Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Suicide Story.


I wrote this story over Christmas.

One crisp summer morning, I was driving a patrol truck in circles around a prison when the clock hit 5 a.m., I pulled over to the side of the road, and I put a loaded .38 right next to my eye.

It was quiet.

This quiet.

Nothing but the ambient desert, and the psychic weeping of 1200 men locked in a government cage. Then I started to count.

3.

Everything turned black and I could smell my mother’s hair. Back before I was five and we became enemies, back from when everything could still be okay. I heard once that we used to be a happy family, but I’m the first born and I don’t remember it. My radio squawked and I looked up as the other patrol truck drove passed me, but I was invisible and he saw nothing.

2.

Everything went black again and I remembered my cousin’s funeral. At 21 I was less than a year from my first divorce, when he received a phone call from his young wife. She and their new baby were at the airport. My cousin said he would be right there, but instead he walked into the backyard and put a hole right through his brain. At the funeral his mother dropped to her knees and begged me to treat my own mother better.

But what does she know? I hate my mother.

I don’t even know the baby’s name, but my cousin’s widow married his best friend and they wrote a new story together. I never got to read the note he left us. I wonder if he remembered me before he did it.

Probably not.

1.

I opened my eyes and noticed that the night was fleeing from the sky. I blinked once, twice, then watched as everything turned to ash then faded away. I was the last man on Earth. I could feel everything retreating from me, all of the pressure and weight of reality slipping away. It felt like I was falling asleep. Drowning myself to sleep. Even her voice was finally gone. The only voice that I have ever loved.  There was a pregnant emptiness, and all I could hear was the sound of my own heart.

I looked at the gun.

Is this all that’s left of Fantasia? Is there where the dreamer ends?

I closed my eyes for the last time and listened for my final heartbeat.

Wait.

Go back.

They had started a new story.

And this is when being a procrastinator saved my life.

I was born in 1977 to a deaf woman and a man so nerdy that he was already a computer programmer in the 
70’s. By the time I was five my mother already had two new babies and had completely forgotten about me. My second earliest memory is being left alone in my grandparent’s back yard for hours because my grandfather was sick and couldn’t handle having me inside. This happened all summer when my grandmother was out globe-hopping with the rest of Mensa and my mother was forced to come over to take care of my grandfather. We never had sunblock, so I spent a lot of time wandering amongst the roses avoiding as many blisters and bee stings as possible. Inside, their house was always decorated with African touristy stuff, and I spent as much time as I could touching everything I could get my hands on,  until my grandfather would sing me old songs from the 40’s, then kick me outside,

 “Oh, Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey, A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe?”

His voice was gravel and reeked of medication. My Grand father. I remember his A&W diet root beer, the stale, wooden scent of his pipe, and the fact that he was the only person who ever wrote me a letter. Until he died of a heart attack when I was 11, a handwritten note would come in the mail several times a year with my name on it. My grandfather, a 350 pound WWII vet would tell me that he loved me and how much he missed me, and he always ended by asking me to write him back.

My mother thinks I hate her for the summers of blisters and bee stings, but the real pain lies in the fact that I never answered him.

I don’t know where it started, but I know that it never ended. In the second grade I kicked over my school desk and threw all of my books at the teacher. In the third grade I convinced my teacher that I had been kidnapped when she asked me to step outside of the school gym and I decided to walk home. That’s when the state of Washington decided I needed to see a therapist. By the fifth grade, living back in Idaho because of my grandfather’s death, I argued with my teacher about the correct way to use the N word, I was wrong. At a parent-teacher conference later that year, she lied about me to my parents. In the sixth grade I was forced to switch classrooms to Mr. Budzianowski, who doubled as my basketball coach, where I was forced to run laps whenever I acted up in class. He also nicknamed me the fastest hands in the west, both for how quickly I would answer his questions, and sarcastically for how badly I passed the basketball.

My parents started homeschooling all five of us after I finished the sixth grade, and that’s when I really started getting angry. I fought with my parents almost every day. I wasn’t the only one they couldn’t manage, but I was the first. They did their best to control me, and I did my best to make it difficult. They’d kick me out of the house then lie about it when I came home with the cops. They wouldn’t allow me to get a job or learn math, I used to punch holes in their walls, they would buy food that the older kids weren’t allowed to eat, I would steal it when they weren’t looking.  By the time I was eighteen, it was no surprise to find all of my things in black garbage bags out on the lawn when I came home from church one night. All of my other friends were from the same church and seventeen, but we collaborated and I lived on the floor of their bedrooms until I got a job at McDonalds. I got fired from McDonalds two years later, only three days after my first wedding, for kicking a Mexican. Don’t worry, she had it coming.

