Tonight, while watching a Family Guy repeat, I saw the following scene.
Brian(the family dog) is in heaven, sitting at a table with 3 other men, all having a pint of beer.
Brian Griffin: Wow, look at me! Hanging out drinking with Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh and Kurt Cobain! Still, it feels like we got here a little earlier than we should have.
Hemingway: Yeah, well, I finally collapsed under the weight of my own genius and shot myself.
Van Gogh: I could not reconcile my passion with the way people around me were living so I shot myself.
Kurt Cobain: I hated the thought of my music become come part of some bland corporate mechanism so I shot myself.
Brian Griffin: (sheepish) Yeah, I uh,.....I got into the garbage and ate some chocolate.
What first struck me as brilliant satire, really got in my gut and has me thinking. Ok. Three famous people, all dead by their own hand by the same method. What else do these three men have in common?
They ran out of hope. They took their own lives when no hope was left. Now I am not talking about some of quoted line in a Don Mc Lean song, I am being serious. What keeps people alive during the most horrible things is hope. Ask someone who is a POW from a war, or a survivor of a camp. When hope died, so did the soul and the spirit. I honestly believe in my heart this is why Primo Levi and Bruno Bettelheim both killed themselves in late life.
I think depression is like a death of the soul, with one caveat, usually the soul comes back to it's person like a phoenix, stronger, more resilliant, and holds them together until the next episode, where it comes back again.
At least in theory, it should. When it doesn't, and in the midst of it you cannot see the exit, you feel like you are trapped in an Existential play, waiting for Godot who never comes, eating your gun might be a reasonable alternative. After all, hope has left the picture, there seems to be no reason to get out of bed and live each day if each day will be like the one you are living now...
Hell. You are in hell, and you don't have the energy to keep walking though it to get to the other side.
You have to get through it somehow. Suicide isn't painless, I don't care what the MASH song says. It not only destroys yourself, it wounds the people you leave behind, those who might find you.
I know it's hard. I lost a 2 friends with this last bout, and over the period of my life, have lost just about every friend I ever had when my moods got too melancholy for them to deal with. My family is about ready to write me off. I am weaving cautiously around the few friends I have left, not telling them how I really feel at the moment in fear they abandon me too. After all, why shouldn't they? The Titanic is going down, why put me in the life raft when they can save themselves and another?
It all comes down to hope. It's gone out of my life right now, but I am sure as hell trying to find it again. Cause I don't want to go into that good night. As I write now the dawn is breaking. Maybe today is the day I can find hope again.