Taken from Robert Crumb’s Plunge Into The Depths Of Despair (1983)
And if anyone wants these comic strips in a PDF form:
I’d like to start by thanking you for taking time out of your day to read this. I, like most writers, write as a means of expression, but to have my writing viewed by you is even more rewarding, for my thoughts are then able to be shared and acknowledged.
You may or may not have been a previous reader of mine, but for many years I wrote these blogs, and upon completion of each of them I was always able to derive from them a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. To read people’s feedback was equally rewarding, as it afforded me the insight that I sometimes lacked, and provided for me a sense of belonging, as I was constantly being reminded that I was not alone with my struggles in this world. That’s one thing that I’ve come to learn: that no matter what one is going through, no matter what I am going through, there is always someone else in the world going through something similar. And believe me when I tell you, it helps to know that you’re not alone.
I imagine that’s why I’ve enjoyed corresponding with people online throughout the years. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of writing people all over the world who struggled as I did, psychologically. I’m still in touch with some of those people, and I’m happy to say that I’m not the only one of us who’s gotten better. We had helped each other at one time or another by sharing our thoughts with each other. I submit that, while the feedback we gave each other was generally positive in nature, it was the mere acknowledgement of our feelings, of our expressions, that felt most impactful. It was the fact that someone heard our cries and cared to offer their help that made expressing ourselves in the first place worthwhile. Being heard meant being validated.
So, in writing this note, I aim to be heard, but I also believe that you will be able to relate to my feelings. And if you do, whether my feelings are of a negative or a positive nature, the fact remains that neither of us are alone. And if we’re not alone, then we can face this game called life together with each others’ support.
Allow me to begin…
I would like to first state that the previous four paragraphs took me over an hour to write. I edited them many times and even rewrote one of them. That’s how critical I am about my writing. I expect of myself nothing less than my greatest potential, at least when it comes to things that I find meaningful. I find writing meaningful, and it’s something with which I find refuge and gain a sense of pride upon completion. Some people have art, some have music, and others have exercise. Me, I have writing. That’s my thing. And I’m so very grateful to have a “thing” with which I can gain much meaning. I’m glad to have such a value, such an outlet.
For many years, while I had writing as a means of comfort, I lacked other things, more significant things, and the absence of such things brought unto me a depression so terrible that I thought very seriously of ending my life. I had nothing from which I could derive a sense of purpose or self-worth. Living in a chronic state of an unrelenting depression, my only recourse, as I saw it, was to end my life. And I nearly did.
I was very fortunate to have the right people come into my life at the right time to prevent me from taking my life. Had they not been there for me when they were, while I’m left with no sense of absolute certainty, I can say with sincerity that it is extremely unlikely that I’d be alive today and writing this note. I am forever indebted to them. They saved my life. And the most significant sentiment of it is that I’m grateful that they saved my life. I’m grateful to have been given a second chance at life. How fortunate I am to have this attitude and to appreciate my place in this world. Sometimes it still feels foreign, but righteous just the same.
I was saved from suicide just two years ago. And looking back, I take measure of how far I’ve since come. I haven’t merely existed an additional two years, I’ve grown so very much as a person and have gained a humble respect for the value that my life has. I haven’t done anything grand: I haven’t cured cancer, I haven’t found a cure for AIDS, I’ve offered no panacea for global politics, but I have learned to appreciate life, to appreciate my life, and to do such a thing is remarkably rewarding in and of itself.
I write with such passion my gratitude for being here, today. I think very highly of the people who saved me, as they are my personal heroes. But to merely revel in their sentiment is to not live life as it should be lived. I must learn from my past, as I have, and move forward in a sort of conquest, consisting of nothing more than my advancement through the rest of my life. I must learn to appreciate my existence, my place in this world, whether big or small, as I have just as much a right to it as anyone else.
