

❤️

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 28 March 2024 11:03 (two weeks ago) link

Much love to you, Milo

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 28 March 2024 11:14 (two weeks ago) link

"Coke was nice. I miss American Spirits."

mmmmmm....sorry! started daydreaming there. be well, milo.

scott seward, Thursday, 28 March 2024 12:40 (two weeks ago) link

lol coke is nice

<3 milo

Bitchin Doutai (Noodle Vague), Friday, 29 March 2024 10:33 (two weeks ago) link

Coke is awful. Spirits, on the other hand…

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Friday, 29 March 2024 11:07 (two weeks ago) link

i'm going through another bout of SI, my first since january. so far i'm feeling ok about it. we'll see how it goes. i mean SI isn't fun but i feel good about how my last SI bout turned out. i agree with you, milo, about just like... facing it. at this point, i've kind of accepted that it's just gonna be there along with me all my life, it's not some passing impulse. i've been working hard to make friends with my SI. just saying "yeah, i hear you, life fuckin' sucks, maybe one day". just, like, accepting that i do want to die, and that it's OK to want to die. even if my life didn't suck, it'd be ok to want to die.

that doesn't mean i don't want to live. like for a long time i thought of it as an either/or, if i want to die i must not want to live. i do want to live. i just also want to die. dialectics! anyway i'm supposed to, like, do something fun this weekend, and that's really challenging for me. i basically like myself, basically think i'm a good person who deserves to have a good time, and i'm also, like, not just anhedonic but oppositionally defiant. like, fuck you, i'm not going to have a good time, i'm going to self-harm.

i've been trying to find a way of navigating the overwhelming urge to self-harm in... the least unhealthy ways. emotional self-harm is actually one of the worst kinds of self-harm, i've found, because of how isolating it is. people love me and care about me, and self-harm is a pretty aggressive way of rejecting other people's love and care for me.

it is weird because a lot of this stuff does seem pretty fuckin' real. there's this thing an acquaintance says, "i'm here for a good time, not a long time". i'd kind of... i'd like to live that way. i just look around me and i'm not seeing anybody actually having a good time. i'm seeing a bunch of people who are miserable and hopeless and...

if you ask me where i see myself in five years, five years ago i would probably have shrugged and said "idunno". you ask me now and i'll just say "dead". because allostatic load. even if i don't actually kill myself, the shit i go through, like, you can see statistically the effect it has on the lifespans of people like me. it's not just suicide, it's all causes of death. i love my body now and i'm trying to take care of it and it's really fucking hard. i don't have the spoons. i'm doing better than my girlfriend who genuinely could have a myocardial infarction any day now. if she did, that wouldn't count as "suicide", and i guess it wouldn't be. when someone's marginalized... it's pretty common, really, for marginalized people to get killed and for our deaths to be called "suicides". just happened in oklahoma recently.

i mean that is a factor. why should i bother killing myself when there are _so many_ people out there who'd be happy to kill me? i don't believe in a happily ever after but part of me is morbidly curious to see if they'll actually go that far.

i do genuinely want to have a good time. i do want to enjoy whatever life i have left. sometimes, though, sometimes i just gotta hate being alive and want to die and just lean into that.

it is comforting. these is this... just kind of comforting fog when i'm in that space where suicide seems like a real possibility. i don't have to worry about any of the other crap i have to go through. i don't have to worry about doing laundry or meeting my emotional needs or my shitty job or any of that crap. i could just kill myself. the only thing stopping me is me. the only thing that's ever really been stopping me is me, and i _have_ stopped myself, every time. not because i don't want to die - i really, really fucking want to die a lot of the time. because _i want to live_. always.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 29 March 2024 11:22 (two weeks ago) link

In Canada, as of last year, they've extended their MAID programme to people with "untreatable mental illness"-- you can literally talk to your doctor about dying because your brain is too broken for you to continue. Of course, this is a topic of ridicule amongst leftists-- "Canada would rather legislate your suicide than housing you". I love MAID, love the idea of its availability, not just because "sometimes I want to die", but because it's more like, oh, great, now I can actually DISCUSS wanting to die, rather than staying silent out of fear of involuntary commitment. 5150'd, as they say in California.

