One thing I noticed recently is my life resembles a hailstone, i.e. severe ups and downs. There’s actually a way to represent this mathematically (and yes, I am going somewhere with this!)
Take any natural number N. If N is even, divide by 2 (to obtain N/2); if N is odd, multiply by 3 and add 1 (3N+1). Repeat this sequence.
I’ll work out a brief example. Let’s start with 3:
3 is odd, so we multiply by 3 and add 1 to get 10.
10 is even, so divide by 2, to get 5.
5 is odd, so multiply by 3 and add 1, to get 16.
16 is even, so divide by 2 to get 8.
8 is even, so divide by 2 to get 4.
4 is even, so divide by 2 to get 2.
2 is even, so divide by 2 to get 1.
1 is odd, so multiply by 3 and add 1, to get 4.
From here, you will notice that you’re stuck at an endless repeat of 4, 2, 1. And no matter what number you start with, you end up at 1. This whole mess is called Collatz Conjecture, in which Collatz postulates…Exactly what I just said: that no matter what number you start with, you eventually reach 1. And, of course, 4 and 2, as well.
But even with just 4, 2, and 1, notice that there’s a high point, and a low point. And they keep repeating, ad infinitum. High, middle, low. High, middle, low.
And it never ends.
Does anyone think that depression has a similar property? High points, low points, middle points, on some endless loop, like an annoying record on repeat? Unlike the math, though, we have an option to break the loop, if we so desire. We can break it all, like glass. Pop it like a balloon.
But one thing I’ve been wondering (and I’ve mentioned this extensively in previous posts) is what happens afterwords. To people that know you, certainly, but also to YOU. You, as a person; you, as an entity. I have a friend who insists he helped his uncle’s spirit move on. He says he’s seen demons, etc. So I’m not exactly sure if I believe him. I’ve been asking myself all the philosophical questions that most people either scowl or WTF at: do we have free will, or do we just believe we do? I.e. Are we just puppets in some massive puppet show? Does god really exist? There’s even some crazy professor who’s convinced we are running in someone else’s computer simulation. As you can tell, what happens after death (or even during life) is not something anybody can answer. I’ll probably find out soon, though, and end my hailstone. 4, 2, 1 will be finally ending, for me. (or -2, -1 if you prefer the negative side.) For those who scoff at the idea of suicide (it’s the easy way out!) I ask you to consider this: do you have the courage to potentially end up completely nonexistent? To end up in a theoretical heaven, or hell? To end up in a massive 4, 2, 1 (ad infinitum) death march? To end up reincarnated? To end up somewhere that is literally unknown? A lot of people scoff at people with depression, or people who are suicidal, because a lot of times, said people do not KNOW depression or suicide: that is, they’ve very little experience with it, and thus do not understand it.
But suicidal people do not understand death, yet embrace it. Fully. What is more courageous than that: to completely embrace what we do not understand – that we cannot understand, no matter what? That, to me, is the most courageous thing of all.