Life’s Not Worth Living If You Fail At It
After a few years of pondering the thought of suicide, it becomes incredibly trivial. Among thoughts like I’m hungry, I’m tired and I should go have a massive shit, the thought I really should jump off a bridge, and countless variations thereof, pops up just as naturally as breathing. You don’t think it’s weird, you don’t think to yourself I shouldn’t really have these thoughts.
Yes, you should, it’s a natural part of life now, constantly thinking of how to end it. Even though I’m certain I’m through the worst of it, the prevalence of these thoughts has only subsided slightly. Suicide is like the annoying mom of death. You have to clean your room before you can have some chips. Suicide is an annoying chore you have to do before you can have some death. Can’t I have some death without having to jump in front of a train? I mean that shit is scary.
Come on, at least give me a coma or something. It bothers me that some people think that people who commit suicide are cowards. I’d rather be a dead coward than alive, brave, and miserable. Sure, they’re quitters, but jumping off a bridge or shooting yourself in the face has got to take some fucking balls.
When I felt like crap, I thought that I should just drop everything else, and just write this goddamn story so that I could allow myself to be crushed by a train like a deer with the sense of direction of a drunken fin. I have so many things in my head, I just want to see them created and then fail... Then I will be happy to kill myself. I want a suicide backed up by logic.
You’re never gonna be creative if you’re happy anyway, so you might as well use the way you feel to be productive. I never really knew how serious I was with these thoughts, but in some weird way, they made me feel better.
Social media wasn’t made with sad people in mind. People can share their bad days on Facebook to make them feel better, bad shopping, bad food, and maybe a headache and some fever. And 25 of their friends will immediately comment things like “Better days lie ahead,” and “Oh honey, don’t be sad, tomorrow will be better.”
I can’t exactly share my bad days on social media since my bad days involve standing on a bridge trying to figure out if I should jump or not, it’s not exactly Facebookable. I can’t wait for a train without imagining myself jumping in front of it when it finally arrives, but no one wants to read that in an Instagram caption regardless of how cool and artistically blurry the picture of the train in the snow looks in their feeds.
Finding people to share suicidal thoughts with is like being gay trying to figure out who else is gay so you can hit on them. After a while and a substantial amount of alcohol, you decide to go for the Hail Mary pass and move in for the make out and it turns out they don’t like penis, or as in my case, that they do actually want to live and don’t understand how anyone could feel differently.
Then all you can do is run out the door with the tail between your legs because there’s nothing worse than discussing your will to end your life with someone who’s trying to pretend that they’re happy. What most people don’t get is that you can very much have suicidal thoughts without actually be planning to kill yourself, which makes it basically harmless other than the fact that you want to die.
But as soon as you share with someone that you have thoughts of suicide, they look at you like you need to be strapped into a straightjacket for your own and others’ safety. I’m not insane, I’m sad, you fucking idiot! How can you not see the difference?! I mean fair enough, I am both sad and insane but that doesn’t apply to everyone who thinks fondly about death.
Tweet: If I don’t suppress my emotions, I’ll become a serial killer #Mondayssuck
Do you see my problem here?
This is all very frustrating since mental health issues are very common these days but still so taboo to talk about. I bet that suicidal thoughts are just as common as periods as in about half of teenagers have them. They both involve blood, they’re both very common, and both are for some goddamn reason uncomfortable for people to talk about.
It’s just some blood coming out of a womb, we’ve all been in one for quite a substantial period of time. The same thing with suicidal thoughts, we all have thoughts, some have a lot of them about death, some do not. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Eventually, I stopped trying to “fit in.” Allowing yourself to be yourself without punishing yourself when people make it clear that they do not like who you are, I feel, is rather healthy. I really needed to allow myself to be okay with having been an outcast for so long early on in life. For some, religion helps them feel better.
Apparently, it’s comforting to think that there’s something bigger than them that they can’t have an effect on. I don’t really get it. I mean, it would make me feel a lot worse knowing that all of this shit was on purpose. Someone willingly screwed me over. But I don’t believe that. Instead, my less-than-average start in life is my fault for being a fucking oddball.
Which of course is so much better. Don’t turn to religion. Blame yourself. It’s your fuck up, whatever it is. Fucking own it. After all, I kind of deserved to be picked on and ostracized as a child.
No, you didn’t.
Well no, I didn’t, but think about what else they could’ve done?
Not pick on anyone at all?
What else can they have done, pick on the retarded kids?
That would’ve been awful.
You’re right, that would’ve been awful.
They picked in the clever kid instead, so at least part of my life will have been shit once I turn out to be better than them at everything.
