While sitting on the train this afternoon, I had a suicidal thought. This wasn’t a plan, or a declaration, just a passing thought about slitting my wrists or something (which ew, if I was ever going to end it all it would be with an overdose of pills). These thoughts have come and gone since I was in high school, and are symptomatic of my long history of depression. For a long time I assumed this was just morbid thinking, but a therapist pointed out that these were in fact hall marks of deep depression and a warning sign for suicidal behavior. When I was younger, before I started getting therapy, I believed that suicide was selfish and weak behavior. People tried to explain to me from the point of view of someone suffering from severe depression that it wasn’t simply a way out for them, but for their loved ones.
I still call bullshit on that last one. It is selfish to take one’s life, but that’s part of the problem with depression, something that I was ignoring. Depression is increasingly cutting yourself off from the world, from your loved ones, because you’ve convinced yourself that they don’t love or need you, because you believe yourself to be unwanted, unloved and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, until all you have left is yourself, someone you can’t stand to be with. The times when I have had suicidal thoughts weren’t in the throws of intense emotions, but out of fatigue, because I could feel myself growing tired of being alive, of putting up with the constant bullshit. When asked what kept me from committing suicide I had two answers, a serious one and a pithy one.
The serious one was that I couldn’t do that to my sister. Not that I am the only person she has, she has a lot of people, but more that she devoted so much time and effort into making me feel loved, and to feel that life was worth it that it would be unfair to her to then say fuck it and off myself. She put a lot of emotional energy into helping me survive my mother’s down ward spiral I feel I should continue on to prove it was worth it, because it is.
The pithy answer has to do with the title of this post, which is a line from Mystery Science Theater Hour. Specifically my answer was that I couldn’t commit suicide because I believed in reincarnation, and I really don’t want to start all from scratch again. Going through puberty was hellacious enough, I’d rather enjoy my non hormonal years before having to do that all over again. My morbid sense of humor has carried me through some pretty gross times in my life, and there’s so much more tragedy to laugh at. Its not enough to live, but to enjoy living I have had to find the humor in just about everything that happens. Its hard sometimes to find the joke, especially in a world obsessed with being appropriate, but anything can be turned into a funny story if you know how to look at it. To do it, you have to be engaged in the world, you have to be paying attention, you have to see and hear as much as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I had to work through a lot of issues, and taking meds was a big step, the biggest was admitting that I needed help. Now I can take life less seriously, and enjoy it.
So when I have suicidal thoughts, I think no, that’d be too easy, there’s so much more comedy left.