Back in the day, man, I’d talk death and suicide and hopelessness all day long, without feeling a thing. I actually ENJOYED it.
Now? I feel icky. Seriously. I’ve been blogging about suicide, I’ve been talking about suicide, and it makes me feel icky because part of me doesn’t want to even bring it up. I’ve changed. I want to talk about how great Lynyrd Skynyrd is, or how cute kittens are, or puppies, or how I loved watching Star Wars when I was a kid. I’d pour over my Star Wars memorabilia and it filled me with such excitement, such longing, such power. For an eight-year-old boy, back in the day, Star Wars was magic.
Don’t get me wrong, I can still talk about death and suicide and hopelessness, but inside, it just feels wrong. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m letting the world in on my secret, that I’ve had such a hard time with life—stupid, regular, boring, everyday, inane life. Getting up, brushing my teeth, going to work, it all feels so hard. I don’t want it to. I want to celebrate life because it is so very, very short. So very, very temporary. But I forget.
Another reason why I don’t want to talk about suicide is that people have had friends, relatives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers kill themselves, and if I bring it up, I might hurt them. I worry about that a lot.
A bigger fear is that part of me is afraid if I talk about suicide, I might give people the idea that it’s okay. It’s not okay. Not at all. Suicide and okay don’t even live in the same country. Like I’ve said before, suicide is a form of murder, the person kills themselves and kills a part of everyone around them. It’s a nuclear bomb going off in a family. And radiation poisons everyone long after the fact.
So I’m afraid that, by talking about it, I’m spreading suicidal cheer like a demented Johnny Appleseed. That’s in the book, one of my favorite lines.
I keep thinking about what one of my characters says to the depressed JD, the hero of LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING. She says, “You don’t get to talk about suicide without there being consequences.”
And she’s right. I only hope that people who’ve had the dark thoughts, that me talking about it, that this book I wrote, might let them know they aren’t alone. I’ve been suicidal. I am not suicidal anymore. In fact, most days, I kinda enjoy life.
There is hope. We can change. There is help.
One good thing about life? Music? When I hear a song, and that song hits me in just the right way, like Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”, it’s like a Star Wars moment. For a minute, the world is magical, I feel powerful. There is a mystery to this life thing, a profound mystery I’m going to chase, I’m going to experience, and that I love.
Life is sweet.