I joke about suicide. I do. “God, I’d rather kill myself than listen to this song.” “God, waiting in line makes me want to drink bleach.”
My godbrother shot himself in the head in his parking lot because his girlfriend broke up with him, ten minutes before his parents came home.
I joke about things being the end of the world. I joke about slitting my wrists before listening to another drug-addled stranger listing all the reasons everyone but themselves ruined their life.
Two of my friends hung themselves. One with barbed wire. That guy asked a girl he loved to find him. I spoke at his funeral.
I joke about suicide constantly. I think about suicide constantly. I don’t think people understand it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to kill myself. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that that was a thing. “What do I contribute to life?” “I’ve been single this long, who will love me?” “I’m adopted. I can’t even have a real family.”
That’s the tip of a bad day. Without getting into details, pushing 3o where I am is not great. Easy. Not great.
I used to have a mantra. I told a girlfriend not long ago, first person I ever told, that I was planning on checking out just after my 30th birthday. “You made it. 3 decades. You’re good to go, my son.” I said that and I told her I was worried I was going to party too hard or get cross-checked by a minivan before 3o and it wouldn’t mean shit. I thought 30 was the milestone I should reach before checking the fuck out.
I joke about suicide.
I joke about suicide despite friends and loved ones committing it. I do. It’s fucking horrific. It’s tragic. It’s ugly. It’s desperate. A suicide hurts everyone it’s involved with.
I will never call a suicide selfish. Go fuck yourself. Nobody kills themsef for attention they won’t ever be able to appreciate. It’s to alleviate depression. Isolation. A sense of shame. An internal pain that lingers and haunts and hurts and taunts on its own, even before outside stimulus amplifies it. I understand suicide as much as I hate that anyone reaches the conclusion that suicide is the answer.
You aren’t a thief. But you look at something in the store and you think about how you might steal it or the thrill of one misadventure or what it would save you. You aren’t violent. But you think about the reaction or hopefully the silence you might get if you were to slap the mouth of a braggart.
I am not suicidal. I have been. I’ve tried. I tried leaving this life. I’ve been close to leaving this life since (blood poisoning). I’m not convinced that decades down the line, my leaving this world won’t be intentional. But for now, I’m not suicidal. I’ve found things to live for.
It’s never something that’s left my mind. It’s an act of pain. It’s an act of release. In some cases, through final notes and letters, it’s an act of art. There is something to be said of knowing the deliberate thoughts of someone who has finished with their experience.
I joke about suicide. I joke about death. I have cried every time someone I knew took their life. I cried when Robin Williams had enough of what was already afflicting him and didn’t want to to add more to the list. I joke about it because I’ve wanted to do it. I joke about it because I don’t know if I want thirty more years of aimlessness.
I joke about it in concept. But I respect it. I understand it. At the worst times in my life, I wanted it. I joke about it without specifics because it’s heartbreaking and tragic and because I’ve been there, and I don’t know any other way of dealing with it.
You need to be able to laugh about anything. Especially things close to your heart. Especially things that fucking hurt. If you can’t find something to laugh about in a ruinous situation, it will ruin you.
I will never, EVER, joke about a suicide victim. But I will joke about suicide. I’ll take the piss out of it. I’ll lighten it. I’ll disregard it. Because I’ve been there. Because it haunts me. Because it likes to step on my shit. And sometimes laughter and lightheartedness and detachment are what’s called for.
That’s how I deal with it. It isn’t always great.
I hope you’re okay. If you aren’t, feel free to reach out. Or please, PLEASE Call 1-800-273-8255. They’re available 24/7.
Life, even in its ugliness, is worth enjoying. It’s worth making fun of and spitting in the face of.
You’ve got this.