Premises, Premises (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 29 March 2024 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

That's a really good point, and true of broader discourse about mental health I think. Maybe I like Laing more than I should but I'm so tired of pathologising the relationships we're expected to have to a dysfunctional world as if every rejection is somehow an illness

Bitchin Doutai (Noodle Vague), Friday, 29 March 2024 15:21 (two weeks ago) link

Obv the whole horrible shitshow of responses around the lad who self-immolated as a stand against genocide recently has fed into my revulsion

Bitchin Doutai (Noodle Vague), Friday, 29 March 2024 15:22 (two weeks ago) link

i put on the last courtney barnett album because i hadn't really followed her newer music and i actually thought: man, is she okay? i wanted to do a wellness check. i had to stop playing it. it was putting me in a place i didn't want to be in. i will listen to it again when feeling brighter though. then i see she made a whole documentary about depression. anyway, she really knows how to articulate that feeling of just...drowning in it. oof. hope she is well. good thoughts to all of you.

scott seward, Friday, 29 March 2024 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

The overall situation _is_ definitely a challenge for me. I lived a lot of my life in denial and it took until 2016 for it to really hit home that wow, this is a fucked up world, and from there realizing all of the ways in which it fucked up my gay ass(metaphorical). And all of the ways in which... the situation I'm in kind of reinforces all of the fucked-up-ness I've spent my life soaking in.

I do view my propensity to self-harm as an addiction, like alcohol. One of the things I see in alcoholism is that when you kick the habit, you have to kind of dump all your old friends. Because the only thing you have in common is drinking. And I've got this group of friends now, and...

This morning I'm talking to some people I know, talking about how every time I go on a date with someone they wind up telling me about wanting to kill themselves, and they tell me "You need to get better friends". They say, oh yeah, the younger people don't have anything to do with the dungeons and drag bars, they meet in other ways, through other venues.

I've done a lot of work. I'm doing really well, when it comes to my suicidality. To the point where I can manage it a lot better than, well, most of the people who were historically my friends. To the point where being around them does, like, make my life worse. So what am I supposed to do, dump them? For who? I think it's great that there are younger people who have the skills to be intimate with each other in emotionally healthy ways, to be there for each other in emotionally healthy ways. Part of that skill, though, is, like... not getting too close to some 48-year-old trans lady, no matter _how_ emotonionally healthy she _seems_ to be. I mean if you ask someone if they want to die and their answer is "Oh hell yes, I'm absolutely suicidal", and you're _not_ someone who has chronic SI... that's kind of a big red flag, right?

Like I hate to put it in "I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me as a member" but the truth is that I have my shit together more than the _vast majority_ of my local friends. Part of being emotionally healthy, though, is having, like. Social needs. Intimacy needs. And when I try to get those needs met... the places that are available to me are fucked up places filled with fucked up people. That's frustrating for me. That poses a real challenge.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 29 March 2024 17:46 (two weeks ago) link

In Canada, as of last year, they've extended their MAID programme to people with "untreatable mental illness"-- you can literally talk to your doctor about dying because your brain is too broken for you to continue. Of course, this is a topic of ridicule amongst leftists-- "Canada would rather legislate your suicide than housing you". I love MAID, love the idea of its availability, not just because "sometimes I want to die", but because it's more like, oh, great, now I can actually DISCUSS wanting to die, rather than staying silent out of fear of involuntary commitment. 5150'd, as they say in California.

― Premises, Premises (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 29 March 2024 bookmarkflaglink

That position is complicated by who is pushing this over here.

How it starts: with a school erasing disabled kids from a class photo.

How it ends: in Matthew Parris's dystopian future in which - once you're no longer economically productive - you deserve to be culled for the sake of herd.

Assisted dying as good economics. Monstrous. https://t.co/yoee7Opgp3

— Dr Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) March 30, 2024

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 March 2024 11:53 (two weeks ago) link

A lot of people do take their lives because they couldn't provide for their families, or because they found the economic grind too difficult so the "leftists" have a point.

