First I want to thank everyone for their replies to my 3 prior posts. Thank your for your time and concern, we are all loving, worthy beings who are joined by our pain and plight to regain our joy! This is part of a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine, who was also suicidal. I was explaining to him about an interview I had recently with an elderly gentleman who had been suicidal in his 50s. This is an excerpt of the conversation, but it makes so much sense, and it is true for all of us. The first part is just me explaining my life at the time, the rest is what the old man said:
I mean I would be on the computer and in books for hours everyÂ night searching for the best way to end it. Thought I’d hit the jackpot a few times, only to speak to soon and find out it was either agonizing, long and drawn out, messy, or better chance I’d be left still alive but rather incapacitated by brain damage and then unable to finish the job if I even wanted to, making my life more miserable than before. All of thoseÂ things, I mustÂ admit, scared me more than continuingÂ to live in a depressed state. Take it from one who knows. Regardless of what you read or hear, there is no 100% quick, easy, painless way to do it. All options actually suck big time if examined thoroughly.
So I thought, Damnit. Oh well. I don’t have to be here foreverÂ anyway, I mean, the cosmos could drop me dead tomorrow!
And I also thought,Â of all the phases we go through in life, at every age, we change. WeÂ NEVER stay the same, no matter whatÂ emotional state we’re in. So, weÂ won’t be happy always, sad always, apathetic always, etc. These feelings naturally fluctuate, that’s the way the brain works.Â Over time our perceptions will change with incoming information. So, it’s a high possibility that you and I, on our elderly deathbeds, will beÂ not afraid of death because we weren’t afraid of life, however imperfectly we lived it. We will then be able to make that transitionÂ the natural human way. This is my true hope, not only for you but for myself as well, despite my ongoing depression.
Think about it.Â Â You reallyÂ have ultimate freedomÂ and power to do anything you possibly wish to do,Â (enjoying life again included).Â Â After all,Â haven’t weÂ seriously taken control a few times in our lives? When and where did we forget how to do that?Â
ButÂ it isÂ my hope that you give your lovely self a chance to grow more, to eventually enter a new phase in your life, as you undoubtedly will. Even if you’re in a long-phased rut now.
Please know that as I say these thingsÂ to you in a very, perhaps “chipper” tone, I am notÂ someÂ happy-go-lucky young punk chick who thinks her littleÂ problems are bad. IÂ have been throughÂ alot of intense emotional trauma and pain in my short life, and I am oftenÂ very morbidly depressed andÂ apathetic. The few things I mentioned to you aren’t half of what constitutes theÂ pain in my heart. The existential frustration is the ultimate worst.
But I have tried (unwittingly at first) to USE this depression, this shuffle between emptiness, noÂ feelings, meaninglessness, hopelessness, self-hatred, anger,Â hope, joy, all of it, to learn more about myself and to somehow become a stronger and different person.Â Trust me, I didn’t think it was possible. I heardÂ everyone talk about how what doesn’tÂ kill you makes you stronger. I thought it was, well, bullshit. And it is for some people if they makeÂ it such. You have the power to make out of this gray stage whatever you want.
SOmetimes I fear that I’ll always have severe bouts with depression, wanting to end it all.Â I wonder if the next time it will be even worse than the last. How will I survive it again, especially if it’s more severe? It scares the HELL out of me. Part of me doesn’t want to deal withtÂ that.
But thenÂ I remember the little happy times, the small comforts andÂ joys stuck in the collage of fear and pain. Theyre jewels toÂ me. Just like I am a jewel to someone, like my mom.Â Are you someone’s jewel? Do you have a family? Friends, pets?
I once heard somethingÂ from an old hippie-type man who said he contemplated suicide when he was in his “blah” stage as he called it. At the time I talked to him he was in his 70s. I asked him why he ultimately didn’t do the deedÂ when he do desperately wanted to end it. He told me that heÂ had committed suicide.Â “What?” I asked, perplexed.
