Sunday, May 8, 2011

6. Some Reasons Not to Kill Yourself Today, Part 1

Part of this is informed as my experience as a closeted kid in the 'burbs, part of this is informed by being a depressed kid in New York over my head, part of this is informed by Google searches. Here are some things that I think are better than killing yourself.

Really Catchy Pop Songs

Don't you dare lie and say you don't enjoy it when Lady Gaga/Madonna/Adele/diva of choice is singing her heart out. Music is this little escape from whatever is bothering you into what is bothering someone else, usually accompanied by some sort of declaration of their superiority/indifference/will to persevere. The number of times I sit in my room and listen to Cher's "Believe" multiple times before I go and start my day is not low. And that is fine. Because we were born this way. Gaga.

Those Empowering Things You Say Over and Over

Somethings that work for me are "Haters gon' hate" "Whatever. You only live once." "I don't give A SHIT" "We are who we are. (Ke$ha.)" It's just this great way you can snappily remind yourself that a lot of the time things aren't going to work out, or people are going to judge you, or that whatever is getting you down will not win. If you have to say "Haters gon' hate" to yourself three dozen times a day, then there's nothing wrong with that and welcome to the club. It's better to have a stock response, because then you don't spend time thinking about whatever is getting you down.


When I'm at school and not feeling it, I go to Riverside Park and watch the sunset over New Jersey, which turns from kind of bland thing across the Hudson to pretty collection of twinkly lights. I love sunsets because there's just this random explosion at the end of the day of these bright bright colors or alternatively muted purples and pinks and yellows. It's just a break from blue in the day or the dark navy of night. Plus, sunsets are always the best on days when it's a little smoggy or cloudy, which to make an overwrought metaphor, means that when you're feeling the most steely and grey, the sunset is the most vivid and fun. I like to think that sunsets are great because you also don't have to do anything but watch them, and that's a lot less time thinking about your problems. Like, my brain chemistry might be fucked up but THAT IS A FUCKING DOPE SHADE OF PINK.

Your Friends

I know, I know, raging cliche. But when I'm having a dark day, you just go talk to someone and they can be having a bad day and then you are together in it, or they can be really happy which normally rubs off on you. They could say something funny, or something interesting, and it makes you feel less lonely for a second. The other thing about friends is most people deep down are there for you. When you need a hug, any friend worth their weight in piss will hug you. And that's nice to know, as someone who needs hugs a lot. Plus, sometimes just seeing someone smile when they see that it's you is all your self-esteem needs. And they never have to know if you don't want to tell them, but if you do then they normally feel happier. Happiness is not zero-sum, and that's part of why it's so great.


It gets better. In a rare example of the Internet really being an unequivocal force for good in the world, this campaign just reinforces that things change. For me, when I was closeted, I hated myself and thought I would never find happiness or true love and was destined to die without a family. When I came out, and I realized what other people think doesn't have to be what I think, I was better. Yeah, I had to deal with a whole new set of issues, but after that I moved to New York and the homophobia by and large dissipated, or at least concealed itself better. I still get pretty melancholic here, but at least now it's about different things. I'm sure I'll stop being sad about what troubles me now someday sooner or later, and find something new to be sad about. The takeaway is the world is too dynamic and too interesting for you to stay the same way. Whatever is troubling you at any time will go away, maybe forever, maybe for a little bit. And that's nice. Things change, so if you were dealt a shitty hand, sooner or later you'll get a new deal.

Takeaway: if you feel like suicide, reconsider. More people than you think are feeling the same way, and there are some pretty good reasons to decide against it. Call a hotline. It feel so awkward at first, but at least it's a couple hours you didn't spend looking at a razor. Just remember to make the decision every day not to kill yourself. Whatever gets you through the easy days and the hard days, that's fine. If anyone says otherwise, remember Hater gon' hate.

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