I’m feeling kind of depressed this morning. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that I stayed up until midnight playing Skyrim, and woke up around 7:20 this morning. I grabbed the clothes that were easiest to get to, didn’t take a shower, and got McDonald’s for breakfast. The coffee helped, anyway. I didn’t get up in time for a walk this morning either (yesterday I got in 1.5 miles before work). Plus, it’s been 9 months today and also it’s been 39 weeks today. And Thanksgiving is in one week.
I always considered Thanksgiving to be our anniversary, because I remember lying in bed with Matt on Thanksgiving morning, 2007, and telling him for the first time that I loved him and that I had decided that I wanted to be his girlfriend. He never thought of Thanksgiving in the same way because he had already decided that he wanted to date me, but whatever. It was our anniversary in my mind, and next week would have marked 6 years together.
I’m liable to start crying at work if I keep thinking about this.
Some days…I just want to go home and stay there indefinitely. I want Matt back…and since I can never have him again, I want something else that will make me feel better, comfortable, at home. My house doesn’t make me feel loved or anything, but it’s better than being at the office.
I miss Matt so fucking much. Nine months…I guess I knew that it wouldn’t be a ton easier by this time, especially because of the holidays. After New Years, there’s a month to go before the one year mark. I have no clue how I’ll react to living that day again. I am such a broken record…saying the same things over and over, crying about the same things, doing the same things to make myself feel better. I feel stable some days. Other days I don’t give a flying fuck. I can’t believe that the love of my life left me. Abandoned me. Killed himself. Thought that he wasn’t worthy of my love, and thought that he couldn’t give me what I deserved.
I don’t know when I’ll be ready to start dating again. Because I still find myself comparing other men to Matt, which is natural, but I find myself not wanting to be interested in them if they lack certain qualities that Matt had. Which is SO DUMB. Other times, when I’m not feeling like this, I think I am ready to start caring about another person. But…I still am looking for the same connection that Matt and I had. When people say that they don’t believe in True Love or in marriage, I want to yell at them. I had a perfect marriage, until things started getting bad – but that was only going to make our marriage stronger, if Matt had been able to keep going. So, yeah, ultimately my marriage was not perfect. But…I guess all I’m saying is that it wasn’t my fault.
Fuck. Sometimes…I still just want to DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS FUCKING SITUATION. But I still can’t. There is still absolutely nothing that I can do to change anything, except as I’m able to change and deal internally. I don’t know how to make it stop hurting so much though.
8 thoughts on “9 months/39 weeks/weepy/expletives”
So ok to be a broken record. But, unlike a broken record, it’s not the same every time, you’re not stuck, and people aren’t tired of hearing how you feel. Also, I love you.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
This dilemma you face, between accepting the imperfect and saying “No, it’s not good enough,” is very common among those who have experienced or even envisioned perfection (or quasi-perfection). It’s very hard to lower one’s standards; it doesn’t feel right. Is half a loaf better than none? I dunno; but Matt pretty much chose the nothing, did he not? Surely what he experienced in his life wasn’t completely bad, or he wouldn’t have made it as long as he did; but it wasn’t good enough that he felt like he could continue accepting it as it was for the time being, while awaiting its improvement.
Life seems to come down to the same three choices, over and over. (1) accept what is, until it can be changed (as a certain hackneyed prayer urges); (2) reject it and face the consequences of that rejection (which basically boil down to opportunity costs); or (3) die (which is really just a permanent and irrevocable version of #2). Often people compromise between two or more of these; e.g. there are people who deliberately wreck their health because, in the wake of some major loss, they don’t care anymore; and there are people who live in a slightly depressed state, not really doing much of anything but not picking up a gun either. Maybe that’s where I am right now.
Moving from option #2 to option #1 is a process that can take time and effort. One has to work through all the reasons why one doesn’t want to accept what is, and totally express them so that every nuance has been exposed and the full dimensions of the pain made completely clear to anyone who cares to hear/read. Then one can say, “Okay, well, since I have little choice, I’m ready to move on to #1, but now you understand the full significance of what this means. I have been heard, and in fact built a rather labor-intensively-constructed monument to the loss so that there can be no mistake as to the fact that it did indeed happen and mean a lot to me.”
