I have to admit, I get a little impatient when people start talking about suicide. My first reaction is get over it. Life is tough for everyone. My second reaction is none of us knows anyone else’s pain. Maybe your pain really is worse than mine. My third reaction is get over it. You are not special.
I had a friend kill himself when he was 18. It defined a moment in my life that I return to occasionally even thirty years later. Even now when I’m:
- married to a man who sees as virtues what others have called my vices (My first marriage ended in a nasty divorce that had me thinking of myself as an ugly loser and plunging to poverty level with little work experience and no job)
- raising two healthy, happy children (I never wanted kids and was actually afraid of them)
- with several jobs that have me excited (I job hopped for 15 years and got angry, unhealthy, and fat), and
- stronger than I’ve ever been (I was obese and on the verge of diabetes and heart problems)
In other words, look at all that asshat missed.
I’m angry at Danny. Even now. These days, I’m more angry at him for what he did to his mother than to the rest of us who knew him. No, I don’t feel sad for him. He wasn’t a victim anymore than the rest of us.
If Danny were here, I would not tell him he needs to stay alive because there will never be another person like him. Because he wasn’t special. He wasn’t special at all.
Oh, he was funny and brilliant. Really brilliant. He was also insecure, naive, and awkward. He was a boy like the billions of other boys who have lived and died over the thousands of years that humans have roamed the earth. He was anonymous to everyone everywhere forever but the few of us who called him friend or family.
I get it. Nothing will ever change. That’s life, you know — unchanging. I think that’s the definition of life, actually: “a static state of existence where nothing changes.”
You see, Danny was a fucking brilliant guy. Only he was a dumb kid, an adolescent who somehow thought his life and his feelings would never change. Because that’s what a dumb kid thinks, that nothing will ever change. I’m sure he had that vision that kids always do (because they’re narcissists and that IS the definition of “child” no matter the actual age), that once they kill themselves, they’ll get to see how much they have affected everyone.
Only he didn’t see anything because he blew a hole in his fucking head.
As a 50-year old woman, I can tell you life changes. In a day, on a dime. That terror, that sadness, that god-awful feeling you can’t stand will ease away or possibly just vanish one day. You’ll find new love, and lose it. You’ll find a great job, and get laid off. You’ll build a life, and then you’ll die.
You can’t save the world. You can’t save yourself. You will blip from existence one day by fate’s hand or your own, and it won’t matter one damn bit how or when except to a few people you called friends and family. Maybe not even them.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should stay because people love you. Maybe they don’t. Maybe you’re an asshole nobody likes. Are you? Are you an asshole?
Well, welcome to the human species. We’re selfish, sad assholes. Many of us are poor, ugly, and unhealthy, too. We lack friends or a loving family. So why don’t we all kill ourselves? Why do most of us stick around? Is it just easier for everyone else but you?
You lack empathy. Not because you don’t care about hurting those you love (although you don’t) but because you can’t understand that other people feel as much pain as you.
It’s just that the rest of us give up the narcissism that makes us believe we’re at the center of the fucking universe long enough to slog through life as one of the masses and endure our pain until some lame death like cancer or a car accident claims us.
Depression isn’t a place where people can think logically, and kids aren’t the only ones who kill themselves. I knew a man with grown children who shot himself. If it’s really about chemicals, it’s clinical depression and should be treated.
I’ve been in therapy four times in my life and have been on medication for short periods. Step-by-step, those experiences helped transform my life. If you’re fighting thoughts of suicide, see a therapist. Good talk therapy and meds can help.
If you don’t get help, then fuck you.
Life is for the living. I don’t think of Danny often, but when I do, it isn’t fondly. He wasn’t a victim. He made victims of the rest of us. And as a mom, I feel his death even worse these days. It was an act of immense hatred because his mother found his blown-apart body one Saturday morning.
So don’t think you’ll leave people to mourn you and feel bad for anything they did. They will carry on, find love, friends, family, and despite all you were or could have become, what they’ll remember is that you were a liar who hurt someone you said you loved.