I’m going to write very frankly about death and suicide. I think I should clarify firstly, that I am not threatening or even thinking of killing myself. I am thinking about stuff intellectually, not emotionally. At all. The reason for the lengthy disclaimer/trigger warning, is that it might cause pain to certain people who read this blog and a different sort of distress to others. Primarily though, I don’t want to wound people who have lost loved ones to suicide. There are a few of you who read my blog, please look after your hearts, you’ve got your own road to walk, and it needs to lead to your own healing.
Holy fuck, I do pomposity at the drop of a hat, but I’m sincere about what I said.
Also, I’d love a discussion in the comments, but not of the noooo don’t do it kind. Because I’m not going to do it,but I do need to say it.
‘You talk as though I’ve had an amputation.’
‘I think you have. I think someone has cut out your heart.’
I looked at her and my eyes were clear.
‘That’s not how the story ends.’
(Jeanette Winterson, The Powerbook)
I say it all the time; I feel dead inside. Last time it happened, I thought about it properly, it’s actually bollocks on a ton of levels. First off, it’s an unsubstantiated stretch of the imagination, but we could let it slide for the sake of poetic justice I guess. Secondly, surely death is the end and absence of feeling and feelings? Let’s not get into a conversation about emotions and the afterlife, ain’t nobipolar got time fo’ dat. Moving swiftly along… Thirdly! Unless someone has antisocial personality disorder (the muggles* call them psychopaths and don’t understand the word ‘disorder’ at all), then they have empathy, which implies emotion, which implies life, not death.
You feel me? Okay, okay, white people shouldn’t talk that way, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist it.
So I’m not dead inside till I’m dead outside too. I’m not telling anyone else how to describe what they feel, this is me just getting all CBT on my own ass and, I might add, without a therapist in the room. Look at me, here I am all alive and stuff. You’d think it’d be the onset of joie de vivre, but c’mon, this is me. (Fuck that, I’m just aiming at verbal accuracy and a logical thought experiment.)
The broader reason is my lifelong (I wish I was joking, and I do see the irony) wish to stop being alive (maybe in another episode I’ll explore the differences between wanting to be dead and wanting to stop living, I think it might be a semantic necessity). Yup, I said it, I do not want to be alive, and it was ever thus. It wasn’t always thus, however, not constant. I’ve had plenty of joy in my life and ascribing most of it to various manic depressive elements doesn’t make the joy less joyous. The point here is that it’s always been and still is, my default, my baseline and my conclusion for the big, big, big majority of my existence.
Now is not the time to screech, rend clothes and make anguished calls to the emergency services, remember that I’m well aware of the difference between suicidal ideation and intention. Also, a death wish is not necessary about suicide, right? (This post isn’t going to deal with that though.) Also, I’ve tested the whole ‘life is fragile, I shall off myself’ theory and let me tell you, life is not very fragile at all, with a very, very few exceptions, suicide attempts come with pain and violence rather than harps and angels. I’m not going near the concept of the harm done to those left behind right now, that’s a whole other discussion and the people who know best, are the survivors themselves.
Let me tell you why, despite genuinely wishing the world would stop so I can get off, I am absolutely not a suicide risk. I reassure people (psychiatrists) rather flippantly, that I’ve made a promise to my dog that I won’t do anything while she’s alive. That’s genuine too, and it helps me get through shit, but of course there’s more to it. I’d shatter nextofkin’s heart and I will do my utmost to avoid that. Two important reasons that I take very seriously. I’d hurt more hearts than that, but 99.9% of the people I love are at least a thousand kilometres away, which, practically speaking, would leave me alone at any dangerous junctures. There’s also that whole life is fragile thing. Once you’ve opened a vein or two, swallowed too many pills and then sat on a cliff over the sea (yes, on one day and one after the other), the perfect storm needed to make it happen again might or might not happen and attempts might or might not fail (using the word succeed in relation to suicide is so very fucking insensitive to those left behind in agony after a suicide). My perfect storm would have to be absolute certainty in my heart and mind (let’s not get into the ‘of sound mind’ concept right now), the death of my dog, a way for it not to hurt nextofkin, and access to one of the few surefire DIY methods. Those are tricky ducks to herd into a row.
Suicide as a carefully researched and thought out option comforts me. Of course it does. I’ve survived a decade of abuse I don’t want to talk about, more stuff I don’t want to talk about and I have C-PTSD and one of the worst possible combinations of bipolar features on the menu. Those factors, plus losses and living alone and a whole heap more that I’m not going to talk about do not predispose me to adore life. Karma doesn’t work, equilibrium doesn’t exist and mindfulness can kiss my sorry ass. This is a logical paragraph, bristling with evidence, explaining why I value that comfort. I’m exhausted by my past and wary of my future and I have good reason to be. I handle the rough times better knowing that there’s a way out.
I know too, that all of it could change, in a heartbeat or a decade – and I do have a decade to spare.
You feel me?
When I write this way, I like my mind.
*muggles™ was used to signify people who aren’t mentally ill, but I’ve updated it – a friend reminded me that there are good muggles. And indeed there are. Muggles™ now refers to neurotypical people who don’t understand, don’t give a shit, who cause shit for the rest of us and generally piss me right off. We don’t need a word for the formerly-known-as-good-muggles, they’re human, just like us. Please update all records and letterheads. I thank you and formally apologise to the people previously consigned to muggledom. Obviously there will be a TRC and restitution** will be made.
**restitution in this case, is a promise as empty as the head of Barbie™.
It’s alright ma (I’m only bleeding)
Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying
Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying
Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you’d just be one more
So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing
As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred
While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked
An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it
Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you
You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you
A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to
Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to
For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something they invest in
While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in
But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him
Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony
While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only