Why You Shouldn’t Kill Yourself
This weekend, I was dithering around on Twitter, and I came across this post by media thinker Jay Rosen: “The Year in PressThink: These Are the Ten Best Things I Wrote in 2010.” That made me think what were the best posts of the year on my blog. Which in turn made me think what the most commonly searched terms are that bring people to my blog. Other than the ones that come in the middle of the night when a Playboy TV show that I used to be on reruns, which are basically “susannah breslin naked” and “susannah breslin porn,” people come to read a post I wrote on my old blog a couple year ago about a pornographer named Max Hardcore, which I republished on my current blog, or they come looking for pictures of an American Apparel ad I used to have on my old blog which features porn star Sasha Grey‘s pubic hair, or they come by searching “how to gas myself.”
The last is a reference to a post I wrote this year, “On Suicide.” It was written on the occasion of five years before going through a period in which I wanted to kill myself. When I first posted it, I received quite a few very moving emails. There were ones that were kind to me, for having survived that or been through that or what have you, and then there were ones from people whose loved ones had attempted to kill themselves or succeeded in doing so. One said that my post had helped them understand why this person had done what they had done, so it was a time when I felt like I had posted something that mattered, if only for a while.
But over time, I would increasingly see people coming to my blog because they were using Google to try and figure out how to gas themselves. When I wanted to kill myself, this was my primary interest, the idea of gassing myself. Most of the time, they came at night. And I wondered what they were thinking, or where they were, or what they thought of what they had found. Was my post helpful? Certainly, it wasn’t instructional. But had it dissuaded them, or not affected them, or had they clicked on to something else? And then what had happened? I don’t know, because I never heard from any of them.
More recently, I have noticed the number of people looking for “how to gas myself” has increased. There are several reasons why this may be the case, but it may in part be on account of the holidays, which apparently have lower suicide rates, but which can also be very depressing.
I wondered what I could I tell them. Don’t? I thought about telling them that it gets better, but the gays pretty much own that. Or I could quote that line from “Cast Away,” where Tom Hanks gets off the island and recounts to his friend how he survived being so alone for so long, even when he almost killed himself: “You just have to keep on breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise and who knows what the tide will bring.”
This Isn’t Happiness says: “All that matters is: What are you going to do, right now?” Mostly, I think this is the truest thing. That all you have to do is not kill yourself right now, in this moment. And then in the next moment, you don’t kill yourself again. And you keep on going like that, moment after moment, not killing yourself. Until those moments become minutes, and those minutes become hours, and those hours become days, and those days become years. And you are alive.
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It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.