Author: Robert Poposki
Talking About Suicide
If you’ve ever watched a horror movie, then you’ll know (almost) exactly what thoughts of suicide feel like. Sort of.
Picture yourself in a movie theatre. On your lap is a tub full of popcorn. To your right, buried into your armrest is a Super-soda the size of a kid’s pool. Waves of sound are surfing through the air, ringing in your eardrums. The smell of cheese and candy and butter is filling your nostrils. Meanwhile, upon the screen you are watching some chick with huge tits running away from a dude who looks to be in dire need of a facial, whose breath you can smell emanating through the screen.
Your palms are sweating. Tick tock. The zombie jumps out from nowhere, “Argh-Gah-Bajah,” it roars. You jump from your seat, embarrassed. Your senses are on overdrive. The hairs on the back of your neck signify that your body is ready to flee. You’re scared, petrified, stupefied, but nevertheless you stay in your seat, because you know the zombies aren’t real.
You know that they are mere images projected from a device sitting in a room behind you. You understand that what you’re watching is a movie, images impacting on your mind’s eye, translated by your brain, and made sense of by your entire nervous system.
Well, that’s a good way to think about thought of suicide.
Being made subject to these horrific thoughts is essentially like someone has strapped your body and mind into a chair, giving you zero space to move or breathe, while you are forced to bear witness to a story – usually a story where you are the main character, and your character downright sucks at life – without remission. It’s a movie being projected for your mind, by your mind. Despite this lack of real, tangible external stimulus, your nervous system reacts similarly: The hairs on the back of your neck rise, your heart pounds at your chest, you feel scared, you instinctively want to flee, and the movie feels real. Like a stage your body is playing in.
And then there’s the added bonus of chronic physical pain.
When you watch a horror movie, your body is in this heightened state for, maybe an hour and three quarts. After the movie, your body returns to its normal state of being, your faculties repossess themselves, and you can function properly, free from the low-hovering burden of being eaten by killer zombies. Depression isn’t so kind.
You are the zombie, and you are stuck with him, or her, wherever you – the person comprising your mind – go.
After a while of living like this, your body wants an escape. It wants to flee from this ubiquitous threat, it wants to regain its freedom. It wants to leave itself. But it can’t. Cause what that entails is death. When the zombies are living inside of you, the only way to escape their death grip is by killing yourself. And this sensation feels as though someone is tearing you apart, limb for limb, with some sort of stretching device.
On the one hand, you want to live. It’s what you’re designed to do. To survive. To keep going. To eat to sleep to breathe and to love. It’s in your genes, your bones. But on the other hand, the pain is unbearable. You want out. You can’t handle living with this zombie who has made your psyche into its abode. It haunts you. It eats at you. It feels like an entity is living inside of you that wants you to die. To rip out your flesh, tear away your skin so that it can make an escape and live a life of its own.
This is what it’s like to watch a horror film where you are the main character, watching yourself struggle to fight away these demons haunting your being.
It is conflicting. And it is a fucking nuisance, and very painful. Physically as well as mentally.
But it’s not real.
Fundamentally, it is a fictitious reverie that’s made your brain into its playpen. An unreal reel of horror that you can see, feel, hear, taste and sense, but that is ultimately bullshit.
And so, that’s why I am comfortable talking about my thoughts of suicide.
My first self-harming thoughts came when I was 10. Granted, these are the first that I can vividly remember; the actual time might have been a while before that. I’m 24 now, so, I’ve been dealing with these portentous illusions for over 14 years. I definitely don’t like them, but I know how to handle them. I can manage them and I’m not maudlin about them.
They are like an annoying-best friend that I’ve no choice but to flat with.
For anyone reading this, if you’ve a friend who comes to you with such similar morbid words – reflected thoughts – try your best not to freak out. Just talk with them. Listen. Learn. And do what you’ve always done: Be a friend.
It’s a manic world.