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Being morose

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Oct. 4th, 2001 | 12:32 am

I'm probably a bit unusual in this, but does anyone else ever get those moods where you're not really that depressed but still think that killing oneself is a reasonably good idea? (Though probably too much of a bother to actually do.)

Recently one of the former undergrads at Caltech committed suicide recently. I'm not privy to whether he chose to leave or not. However it came up at the Caltech LGBT group last night as he apparently was gay and gone to the group some number of times.

The part that I have trouble understanding is "Why does suicide bother people so?" In my experiences life largely sucks, it takes vast amounts of work to struggle through the bad parts, and the good parts are lost in the seething sea of misery and emptiness. It seems perfectly reasonable to me given those experiences to want to check out.

Also during the meeting last night while we were still on the suicide topic I asked "What do you do with someone who has a recurring desire to commit suicide." I asked because the therapist running the group was claiming that one should always treat discussions of desire to commit suicide seriously.

I've repeatedly frustrated and/or worried my friends with talk like this message or the worse--sobbing uncontrollably over the phone and wishing I could do it. So I was wondering what the therapists opinion was about how others should protect themselves from someone who is being an emotional sink (Such as me in this message, and the scores of other times I've told people that I wished I could off myself or the fewer times mentioning that I'd tried to slit my wrists but it hurt to much to break much past the first layer of skin.)

For those worried by this, I am in therapy...and though I'm not currently on them the anti-depressants as they don't really prevent me from thinking in these self-destructive ways and the side effects are unpleasant.

While writing this I was wondering what got me thinking about this? Part of it was the aforementioned student and my own trouble getting why being dead is a bad thing.

The other was my mother emailing me about my upcoming birthday. A while ago she accused me of not being able to love. She might be right (though she wasn't when she accused me.) but it does feel like I can't let anyone close enough to me for me to feel anything from them. (As for my mother I'm not sure I want her to be anywhere emotionally near me. After the number of times that she's accidentally or purposefully hurt me I don't trust her.

Well, back to my childhood strategy of living with depression. Going to sleep, if it's not too severe of a depression you can avoid it the next day by focusing on being busy. Though when alone late at night there's not much to do except for going to bed.

Hmmm... I guess making it public is another strategy. Though I do feel bad that I frequently put people through an emotional roller coaster because of my own inability to heal from the many things that have hurt me in my life. Though I do at times worry that I've just learned this behavior as a way to get a strong enough reaction of showing concern for my existence that some sense of connection can actually register in my consciousness.

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Comments {14}

Clare T. Rampling

(no subject)

from: rampling
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 11:24 am (UTC)
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So, you write ``Why does suicide bother people so?''

Well, if it's a friend in question (who might commit suicide, or who did commit suicide), then it's about losing a friend -- duh! It's extremely painful to lose a friend! Threats of suicide are also painful because they're threats to someone you care about, while having to deal with frustration and helplessness that there is often no clear way to help. It's like someone is holding my friend hostage and threatening her, and that really disturbs me.

As to why folx care who don't really know someone who committed suicide, I suspect that part of it is the humanistic feeling that we are all worthwhile people, and have reasons to live. And that probably some people *did* lose a friend when someone commits suicide. It leaves the people who remain stunned and in pain.

It's tough when you see so much coolness and value and hope in someone, but they don't see it themselves.

Ah well, 'nuff musings; I'm bakta work.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 04:20 pm (UTC)
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> It's extremely painful to lose a friend!

Hmm... that's happened to me scores of times throughout my life. My miserable parents who kept moving around pretty much guaranteed that I'd keep losing friends. I got used to it, and started trying to protect myself by keeping myself distanced from everyone.

> deal with frustration and helplessness that there is often no clear way to help.

That I do know can suck from people suffering from other problems.

The thing about this that bugs me the most, is that I don't want to bother people with my random slips into despair as it's so chronic and seems so insoluble. Yet as much as I try to ignore it, I still end up experiencing bouts of severe depression.

It seems unfair to keep dragging friends in to try and support my own weaknesses.

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Clare T. Rampling

Huh?

from: rampling
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I wrote: >> It's extremely painful to lose a friend!

And Diane wrote: > Hmm... that's happened to me scores of times throughout my life. My miserable parents who kept moving around pretty much guaranteed that I'd keep losing friends. I got used to it, and started trying to protect myself by keeping myself distanced from everyone.

