Not just another pretty preface
Before I get started on -another- fairly hard post, I really think a couple of things need to be (re-)emphasised.
|I am not not going to do anything stupid or impulsive.
Nor am I at any time going to do something that in any way will impact or hurt innocent bystanders.
II: I hear you. I’m reading. I’m listening. I’m thinking. I’m working. Really, really hard.
|I’m not working towards an already foregone conclusion. Everything anyone says matters.
As inhuman as I am aware it sounds, to me suicide is simply another option. One that -yes- is very realistic to me. But you need to trust me on this: there is nothing in any way, shape or form easy about any of this. You may not notice it (and indeed how could you?), but I am working
in trying to see, find, listen to and study alternatives. I am.
III: Well, duh(pression)
|Yes, of course I’m in the throngs of a depression. The deepest, darkest one in my life yet.
I would be able to handle that, though, if that were the begin-all and end-all. Depression I know.
But it isn’t.
And right now there seems to be precious little in the sense of manageable perspective (I will touch on this later, incorporating some of the excellent and well-considered responses I received both in the comments and directly).
So it’s taken a little longer than I had planned and communicated to publish another update.
Reason is that the previous two posts were followed by an amazing deluge of comments, letters, mails and phone calls. I have been trying to respond to them all directly and personally, as each and every one was so worth it. From so many the sheer love moved me to tears. From all the sincere interest and sympathy was obvious. The acute and spot-on insights and the surprising suggestions for next steps or directions to pursue were nothing less than humbling.
I really do have the best friends in the world. Whether I have known them for forty years, or four weeks.
Very, very meagre words, I know. But it’s all I have right now.
Going out with a Sturm und Drang
“My dear Mr H., our book is really intended for those elderly who suffer physically. Not for young people with mental issues.”
It’s a response from the organisation that sells the Peaceful Pill Handbook, a book that offers information -both practical and theoretical- on assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. One of the reasons the book is quite popular is that it provides pointers on how to get lethal drugs through the internet.
For countries where euthanasia is illegal or too complex, it is a godsend for those whose quality of life has deteriorated to the level that life simply means suffering.
I have two measured responses:
- They just said I was young. I don’t care who you are. Marry me.
- What the actual motherfucking chainsaw wielding clown on a unicycle? Did you just rock the goat and are you kidding me right now?
This does really infuriate me.
Of all the organisations, this is the one I would have expected to at least acknowledge that yes, there is such a thing as incurable, interminable mental suffering that can and does raze any and all quality of life to the ground, liberally spreading rock salt over said ground and then tarmaccing it with a bitumen made up of tar, armoured concrete, chewing gum, plastic waste, and congealed turkey blood. (Yeah, I do rather dislike turkeys. Stupid birds).
Oh, I know. It’s all so very controversial.
I always have been arguing quite passionately for an accepted and acceptably legal and humane way out of mental suffering. It’s now of course compounded by me quite openly stating that I would very much welcome that course, happily (well, yeah, OK, maybe not happily. But you know what I mean) jumping through all the ethical, administrative, red tape and checks & balances hoops that would be required.
The fall-out -while not unexpected- was interesting.
I have been called a troll (as people just couldn’t believe I’d argue in favour of terminating life), a coward (for preferring an “easy” way out – that one still amuses me no end!), pointlessly argumentative (again, as I was defending something that so many simply cannot in any way accept is defensible).
At some point my instagram acount -where I posted several fairly clear statements with regards to assisted and responsible suicide, and where I had some starting discussions going- was deleted and I found I was banned from the platform…
That was rather unexpected.
But to be honest: at the end of the day I get it. I really do.
It’s all getting a bit log-icky
Here’s the thing: we’re talking the very antithesis of existence here. The opposite of the most primordially instinct any organism has: to live. To survive.
Death is the ultimate enemy, to be avoided at all costs. We don’t grasp it’s enormity. The ultimate finality. This causes, even in the most intelligent and most driven of us, an almost short-circuiting cognitive dissonance.
So if even those living it (so to speak) can not fully comprehend the scope and consequence of the thing, how can we expect others to?
But listen, here’s my point: the fact that we do not get life’s end should in no way hinder a social shift towards the acceptance that at the end of the day it’s about full personal responsibility.
It is my choice.
Not yours. Not society’s.
And if and when I take that decision (and I urgently refer back to points I and II above!), I will -even in that unavoidable state of cognitive dissonance- be fully aware of what I am doing, why I am doing it and knowing how far I have come and how hard I have worked.
I get that it’s “easier” to grasp with physical debilitation: you can actually see tumors. Torn flesh bleeds. Missing limbs are…uh…well…missing. (OK, I kinda lost my momentum there).
But mental anguish? Man, we are still on the very threshold of understanding what that even means. Let alone being able to -more or less- objectively measure its debilitating impact. And its pain.
Its continuous, gnawing, energy sapping, mindbending, pervading, never bloody ending pain.
That’s why I get so many well-meant “man up!”, “get on with it!”, “think positively!” or “just get the right kind of help!” comments.