I’ve created a whole wiki devoted to musings on suicide because I need to totally deal with every aspect of my feelings, rather than letting that stuff lurk in the background and come out every once in awhile. I have to get over (or “deal with”; somehow that sounds better) the fact that the world is nowhere near conformed to what I would like it to be, and that it’s much worse than I’d even realized, in some ways. Disappointments can take awhile to get over; that’s probably why you hurt so much. Statistically, not all that many people die at such a young age; so it’s a disappointment.
Life blows sometimes; what can I say? Distractions are great, but they can only do so much sometimes. Sometimes you have to go into healing mode, or whatever you want to call it (Augusten Burroughs says some wounds don’t heal, but maybe they’ll at least turn into scar tissue) because the pressure of all that accumulated backlog of undealt-with pain just gets to be too much.
Hopefully this blog will help accomplish that; you have to look at it as an impressive achievement in a way, because already you’ve made a lot of progress and by the time it’s done it will be a rather complete testament to the grief in its full intensity, viewed from every angle. A lot of people never take the time to write something like that; maybe they just get drunk and call people on the phone and have slurred conversations they forget later. They don’t actually use their pain to help produce anything lasting.
If anything, I would say, kick it up a notch and pour out even more grief and frustration because it can only speed up the process to intensify it. (Or not, if progress is measured in anniversaries). Also, maybe start hanging out at pro-suicide websites and talking to the people there. I wish the communities of people who want to kill themselves and/or assist others who feel that way (e.g. groups like the largely defunct alt.suicide.holiday) would associate more with the friends and families of those who have killed themselves, because they probably have important information they could impart to one another, but there seems to be some animosity between the two communities.
By the way, to have made Matt want to stay in this world would probably have taken effort by way more than just one person, however devoted. Even the love of one’s life can’t possibly offer everything a person needs in this life to be happy, although that person might be the last missing piece of the puzzle.
Sometimes I think the way pain is, is that people feel the need to take control and say “Okay, world, you want to inflict pain on me? Watch me torture myself then; I won’t even give you a chance to do it because I’m going to take it into my own hands.” It’s like what the ending of that short story Antaeus. http://crhsfrey.weebly.com/short-story—antaeus-by-borden-deal1.html Or maybe it’s more just a desire to give the world a thorough tongue-lashing for all its evils before one moves on. Lord knows, the world deserves it.
Two things that I’ve learned in the last several months are that 1) I hate the effects of suicide for everyone except the person who died, and 2) I’ve caught a small enough glimpse of depression that I realize that I have absolutely no idea what’s it’s like to live with depression. Based on the former, I am completely anti-suicide; based on the latter, I realize that it’s just as selfish for me to ask someone not to die as it is for them to kill themselves. So you’re right – I bet that there could be some useful dialogue between people who are suicidal and people who have lost loved ones to suicide.
Also, you’re right about “kicking it up a notch.” I know that feeling and expressing the feelings helps heal, and I really do try to be honest with myself about my feelings. Heh, I’ve kept this blog more mild that I could have otherwise mostly because my parents read it….
I just read through a few pages on ASH. And…I don’t know how much time I could actually spend there. What is the difference between my brain and a suicidal brain? How can some people view their lives as meaningless and painful and decide that their best course of action is death, but other people who experience similar circumstances can admit that life is meaningless and painful – but they don’t want to die?
How can I possibly hope to offer people hope?? You know? I have so much hope, and I would love to be able to share it, but I just don’t know HOW. I tried with Matt, and we all know how that worked out. I guess that instead of viewing myself as a failure in that sense, I should instead be glad that I was able to share hope and love with him – at least enough to last 5 years.
I’ve come to believe that life is basically pointless. We’re here to have babies and keep our species alive. Since I don’t care about having babies, that makes my life extra meaningless. But… that really doesn’t get me down like it gets other people. I accept it, and keep going because I enjoy other aspects of life enough that I don’t particularly want to be dead. I wish I had a better idea of what the difference is because I would love to be able to share some of my hope and happiness.