In this country I can't remember a time where welfare against the disabled has not been under attack.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 March 2024 11:56 (two weeks ago) link

The fact that some people have bad takes on assisted dying shouldn't really influence whether it's legal or not. Personally, I feel relieved to be living in a jurisdiction where it was recently made legal for people in pain with terminal illnesses.

Zelda Zonk, Saturday, 30 March 2024 12:05 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah bad original take xyzzzz and bad response too imo— referring to that dumb-as-rocks exchange on Twitter; also nobody here (certainly not me) is debating that capitalism exacerbates suicidality

MAID presents two massive benefits: greater availability of treatment for suicidality amongst those whose affliction is treatable is the first most obvious one. “Decriminalizing drug use will lead to more drug addiction” no it won’t, the opposite is true.

The second benefit is to dignify something that is already happening at epidemic levels: the elderly killing themselves, suicide already pops back up to #3 most deadly-killer once you hit age 65.

I cannot possibly reiterate enough what a completely different experience it was having two relatives choose MAID— celebrating their lives while they’re still alive, there was no grief afterward. Their lives feel like a victory in retrospect, that my cousin who worked as a geriatric nurse and was the life of every party got an ALS diagnosis and said “no thanks” and we were able to celebrate w her right up until the end

Idk maybe this is too touchy a subject for me to be reading English Tweets about

Premises, Premises (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 30 March 2024 13:36 (two weeks ago) link

Fgti otm… apart from my mental health problems, I think about my aging parents and my friends’ aging parents…. Parkinsons, alzheimers, cancers where the treatment is more unpleasant than the disease…

sarahell, Saturday, 30 March 2024 17:12 (two weeks ago) link

That’s really touching about your relatives, fgti, I love that framing and sounds so loving and compassionate

brimstead, Saturday, 30 March 2024 17:38 (two weeks ago) link

I get kinda emotional about it, it's hard for me to type about. I apologise if I ever sound snippy about this topic. Or overdramatic or whatever.

My father is cancer-free, but aside from that basically has everything under the sun-- Parkinson's, dementia, Crohn's, shingles flare-ups. Totally bedridden, and every month there's a new thing he has to deal with. Despite this, he is so happy. Lots of media to engage with, avid baseball and classical music fan-- psychologically, he's great. He has no desire to voluntarily end his life, in the present tense. I wish we could have the discussion about it, like, will he eventually want to? When? Can we make plans for it? I honestly think he's "old school" enough that he doesn't even consider MAID an option, and that's fine.

Adolescent suicidality, adult suicidality, the desire for the infirm or the elderly to die instead of continue suffering-- if all these things could be addressed by a normalisation of "the right to choose the moment of one's death", if it could be a topic of detached and non-judgemental discussion, it not only suggests relief for those with treatable suicidality, it suggests a complete revision as to how we currently view "later life" and its mechanisms-- psychiatric wards, chronic wards, retirement communities, hospices. I've been inundated since birth with the idea that "suicide is not an option", it is consistently demonised throughout history and media, it still is so taboo; this all contributes to why it remains such an "epidemic", which it is. We are living through a plague. If society were to normalise the idea that when one desires to die, that the option is available to them, it would shift our entire perspective on death as a whole. The difference between "living until one's body fails" or "living until an accident claims us", and the alternate: "living until one elects to end one's life", there is such a wide gulf. When considering the latter it fills me with such optimism, that the end of my own life, when it arrives, might be something that I can plan, that me and my friends and family can accept and celebrate, rather than just... "waiting for it to happen", or "committing suicide (in the traditional sense)". I literally have wonderful optimistic reveries about it. I legitimately look forward to the time when I will have to plan my own death and do so with the support of my friends and family. I see it as "something great that is approaching", like a birthday or my retirement or a vacation I want to take.