Seeing my obvious bewilderment heÂ explained that, he didÂ let die the part of himÂ that needed to die. He said, “when most people think of suicide they interpret it as killing of one’s physical body. The problem withÂ that is, the body is simply an organism, it has done nothing in relation to the way you feelÂ and knows not what ails theÂ soul. It is simply the vehicle to act out that which the real you (inside), the part that hurts, is feeling. This vehicle is the only real material item that we individually posess and have dominion over, it is given to us and we are responsible for caring for it the best we can while it houses us temporarily. It is not responsible for that which our soul/spirit suffers from.Â The physical bodyÂ cannot causeÂ neither feel emotional pain, only physical pain. So itÂ isÂ entirely logical to conclude that ifÂ one kills their physical body when it is the spirit that is hurting, this will cause no change to the way the spirit feels, it will only produce the end result of killing the organism. So with that realization, I decided that killingÂ of my body was of no use to me, onlyÂ killing, or rather “letting die” the wounded and unfeeling parts of my spirit that wereÂ holding me back from progressing in my life the way I knew that I should.”
Ah, don’t you just love how pure logic can really solve almost any problem!
He was speaking in spanish when I talked to him,Â so this is not word-for-word butÂ it is basically what he said.Â I will neverÂ forget that old man! He was so serene, so peaceful and joyful.Â It was like nothing bothered him anymore, he had no fear of this life or what happened afterward. He knew he existed because he is a part of the universe, a part of everything, meaning that he would always be, in some form or another. He knew there was an intelligent, perfect design to everything, an ultimate reason for his existence.
For his spiritual “suicide, what heÂ did was firstÂ ask himself what he really wanted: his immediate, superficial mind was telling him he wanted to die. He asked againÂ if that was what he really “wanted?” He realized the fact that he wanted to “die” wasÂ really a mask,Â secondary desire in direct relation to what he really wanted and his apparentÂ inability to obtain it. What he really wanted was to feelÂ like his life had meaning andÂ that he had a purpose, an ultimate purpose, and control over his life and his destiny.Â YetÂ he seemed to feel thatÂ all his life he had just “gone wherever the wind blew him”, wherever his life took him instead of taking his life wherever he wanted it to go. HeÂ said heÂ often feltÂ useless like he made no difference in the world, like his life could have been better if HE’D been better and not missed so many opportunities when he was younger. He feltÂ intense guilt over past actions he couldn’t correct. He didn’t feel he was worthy of progressing even if he could. He felt that anything he did from then forward would just be a waste of his fading energy, and would be utterly pointless anyway.
Upon realizing what he really wantedÂ and the root to his apathy, he tried to change his perception of life. He beganÂ (very slowly) toÂ seeÂ each day as aÂ new day to think in a different way andÂ seeÂ how thisÂ viewpoint mixed with newÂ opportunities couldÂ change his life. He decidedÂ to let go of the guilt andÂ emotional baggage he’d felt for years. He stoppedÂ “thinking” of things before doing them. StartedÂ going out, traveling,Â getting involved in other people’s lives,Â talking to homelessÂ people and takingÂ them out to lunch. THingsÂ that would haveÂ seemed SO out of character for him in the past. Changing his actions changed his mind about many things. He began to like himself again, and laugh again, and surprise himself with himself!
Sorry if this is long-winded but it just remidns me so much of you! Not that I know you terribly well but I’ve been thinking aboutÂ him lately and I thought it might be helpful for you. I wonder how he is doing these days. I interviewed him while studying abroad in Belize.
Anyway, justÂ an analogy that the body is probably not what needs to change form or die, but rather some other part ofÂ who you areÂ either needs to change because it no longer represents/suits who you want to be, or perhaps some part of youÂ IS dying, asÂ little parts of us die each day to make way for newer, better facets ofÂ who we are.Â Oh boy do IÂ know howÂ miserable andÂ “gray” (the best word I can think of to describe it) this spiritual dying process can be, but I think it is actually a creative process if you give it a chance.
Many of you have read my posts and been with me during my painful yet creative spiritual journey. I must tell you, talking with this ola man (Bartolo was his name) really opened my eyes to a new perception of life. THis dialogue took place not only for me, but for all of you as well. I truly hope it helps others the same way it helped me.