“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise.
Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
David Foster Wallace
Before I get into the meat of this, anyone having suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-8255.
Kind of a double whammy.
You never really know what folks are going through until after they’re dead. And even then, you know it must have been so bad that they’d rather face the unknown of death than continue living in whatever hell they made.
Facebook casually reminded me that May is Lupus Awareness Month:
I know I talk about Brooke a lot — her death had impacted me so profoundly and created such a new and interesting understanding of suicide for me.
This little girl was living in a horrible painful hell called Lupus. Because of Lupus she had three rounds of chemo in ten years, two knee replacements, gained and lost weight due to steroids, had to deal with bullshit from her family about being on too many pain meds, and finally had a “nope” moment and did it.
I’m sad. But I’m not mad at her. At all. I understand she was in pain. Lots of pain. And the idea of her having to be in more pain than I could comprehend and living day to day with it breaks my heart. I find solace in knowing she’s not in pain anymore.
I trolled FB about Cornell’s suicide and found people calling it “selfish”, “other people have it worse”, “he’s a celebrity; it can’t be that bad”, “fucking loser”, “it’s X’s fault.”
Dude… it’s not your place to say or judge.
This is a person who was in pain, deep psychological pain. We don’t know the circumstances or the events.
Folks commenting on Reddit, astonishingly, seem a lot more reasonable and compassionate:
Usually it’s the last people you’d expect too. They get so good at putting on a mask, because they’ve been doing it so long.
Man, just shows that limitless talent and money aren’t the only things to make people happy. I hate this.
I’m so so sad. I want to hug each person I see, tell them their not alone.
I can’t tell everyone, so I’ll tell you.
You’re not alone. If you need help, there are people out there. I don’t know you, but I’ll listen if you need it.
I guess suicide is always something that gets to me, especially when it is someone who impacted my life.
With this, even in our darkest times, we are not alone. Everyone is loved, whether it feels like it or not. If anyone out there needs to talk, feel free to email me: