Changes: On Depression, Choices and Suicide

“I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself:
“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”..” – Tupac, Changes

Over the years, the topic of suicide has mostly remained taboo, with even those who choose to discuss it expressing rather mediocre feelings about it.

“Why would someone choose to do that? There’s so much to live for.”

“Suicide is selfish.”

“It’s weak.”

And for a while, I understood how they felt. I honestly to a certain degree still do. But I can’t say I share those sentiments.

One never really knows what depression feels like until they’re in it. It’s more than sadness, it’s more than not being happy at having had a bad day, it’s more than a week filled with unfortunate events.

Depression engulfs you. It leaves you feeling worthless, powerless and useless and trying to explain that to people who will only respond with a “Cheer up, look at the bright side” aggravates everything.

I stopped trying to explain it to people who would suggest that maybe I should just get high.

Maybe if I wrote about it it would be better.

Maybe I should just take a nap.

Pray about it.

Simply, cheer up.

I feel like it must be understood that if a person comes to you with certain issues, you should probably appreciate the effort it took. They reached out to you. I could just as well continue to crumble inside my own head but if I TRIED to come to you, then I probably trust you with my issues and my shame, and that’s a lot.

Depression isn’t trivial. It’s not as simple as “I’ll eat a cookie and I’ll be fine.”

For some it’s to do with chemical imbalances in the brain, hormones, trauma, but I couldn’t tell you why it happens, if it’s a combination of the three, more, or none.

All I know is it does. And most times, it’s like sitting through a very long appointment you never wanted to be there for anyway.

And suicidal thoughts come with the territory.

A couple of attempts if you’re brave or tired enough.

And when you’re going through it, you don’t give too much of a damn about everyone else. In that moment, it’s about you, and you feel like you are failing yourself, failing at Life.

Of course we take into consideration how our loved ones may feel. They’ll be hurt. But pain and grief pass. People die all the time and most of us feel and know, it’ll pass.

While discussing it with a friend the other day, I told him the only reason I hadn’t killed myself yet was because even at my lowest, I know chances are, I might just be okay one day. There’s that 7% of Hope. Sometimes, it’s not what you’re going through, it’s the fact that you’re going through it, again, that threatens to send you over the edge.

And he told me he intends to leave sometime soon.

I didn’t attempt to dissuade him.

And I’m not sure if that makes me a bad friend or whatever, but I do know this:

It’s unfair for us to keep people here who honestly cannot continue with Life. Will we miss them? Yes. I know I’m personally not prepared should he honestly decide to commit suicide but that would be a decision that he makes, for himself, regarding his Life.

It’s selfish for us to want to keep people here when most of us don’t understand how hard it is for them.

Sometimes antidepressants don’t work.

Usually, motivational books are absolute rubbish.

And no, talking about it doesn’t always help.

For some people, Life is like this:

We’ve walked into a room.  We meet a lot of people and get along with some. We go through some shit in this room. And eventually, some want to leave earlier than others. No amount of drinks or chit chat will pick up their mood.  They want to go. They may even NEED to go. And what are we to do?

I think, respect their decision, whether we like it or not.

It’s not about us at the end of the day.

And sometimes you can’t be someone’s hero.

A Blues existence in an Ignorant Rap era

I’m not sure if I could love myself if I didn’t know myself. If experience has taught me anything it’s that I’m the kind of person that you have to learn, to understand, in order to appreciate.  Most people I know alternate between hating and adoring me, and I understand because I do too.

I am too unstable for people to be calm around. I relate too much to female characters in Toni Morrison novels, Amy Winehouse spoke my heart so well I’m convinced she was Jesus and her music was the gospel, when Beyonce played Etta James in Cadillac Records, I understood exactly what she meant when she said “Oh honey, you wouldn’t even begin to understand my problems.”  I expect myself to end up with a drug habit, it would be shocking if I made it to 25 without the help of a therapist.

I am not shallow. I can be. But it is not in my nature to be. I feel and I think. Sometimes too much, sometimes the wrong things, but I do.  I wouldn’t say I’ve earned the right to be referred to as Crazy but come back in 2 years and I’ll be almost there, probably. I’m not Torch-Your-House-Crazy yet because, well, I’m still somewhat logical and hopeful.  Hopeful that things work out, and logic tells me I’ll get caught and I’m not trying to have my life disrupted by arson charges over Love, but..As I said, this is now..

I understand things I wish I didn’t and am unable to verbalize things I wish I could.  There is a certain loneliness, pain that is heard in music that one would like to feel, but few do. I am feeling it and again, understand why beautifully tragic lives can only exist for so long.  I think only a few exceptional artists can package heartbreak, without a catchy beat and make you believe it’s bearable. And I don’t mean relationship wise, although that too, counts.

If I’ve learned anything about great, sad artists, and from my experience, your heart doesn’t break once, it’s not about that one man who left, although sometimes it may be. Your heart breaks every time you remember the tiniest of things, something someone said about why you’re difficult to love, the one who held on and had to go because you were killing him inside, the time your father showed he didn’t care anymore, the time your mother didn’t defend you, and then the facade cracks, because I believe as an artist you can only maintain your facade for so long. We aren’t allowed/able to leave things in the past, especially as a writer, everything is connected and you have to constantly pull up memories and experiences. I think as a musician or painter it’s different because they move one, a musician has to move with the times and a painter can constantly find new inspiration, well, unless they choose to fixate on one thing but, that’s it.

