A Suicide In My Brain

“Man looks into the abyss, and there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that’s what keeps him out of the abyss.” – Wall Street

A few months back, a high school classmate posted his suicide note on Facebook. Although I hadn’t laid eyes on him in 25+ years, I joined the frantic effort from his friends and family members in vain attempts to reach out to him. Hours passed, and while I knew that he had seen some of my messages, he stopped looking at them or responding.
My spirit bottomed out. I feared that our efforts would be fruitless, wasted with a culmination on some lonely dead end road.
It stirred up a black swirl of my own memories, when dark days prior to my separation and divorce led to even darker days that followed it.
Many nights spent lost in shadowy thoughts. Where internal debate rages between the fear of death and the pain of life and like some evil role call every single misstep and bad decision comes prancing out of lightless corners in the mind and each one happy to burden the scales in favor of ending it all.
Voices from nowhere reminding me what I waste I was, how I had squandered my life, ruined my family, destroyed my finances…
The gift of words that I had been blessed with I rarely used.
I felt that I had disappointed so many people.
Why was I continuing to remain here? What was the point?

I don’t endorse/condone suicide in any way, shape or form.(I don’t include terminal disease/medically assisted cases in this)

But I understand it.
Oh do I ever.
When the burdens grew nearly intolerable…I called my best friend and handed my gun over to him to keep. I told him that I was worried about security at the extended stay hotel I was at, but it was so much more than I could bear to talk to even him about. I asked him to hold onto it for safekeeping.
I let him hold onto it for months.

Until the internal debate simmered down.
Until I felt like my head was on straight.
Until I felt like I could breathe again.
Until I could look my children in the face and not feel like I was collapsing into a emotional disaster.
Until the dark thoughts finally dissipated.
Until I realized that there was hope.
Until I allowed myself to feel the love of those who rallied around me.
Until I could study the sunset and look forward to tomorrow.

As I write this, there is a story on Yahoo about Katy Perry and her own experience with suicidal thoughts. Even the young, wealthy, famous, gorgeous aren’t immune from the siren’s song…

And if there’s a battle raging inside of you or someone you know, act and act quickly. For your own good. For the sake of your loved ones. Because there is always hope. There’s always good things in the future. There is always a reason to keep on living.

As for my high school classmate, he was found at a hospital. I don’t have all of the details except the most important one…he is alive.
And for that I am thankful.

Long, hard times to come…

At risk of stirring up a shitstorm, I feel compelled to write today.

Not of sunshine, autumn breezes nor unicorns farting rainbows. But of life and its seemingly unending desire to plant a foot in my ass.

Some of you know, but most of you don’t, what’s happening in my life.

I am in the midst of a divorce.

It’s far worse than I ever imagined. Not that I have any regrets about leaving nor did I have halcyon dreams of an ideal post-nuptial life.

But man, I never expected to feel more angry after leaving than I did before I left. It’s as if I was being given a choice between a shit sandwich or shit soup. Here you go, Danny. Take your pick and enjoy your shit either way.

I was drinking a lot those last 6 months. Just to keep from losing my mind and to try to sleep at night. It kept me in check but I slept very little those last months. In fact, the past year has seemed to be one long, sleepless night due to one disappointment, betrayal and insult after another in all aspects of my life.

The good news is (if there is any) that I rarely touch the drink anymore. One problem solved. Many more waiting impatiently in the queue.

Now I’m faced with the task of planning some sort of future. Being mindful of the child support obligation that I’m very much okay with fulfilling, I wonder what type of home will I be able to acquire. What sort of neighborhood will I be able to afford… house or apartment? 3 bedrooms to accommodate the kids or only two since I only see them every other weekend? What will I be able to afford for Christmas? What if my car breaks down? Et cetera…

The road that stretched before me is fraught with uncertainty and very little in the bank to address it.

I have had some very good friends to lean on during this time when I have mostly felt abandoned and alone. Without them I don’t know that I would have made it.

What’s the point of this post? I don’t know. I do know that I’m not giving up. Surely the fecal buffet that I have been dining on will switch entrees eventually.

But like the song says:

“I see them long, hard times to come…”

For those of you who stuck with this post all the way to the end, thank you and I’m sorry.