When MAID became introduced in Canada, the entire dialogue about my own struggles with suicidality shifted. I called my doctor and said "OK, so MAID is being introduced in four months, and I want to die. What steps do I need to do to get dead?" My doctor didn't freak out or moralise or offer platitudes, he put me in touch with the mechanisms in place to pursue this. What followed was a psych exam. What followed that was a diagnosis, and they told me my suicidality was, likely, treatable. And it was treatable, and the treatment(s) I subsequently received worked. After playing games with doctors and therapists for over a decade to attempt to express suicidality without getting summarily committed, having learned when to say "no, I'm not in any danger", navigating the ridiculous tightrope of trying to find treatment without getting everyone alarmed, MAID legislation effectively solved the issue by allowing me to speak about it bluntly and clearly. "I want to legally die and I plan to follow this plan to its conclusion" is a far easier thing to say to caregivers rather than "I can't stop thinking about/planning to kill myself".

Premises, Premises (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 30 March 2024 17:47 (two weeks ago) link

“navigating the ridiculous tightrope of trying to find treatment without getting everyone alarmed”

yes this, this is the worst as I personally have experienced.

my mother in law’s recent suicide has really shaken up the snowglobe on this kind of thing for me. She was a miserable, misanthropic, abusive, manipulative person. She completely blamed my wife in her suicide note for her death. My wife is mourning like crazy but she is pissed having to clean up after her and realizing the extent to which her mom made her life miserable for so so long. It’s a weird mix of emotions. Obviously she was NOT ALL BAD and did raise my wife to be an absolute badass with guts of steel, unmatched wit, compassion and humor. And she was a truly loving dog mom too. Sorry, just thoughts. Processing.

brimstead, Saturday, 30 March 2024 18:06 (two weeks ago) link

that sounds horrible. its good you are there for your wife! it must be such a whirlwind of emotions for her. and you. do you have someone to talk to about it other than your wife?

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

"Yeah bad original take xyzzzz and bad response too imo— referring to that dumb-as-rocks exchange on Twitter; also nobody here (certainly not me) is debating that capitalism exacerbates suicidality"

Haven't seen what twitter thread it's referring and no doubt it's dumb.

Ofc in many scenarios taking one's own life is the path taken. It's not for me to debate that but I thought to say that there is something else going on with some of this. That thread was thoughtful in pushing back on where AD could go. It quotes the article and here is the thread for those who cannot access.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1773967442093486575.html?utm_campaign=topunroll

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 March 2024 18:59 (two weeks ago) link

xp yeah a couple of old friends and my cousin and uncle have been really sweet and supportive. and I’m lucky I can just call/text my mom and be a total mess and she can get me slowed down.

brimstead, Saturday, 30 March 2024 19:24 (two weeks ago) link

oh, good, brim. that's good.

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:05 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks Scott, it’s been hard to reach out to others cause I’m just used to brooding/compartmentalizing. My wife gratefully has amazing mental health care providers who are such an hugely significant source of support right now too. Plus her friends and colleagues have really showed up for her And her uncle is a real cool dude, we started connecting with him more this year and having him in our lives more has been really special

brimstead, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:18 (two weeks ago) link

i just know for myself that i have been through some heavy/scary stuff and not had people who i thought i could turn to and talk about what i was going through and as i got older i realized how friggin' important that is. even if you have to collar someone on the street and let loose. or make that barista really earn that tip when they ask you how your day is going.

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:34 (two weeks ago) link

or just write about it on secret message borads...

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:34 (two weeks ago) link

but, yeah, fundamentally, i too am someone who had always bottled things up. i come from a long line of bottlers. it can be so liberating though to talk it out with someone on the outside.

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:37 (two weeks ago) link

Allergic to the economic argument for migration, but yes it's accurate as to what is happening. We will all be a lot poorer in all sorts of ways as routes for migration are shut.

In some ways the Tories are throwing the economy under the bus for the next government but it's unlikely Labour will do anything #provemewrong

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:55 (two weeks ago) link

Wrong thread!

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 30 March 2024 20:56 (two weeks ago) link

i wish i didn't have such therapist fear. i don't know why i do. i have this fear that if i sat one on one with someone that i would just lose it. like really really lose it. i feel the same way about massages. i've always been afraid that if i got a massage that i would die. that the tension in my back and neck and shoulders is the only thing keeping me upright.

scott seward, Saturday, 30 March 2024 21:10 (two weeks ago) link

Great to read such honest discussion. I hope y’all find the right paths and that they include sticking around here for a good while.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 30 March 2024 22:29 (two weeks ago) link

i've always been afraid that if i got a massage that i would die. that the tension in my back and neck and shoulders is the only thing keeping me upright.

