piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
in the wake of aaron swartz's suicide there is, as usual, a lot of noise about depression. some of it is best ignored, because people who claim suicide is "the coward's way out" lack understanding and empathy -- seriously, who would want to continue living with fuckwits like that? not i -- if you talk like that, you might as well hand the noose over yourself (as if being a coward were the worst thing in the world; i can think of many worse. lacking empathy, for one). some of it is well-meaning -- "talk to somebody; you are not alone", "hang in there, it does get better" -- and while that may be good advice for people with occasional depressive episodes, for many others, frankly, that too lacks understanding.

because depression for many people is a debilitating, chronic pain-of-the-soul. and it doesn't get better, not permanently -- these days i only work on it not getting worse. talking about it can ameliorate it a little, for a time, because not feeling all alone with an illness helps in bucking it. talking about strategies for coping, that's useful to a point. talking about it might help those the most who have some proximate primary cause lurking in the background, like childhood abuse. but for many talking about it doesn't make it better in the long run, and after a while talking about it makes it worse, because it merely goes in circles underlining the futility. there is no cure for many. we can throw drugs at it, and some stick and many don't; and even those which do can stop working at any time. some of the drugs take away as much as they give -- no sudden suicidal impulses, yay -- but also no more creativity. we don't really know exactly why some work in some people some of the time, and it's altogether a crap shoot.

and seriously, "hang in there" gets on my every last nerve by now. like we don't know! we DO hang in there! every damn day is a battle to hang in there. every. single. day from dawn to dusk and into the night when insomnia strikes (because depression doesn't come alone; it brings allies, and they all work together to break you down bit by bit). we hang in there and try to do our jobs, and try to support our loved ones, and try to make the world a better place. all of it in the face of horrible daily reminders about humans abusing other humans, and other animals, and the environment. and life keeps piling it on: other illnesses take a disproportionate toll, disappointments wear more heavily; the personal impact of the economy, the failure of a relationship, the death of a loved one -- anything emotionally stressful can add the last straw. being hounded by the power of the US government can certainly dump a whole truckload of straw on an already bent back. the prospect of prison is more scary than most other things, because it takes what little choice we have of ending it away from us as well.

we're already locked up inside this defective body/mind. we desperately self-medicate by screwing with our neurotransmitters; trying to get our endorphins cooking so we can ride the high and feel NORMAL just for a little while. we don't usually know that's what we're doing when we crave some form of drama, chase adrenaline highs, or engage in sometimes stupid stunts, but honestly; those highs help more than talking. they make us feel alive. it shows us we still have some choices, even if the depression deadens all our experiences. and the alternative is staying in bed with the blankets over one's head, forever.

might as well be dead. i find having the choice of death empowering.

i promised the paramour i'll clean my room before i kill myself, and so far my room is a total mess, so no, i won't kill myself today.

if i end up killing myself, which is likely at some point (i hate to say this because it will grieve my loved ones and friends, but i don't want it to come as a surprise) it won't be anything they failed to do for me. it won't be that they didn't listen enough, didn't show me that they love me enough, weren't there for me, didn't drag me to another doctor. they all have already given me more than i ever expected. they are standing strong against the users and abusers, the ones without empathy, the cruel ones, the ones who put profit before anything else, the ones who cost us all precious time and energy, squandering it. my friends and loved ones are what's good about humankind. i am still alive only because of those who care(d) for me.

i'll kill myself when i run out of spoons altogether, when my reservoir of energy to cope with life runs dry. when somebody or something, probably just my decaying body, dumps the last straw on my back, and i can't take one more day of battle, when i just want to drift away into peace, finally, finally. i probably won't write a note because i'll be too tired to find the right words. maybe i'll write it ahead of time. maybe not, because that makes it too easy.

don't feel guilty then. you did all you could. be good to one another.

RIP aaron, and all those many others lost too soon.

on 2013-01-13 21:40 (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] redbird
That something that serious can be literally nobody's fault is scary for a lot of people: if something is my fault, maybe I can make it better, or do better next time. If it's someone else's fault, I can try to do things differently than they did (and maybe blaming someone else will help me cope).

on 2013-01-14 02:05 (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Happy & sad monster dolls over "bipolar = 2X Fun" (Bipolar = Twice the Fun)
Posted by [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Brilliant. Thank you for decribing the toll of depression so clearly.

on 2013-01-14 02:22 (UTC)
rising: a woodcut-style image of a knife held in a hand. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] rising
May I share this? Because these are words that are so much it. They are so much the reasons, and I don't think I can say it better.

on 2013-01-14 02:51 (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] graydon
First-rate eloquence about a miserable subject.

on 2013-01-14 03:23 (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (therapy)
Posted by [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
Thanks for the clear, honest discussion of life with the beast. Someday it's likely to take me, too. But not today. And I'm glad you're still here.

on 2013-01-14 13:17 (UTC)
datagoddess: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] datagoddess
Thank you for this, I've never been able to describe what it's like. Is it okay to share this?

on 2013-01-14 18:50 (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] desh
I don't want you, or anyone, to kill themselves. But I think I understand all of this a little better now. Thank you.

on 2013-01-15 02:42 (UTC)
necturus: 2016-12-30 (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] necturus
Re: Mr. Swartz's suicide: I wasn't there. I don't know why he did it.

However, it seems he was being treated very shabbily by President Obama's U.S. attorney (i.e. chief prosecutor) for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, who seems to have wanted to make an example of Mr. Swartz, despite JSTOR declining to press charges in the matter. See the following link:

http://www.universalhub.com/2013/petition-have-carmen-ortiz-removed-us-attorney-ove#comment-260472

Re: depression: I found that in my case it did not get better, but I eventually discovered a way out, albeit not a quick one. Breaking the cycle of pain and fear took years.

The health care system in this country is profoundly corrupt. Drug companies are more interested in treating a condition than curing it, and insurance companies simply want you to go away. The former would have you drug-dependent for the rest of your life, while the latter would rather you die quickly. Few in the "caring professions" seem to care about anyone but themselves. This is a terrible country to be anything but healthy in.
Edited on 2013-01-15 02:44 (UTC)

on 2013-01-15 09:05 (UTC)
not_a_sniglet: A fox and a deer touching noses. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] not_a_sniglet
We... kinda wanna thank you for this, for having the courage to put it out there like it is.

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
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