It’s a bit communistic. Maoisitic even.
What? Pick on the smart people so no one will threaten your power.
What power though?
The power of being assholes.
In some places, suicide used to be illegal, punishable by death. So, if you tried to kill yourself but failed, the criminal justice system would do it for you, because you are so goddamn incompetent. Now, if you self-harm, there’s some serious emotional damage/attention-seeking going on there. One or the other.
Committing suicide is one thing, that’s slightly normal, everyone is a bit suicidal nowadays, but for you to carve your arm with a knife, that’s something else. It’s not like they’re cutting up a chicken and slipping, repeatedly. It’s like they want to die but they aren’t committing to death. “I want to die a little bit but not too much, not too much.
I mean, I could jump in front of a train but no, I’m gonna sit alone in my room cutting my arm open instead.” I wasn’t very understanding of self-harming some years ago, I used to think it was very odd. But I get it now, even if it’s still not my thing. Taking your emotional pain and making it physical makes a whole lot of sense when you realize that you have full control of the latter but none of the former. If you’re bleeding profusely that’s going to take up a lot of your attention.
You’re not going to have any time to have a panic attack. I’ve heard that it’s longways for results and sideways for attention. I agree that longways will yield better results if you want to bleed to death, but I don’t think that those who cut sideways go around with their sleeves rolled up going: “Look! Look! Haha, yeah I want to die.”
I like when people open up to me, but it makes me feel like a pointless piece of shit because you realize that the hardships in your life are nothing whatsoever to what other people have gone through. In my mind, suicide had been so trivialized, it didn’t even matter anymore. My whole outlook on life became: Oh well, if this doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you could always kill yourself, that’s always a good solution.
Suicide doesn’t mean anything anymore. Regret sending a text? Kill yourself. Spilled coffee all over your lap? Don’t clean it up, jump off a roof, suicide solves everything. I should kill myself is now in the same category of thoughts in my head as I wish I didn’t have to get up so early tomorrow.
I’ll be the first to say that it shouldn’t be like that. But when I think of killing myself, it’s not real, it’s just a gut reaction to some unpleasant thought or uncomfortable situation. Sometimes I still repeat the phrase I wanna die, I wanna die, I wanna die, in my head like I have Tourette’s. I want it to stop, but I can’t really do anything about it. It just comes.
Sometimes I say “Kill me” out loud without meaning to, although nowadays I’m usually able to stop myself at “K…” Writing this kind of makes me feel like a drama queen. When I was a kid, I was just a bit sad and lonely but other people had and have real shit to deal with. There was a girl back home who told me her mom died of cancer and that she was probably going to go the same way. She was like 21!
Yeah, well, people were mean to me and it made me kind of sad. Or something. Luckily, I didn’t say that to her. Once, a guy told me that he was beaten as a baby and that he has never seen his dad in his entire life. I assume it was his dad who hit him, I didn’t ask him because I was busy having an existential crisis. I don’t have them as often anymore and no one else can notice that I’m having one because I’m usually just going: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Inside my own head.
Some years ago now, I thought I had gotten myself out of the hole of actually considering suicide as a viable option. But I felt like I was falling into it again. It scared me. Whenever I ended up somewhere high enough to plausibly jump to my death, as you do, I actually considered jumping instead of just thinking about it as I usually did and still do. Thinking about suicide is fine, normal even... I think.
But actually considering it is different and frustrating when you thought that part of your life was over. I don’t like to talk about this because it makes me feel like an attention whore… especially when I’m hundreds of pages into it. We’re all gonna die sometime, when we do so is less important. At least if you have a big enough ego.
If you only care for yourself, you can kill yourself without thinking about how your “loved ones” will react. “Loved ones,” that sounds horrible, I mean I do “love” my so-called “loved ones” but in my own way… whatever that means… Fuck, I don’t even know what that means.
I’m not sad, I’m unhappy.
Aren’t those the same thing?
No, I’m not actively sad, I just lack any kind of happiness, I’m UN-happy. Everything in life is just ‘meh’, but I’m not mellow and sad.
I dunno, I think you’re kind of a downer.
No worries, depression is mostly a lack of emotion rather than sadness anyway so you fit the bill.
Here’s a tip, make your suicidal tendencies into a party. When you can’t take it anymore, don’t be a sad sack and just jump off a bridge in the middle of the night. Be flamboyant. Be glorious. Scream at the top of your voice: “CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HAND ME A NOOSE! I FEEL THE NEED TO DAAAAAANGLE!!” And then turn your slowly spinning corpse into a disco ball and dance the night away, because at least then, you might just give the greatest night of all time to a passing necrophiliac.
