"LIFE is pain! I wake up every morning, I'm in pain. I go to work in pain. You know how many times I wanted to just give up, how many times I've thought about ending it?" -- Dr. Gregory House
It's not common for me to cry when I watch House, but something about that scene last Monday shook me in its familiarity. I've had that rage for the greater part of four years. Truly, you don't know what pain will do to you until it seizes hold of your life.
But what enrages House in this scene is not his own despair, rather the notion that his cancer-stricken best friend is entitled to resign himself to death. Which begs the question, whose life is it? Do we owe our suffering to the people around us, if it means they can keep us around for their own benefit?
There are certainly days (and weeks, and years) that I wasn't sticking around for my own sake, which implies that a part of me DOES feel obligated to endure my own circumstances to prevent the heartbreak of my loved ones. Intellectually, however, I'm not sure that we owe anybody anything.
The show's upcoming termination sucks. Our society needed his character. The endless drip of self-affirmative "Think Positive" -esque books and shows and slogans has dulled us into fake-a** shells. Seems kind of backwards that ultra-positivity is cultivating sickness. We don't even know WHAT we feel anymore, because we're not ALLOWED to feel it. Give me some cynicism, sarcasm, and pessimism any day over plastered-on smiles.
I remember when Jon Stewart had Barbara Ehrenreich on The Daily Show to discuss her book, "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America." Ehrenreich scoffs at how you can't even get away with 'negativity' if you have cancer ... it's so true! People will demand hope of you, with an insistence that you don't wallow, but rather remain ever-optimistic, with a mind-over-matter mentality. So really, your average, ordinary breed of daily whining is intolerable.
I know I definitely feel that my actual emotions are not acceptable to others. If they were, I probably wouldn't have to write them here. I probably wouldn't have to write a blog about suicide, because I probably wouldn't have become suicidal in the first place. And I probably wouldn't have to write, period, because society would instead endorse open communication that accepts, rather than denies, all that is part of the human experience.