Saturday, August 6, 2016

On Suicide and The Future

For many years, suicide was a pretty constant part of my life. It was a coping mechanism, albeit a pretty bad one. Whenever things got too hard or whenever I did something I felt bad about (which is/was pretty often), I would fantasize about killing myself. Sometimes violently as self-punishment, sometimes more deliberate, as an escape. But each time, it gave me two things: a way to demonstrate how truly sorry I was for hurting others and a way to avoid failing more.

When suicide is a constant possibility, it warps your sense of the future: there's always the very real possibility that there won't be one. You never have to think about the long term, never have to deal with uncomfortable thoughts of age or change. You just blink to suicide and the pain goes away.


I think that's part of what's making turning 30 so difficult. I think part of me honestly never thought I'd get here. When I made my attempt at 20, I really did plan on dying. It was surreal and traumatic, thinking that was really going to be it. And when I failed, I was kind of at a loss. As if in some way I really did die that day and everything after is "bonus time."

So now I'm turning 30. And I'm looking at the next decade and I'm thinking "what the hell." I never really expected to get here. I'm still kind of shocked. I never expected to have to deal with being single. Or to deal with a career/job/money if my current plan didn't work out. Or to deal with getting older and what that means. I always just assumed that if shit got real, I could/would peace out of this mortal coil and be done with it.

But now I'm at a point where I don't really want to die. So instead I'm tasked with actually figuring out how, exactly, to deal with my problems. And that's just really hard. The deep sense of hopelessness, of helplessness, of worthlessness is so challenging to work through. There's so much pain, pain I avoided for years and years in one way or another. I honestly don't know if or how I'll do it. It's truly awful. And yet, there's something hopeful about approaching life as if I'll be living it rather than constantly looking for a way out. I really hope I find a way to make it work.

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