I’m failing at being Young.  I’m not youthful in any sense of the word, I can’t even dress like people my age, I have to try. Why? Because I’m simply not here.  I realize that when I’m around peers and I’m completely uninterested in their stories, their hour long discussions about why the boy never texted back, when I meet the boys who want to prey on my insecurities and save me from myself, when I meet the men who hope I’m naive enough to use, the family members who don’t think you’re destined for anything but mediocrity, I’m uninterested and most times unaffected.  To quote Cali from Power of Pussy, “..Some people are just out here living and I’m fighting for it.” My issues are more along the lines of trying not to be a struggling artist, staying away from alcohol and trying to convince myself  suicide isn’t as appealing as it actually is. These are real issues for me that I struggle with all the time and ironically, I want no help with. I’m convinced I’m strong enough to get over it alone although when the sun sets I highly doubt that.

I’ve been telling my best friend that I feel a very lonely existence. The kind that envelops you and explaining it is kind of like explaining what it’s like to breathe through your’s normal, seems insignificant but is necessary. My other friend said he’d like to create the perfect man for him and I explained, it’s not about a romantic relationship, I merely want someone to relate, to understand why I make mountains out of molehills and some days I’m depressed and inconsolable, why I am as I am, because of what I’ve been.  Companionship and intimacy. I tire of meeting people and hearing Amy Winehouse’s “Stronger Than Me” playing in my head.

But consider the age we live in.  Intimacy is feared by many because of the idea of vulnerability and knowing you’d have to share yourself with someone else. How many times have we done that and it’s gone wrong? How many times has one had to mend bruised hearts and shattered egos and hide their trust issues? One too many it seems, for all of us.  But I often wonder if “Bitches ain’t shit” is strong enough to make you feel right on your worst day when you’re craving genuine affection.

I often say I need stable people around me but to be frank and fair, I wouldn’t know what to do with them. I’m learning the key to every functioning relationship, no matter how small, is understanding. Calm people with average life stories are not for me, I tend to ruin those that I encounter. On the other hand, finding your own Blake Fielder-Civil will mean little to no peace, or a different kind, I don’t know yet.

These thoughts make me feel selfish, because I’ve been blessed with a best friend I consider my Soul-Mate. A man who loves me unconditionally and I often tell people it’s sad because not a lot of people will get to feel what we have for each other in their lifetime. But despite this, despite the fact that I already experience an indescribable love that fulfills almost every part of me, there’s that. Because even he, as much as he loves me, cannot feel what I do as I do. He understands some bits and I may be asking too much to expect/ hope for, what I do.  But I understand why it isn’t possible, he is not me and I get that. I’m grateful for his love and support, still.

I think what I’m trying to say is, I want to connect with more people and unfortunately we live in a time when people would rather be anything but honest.  About their flaws, their desires, themselves. And for people like me, this leaves one feeling out of place and odd.

To quote @RomanKush on the issue “We’re the last of a dying breed”.

It’s hard to see the beauty in yourself to begin with considering Society. Even harder when we can’t even tell each other we’re worth something. When the only compliments you can count on are from two friends, strangers on the internet and yourself.

I wondered last night if a “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” would matter coming from the same person everyday. I doubted it. As I type this I wonder if I do my part, and I don’t know. I may be too busy observing to do anything.

I’m over having sex and miss making love. Fuck, I miss holding hands. Being able to cry in front of those you consider close to you, and I don’t mean silent tears, ugly cries. I miss passion. The raw passion that terrifies and yet intrigues. I’m sometimes ashamed of the fact that it burns in me because I don’t see it elsewhere.

And to answer Warsan’s question, Yes, I tried to change, and I know you understand why, and I couldn’t because this is how I am. And it’s a constant struggle to remember that I’m like this for a reason. That I have a right to sing the Blues.  I have to teach myself to not do what almost every other person I’ve met has done, told me I’m too much or too little of something. And this is where I am now.

And if I ever decide Life’s gotten to be too much, I will forgive myself for the decision I will make, because I will understand.  And it will not mean I would have been ungrateful for anything that has happened or anything that I’ve learned.

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Stop being an Asshole

I detest being told how to feel, on anything.

I’m the kind of person to cry in the middle of the mall if I feel like it, or laugh like a carefree loose woman during a church service.

At any point in time, I am deep within my Self and feeling all of it.

I recently went through [Am currently going through] some shit and what I realized was people try their hardest to stifle their emotions and expect you to do the same.

“Don’t cry…Deal with it..It’ll pass..You should forgive yourself for this..” 

I’ve decided to detest all who’ve said these words to me.

I don’t believe people should comment on experiences they don’t understand. You don’t have shit to say.

When a woman loses her child, regardless of whether she knew she was expecting it or not, you have no right to tell her to “Just get over it and keep moving..It’ll pass.” Fuck you.

In fact, any traumatic experience should not be met with indifference.

I understand if people are uncomfortable with dealing with other people’s feelings. I do.  Personally when people cry in front of me or breakdown, it makes me extremely uncomfortable, but I would never stop them from doing it because of how I feel. It’s not my time. 

When someone attempts suicide and survives, the last thing they wanna hear is “You shouldn’t have done that..You’ll be fine. Why don’t you talk to us about it?” Do you understand that this person was on the brink of ending their lives? They went that far because they were fairly sure of it. Do you understand what it’s like to reach a point where nothing matters? Not even those you care about? And now you want them to “discuss” it? For them to bond with you? How do you expect them to verbalize it?  Suicide is not something  you decide on over night. It’s taken someone a while to get to that point and you think because YOU now noticed that there’s an issue things’ll change? Fuck you.

Nobody’s asking for sympathy. If it was desired, that would be stated. 

I’m saying : Stop being an asshole.

If you do not understand someone’s struggle and are unable to sympathize, say nothing.  Your 2 cents is worthless to someone in pain.

Your opinion on how things SHOULD be doesn’t mean shit.

People are hurting.  In ways that you couldn’t fathom.

Why must they deal with their pain AND your insensitivity coupled with your stupidity?