I had persistent shoulder pain for about a year to the point that I couldn't scratch my own back. Finally I went to an acupuncturist and it didn't stop the pain instantly or anything, but at one point he put a bunch of needles in between my toes and my whole body felt like it was melting. It was wild.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Saturday, 30 March 2024 23:28 (two weeks ago) link

my mother in law’s recent suicide has really shaken up the snowglobe on this kind of thing for me. She was a miserable, misanthropic, abusive, manipulative person. She completely blamed my wife in her suicide note for her death. My wife is mourning like crazy but she is pissed having to clean up after her and realizing the extent to which her mom made her life miserable for so so long. It’s a weird mix of emotions. Obviously she was NOT ALL BAD and did raise my wife to be an absolute badass with guts of steel, unmatched wit, compassion and humor. And she was a truly loving dog mom too. Sorry, just thoughts. Processing.

― brimstead

oh god that's so complicated. particularly the "not all bad" thing. so many of the important relationships in my life are like that. so much of my better qualities are things i learned from my mom, for instance. i try to talk about my marriage and i say "aside from the emotional and sexual abuse it was a really good marriage" and people think i'm being flip, and i guess i am but it's also literally true. it was a really good marriage, to the extent that someone can be a "good person" i genuinely think she is one. the fact that she did some messed up things to me doesn't change that.

there are just... so many ways to kill oneself, so many ways to _hurt_ oneself, and most of them don't get recognized as "suicide" or "self-harm". people make a bright line where none exists. if i don't take care of my body because i'm passively suicidal and i have a massive myocardial infarction at age 42 and die, that's not considered suicide. conversely, if someone spends their entire life being bullied and abused and the pain gets so overwhelming they take their own life, that _is_ considered suicide. it's one of those _concepts_ that tries to impose a sense of moral order onto an act, a sense of meaning and value. it's well-intentioned a lot of times, but it's so innately reductive. for people with chronic suicidality navigating all of the gatekeeping around mental illness is so complicated.

getting my surgery referral letters for my GRS written was a really difficult process for me... like the letter needed to convey that this surgery was important and it was something that was "medically necessary" because not having it was causing me mental distress, but at the same time i needed to convey that i was a fundamentally well-adjusted person capable of making healthy medical decisions for myself. "Oh don't get me wrong the gender dysphoria is killing me, having the genitals i have causes me agonizing emotional pain, but other than that I'm fine really." i mean ok i guess that's what the insurance company needed to hear. and that is what it's all about, mental health is about ticking off the appropriate boxes.

like being mentally ill is a skill and i've gotten really good at it. and some people think that's a bad thing, that like when you're mentally ill the goal is to stop being mentally ill rather than doing a better job at it, and that is the absolute _opposite_ of my experience. it's honestly, like... pain management.

suicidality for me is really simple, sometimes it hurts really really bad for a long time and it hurts so bad that i want to die, and i have to figure out how to navigate that without dying. there are reasons why i hurt that bad and they aren't easy to address. they're complicated and they take a lot of work, and a lot of time, and when it hurts really really bad, my brain is not, like. cognitively capable of doing that work. so when i hurt really really bad i have to figure out how to, like, get myself to hurt less bad, so i can address the underlying issues that cause me to hurt really really bad sometimes.

which is all difficult enough but then people keep doing things that cause me to hurt really really bad. i'm doing all this work and i'm doing it well and at the same time i'm running as fast as i can to just try and stay in the same place. whatever doesn't kill us _doesn't_ make us stronger, often it makes us weaker. it's so stupid to me that people keep pulling out that nietzsche quote like it's remotely true. sometimes something won't kill me and as a result of that i have to work really hard to become stronger as a result of that, but i didn't get _stronger_ because i survived having a piano fall on me from a great height. come on, that's ridiculous. (that's a hypothetical example btw, i've never had a piano fall on me from a great height.)