When getting your suicidal thoughts out of the way, repetition and speed is key so that you can carry on with your day. You repeat I wanna die, I wanna die, I wanna die, over and over again, and then you speed up so you can get to the end, whenever that is. IwannadieIwannadieIwannadie. Sometimes it’s just killmekillmekillme or shootmeshootmeshootme or some variation of that. Shoot me in the face, won’t someone just shoot me in my fucking face??? is another good one. Speeding up is like tearing off a Band-Aid in a quick flurry of thoughts rather than prolonging the suffering for no apparent reason other than that you might be enjoying it in a way that you really shouldn’t.
Here’s what’s gross, I just want someone to tell me everything is going to be okay. But it bothers me when someone says everything is going to be fine because it can be so false. After I think about how much I want someone to reassure me that my existence isn’t moot, I think to myself Stop being such a pussy and just fucking jump you fucking coward, so I guess you could say it goes both ways. We all have ups and downs, it’s just that my ups are flatter than any other shape in the universe and my downs can be bottomless on occasion.
One night when I was about sixteen years old, I walked across the meadows by my house down to the lake. The moonlight was glistening on its surface. The forest surrounding the lake always made me feel like I was in the middle of nowhere. I loved that place. The place itself never really loved me back. But it’s ok because it’s home.
It holds you hostage, low down in your stomach, where your feelings lie dormant. Home is home. It’s just the way it is. I made my way out on the short dock, emptying my pockets on a nearby rock to my left, my iPod still roaring something along the lines of “And oh, poor Atlas, the world’s a beast of a burden.” I didn’t bother to turn it off. Go out with a bang, I thought, although the sound of a pair of shitty earphones wasn’t exactly a bang. More like an insignificant fart in the wind.
The reed was rustling where the water was gently clucking against the rocks and tree roots. When I came to the edge, the dock cowered under me and it came dangerously close to dipping under the water. I stopped and stood still for a few seconds, taking in my surroundings one last time. I took a deep breath and turned around. Then I let myself fall, straight as a plank down towards the water.
I managed to take one last breath before I hit the water. I tried to get it over with by opening my mouth and taking a deep breath with my nose but it didn’t work as I intended. As the water engulfed me, panic set in, and I started to struggle towards what I thought was the surface. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted with complete darkness in the polluted, grimy lake. The panic was now getting the best of me, making me fight my way through the water towards the surface, sort of against my own will.
It wasn’t long before my hands broke through the surface, a second later the top of my head was peeking through. I made a laughable attempt at swimming, barely getting anywhere, I started to flounder like a scared dog, just thrown into the water from a speeding boat. I was eventually able to put my feet on the bottom of the lake and, with surprisingly steady legs, I managed to get myself onto dry land, the rather sizable pebbles rattling under my feet as I left the water.
With dirty lake water in my eyes, I squinted as I searched for my things, my hands traveling over the ground, like a drunk in the moonlight. My still blaring iPod helped me find my things and as I picked them up, I thought If I was going to drown myself, why would I leave this here? To leave my dazzling taste in music for the afterworld?
The world would never be able to cope without it! The voice said sarcastically.
Oooh, sassy! I shot back at it.
Sassier than you, anyway, it said grumpily.
Not wanting to bother my aching head with anything but survival instincts, now that I had officially failed to kill myself for the second time in my life if one can call the school rooftop a real attempt (you can’t really), I let the thought disappear into the darkness. Taking each step with enormous effort, my wet clothes dripping, weighing me down, I began the short journey home.
Not really noticing myself doing it, I put the earphones back in my ears. Florence and the Machine’s “What the water gave me” was on repeat. Not death anyway, like I asked it to. For once, the voice in the back of my head seemed to be satisfied with my comic ability, and with Florence Welch almost deafening me as she sang out the chorus: “Lay me down, Let the only sound, Be the overflow, Pockets full of stones…”
I stopped in the middle of a step by a thought I should have had half an hour ago. I was essentially listening to an audio guide on how to drown yourself. I turned around, water flying off me, and with purpose in my step, I walked back towards the black lake. Just walking was difficult now when my trousers were soaked, clinging to my legs like snails.
I made it to the shore and by the tarmac driveway that went into the water, I picked up a stone and put it in my right-hand pocket. My determination triumphed over my better judgment, and soon I stood there, all the pockets on my jacket zipped up and filled up to breaking point with rocks.