I'm confused here. Diane, are you suggesting that others should also distance themselves to protect themselves too? That we should just ``get used to it''? And are you really comparing moving away to suicide? They're both very painful, yet one is much more dramatic (and completely hopeless for the future) than the other.

I was trying to make the point that suicide hurts friends. And it sounds like you're trying to distract from or discount that. I consider myself a friend of yours, and make no mistake about it: I would be EXTREMELY hurt and badly affected if you committed suicide.

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(Deleted comment)

Clare T. Rampling

(no subject)

from: rampling
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Hi Adrienne! You're so right about ``giving up''. It does piss off those of us who have worked so hard and struggled to make our lives function in some meaningful way, and who believe that others can do so too. It's very negatively inspiring. It does feel like cowardice to me too. Life *is* a challenge, sometimes an enormous challenge, but it does get better. Folx who give up and off themselves leave the message that life isn't worth it, that no hope was possible, and I just can't/won't believe that. I hate it when I have more hope for someone than they have for themselves. That's a bummer.

And, yeah, I agree with you about exceptions for excruciatingly painful terminal illnesses, of course.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 04:40 pm (UTC)
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< Rather, I just think about how I'd much rather it all be over.

Which part, the living or the suffering?

< And I continue to have experiences that make me glad I stuck it out. There is still much beauty in the world, despite all the pain

It can be really hard to remember that there's good bits after years of struggling with depression. I'm sure you know how depression erases the positive from memory. Also for me it's really hard for me to maintain any hope.

In the back of my head I'm thinking that things suck now, that they're going to suck more in the future, and that although there might be solutions, it's not like anyone has the will to actually implement them.

Of course I could be wrong about that bleak viewpoint, I just haven't been really successful about convincing myself of it.

As for your comment "Welcome to my life. *wry grin* All the fucking time. Recently, especially."

I'm sorry to hear that, I know from personal experience that it sucks.

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Freya

(no subject)

from: moonglade
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 04:55 pm (UTC)
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It can be really hard to remember that there's good bits after years of struggling with depression. I'm sure you know how depression erases the positive from memory. Also for me it's really hard for me to maintain any hope.

It's also really hard to appreciate the good things at all if you are really depressed. I know that I was never able to enjoy good things when I was depressed.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 05:10 pm (UTC)
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But you got better...

that's really neat... do you ever laps back into depression or have you pretty much ejected it from your life?

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Freya

Part 1

from: moonglade
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 03:34 pm (UTC)
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The thing about life is you can always try being dead later if it doesn't work out so good. :)

I'm really shocked and sorry to hear you feeling so bad, I thought things must be going better for you by now, it seems like you struggled and overcame so many things and now you are there and can actually live but are too hurt to do so for some reason.

Sometimes I feel stupid that I didn't kill myself when I was little, say 11 or something, I mean 11 was old enough to know that things were going to be terribly awful for a very long time. However now my life is better and I am really happy and don't want to die. I'm not sure what I would do if I could go back in the past and kill myself and make sure all the bad things never happened but in the here and now I feel really good and very happy.

It seems to me that you feel soooo very sad because you feel so desperately lonely.
I do have the advantage that I know people who really care about me and who would be very very sad and upset if I wasn't around any more. People like Tess, who I might not see very often but who I know really care about me. Close friends who really care about you don't come around very often in life though and perhaps that is something you feel you are missing.

Having said that I don't know much about your life, but it seems like you have lots of friends, far more than me, and friends who do care about you and who would be very upset to see you gone. People you can talk to on the telephone... and what about that little picture of you from the cartoon, seems like that person must have liked you a lot to put you in one of their drawings.

...and it seems that people find you attractive, you've written before about people you thought might be attracted to you. That's not something that happens much to Freya or a lot of people I am sure! :)

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Diane Trout

Re: Part 1

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 05:00 pm (UTC)
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> I thought things must be going better for you by now, it seems like you struggled and overcame so many
> things and now you are there and can actually live but are too hurt to do so for some reason.

That's pretty much how I describe things. I wish I knew how to stop being so hurt. It's like I've forgotten how to do anything else.

As for friends, one of my problems is I'm really bad at staying in contact with people, if I don't regularly interact with them, it doesn't take long before they drift away. (Or I more accurately I drift away from them.)