I met my second wife on 9/11. That 9/11. She was a cutter and a stripper and the closest thing I’ve ever had to a soul-mate so you have to know, we never could have been happy. By the time my second wife lost her mind, I had been working at the prison for over three years and I didn’t know if I was more fat, sick, or lonely. I had been angry for so long that the world always seemed to be on fire.

And eventually that fire burned everything else away and left me standing alone with only one way out, that .38  

But they had started a new story.

I slowly opened my eyes, gently put the gun away and looked at the clock, it was 5:01.

I spent the last 30 minutes of my sixteen hour shift like every other; I traded places with the next officer, I walked through a lot of gates, then I drove home to pass out.

I woke up in a new world.

It was just like the old world, almost. At first I thought everything was the same. The people were the same tired people that I knew, and the daily rituals echoed the ones before, but something was very different, I just 
couldn't smell it yet.

Time passed.

Two months later and I was already bored with Alcoholics Anonymous. I had only wanted things to be different, I had only wanted to start a new story, a story with a better ending, but this was worse than any hell. My sponsor was an ex-meth dealer, a more lucky version of the same kind of guy I was used to babysitting, he meant well but endless repeats of, “It’s all dope, man.”, didn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

And I was filling with something.

Things in this new world were clear to me in a way that they never had before. Everything made sense; the one thing that I would have wished for was finally real.

I could see.

I could see that everyone was struggling, and that everyone was doing the best that they could. I could see that most of the things that we thought were important were just illusions created by us to fill the real void we carry within. I could see that the only things that really matter are loving when you can and always trying to do your best. I could see all of this and that none of it would ever matter.

When you look into the abyss long enough, it stares back. Then it goes out for pizza and forgets to invite you because the abyss is a giant dick and once you realize how big everything everything EVERYTHING really is, you start to realize how pointless everything is.

And that was it.

This new world was hilarious and not to be taken too seriously. Depending on how you define ‘you’, sometimes you win and sometimes you were never born. The universe is an infinite place and you’re not usually in it.

I’m not going to stand here and tell you that I’m never angry anymore, and I’m not going to try and sell you on the snake oil of positive thinking, but every day when I wake up I have a choice of what kind of world I want to live in, and today, I chose this one.

In this world, the unbridled laughter of children is the perfect music, and all the colors of the rainbow are my favorite, and sometimes when you fight against depression long enough, it gets better.

Sometimes, it gets better. Sometimes you can fight your way through to the other side. Not everybody makes it, not everybody can, but sometimes you just get lucky.

And that’s why I’m still here.

Thank you. 

10 comments:

  1. So raw, so honest, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Mikey.

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  2. My best friend suicided successfully, six years ago. It's not worth it. I'm glad you stepped back from the edge.

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  3. I've received a lot of positive feedback from a lot of sources on this one. Thank you so much to everyone who messages me privately or publicly about how much they relate to or were touched by my story. Please remember, a lot of people deal with suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. It never hurts to ask someone if they are okay, it never hurts to care.

    Thank you again.

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  4. This is such a touching recollection of a life. So pure. Thank you for sharing, and opening up the dialogue for others to relate to, and for a great insight to the mind of someone we hold so dear, whether he knows it or not. :0)

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  5. A close family friend ended her life July 2011. I still don't know exactly how she got to that point, but your story is an incredible insight on the possible thought processes. Sorting through the files of life memories, but somehow missing the part where a new story can be written. It's so deep, yet so simple, yet complicated, yet etc.

    I'm sure glad you are still with us, my friend.

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  6. Beautiful, man. I'm glad you didn't decide to go through with it, and instead was able to share your raw account of what happened.

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  7. I just did my yearly education on suicide screening and found myself acknowledging that I don't take suicide screening as seriously as I should because I have a my own biases about people that are suicidal. Not that they are all bad people, but just that I think they have a right to take their own lives and that I can't do anything to help them, so why try. Knowing that someone can change their perspective so drastically and is such a cool person makes me want to try harder, so thanks. I'll do my best next time.

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  8. I was deeply grieved by this testimony and it nearly brings me to tears again to recall it. How free you would be in the blessed assurance of eternal life in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is in the gospel, my friend. I pray you will truly know love. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40. God bless you~

    ReplyDelete
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