I’m starting to feel kinda frustrated that even when I talk to people,
Maybe the gap between the two communities can’t be bridged, except by one side joining the other and adopting at least some of its views and ways. E.g., the survivors could become suicidal or the suicidal could resolve to live and join the survivors in building a better world. It’s tough, though — a lot of times, the reasons why people want to die are that they don’t fit in, and they may be as unlikely (if not more unlikely) to fit in among the survivors as they are among the general population. Ours is not a society that is always tolerant toward people who are different.
To cite one example, it wasn’t long ago that homosexuality was still so stigmatized that a person who felt like killing himself because of persecution for being gay might not have been able to get much useful help from the mainstream. People were disgusted by gays and didn’t want to have anything to do with them (or, worse, they wanted to persecute them, once the person’s homosexuality was revealed) and/or they wanted to convert gays to being straight. These were options that probably weren’t all that appealing to most gays. The other options were to continue suffering or kill themselves.
There are still other groups that have good reason to feel misunderstood, undervalued, persecuted, oppressed, etc. If we lived in a more tolerant society, there would probably be fewer suicides. But many people want to just use force to stop people from killing themselves, while also using persecution or indoctrination to try to change their nature. Many efforts along these lines (e.g. trying to force left-handed people to be right-handed) succeeded only in causing a lot of pain.
The suicide problem won’t be solved by brute force. It’s expensive in terms of costs of jails, mental hospitals, etc. to try to confine people where they can’t harm themselves, and the efforts to commit people there against their will often have unintended consequences (e.g. making people want to get out of this life while the getting is good, lest the opportunity be closed off later).
It also won’t be completely solved by pills or therapy. Often, the offering of those remedies feels like just another slap in the face to those who already feel bad about how they’re viewed by mainstream society. E.g. if a psychologist says “You think you are capable of achieving great things, but you’re really just grandiose and need to be more realistic; here are some antipsychotics” it just feels frustrating to those who only ask that they be given a chance to succeed or fail, rather than having the possibility dismissed by someone who views high aspirations as a disorder to be treated.
Often it is the “disabled” who accomplish something great by working around their disability, as in the case of Louis Braille, the blind kid who perfected the Braille system by the time he was 15 years old. If he were around today, he’d probably be cooped up in the special needs class rather than given a chance to realize his potential. It’s understandable that people would feel despair when they are denied not only the chance to be normal but the chance to strike out on their own and blaze a new path outside of the bounds of normalcy.
I theorize that as civilization advances, people evolve to be more and more gentle, delicate, sensitive, generous, and intelligent. Back in caveman days, it was a virtue to be brutal, tough, callous, selfish, and dumb. The one who sat around philosophizing and creating art, music, inventions, etc. was mercilessly eliminated, maybe even by his own hand when he saw that he didn’t fit in.
As we’ve evolved, the nerds have gotten to be more accepted, to the point where you have to be a lot nerdier than, say, was the case 30 years ago to even be considered nerdy rather than just a typical person. The guy who could get away with not knowing how to use a computer back in 1985 is lost today.
Back in caveman days, if you could kill someone without inhibition or guilt, or lose a few fingers in combat and shrug it off, that was good. That type of thinking would be an impairment in modern times; such “uncivilized” people are weeded out by the system. Violence is still practiced, but it’s usually done with more subtlety and underhandedness compared to then. (That’s one of the things I thought was dumb about “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”; I thought to myself, governments know how to control populations without resorting so much to public shootings and beatings.)
I think that evolution has moulded people to have a certain amount of fortitude, but not too much. It wouldn’t do to keep trying the same thing and expecting a different result, without ever getting discouraged and wanting to quit. That would supposedly be insanity. However, it’s also considered a mental illness to get depressed and give up, so maybe there’s no way to win. Whatever we do, we’re mentally ill, unless we’re lucky enough to be born with a nature that’s within the parameters of what our various legislative bodies (e.g. the American Psychiatric Association and the U.S. Congress, which determine what will be recognized as mental illnesses in the DSM and the U.S. Code; see e.g. 42 USC § 12211, which excludes a bunch of the DSM disorders from being recognized as disabilities) deem acceptable.