It’s still a great struggle for me sometimes, though. I have to remind myself that I am someone who was depressed for a very long time and that it’s only natural that I continue to feel that way from time to time. The true test to my perseverance toward living a good life comes when I’m at my worst. It is at those times that I have to especially remind myself that I’m not alone, that people care about me, and that there is purpose for my existence.
These days, both psychologically and situationally, I’m pretty content with life. I haven’t had a single suicidal thought in eight months and that’s the longest stretch that I can remember. I’m very proud of that. I’ve certainly had a fair share of bouts with depressing thoughts, but nary a suicidal thought occurred within the last eight months. To me, that’s indicative of progress; maybe a permanent progress. In other words, maybe suicidal ideation is completely behind me now. Maybe I’ll never give it another thought for the rest of my days. But even if I’m to think about it again, even seriously, I mustn’t think of myself as going back to square one, but rather as having a relapse of sorts, one that I can recover from quickly.
My greatest focus lately has been that of my character. I try to exhibit humility whenever possible. While I’m very easily able to empathize with others’ struggles, to offer myself to them is something that I need to more frequently practice, even if I’m to accomplish nothing more than being a shoulder to cry on. I’ve been very conscious of my mannerisms, and while I’m still inclined to self-deprecate from time to time, perhaps for not meeting an unrealistic, self-established standard, I do my best to be of good character. I try to make it more of a habit to help others when I can. To me, that matters. I feel almost as though this depression that I’d gone through had imbued me with a greater ability to empathize with others, and perhaps it’s my duty to exploit this understanding to better others so that they don’t have to suffer as I did. Maybe that’s simply my attempt to rationalize my horrible past to make it seem worthwhile; however, whatever the reason, the result can only be beneficial.
I cried very heavily when I found this out, but I was told by a reader of my book, Saved from Suicide, that upon reading my book her decision to end her life had left her. She found me on Facebook and told me that my story illustrated hope for her. She told me that she had been plotting her suicide, but her mindset had changed upon reading my story. Hearing her say such a thing was more sentimental than I knew how to handle. We ended up talking on the phone and I cried as I listened to her story. I found it so sad that she felt suicidal in the first place, and so very thankful that something I wrote was able to to deter her from ending her life. I’d never been told something so sentimental before, something that I was responsible for, and I felt even more purposeful after learning that I had impacted someone’s life in such a way.
I’ve continued to offer my help in this regard by attending support groups from time to time. While I attend them with the intent of helping others, I find that I continue to benefit from others’ help as well. I have not conquered depression; I’ve merely come to manage it. But to the extent that I’ve learned to manage it, I’ve opened myself to endless, positive possibilities.
One possibility that I’ve been fortunate enough to realize and see come to fruition is the invaluable friendship that I share with a handful of people whom I know from the gym I used to work for. I have had the pleasure of enjoying their company on several occasions and I deem them of reputable character. They are good people. There are a few others whom I consider good friends as well, and surely they know who they are.
To have an acquaintance is to have a peer with a common interest. To have a friend is to have someone to confide in. I am grateful to have the friends that I have and I hope that I can reciprocate the friendship that they’ve demonstrated unto me.
For fear of rambling to no end, I’ll conclude this entry by stating that I feel grateful for finding my purpose, establishing wonderful friendships, and those who have continued to help me through my struggles. I wish to remain humble, and I am obliged that you took the time to read this note in its entirety. If nothing else, I hope to be a beacon of hope for those who continue to suffer from depression. There is hope, my friends.
Faced some harsh truths this weekend. I’m probably just as, if not more heartless than I perceive those around me. The deep angry hatred for everything is growing. I’m conflicted. How can I be so full of hate and be so empty?
I’ve committed some unspeakable atrocity. In the name of self righteous vengeance. The sad reality, I’m not capable of hating anyone more than I hate myself.
My, wife, surely abuses me. But I guess I deserve it. I’m a terrible person. I’ve done and do despicable things. I have nothing good to give anyone.
