I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 21, 2016 - 8:13 p.m.
I'm not sleepy today, I had afternoon iced coffee, so I should be able to write. Of course I didn't do anything that interesting so I don't know where this will go. I did an experiment today. Instead of taking buses home I took the first bus too far, all the way to the subway station and walked back from there. I wanted to see what that was like in case I came home late one night. It's about 3.5 miles, mainly through Pelham Bay Park. It was a very nice walk. But it was daytime. It might be a bit creepy at not safe after midnight to be walking alone in the park. I might do this more often coming back from the subway during the day when the weather is nice. I should be getting more exercise especially as I ended the walk with ice cream. I had a chocolate malt. I have never lived 3 minutes away from ice cream before; this is a tough test of my will power.
Guess what. I fell asleep. So much for that theory.
I think it's time to discuss something hard to discuss. Not that long ago I was suicidal. I made a post on Facebook that got everyone scared that I thought was not about committing suicide but in a sense was. I let out my feelings of total hopelessness. I was preparing to go into a homeless shelter and couldn't face that. I tried picturing my life from there and saw no happy endings. I was not sure if I'd ever be writing again. That's what I meant when I said I didn't know if you'd hear from me again. But I had considered methods of suicide and I spent the day telling Dan, "I want to die." That's suicidal. I thought about jumping in the East River. I couldn't see how that would kill me as I can swim. I imagined breathing in water and that horrified me. I couldn't do that. I couldn't jump off a building as my friend did. What I might have been able to do is shoot myself. That's why people with a gun in the house are so much more likely to kill themselves, it's relatively easy and usually succeeds. Taking pills doesn't. Most other methods fail. But of course I didn't do it. I scrambled and got a temporary reprieve and I had lots of therapy. I have avoided thinking about it but I'm not feeling well enough to do so.
The key thing was the lack of hope. I saw a tiger behind all the doors. Someone in group had it down. When the World Trade Center was burning people jumped to their deaths. They didn't do it because they wanted to die but because they didn't want to be engulfed in flames. That is what it's like. I was fortunate, I had a safety net to fall into.
When I do think of it, it's with detachment. I don't feel what I felt then. Is that the meds? The therapy? Or just the change in circumstances? When anyone asks me how I am I say, "much better than I was." That's clear. I still have anxiety issues. I still find It very hard to do some things. But I have hope. My therapist at the program sees a huge change.
I have to thank Dan. He was the only one that had to see me at my worst. It must have been frightening. Even if you know intellectually that what another person does is not under your control you still feel responsible.
Don't worry about me now. That has passed and I'm back to being a cheerful hobbit. Could it happen again? Yes, it can happen to anyone but I find it very unlikely. Damn, that was the fun thing I was thinking of writing about, how unlikely things happen all the time. I have written about that before so it's no big loss. I haven't written about this and maybe this will help someone else who either feels the way I did or knows someone who does.
OK enough of that. I'm going to eat leftovers from the great lunch I had on Saturday, that's still good right? And watch the Mets. Food and baseball are two things that make life worth living. There are many more. I hope the Mets don't read this then feel guilty about not playing well of late. They have enough pressure on them. Let's go Mets!
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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