I had to widen my stance to make my drenched sweatpants stay up. Soaked and with every single pocket filled to the brim, they did everything they could to slide down to my ankles. Seriously doubting myself for the first time that night, I walked once again towards the dock and onto its old, worn wood. I stood there, taking it all in again.
The moon, its light shimmering on the perfectly still water, the massive forest surrounding the lake which made me feel tiny where I stood looking out over the place which was more of a home to me than any other place on the planet. I didn’t really know how, but then I just did it. The rocks did their job well, I sank this time rather than floated, which was good, or at least that’s what I thought.
The panic I knew rather well by now didn’t come as quickly this time, but once it came it hit me hard. It was like fighting against an octopus clinging to your face, with its long tentacles wrapped around your head several times over, its hold set as hard as a cliff to a mountain. My shoe slipped off my right heel, only hanging on by my toes.
I had forgotten to tie my shoelaces, I never did that, who does that? Perfectionists, an annoying group of people, I thought as the ability to do just that came back to me. This was my ticket to freedom. I kicked off my shoes and with them came the sweatpants which I had already lost to my ankles. I struggled with the zipper on my jacket for a second, but when the first few millimeters gave way, the rest of it went like a rollercoaster.
My arms slipped out of it easily, leaving me in my t-shirt, socks, and underwear. It was like throwing out the sandbags from a hot air balloon. I gave a few kicks with my legs and soared upwards. I broke through the surface and took a breath in the warm night air. It was like shooting meth straight into your aorta, whatever that feels like. It probably kills you. I should’ve tried that.
I was about to swim towards the edge of the water, but before my arms had grabbed at the water even once, I stopped. I let my legs and feet float to the surface and I became level with the water, with only my toes, a bit of my protruding belly, and my face above the surface. I tucked my ears in under the water and listened to the constant stream of sounds coming from whatever lived in that disgusting lake. I just let myself float there in the water. I don’t think I’ve ever been more at peace in my life.
You know this lake is full of poop, right? said the voice.
They stopped letting poop into the water fifty years ago.
Even worse, this lake is full of fifty year old poop.
That’s better than it would be if turds were floating around my face.
Your face is a turd.
I don’t really care for the moment, to be honest.
You realize how pathetic this is, right?
I find it quite relaxing for the moment, to be honest.
How many times have you tried to off yourself now?
I don’t really see the point of keeping count. If I finally succeed one day, then the number of practice-runs I’ve had won’t matter.
Nobody practices suicide, they just do it, you really suck. I feel like you lack commitment.
I think you’re right. I mean, life sucks, we all know that, but at the same time, I’m brilliant and rather fantastic, so I should be able to make something out of this bullshit.
Why do you love yourself so much?
Well, I kind of have to.
Because if I didn’t, I would’ve been dead a long time ago.
So far, you’re not doing terribly well.
Which is why I’m floating in a lake in the middle of the night, talking to myself.
What are you saying?
That you shouldn’t give up until you’ve tried… or something?
You’re a fucking quitter though.
Why, thank you.
That wasn’t a compliment.
I was being sarcastic.
Isn’t that your default mode?
Very well done my good sir, you’ve solved the incredibly mystical mystery of the grumpy teenager floating in a lake in his underpants!! You get the Nobel Prize for the most obvious discovery ever! Well done, dipshit!
Okay…I like silence.
I SAID SHUT UP!
At least now you know what it’s like to get waterboarded by the CIA, that’s kinda cool.
Don’t they also hook a car battery up to your balls and shut you in a box?
See, I told you, you would never be able to do it, said the voice as I was standing at the edge of the water, having just failed at drowning myself inside my own head, twice over.
Are we becoming schizophrenic?
Well, since we have the exact same personality, I’d say no.
True, you’re very smart.
Thanks, you too.
This is stupid.
That entire ordeal was cringey to read back years and years after writing it. I think I thought that drowning in the lake would make my life come full circle since I’ve spent so much time there from the very beginning. Back then, when I had just finished high school and was about to go to university, I looked back at my life up until that point, and I wasn’t happy with what I saw.
So many times, I’ve seen loads of people down by the lake hanging out, barbequing, often younger than me by three or four years, at least nowadays. I never had that. And I so wanted to. I wanted to be one of those guys with a girl on my lap, trapped in a relationship that would meet its inevitable end after two weeks because you’re both fifteen and that just doesn’t work. Or maybe it does, what the hell do I know?
I’ve always lied to myself and thought that I didn’t want that anyway because it would just take up time and that I wouldn’t like it anyway. I might be ahead of a lot of people intellectually but I feel like I’m years behind on life. And all the answers I can see is that “It happens at different times for everyone, don’t worry, your time will come as well.” Well, that doesn’t make me feel any less shitty and hopeless right now. And I don’t feel like I’m making any headway at all towards some sort of a better life.