anyway the thing about, like, hurting really really bad is that it is really hard to make good decisions when i'm in that state. i've made some extremely bad decisions in my life and most of them were because i was hurting a lot and it negatively impacted my ability to make good decisions. none of those decisions involved killing myself, or even overtly _attempting_ suicide, but if i did do that, for me it would be the same kind of decision. and that sucks, and also one of the things i've learned is that sometimes making a "good decision" is not an option. like i know there was all that controversy about the old game _depression quest_ but i think one of the things it demonstrated really well is that sometimes for various reasons i don't get to do the "right thing". so it's me and it's 1996, do i want to transition and not be able to do any work except sex work and have the world treat me with undisguised disgust for a couple decades, or do i decide to pretend i'm a cis person and go through decades of trauma from untreated, unrelieved gender dysphoria, spend decades suffering from extreme mental illness, dissociation, and depersonalization? ha ha, trick question, the answer is that i don't have a choice because i'm not able to even _recognize_ what the hell it is that's wrong with me. that's how trauma is.

the other thing is that gender dysphoria is, like. a pretty minor example. like, gender dysphoria hurt like hell and it's had a major affect on my life and i just have _so many_ other problems and traumas, so much _other_ messed up stuff going on in my life. i see that in a lot of other queer people, compound trauma. plus, on top of that, the extensive abuse i suffered means that i see abuse as normal, like i'm _conditioned_ to seek out self-harm. and what can someone say to that? "have you tried not hurting yourself?" it is like that, it's just so inexplicable to anybody who hasn't had that experience. i do things and other people see what i do and they're like "why the hell did you do that". not only is it useless to explain, sometimes i can't explain. how does someone answer a question like that? "i was bored". or maybe, if one has done something particularly heinous, "i don't like mondays". the question has an actual answer, but nobody fucking wants to know that answer, to understand what it actually takes to change things for the better. now that people see me as a woman, they want me to be _happy_, they want me to _smile_, but nobody questions whether or not i have a _reason_ to be happy. that's not important. what's important is that i smile and look pretty. and i mean. people who get seen as men have their own expectations that are just as fucked up and toxic. in a lot of ways it's _easier_ for me that i just get to smile and people won't ask me too many difficult questions.

the other weird thing is that in a lot of ways transition has... given me a lot more skills to deal with suicidality. i do this thing that's really taboo and that other people really don't want me to do, and i learn that fuck what other people expect of me, i gotta do what's right for me. and i get to consider that, you know, maybe that decision _is_ suicide. it doesn't come from a position of, like, _I NEED TO DO THIS_, but more like... well, let's actually consider this here. the first thing people say is "don't make a plan", which is basic means reduction. that was _effective_ for me to a certain extent, at a certain point. "well i really want to die but i don't have the means or a way to get the means and anyway i'd probably just mess it up and be a failure at that too". and that, like. that wasn't a healthy attitude for me. that was disempowering. that was me saying "i don't have any control over my own life". i mean it keeps me alive until the suicidality passes, but then i gotta deal with having reinforced that message of my own basic helplessness, there's this pain that comes over me that's severe and overwhelming and i can't do anything about it.

in my last suicidal crisis back in january i got to a point where i realized, wait. i could do this. i could do this. i have the skills, i have the means, i have a plan, i have the opportunity. i could genuinely do this right now and nobody would be able to stop me. like i have a _choice_. but that also means i had to confront, like. oh wait i do want to die but i also genuinely want to live. and i'm not just choosing to _not_ kill myself, i'm like genuinely proactively choosing to live, because i _want_ to live, not because of anyone else's expectations. it doesn't make the pain _worth it_, i don't _need_ to suffer through the pain. it's just like, i can choose how i deal with that pain, and one of those choices is suicide. it was liberating.

