The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets again after the hell Is over.
Ernest Hemingway. Letter, 1926. In Frederich Busch, “Reading Hemingway Without Guilt,” New York Times Book Review, 12 January 1992
I knew of the hell that a man could speak of. I had not found myself in prison, although it was steering towards that direction. I had not found myself enamored with the hypnotism that “sweet vein candy” could provide. I had not yet imbibed the sweet nectar that many called liquor. I also did not dabble in diddling. My path to hell was different.
I let myself become despondent when my pre-military times identity was quashed. The man that I saw in the mirror did not reflect those that rejected me. I could not understand that the rejection was an offering of a form of freedom. I saw a life’s plan crash. I had stopped feeling and I became numb.
Fast forward to the modern day; I had training on suicide prevention. In this training, we were warned about the unfeeling/numb condition. This being a step away from someone taking their lives.
I had never considered taking my own life back during the dark times. I felt like it wasn’t worth dying for. I felt like two or three people would benefit from my death. And it wasn’t three people I could tolerate. (One of them was someone that made a habit of slandering people).
I, just like now, wanted my death to mean something. If it wasn’t leaving behind something meaningful, it would be something stereotypically valiant or supporting something of a noble cause. I feel/felt like being found in a pool of blood or sealed up in a car couldn’t fulfill this.
I hate the stereotypical saying that suicide is “a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. It might be true, but I hated hearing it. I feel like the vast majority of people that had successfully done it were in error. I feel like that your life should change in meaning. I pondered that I wanted to stay alive, not out of familial duty, but out of the desire to see my enemies bested. Or at least that the shittiest of my enemies do not find humor/comfort in my demise.
My “war” against suicide is not conventional. It takes a further dive into a level of darkness to find reasons. It might take a crusade, identifying worthy adversaries, or various inconvenient goals that could be achieved. It is a step in the right direction.
I hope that one of my won battles in my lifetime will be that I have not only not killed myself, but that I have helped kill suicide among men.
May we live one more day, not for pithy sayings but that we find purpose in the darkness.