The onward march of civilization will require that people learn to be more tolerant of individual differences and respectful of individual liberty, so that people will have the autonomy they need to escape persecution and pursue paths of their choosing for seeking success in this world. Otherwise, people with more sensitive natures or qualities that differ from their peers will find themselves trapped in situations they find intolerable, and will often want to resort to suicide. Pain is a double-edged sword; it’s great for impelling people to take corrective action, but if it gets to be too much, people can’t handle it. Natural selection is constantly adjusting the calibration to give us enough sensitivity to pain that we’ll feel uncomfortable enough to want to get up and do something about the sources of our uneasiness; but not so much that we’ll find it unbearable. But there will always be people on the tails of the bell curve who either feel too much pain or not enough.
Matt endured the pain for 28 years before giving up; that’s longer than some people make it, although perhaps not as long as we would have preferred. But maybe we needed to talk sooner, rather than later, about what is causing people so much pain and what we can do about it. Unless people put their foot down as say “I won’t tolerate this any longer” sometimes no change ever comes about because people are busy with other stuff. As long as people are hanging in there, rather than killing themselves, other priorities besides addressing the causes of their anguish may seem more urgent.
The people who would prefer that people not commit suicide can easily say “Get the help you need, and in the meantime endure the pain, and try to stop caring about the stuff that is needlessly making you feel bad.” The suicidal could very easily reply, “Abandon your flawed theories about mental health, and try to bring about a society that is freer and more tolerant, so that I won’t be so unhappy.” It’s going to be hard for the two sides to cooperate without agreement on some basic principles.
Even that, though, won’t suffice for all people; there are some people who can’t thrive in any society, and so the only choice for them is either a lot of pain or death. I think that they should be free to kill themselves, if they choose, and that others shouldn’t resent their decision. To accuse them of selfishness would be to apply a double-standard.
I have a theory about pain, that it can accumulate like a debt until we deal with it in effective ways. http://suicidewiki.org/wiki/Pain_debt It’s hard, because if you talk to people, and they don’t understand or want to help in the necessary ways, then it doesn’t really feel like much has been accomplished — at least not for me. If society were to successfully root out and abolish the causes why so many people want to kill themselves, so that you could be confident that what you are having to go through would be a much rarer experience, wouldn’t that give you some satisfaction?
I would feel satisfied. It’s why I’ve been writing so much, and devoting so much time to SuicideWiki. In the meantime, while we’re waiting for the root causes to be addressed, I’m not sure whether to regard it as good that people are taking matters into their own hands by killing themselves, or bad. Really, it’s a mix. If they weren’t doing it, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation, and the wiki wouldn’t exist. Maybe Matt would still be around, and suffering just as much as he was, just as I continue to hang around and suffer (sometimes; it’s not all bad). What brings about the greater good? You tell me; I’ve been debating it with myself for years.
Maybe there will always be a lot of suicides, though, because when society becomes kinder and gentler to people, people may evolve to be more sensitive, and thus it still won’t be kind and gentle enough for a large proportion of them. It’s not just the resources available to meet people’s needs and expectations that rise; people’s needs and expectations also rise, as do the challenges to meeting them, so that the pursuit of happiness never ends. It’s the Red Queen hypothesis; we have to work as hard as we can just to stay where we are. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen_hypothesis
Fortunately, even the people who die early deaths sometimes accomplish a lot before they go. This guy would be a prime example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89variste_Galois
“We’re here to have babies and keep our species alive. Since I don’t care about having babies, that makes my life extra meaningless.” Don’t forget the Super Uncles theory! http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2010/02/05/study-supports-gay-super-uncles-theory
Hm, interesting. This applies, I assume, to super aunts as well? I can tell you for sure that Matt was not a super uncle. 🙂