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Freya

Part 2

from: moonglade
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 03:35 pm (UTC)
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I think that when the good parts of life come you really have to make the most of them, and to recognise when they are there! If you are able and together enough, you can see that there are many beautiful things in the world. Go somewhere nice listen to the birds, see the beautiful world in all it's diversity, it's such a wonderful thing. Or go out when it's raining and get wet, maybe even really, really sopping wet! :) Yuk, Yuk yuk, but kind of fun, and then you can have a nice warm bath or curl up in front of the fire. Plant a seed and watch in grow, both in a pot and in your life. Plant a tree and watch it grow very slowly and very big! :)

Theres so many things you could do or contribute, especially in these times of the internet etc. You must have things that you are talented at? I love to do creative things. Perhaps you can write computer software? You could write programs for Linux or make improvements to software other people have written, so that in being here you have helped other people. I've always found it's really special to help other people in their struggle, even if you think your own is hopeless, perhaps theirs isn't and you can help them on their way somehow or do something to make someone else happy for a little while.

I've noticed that people spend a lot of time feeling lonely and desperately searching for someone special in their lives, not just you but lots of people, but the thing is I tend to find that special people, are often the ones you meet entirely by accident, so it's much better to concentrate on what you want to do in life and what you want to contribute to the world. Keep your eye open for the special people all the time as you are doing your thing and you can even take a peek around in the intervals, but don't be disheartened if you don't find them. Avoid all the capitalist rubbish and debt and all the things that get in the way, if you aren't going to follow one of the pre-defined templates, then you really don't need that stuff and it will just make you more unhappy.

If you find what you want to do and where you want to go, then I suspect you will find things you were looking for before, along the way. Don't you find that, when you are looking for something, you come across stuff you had spent ages looking for before but were never able to find? :)

The world is a mess for sure. We all need to get out there and get sorting it out, with little bits or big bits, it all helps.

You know you do get terribly analytical about things! ;)

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Diane Trout

Re: Part 2

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 4th, 2001 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Me? Being terribly analytic?

"Never, couldn't happen.", she responds with obviously faked indignation.

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(Deleted comment)

Diane Trout

Re: Part 2

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 5th, 2001 02:49 am (UTC)
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Actually I had that happen with transition, I thought it'd make my life better. And I think it has, but unfortunatly I'm still carrying around all the scars I've collected.

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(no subject)

from: fromthemorning
date: Oct. 6th, 2001 05:30 pm (UTC)
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I never reply to your journal entries much, but I always read what you say and I have to say I always find myself relating to you when you are depressed/lonely.

My thing is that I've never had any real relationship, and it is terribly painful, especially on nights light tonight, it being Saturday. The thing I try to go along with, though, and sometimes without even knowing it, is the whole focusing on your goals/interests route. It does deter you from depression to a degree... but then sometimes you can't help but feel so lonely because you'll be in a situation in which you are constantly reminded of it, as in being with your friends and they are talking to their sweety, or you just see people together and what not. You think about all that you have to give, and all that you want to share. It is hard.

I think about suicide a lot more today than I used to, but I don't know if I am getting too close to actually doing it. I try to have hope. I bet you hate the old "that special someone will come along soon" just as much as I do, so I won't say it. Sometimes I just want to feel close to someone and hold them, but I convince myself that I am too much of a loser, too shy, wierd, radical, etc.....

All I can say is just hold on. I usually don't consult ppl b/c I am the one being consulting, but I feel ya very much. Loneliness sucks terribly. At least it seems a lot of your depression comes from loneliness, and also from confusion about where you're going in life. It'll pass.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 6th, 2001 12:31 am (UTC)
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I bet you hate the old "that special someone will come along soon" just as much as I do, so I won't say it.

It is rather frustrating when someone tries claiming that. They don't believe me when I claim that at leat in this subject area past performance is probably a good indicator of the future.

At least it seems a lot of your depression comes from loneliness, and also from confusion about where you're going in life.

One of the wierdest things I've been doing in therapy is talking about the various activist things that I wish I was doing.

Another annoying thing about depression is it's really good at sapping ones energy. My ability to deal with email is inversely proportional to how depressed I'm being...

So since I've been feeling okay for a while, i've finally found time to respond to all those messages I stashed in my inbox..

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