I might be going off to university but I still feel like I’m trapped in a cage of other people’s shortcomings and my inability to understand why they are shutting me out. Maybe it’s just that. Just look at that last thought. Other people’s shortcomings… Even I know I’m fucked up, but I still believe I’m better than everyone else. I kind of have to in order to not just give up, but it also doesn’t make you seem terribly sympathetic.
I’ve always had the belief that I can turn things around. I’ve told myself that Sure, life sucks and you really should end this bullshit, but you are great, so you should at least give this life a shot, because you’ll probably get rich doing it. And if success and riches doesn’t make life worth living, which, let’s face it, it probably won’t, you’ll at least be rich enough that you can buy yourself a gun that you can blow your head off with. Nice isn’t, this death thing?
Yes, quite brilliant.
Mixing self-love and suicidal thoughts doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Neither does the need to get rich. I trick myself into thinking that I need to make a lot of money because it is the only kind of happiness I will be able to get. But is that kind of happiness even remotely real? Why is becoming rich so important? As they say, money can’t buy you happiness. But I often think that that warped version of being some kind of content is the only one that seems feasible and sometimes even reasonable.
Is that really what lies ahead?
You think you’ll find happiness in love? You, we, take pride in being different because you see every other human being as a lesser creature.
That’s not true, there’s some people I actually really like and respec-
If you look at the big picture, this is how you look at others.
Ok, I guess it is.
You’ve dealt with being alone by taking for granted that you’re better than everyone else, and that you’re better off without them anyway. You have embraced the role of “outcast,” and made it into an image. “Hey, my name is Oscar and I’m different, very different.” If you say that with the same air as “Bond, James Bond,” then you have yourself your very own pickup line. Doubt it’ll work though. Your mental health is… let’s be nice and say in worse shape than average, and you’ve spent your childhood trying to figure out how to not push people away without meaning to. So really, what future do you expect you’ll have, if any?
Get rich or die trying, it all makes sense now.
Once in high school, I walked onto the train platform to catch the train home and four guys from elementary school were walking towards me. I decided to not pick up my iPod, as this would show my insecurity. I looked at the gravel on the ground, then slowly raised my gaze to their faces. They ignored me like one does with a drunken stranger on the bus. And then of course the internal debate ensued.
But do you really think that they’re bad people? Or do you just blame them for making you into the monster you are today by pushing your big, violently red, obvious, soft, enticing, pushable buttons for six years? Because you know that they just teased you and froze you out. They could’ve done much worse than that. Like what you did to them.
Now you’re just trying to rile me up.
People think that physical bullying is the worst kind of abuse and I can see why, but this was mental warfare. Because I saw it, in their eyes, not the hate, it wasn’t that bad, but the dislike, the glee of inflicting pain without having to shove someone’s head down a toilet, that would’ve been too obvious and punishable. This way they could get away with it scot-free. It seemed to make them happy.
They couldn’t go for the physical because of the quite obvious size differences, but this also meant that there was no end in sight to their shenanigans since there was never a smoking gun. I provided those. People think that it’s always the big guy who does the bullying, and I hate that assumption. Because this became a sport. Picking on the big guy.
It was like a competition about who was the biggest daredevil, who dared to poke the bear. It wasn’t unbearable until it had been years because there was just a slight tug at every second, but not a whiplash. I exploded a few times when it finally boiled over, but it took them five and a half years to make me realize that I needed to go. But then it was already too late in many ways. I was already a somewhat traumatized cynic. It’s pathetic, really.
When I got to Gert Fredriksson it was “pick on the big, clever guy who’s a year younger than us and thinks he’s better than everyone else because he gets an A on every test.” I’m not the typical big and stupid asshole, which makes me different, which makes me the guy to pick on since every motherfucker on this earth who happens to be shorter than me suffers from a severe Napoleon complex.
I talked to mom about these things. Those occasions were basically the only times we did talk, but when we did, we stayed up till 3 am on a school night and got really into it. I know I haven’t been the best son to my mother, but at least I shared sometimes. I think that’s a rarity unless you’re a momma’s boy, but then you probably don’t have anything to share to begin with since I assume your life is pretty sheltered.
“I think that the only kind of happiness I will ever be able to experience is the kind you can buy.” I let her into the thought process that had been going on for quite some time.
“That sounds horrible to me,” she said.
“It sounds like you don’t think that you’re worth to be loved.”