June 6, 2009. People who commit suicide are murderers. That occurred to me recently. Murderers take someone’s life. Suicide is not an accident. It is a planned, deliberate act of wiping out a person’s existence.
After realizing this, I stopped to consider what exactly it was I had done that was so terrible as to be deserving of death. Faces of people I considered to be sh*tty human beings flashed through my mind. Despite their manner of treating others, their sins, their crimes – whatever the case may be – these people sleep with a clean conscience each night. They don’t hate themselves for minor infractions. They don’t toss and turn, unable to close their eyes, trapped in self-recriminating thoughts. So what causes some people to hate themselves, while others glide through life without a care in the world, unburdened by guilt or regret?
I’ve come to appreciate the precise meaning of ambivalence. I remember reading once that “suicidal people are ambivalent.” Unsure, of two minds, undecided. You either want to die or you don’t, right? It seems like it should be a pretty black and white issue. But even after weeks or months or perhaps years, sometimes you really don’t know what the hell you want. Knowing what you don’t want, that’s the easy part. You don’t want to get up in the morning. You don’t want to leave the house. You don’t want to be so alone. You don’t want to feel the pain anymore. You don’t want to put forth the effort it takes to shower or read or brush your teeth. Do you want to die? Who the hell knows. Maybe what you really want are a million other things. But maybe none of them seem within your power to obtain. If you can’t ever have what you really want, shouldn’t you at least be able to get rid of what you don’t want?
The world withholds your “Yes, you may have it” to which you respond “Well, I don’t want what I’ve been given.” Is suicide not a resounding NO, I WILL NOT to life’s demand that we go on breathing? Instead of answering the grand questions of existence, suicide answers “I don’t care and I’m tired of trying to figure out what the point of all this is.” Maybe, if you can’t live the life you want, you have the right to decide that life is not worth living at all. Some would argue that no one has that right. Whether we do or not have the right, we all have the ability. In the end, the choice to live or die belongs to one person, and one alone.
Present Day. Whenever I think of my "pre-breakdown" life, the thought of going back to it makes me want to run out and live in a tent in the woods. I may not want this life I have right now the way it is, but the way things were before made me hate life to begin with. The problem is that I don't know what would constitute a life worth living, no matter how many days I waste trying to come up with a path I would like to go down...I don't feel like the things I really want are under my control.
What really scares me is knowing that, even if I could get myself back to the point where I was before - with all the outward markers of success (career, home, financial security, etc.) - I might feel exactly the same way inside. I don’t know how I kept up the façade before, but I sure don’t have the energy to do it again.
I grieve for things I lost, and also things I threw away. Sometimes I look back at how impulsive my actions have been (and still are) and wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I've even gone so far as to make a comparison chart showing "who I used to be" vs. "who I am now." I don't like facing who I’ve become. But I also wonder if who I AM has fundamentally changed, or if it's what I DO and how I interact with the world … at heart I believe I am mostly the same inside, but I've locked it all away out of defensiveness toward the world that just seems to want to hurt me. It feels like a battle between the "me" I would like to be again, and all those external forces/people I am merely reacting to. If that makes ANY sense at all...
If it was anyone else, I would say to them, “You are not a role, or any of those surface things the world uses to define a person. You are still essentially you, the same soul.”
Everything that matters about you is still inside of you.