I haven't been here in a while.
I'm sorry to say it's something so tragic and terrible that has brought me back to blogging, back to writing, really, because I found myself wishing for an outlet for this today, all of the emotions, big and small, and then I remembered: Oh yeah. I have this platform. I'm going to use it, however selfish that is.
I'm not going to say most of the things everyone else is saying, except, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I hate suicide. But most of all, I hate death. (See here and here.)
Because after a death like this one, a person who you kinda feel like you know, even though you obviously don't, everything just feels so stupid to me. I can't listen to pop music today. I can't make jokes. I can't think or talk or tweet about anything else. I just can't. It feels wrong. It feels stupid. And yet, the world goes on. It always does. We move on. I hate that.
I remember feeling this way for a LONG time after my dad died. Like, too long. Food was stupid, exercise was stupid, showering was stupid. I did it all begrudgingly, with resentment, with thick, heavy sadness and anger, and I still carry a lot of that with me. It creeps up on me and fills me on days like today, when complete strangers die and I'm walking to Starbucks, and I have to stop, gasp, tears well up.
It raises all the annoying existential questions: WTF am I doing here? What am I doing with my life? Why haven't I written a book yet, gone back to school, picked a f*cking career, I am almost 40 f*cking years old. I can't help but think of that Bridget Fonda quote from Singles:
I'm 23. Remember how old 23 seemed when you were little? I thought people would be traveling in air locks......and I would have 5 kids. Here I am. I'm 23. Things are......basically the same. I think time's running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25, bizarre becomes immature.
I'm so past that age, and yet I identify with that, the realization that it's possible that ANYTHING you do at this point looks bizarre, immature and stupid to someone else. And of course: Does that matter?
What can we do? What can we all do, where can we start, to connect with all of these people out there who are suffering silently, friends, neighbors, family members who we might think are "fine," because...what, because we're too dumb to realize that's not true? We're too scared to admit something might be seriously wrong? We're too afraid to get involved, too busy, too self-involved with our own dumb sh*t?
There's this urge in me to help people when stuff like this happens, and even that feels stupid. Who am I to help, to care, to think I can do anything? I'm no one. I'm not qualified. I have no skills. Stupid.
But I don't want this to be the reality of our world. That so many people, so many young people in particular, are ending their lives because it seems easier than going on with the way things are. It is a crisis. It is an epidemic. But how can I choose this as my cause? Because there are so many others. Yet this tugs at me. It hurts. It hurts to see people in pain.
This post is rambling. This post may have no point. That's perfectly apropos. But I will put the national suicide prevention hotline number here, because that's what you do, right? We know to do that. We know to say, "Please reach out to someone — anyone — if you feel the urge to hurt yourself." Yes, actually. Have the courage. Have the strength. Don't give a sh*t about what people might say or how they might react when you speak your heart — because your life is more important than their opinion. Count on that. I can promise you that. People will hold you and help you. And it's not stupid. It's surviving. And what comes after that is life.