Warning: this post has very little to do with parenting. That’s because I woke up thinking about suicide, not my own, but suicide in general and found myself getting all pissed off as the concept of suicide is known to do to me; it infuriates me. So a second warning, this post is in no way sympathetic to those who want to kill themselves. I find them enraging.
Unless of course they are plagued by torturous hallucinations as one man I knew was. He had been resident of a psychiatric hospital for most of his adult life thanks to delusions so sadistic and vile he had tried to cut off his own penis. Twenty years worth of psychotropic medication couldn’t quiet his hallucinations or dampen his delusions. Eventually he took his own life. I felt a pang of sympathy. But mostly I don’t.
And unless of course someone is in excruciating incurable physical pain. But those with working arms and legs and careers who want to knock themselves off each time someone breaks up with them, best stay away from me. I’m definitely not the one to call in the middle of the night.
Or maybe I am.
Once a friend called to announce she was going to kill herself because her partner broke up with her. “Where are you?” I asked.
“At home. Are you coming over?”
“No, I’m sending an ambulance and going back to bed.”
She’s still alive. Nothing like telling the whining semi-well you’re sending an ambulance to their home to perk them up.
So now here’s a young man who is father of a two year old, rich, famous and not insignificantly best known for playing a gay man in a highly acclaimed film who maybe killed himself and maybe did not. Of course being young and rich doesn’t mean you’re not in psychic pain. But rich fathers of two year olds have options aside from porking on pills. Not to mention the contribution to our culture’s continual equating of gay and suicide that his death provides.
Thanks depressed dude.
How did I get like this? Instant rage! Just add water or air to news of a suicide. You don’t even need to stir!
Maybe twenty years working in psychiatry hearing the suicidal woes of hundreds of adults. Maybe having watched too many life-embracing loved ones die long before they were ready, people contributing to others, giving gifts of love and kindness to the world. Their lives were ripped from them by cancer or accidents or strokes.
And here is some young ass who just can’t take it? Go kill yourself then. You’ll leave more room for the rest of us we who know life is not always fun, not always easy, sometimes unbearable. Thank you for the shorter lines at movies and the supermarket, fewer death-happy drunk drivers on the road, less crowded beaches.
Oh, and one more thing. There’s a dirty little secret you might want to know: after you’re dead, life goes merrily on without you.
Red Anger by A.D. McCowen