I tried to kill myself long before her. I will again whether we separate or not. I guess that’s the hard part prolonging the inevitable with pathetic excuses. Eventually they’ll expire, as will I .
My life has never been a happy one. At least, not for me. I have no idea why I had to be such a miserable person. Why I had to be perpetually afraid, miserable, feel completely alone, and live in utter anguish. I don’t feel I did anything to deserve it. In fact, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am owed something, that I deserve more, that I am better than what’s happened to me. But, it doesn’t make a difference how I feel, or what I do to demand the world give me a fair shake, because in the end there only happens to be one thing that matters to me….. they call it the one that got away. What a terrible idea. The idea that the one who was perfect for you, could possibly get away.
I am now engaged, to someone I love very much. However, not more than 6 months before I met him, did I date someone who I love more than any other person I have ever met. I have always had a very strong sense of love, and it was never difficult for me to fall in love with anyone. But the ones who I do end up falling of a rare number. Of them, they have all varied in intensity, but it was one in particular who I fell for hardest of them all. I love him more than anything in the world. And it isn’t my fiancee. For context, I am male, who is engaged to a male, but loves another male more than any other human being on this planet. At least, of those that I have met.
Now, to give background: About a year and a half ago I met this young man, and I had the best three weeks in my life. Inexplicably, he ended the relationship after my having spent three days with him. We had a wonderful time, and we had so much in common, matching on such an intimate level. I have been very clingy with every person I ever dated, but for some reason, I didn’t feel the pressure to cling to him. I didn’t ever feel like he was going to slip away. And then he did. I never suspected it would happen the way that it did. In fact, for some reason, to this day, I feel that somehow, deep down, he will absolutely come back. In spite of my having tried to contact him numerous times, and yet, not getting even the slightest response. In fact, as far as I can tell, he has never done that to anyone he has dated. For some reason, I scared him more than anyone else, and he blocked me from every aspect of his life. But of course, me being me, I stalked him. I couldn’t help myself, but I also tried hard to let him go. Often going for months at a time between viewing his profiles and other such media, trying desperately to let go. Honestly, I never had to try so hard to let go of someone I couldn’t see every day, for this person lives 500 miles away, and our lives never overlap, so for me, this should have been simple, but it wasn’t. For some reason, even for the months and months that I didn’t view his profiles, and even tried to deny his existence, I couldn’t help but think of him. I found myself doing things, with him in mind. Things that I would normally do, but thinking how much he would be impressed that I was doing them. It was all quite ridiculous. To be frank, I find myself to be more idiotic than ever before. I used to post on Facebook, just in hopes he would see them. In the end, I have since had to hide everything on all of my accounts, and even simply stopped even really using it, knowing that all I did was in hopes he would see.
I mean, there is nothing more ridiculous than this. Yet, to make things more obscure, he made my life worth living. For the first time in my life, suicide wasn’t a constant thought on my mind, and I found myself actually feeling that I deserve things, and that the world might actually owe me something. That being said, nothing I did ever took him out of my mind. At least, not for a year and a half now. Yet, I feel as though somehow, there is some deep, cosmic connection that will bring him back to me. Obviously, this is foolish, and he is likely dating someone, or has found someone far more permanent. Yet, I find myself feeling as though any day he could return. It has been most upsetting for me. Every day I don’t have him in my life, it’s just a massive disappointment. To make things worse, I am engaged, and yes, I do love him quite a lot. He is hands down the best person I have ever dated, in my life, however, I know he isn’t the right one.