that's why, i think that's one of the reasons why when people start antidepressants there's such a risk, because suddenly one's not in that state of learned helplessness, suddenly i was like "oh wait if i want to do something i can do it", but what i wanted to do is kill myself. that gets called "agitated depression" sometimes, which, ok, i guess if that's what they want to call it. anyway the way i dealt with that for a long time was, ok, if i want to do something, the most important thing in the world for me is to not do it. like i couldn't differentiate between wanting to do something that would be really bad and wanting to do something that would be positive and helpful. i was just like "well here's something i want to do, better not do _that_". i'd already been taught extensively by my mom that nothing i ever did would ever be good enough, that i was destined to be a worthless failure... so i applied that pre-existing concept to my desire to kill myself, i really worked to strengthen it. that's a big part of why even though i'm in a lot of ways exceptionally competent i don't ever achieve any of my goals. because that's what i learned to do, as a survival mechanism. if i really felt capable of achieving my goals, i would've died a really long time ago. there are lots of reasons to stay alive. for me, i'm alive because i centered my whole life around experiencing intense pain and not doing anything to alleviate that pain, including actively avoiding anything that might give me a real sense of accomplishment or joy. what was the point in feeling good? i was just going to feel bad again. feeling good was meaningless.

so it really fucked me up when i transitioned, intending for all the world to make myself into a grotesque unloveable monster in defiance of the world's cisheteronormative standards, to put myself through all of the hatred the world had to offer, because what actually happened was that i basically instantly started making my life like a billion degrees better. i wasn't expecting that. that _really_ pissed me off. like, what do you mean, i'm well-adjusted and happy and i love myself? THAT WAS NOT WHAT I WAS GOING FOR. i still really resent being, like, a basically normal middle-aged woman. because really i'm not cut out for that shit.

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i also really feel you scott when you talk about... like i worried a lot for a long time that if i started letting out my emotions i would just cry and cry and cry and never stop. and that like in fact has happened to me. last year i went on a spiral for like three months where i basically didn't get out of bed. when that's something that could actually happen, i mean, it's really easy to repress. plus my history of abuse plays into it as well... my history is that a lot of times in the past when i've opened myself up and made myself vulnerable it's been weaponized against me by people who, like, didn't have my best interests at heart. i'm not a man but i do see that men in particular do have that experience a lot. vulnerability in men is pretty strongly punished and mocked and shamed. i mean god, _expressing any emotion_, you might as well be a girl, right? unless it's anger. if it's anger, than you're a Toxic Abusive Man. god, it's so fucked up. the pressure is to bury and bury and bury and yeah _that's_ why i'm carrying around all of this fucking bullshit around with me, and then it all comes up whenever anything happens that reminds me of it.

like a good example, i've been really suicidal the last couple of days because i've been sort of "breaking up" with my girlfriend. like. dealing with rejection. because she has been rejecting me for the past six months, not because, like, there's anything wrong with me, but because she has so much going on she's just not capable of being a girlfriend on top of all that other stuff. and that other stuff is genuinely more important for her to do than being my girlfriend is. i don't want a girlfriend who doesn't take care of herself, and taking care of herself means that she can't be my girlfriend.

so it's basically a healthy relationship with a healthy ending and it still hurts, it still feels like a rejection, particularly since i'm still, like, undergoing abuse on an ongoing basis professionally. and because all of this is happening around a community that i have really conflicted feelings about, where there's been a lot of, like, fucked up abusive shit going on over the past year that's really affected me a lot. and so what happens is that i'm in a real real real lot of pain and making healthy decisions is not an option. i just gotta kind of like hang on, even though at that point i don't have any idea what the hell is going on, all i can say is "IT HURTS", even though i'm not in a state where i'm _able_ to actually figure out what's going on. that's what i mean by "learning to be mentally ill"... like that's going to cause _some_ sort of damage to me and/or to my relationships with other people, and i'm kind of like...

like, i've tried doing self-defense training, and most of that isn't physical stuff. the thing is that if you're gonna do physical stuff, you have to be able to do it _without thinking about it_. like someone comes at you and just instinctively you gotta be able to do what's necessary to give yourself space to get the fuck away from them to safety. that's kind of what acute chronic suicidality is for me. i'm literally not capable of thinking rationally and i just have to _instinctively_ be able to handle that situation. that's what "learning to be mentally ill" means to me.

Kate (rushomancy), Sunday, 31 March 2024 15:29 (one week ago) link


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