This is a topic I’ve been avoiding because I worried that it would freak people out. So, I’m prefacing this particular blog entry with this request: Before reacting, read the WHOLE thing, and see where I go with it. Because it’s not as scary as it starts. Not remotely.
I have contemplated the idea of my own suicide. Much in the way I’ve also contemplated how to commit the perfect bank robbery, or murder. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but those are things I’ve actually thought about. How could someone do any of those things and make sure they’re not caught? I know I’m a much more dark and twisty (thank you, Grey’s Anatomy) person than I generally let on, so this might be surprising to some.
The contemplation pre-dates Ian’s death, but I do admit that since his death, I’ve fleshed it out a lot more. Prior to that, suicide was an idea, something that happened to not me or anyone I know. It wasn’t exactly real. And it’s not as though it’s something that’s portrayed in media as relatable, really. There are movies about thieves, murderers, etc. Those are things that you can watch and think, “Well, if I were in that situation, how would I do it?” (You meaning me, really. I’m not sure anyone else does that.)
Suicide, though. Usually, in the media that’s portrayed as something that is either entirely incomprehensible, or as a result of some MAJOR life event, or convergence of such. It’s not something to which I’d ever been able to relate and think about as if it were a REAL option ever. (With the exception of a terminal illness, which… in my mind, suicide in that case is a much different beast. I know that may be controversial.) But then Ian killed himself. And it made clear to me how… normal… the situations that lead to suicide can be. I’m not fond of that phrasing. Because it’s not NORMAL. But it’s also… not extraordinary. It’s a matter of having a disease, one that, at least yet, is incurable. It’s treatable, but it will always be there. And so, the fact that normal people would not only contemplate, but complete the act was suddenly very real.
And so I started thinking about it. What if I were in that situation? I thought about the perfect suicide. Which, to me was one that didn’t look like a suicide. How to do it. How to guarantee that it would work, and not end in permanent disability or injury rather than death. I thought about all the logistics, the practicalities.
All this contemplation is passive, however. I’m not PLANNING… I’m contemplating. Just like I’m not planning on robbing someone, or murdering someone… but I’ve contemplated. It’s a small, but VERY important distinction. For a while (long while) after Ian’s death, I knew I wouldn’t have cared much if something had come along and struck me down dead. I didn’t WANT to die… but I didn’t particularly WANT to live either. I didn’t care too much either way, and momentum was such that I was alive, so I may as well stay that way. Now? Now things are happening in my life. Things that I’ve wanted… forever. And so if I were to be struck down, I’d be a little pissed. (Assuming I retained some sort of consciousness… but that’s another topic.)
That’s a good realization for me. Having something you want to live TO DO is much better than just living because you don’t care enough to make any effort otherwise.
Depression is an asshole. It lies. It steals your joy, your opinions, your emotion. Since his death, and due to the event-related depression I suffered after it, I came much closer to actually understanding what Ian was going through. I’m pretty angry at the world/universe/whatever that it took him dying for me to understand him. I wish I’d been able to before. Maybe I could have helped. Done something. Changed something.
I still don’t understand entirely. I haven’t ever been to the point of actually preferring death to life. And to tell you the truth, if Ian’s death (and that whole situation) couldn’t get me there, I can’t imagine anything doing so. And now, I’ve got a band, and performances, and my job is going well, and things are looking up. Much as I miss him, and my life will never be the same, it IS moving forward. I’m getting to where that doesn’t feel like a betrayal to him.
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