I am with my fiancee because firstly, I don’t want to hurt him. He has never had a break up, much less someone break off an engagement with him. Secondly, I feel heartless to break off an engagement, regardless of who it is. Third, I feel that what if I break up, and realize he was the one, and then lose him too. But, in reality, I know he isn’t, and so I feel guilty for keeping him from finding his “the one”. Yet, I feel that, because I am such a good guy, maybe I should stay with him, and break the cycle of sweet and decent people getting their hearts destroyed, and somehow make a difference in some cosmic way. But I often feel like a prisoner in the relationship, and I know that leaving him doesn’t mean the love of my life will come back to me. In fact, I know it means nothing of the sort. But I feel that the relationship I am in has to end at some point. I don’t think it’s a healthy relationship if I feel trapped all of the time. Regardless of how much I love that sweet boy. And inevitably, if I do end the relationship, I will just have copious amounts of sex with random attractive people. After all, I felt my youth was stolen from me, in that I am 28, I didn’t lose my virginity until 26, and I haven’t had sex in over a year.
So, here’s how it is, my fiancee is from another country 7000 miles away. We will call it….. the “Philippines”, and while we did oral and things like that, we never “sealed the deal”. So it’s been a while. Oh yeah, I should mention, we didn’t “seal the deal”, because I was too emotionally linked to that guy who wouldn’t even talk to me. On top of that, I have only “gone all the way” with one human in the world, and that also means I gave my virginity to that person. Of course, you know that person as the love of my life. In fact, I tried with a few other people, but only was able to with that one person. It was so perfect to me, but of course, that is my life. I couldn’t possibly have perfect. I even started to believe because of that person. I started to pray. I started to truly think we had a deep connection. Someone even started stalking me, and I thought it was him. I never found out who it was, but it wasn’t him. So, here I am, I am stuck in this miserable state, feeling completely obligated to someone who I feel imprisoned by, and feeling that the “perfect” person is off fucking other people. It’s just ridiculous.
I feel for once that this life owes me something. I have been nothing but selfless. Literally remaining alive to prevent the misery of those who would lament in my death. But I am not here to just give and receive nothing anymore. It is not just. It is not righteous. It is not fair. I will not do it.
While all of this is going on, and I am also trying desperately to get rid of a roommate (I can provide context in a bit), my favorite grandparent, having had all four for all of my 28 years of life, my maternal grandmother contracts lung cancer, but no one knows it until it is stage four, and she died. Not but a week ago. It has been quite depressing. Of course, I feel even more selfish, because I have been lamenting the fact that I can’t be with the one I love. Not to say her death doesn’t weigh heavily on my mind, but I know she is at peace now, knowing the kind of person she is, and the life she was living. So, I suppose, it isn’t as traumatic for me. She had been declining quickly since October. I think she knew it was her time. But then, I am making excuses. As close as we were, I should be completely wrapped up in that, not my stupid little love problems. Anyway, it has made life considerable more depressing.
As for the roommate, that has just added to the problems. He is a selfish, immature, little twat, who can’t take care of himself. He treats his cat like shit. And I want him out. However, the basement was flooded by a previous roommate, so right now, I can’t get in a new roommate, with the house in the state that it’s in, so I can’t throw out this little fuck. Keep in mind, if we move out, my grandparents, who own the house, and are in a nursing home, then have to sell the house. I also need about three roommates to keep the rent down, can’t get the third one in, because of the basement, so my aunt (the landlord and executor of my grandparents estate), has been cutting us a deal, but once the basement is finished, I am not convinced anyone decent will want to live with this annoying fuck. So, I have to get rid of him, and somehow conjure up two roommates that are decent at the same time. Keeping in mind, I have had four roommates total, over the last year, and only one of them wasn’t a useless *****. Forgive my vulgarity.
I am drunk as we speak. I have been drinking a lot since my grandmother passed. I can’t really get to sleep without a drink. Alcoholism runs in my family, so I am aware of the dangers, and I actually hate the taste of alcohol. I hate drinking. I do it merely for the effect. So, when I do it, I really have to have quite a big push, but it seems the only reasonable way to sleep. I cry every time I drink to. I think that alcohol is just truth serum. It makes everything under the surface come up and so the crying is just something that I feel I need to do, but can’t without it.