Because as long as we don’t see any tumors or blood, everything is fixable.
And while that is a wonderfully optimistic and so very beautifully human way of looking at life, it’s just not the the truth.
Or at least only a very partial, and fairly subjective truth.
As is of course, I readily admit, my own.
Daze of thunder
Yes, yes, yes. I am a wreck. Always have been.
You know it.
I know it.
My cat knows it.
It’s always been my intention to give you a little unrestricted and uncensored peek behind the curtain. But it turns out it’s ever so slightly harder when you leave the theoretical mind map room, and enter the stinking piss filled trenches of an actual mind field.
It’s not something I’m particularly proud or happy to show.
(So to balance things out, remind me to show you a really nice drawing I made of a happy Mr. H. enjoying a bit of sun later on.)
I will tell you I’m fine.
a little tired.
I’m not tired. I’m scared. Scared beyond belief. I am breaking into a sweat just talking to you. I need a hug, I need a hug so fucking badly. You have no idea how ridiculously lonely I am, in this crowd, in the middle of all these lovely people who I know love me. They do, right? It is all I can do to not break into a panic. To not just go sit in a corner and cry. Again. AGAIN. Because this is me every single day. Every. Single. Day. I need to tell you. Tell someone. Please, GOD, I need to spill EVERYTHING! And I desperately just need someone to tell me it’ll be OK.
Oh God, that’s pathetic…and what if you reject me? What if you despise my sad attention-whoring? I am so scared. I will lose you. I will lose everything. You’ll find out. I have worked SO hard and now you will see that I’m not worth it anyway. I am so incredibly, ridiculously, mindnumbingly SCARED because it will never ever get better please God PLEASE make it stop make it stop make it stop make it
Yeah. Just tired. Work is stressful. Thanks for asking.
If this sounds angry, it’s because I am.
If I sound scared, it’s because I am.
It’s the anger…I could even say fury that is currently sustaining me.
I live on anger. It fuels everything I do, because I refuse to accept that this is it. I am picking up every single thread that is lying around. I read, I write, I go out. I date, I set up meetings, I go to congressses. I teach. I learn. I am looking at every single option I have available to me to find a way forward. Or out. Or rather, through.
I shout at the devil. Hah! Ain’t I doing grand things? Ain’t I being a real man here?
Yeah, well. It also nicely masks my complete lack of control and it hides the fear that is at the very heart of it.
So the fury isn’t working.
Not in the long term anyway. I am utterly exhausted. Unable to sleep now for more than three hours at a time.
And I knew it isn’t sustainable, to be honest. But truth of the matter is I’m too scared to stop.
Because when I stop, fear gets its chance back in, and will race to the top.
And I fear. I fear greatly.
In a deeply upsetting and insightful chat with a dear friend who really knows something about this (on a very respectable academic level), I found out that this is what has brought me to this state of mind, and to the very real and comforting thought of taking back control by putting an end to things…and end to myself.
Fear that I will feel like I have been for so long, for ever.
Fear that even should I still choose this years-long schema therapy , there will be no point during the process that I will feel better (which compounds my already existing fear about the actual effectiveness of the therapy).
I fear I will feel like this forever. And I just cannot get with that.
Means to an end
I don’t really have a coherent end to this post.
I could venture a bit into the land of theory.
Knives, pills and electrocution (at least in Europe) simply do not work.
You have to cut impossibly deep for a mortal wound. You will not be able to: it is far too painful to maintain.
You will vomit up your pills. There’s pretty much nothing in the sense of official pharmaceuticals on the market that will kill you.
Electrocution will simply blow the fuse. And while it might hurt like a motherfucker, it won’t kill you.
Suffocation by hanging may take several minutes to take effect (try and imagine fighting for your life -and you will, it’s an instinct kicking in- for what will feel like hours. Also, you’ll soil yourself so whoever finds you will be rightly shocked and disgusted. How is that for a bit of a shit legacy, eh? 😉 )
Jumping in front of a train or off a building is pretty much one of the most anti-social acts I can think of. The amount of train drivers, conductors and eye witnesses left psychologically scarred because they had to see their machine plow through a human body or had to witness a body crushed on the pavement in front of their eyes is shocking. It is an evil, evil thing to do someone else.
But when you’re reading this blog in a state of mind akin to my own, you probably already know all of this.
As for me, I have done my homework. There is a plan. It is ready. It is foolproof.
It gives me an enormous peace of mind that it’s there. That my “door number two” option is well and truly prepared.
But I guess the actual message right now is:
I’m still here.
I’m so weary. I’m so, so scared.
But I am still looking. And listening. And working.
I hope for kind thoughts if I can’t any more. But at the end of the day -quite literally in this case- that too will be something beyond my control.
So, here’s a drawing of me enjoying a bit of sun.
Next post: Responds-ibility (where I will take a closer look at some of the excellent insights and suggestions that all you lovely, brilliant, magnificent people have taken the time and effort to share with me).
- Song for the day:
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/33CeM8NI7tfrNgciVOFMoo?si=N_LSUUi3Qgif2Q6BmFMO4g
“But I’m fine”