Monday, September 20, 2010

Romancing The Act

Of late, I've been ruminating on the act of suicide.  An Old 97's lyric from Fight Songs astutely describes my mindset:  Thought so much about suicide/Parts of me have already died.

I've slid so precipitously far into major depression that I'm actually showing signs of romanticizing the possibility of death.  To wit, my sister and I were driving around recently when I pointed out a particular location to her and brightly stated, "That was where I almost killed myself once," as though I was calling her attention to a great vacation spot or a beautiful architectural feature.  Naturally, she was disturbed by my casual, quasi-cavalier attitude regarding my near untimely death.  So I reassured her [and now, all of you readers] that I wouldn't actually go through with this act--that I hadn't attempted it before, because I ultimately realized that she and our youngest sister could never comprehend why I would do such a horrible thing.  And, of course, I'd rather not traumatize people (especially innocent, young ones) who care about me.*  

Nevertheless, I think about suicide a lot.  I draw this notion close to my chest the way Linus lovingly cuddles his sky-blue blanket.  The prospect (again, not the act itself - but simply the fantasy) is coldly comforting.  It is as though I am reinforcing my decision to stay on this earth every time I realize what a very real possibility suicide is.  I could do it.  Any day.  Any time.  I could drive off a bridge into the Mississippi.  I could jump off a bluff at Castlewood.  I could hang myself from a tree.  So many possibilities.  Knowing that I could kill myself makes me feel less suffocatingly trapped in the life that I'm living.


I've been trying to pinpoint when precisely my mood grew so very dark.  I've concluded that it must have begun with the MVA in January.  That was the triggering event.  Normal people do not react to a car accident the way that I did.  For me, it was the equivalent of emotional terrorism.  Immediately following the collision, I was a hyperventilating, mucous-soaked mess.  I could barely even speak to the responding officer through my panicky sobs.  I was thrown into a tailspin of financial concern and physical insecurity.  How will I get to my job?  How will I work with this pain?  The ER visit isn't covered by my insurance - will I be sent to collections?  What will that do to my credit?  When will I get a new car?  How will I pay for the down payment and the medical co-pays?  Etc. etc.

Unlike the majority of my friends and associates, I do not have middle (or upper) class parents. I come from a working class background (to put it mildly).  Thus, I have no one who can bail me out of my financial troubles.  This is pretty much a sink or swim situation for me and the MVA brought that disquieting reality to the fore.


My mood seemed to stabilize around springtime.  I continued to be unhappy, but not unhappy enough to actually do anything about it (more likely, I was paralyzed into inaction and apathy by the ongoing depression).  Also, there were plenty of intervening events - out-of-town trips, visiting friends, work at WBR - to distract me from my failing mood.

It seems that everything started getting particularly bad again in the past thirty or so days.  I learned that someone close to me has cancer, a whole host of deeply fucked-up family problems erupted (that I will not address here for legal and privacy reasons), and I experienced even more financial troubles.  In addition, I acutely detest my job. Every morning when I arrive at my office, I feel as though I am decimating yet another precious day of my life, but I get the impression that this is common for many Americans.

Oh, and then there is the loneliness.  When I am utterly forlorn, I tend to isolate myself even further.  I don't want to be accused of being overly pessimistic and I also don't want to pollute anyone else's healthy mindset.  So I just stay away from most people.  I retreat inward.  I ruminate.  I fantasize.

In sum, I need to see a doctor.  This is a chemical thing that I've successfully dealt with before.  I simply need to do something about it, instead of comforting myself with grotesque suicidal ideations.**

Om shanti.

*Moreover, I am now completely atheistic and so I intimately feel that this is my only life to live.  I've nothing to look forward to after death.  Suicide doesn't make sense to me - not at this time anyway (maybe that would change if I were experiencing intractable pain in old age or something of that nature).

**Please, please don't post comments about how selfish you think suicide is.  I find that sort of commentary dismissive and judgmental.  Major depression is not an illness I've chosen for myself.  When one feels this desolate, thoughts of suicide naturally arise.   It does not follow that because I admit to them, I will act on them.  Thank you.