I don’t know why I love someone who has treated me so poorly. Innately, I want to defend him, and say he hasn’t treated me so poorly, but he has. Though, he never lied to me, or abused me. But he wouldn’t simply talk to me, and that hurts in it’s own right. I have felt that the reason he blocked me, and not the other people he dated, was that he really did love me. Since, I never did anything obsessive or over the top while I was with him. I never really even stalked him for weeks after we “broke up”. I never even messaged him until then either. And everything I ever said was very sane and well put together. None of this, “why don’t you love me. My life is horrible without you.” I just laid out facts for him. No doubt, the fact that I tried to contact him several, though minimal times over the course of a year, was bizarre, I somehow feel I had to. In fact, I had always had that desire with others, but I refrained, because I always knew it was insane, but everything that I did involving him, it somehow felt right. It somehow felt necessary. I felt like we were meant to be together. He even said he had never told anyone as much as he had told me. I suspect no one had ever taken an interest in who he truly was. But of course, I hate to say I was anything special to him, but I felt like somehow I was. I don’t even understand why I think that, but I do, even now. The reality is far different from my brains delusion. He is likely hooking up with some hunk, and I am stuck feeling completely destroyed.
He wasn’t the hottest person I have ever, or could ever date, maybe a 7 or an 8, but he was a million to me. He was complete and utter perfection in my eyes. I can’t help it. He was beautiful, and intelligent, and I loved him so deeply, but I never felt like I would lose him. I felt like he was just there to stay, and that lasted all of three weeks. I drove down and met him, and we spent three days together. It was quite fun, but then he just said he wasn’t ready for “this”, and that maybe “someday”, and the last thing he did before going back into his house and cutting me out of his life forever, was to kiss me, on the lips. I will never understand humans. Ironically, they are so easy to understand, yet, they do these things that ruin my life in ways I can’t fathom.
I hate humanity. I love a handful, but overall, I want to see them all dead. Or better, have their free will stolen. That is just a sneak peak of what how angry I am. I can’t stand my life, and I know that if I continue living it, and I start living up to my potential, I will be able to do terrible things to the humans. I feel as though I am outside of them. As though they are something separate from me. I can’t stand most of them, most of the time. I feel as though they are cockroaches to be smashed. I know that if I continue this life, I will punish all of humanity, for the injustices I have suffered. I am not talking some kind of childish public outburst, but something more severe. Something on the order of war crimes. It is insane to think like that, but I have spent two decades planning in my head, and I have a firm grasp of how such things are accomplished. It’s absolutely horrendous, but my anger at the injustice that is my life is seething right beneath the surface, all day, every single day.
I was always a sweet person. I was the most peaceful, decent, loving person. I always put others first, and I did everything in my power to make others happy. But nothing good ever happened for me, and the one time that something should have been amazing for me, it was an utter failure. Whether that be “the one that got away”, or the fact that somehow, I have this amazing fiancee, and can’t love them as much as they deserve. What the fuck is wrong with this life? I mean, seriously, how could such fucked up things happen?
So, in the end, that leaves me here, typing out my life story on this site, because ultimately, no one cares, no one can do anything to change it, and it doesn’t really matter. I am considering, after my grandmother is laid to rest, just ending my life. I mean, after all, I have no reason to be here, and of the things that kept me from suicide all this time, such as hurting other people, and also bad timing, like committing suicide during the holidays, or right after my grandmother just past, there isn’t really a reason for me not to. I mean, I know, it’s a big ole travesty when someone takes their life, but if you really look at it objectively, I don’t fucking matter at all. Even with all my unpublished works. Frankly, I feel humanity doesn’t deserve my works, after the fucking hell they put me through. And no, I wasn’t abused… well, maybe if neglect is abuse, but really I wasn’t abused, or have some horrible life…. In fact, it’s something worse than that. It’s intellect. I see the exact value of everything in reality. Humans as a species alone are insignificant, this planet, equally so. This solar system isn’t even of value. This galaxy, completely unremarkable. And so on. So what the fuck does it matter if I die? I mean, really, as much as people love me, the one whose love I want the most doesn’t, so fuck it, why not just die?
