Depression, Suicide, and Other Happy Thoughts

Yesterday I was scrolling through the New Posts tab over at AbsoluteWrite when I saw a post titled “Robin Williams Dead at 63”. I couldn’t believe it. I went straight to Twitter and it was the top trending topic—RIP Robin Williams. Dead from apparent suicide by hanging.

I spent much of the afternoon watching YouTube clips. Particularly one of my favorite Disney songs ever, made brilliant by the comedic stylings of the incomparable Mr. Williams.

How I learned what baklava was.

And as I started thinking about my blog post today, I thought that I should write about suicide. I should write about depression. I should try to share what it is like to be mired in an endless stream of self-recrimination. How it feels to want desperately to die and to hate yourself for not being brave enough to do it. How it feels when someone you love and care about is gone because of it. The dread that comes along with knowing someone close to you is struggling with that burden and you can’t help it or lift it. The days when getting out of bed seems pointless, when sitting at a red light you plead with the universe to send an out-of-control semi crashing into your car. When a challenge as small as choosing what to wear can seem overwhelmingly huge. The ways you deal with it and the ways you don’t because it can’t truly be dealt with. Wondering if other people are as fucked up as you but only feeling worse when you realize many are.


I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to truly sit down and write about my own struggles and the struggles I have witnessed in others. Instead I will point you to PostSecret, a site that has helped me connect with the humanity in those around me. To the Suicide Hotline who once fielded a call from me that helped pull me back, though it lasted no more than 30 seconds and they never had a chance to say much at all. To this touching post by David Wong that discusses the pain in comedy. And leave you with this amazing poem by Walt Whitman, made so famous by Robin Williams.

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

2 thoughts on “Depression, Suicide, and Other Happy Thoughts

  1. Mark Fenger

    "They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." – Dead Poet's Society

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