Depression has been nipping at my heels again. Suicide has been on my mind ever since the news about Anthony Bourdain broke. Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal, but I have to confess that the image of a gun to my head flashes through my mind at least once a day, has for about the past month or so. Nothing serious, but it’s an ever-present thought. A dull hum in the background. With The Author Is Dead only two and a half months from release, you’d think I’d be euphoric, but my fear of failure, of public humiliation, has never been so acute. Depression ruins everything.
Suicide is a recurring theme in The Author Is Dead and it seems appropriate to address that. I fear that some might think I’m too cavalier with the subject. If I am too cavalier, it comes from a place of familiarity rather than misunderstanding. I’ve grown comfortable with the thought of it. Death loses some of its sting when you have willingly, longingly, contemplated it.
Those who have never climbed out onto that precipice seldom understand. I’m a father, husband, and son who is loved. How could I even think about doing something like that to my family? That’s what everyone wants to know, isn’t it? What is seldom acknowledged is that a depressed mind is an irrational mind. At my lowest, I made everyone around me miserable, I was insufferable, and I believed their lives would improve if I weren’t in it. Like quickly ripping off a Band-aid. Frame it that way and it can almost seem like self-sacrifice.
Any normal thinking person spots the fallacy in that immediately, of course. Hope is integral to life itself. Without life, there is no hope.
Depression is insidious. Suicide is its endgame. Keep hope alive for yourself and for those you love.