Forgive me for wasting your time. I am just so sad. Not even my usual depression. As I said, everything changed after “the one”, and of course, I can’t be with him, so what the fuck does it matter. This life is a fucking laugh riot….. Again, my apologies, whoever might read this. And know, if I should die, I did it because I loved you, stranger.
I am not depressed. Or so I’m told anyway. Great stuff. Except that doesn’t relieve the crushing weariness which makes everyday life unbearable.
Aparently I cannot be depressed as my semi conscious, morose state isnt constant. No, I have days of energetic, paranoid agitation; bizarre periods of un-lucidity in which nothing seems as real as it should and believe it or not, some days of relative normality. Unfortunately however, accordong to some of the small army of doctors ive seen, the presence of these other states exempts me from any kind of medical inerest or help. They were not even swayed by my persistent rumination/ in depth planning of my own death. Im sure I must just be a self righteous, attention seeking fraud.
From my own research im convinced I have symptoms of a myriad of conditions: pure o ocd, schizotypal disorder etc. However I know that its easy to google yourself into all sorts of delusions. Its probably fine.
I would just love to have a name or a reason for what im feeling. Some kind of justification for being the miserable, stressy bastard that I am.
Covering your ears to prevent the assault of my screams
You don’t want to acknowledge the betrayal
Just the self righteous smile plastered smugly on your face
Now it’s time for the tables to turn
Time for you to feel how badly this burns
Through my heart, through my soul
And now that all is lost, especially my self control
I want you to know my pain
I want you to feel it dripping down your face
I want you to taste it on your lips
I hope you like what you see
Because you’re the one that did this to me
I’ve been grappling for weeks. This isn’t my first time down this path, I’m a pro at weathering them (but for an attempt in my early 20s when I didn’t know better). Â Right now I’m losing the battle. Â I’ve decided to concede, if nothing else for the peace it instantly brings me. Â But two things are really pissing me off about this right now.
1. Â Someone cares, pick up the phone, call them, they’re all going to be so devastated when you go, blah blah blah. Â Screw that. They all know. Â They know I’m a mess. Â Granted they’re not mind-readers, they don’t know that I’ve crossed over again in the last two days. Â But ya know knowing that I’ve been bone-crushingly depressed and massively suicidal on and off for two+ months now, you’d think maybe they’d frickin check in every few days. Â And if they oh truly cared so goddamned deeply they would. Â Yeah, I’m sure they’ll be bummed if I decide to go. Â But you know what? Â I’m gonna die of something and I’m not gonna just hang out on life support like Terri Shaivo because you’re uncomfortable with my suicide. Â Which leads me to rant 2
2. Â This is the one form of death where I am afforded no dignity. Â I cannot find medical care support for my choice to leave. Â I cannot say goodbye to people I love. Â I have to do it in secrecy and shame. Â It’s under a cloak that I have failed somehow and am behaving inappropriately. Â Screw that. Â Truly, why is it different that I die of suicide – which is escaping unbearable pain – at middle-age than it is of anything else. Â For a while I actually thought about pretending I have a terminal illness just so I could say goodbye to people (especially my grown children) and have a nurse or someone hold my hand while I go. Â The logistics because absurd Â It angers me I don’t get that on my own with where I’m at. Â Because I am a bad girl. Â Oh F that.
The less-than-thinly veiled hostility toward people who kill themselves leaves me livid. Â Whatever, I’ll be dead and won’t care anymore. Â But can you imagine if you were dying of heart disease or something and there was all this weird judgment and animosity and secrecy imposed on your death.
We’re born, we die. Â It’s part of the deal. Â Your death is no more righteous than mine.