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When it rains...

Posted Oct 10 2010 4:56am 3 Comments
It's raining heavily, and rain has become a threat for me since I got depressed. I don't know why, but when it rains, I ALWAYS feel my depression get intense and sometimes even consider committing suicide seriously.

This is an emergency. I have to get out of my apartment immediately once I get trapped in this state of mind because there are times when death was really close. Several hours ago, I was really close so I got out. I came back home after I wandered around my place a bit. I'm staying home and finally beginning to feel my urge to kill myself weaken. I remembered that I had read a book called "Night Falls Fast" by Kay Redfield Jamison. This book is about suicide and talks about the history, methods and her own attempts of suicide. I learned the word suicide pretty early in my life. As I got older, I found myself get intrigued by it because I saw a grim, yet somewhat mysterious sweetness in it. Some of you may be puzzled and wonder why anyone would see something sweet in suicide. I always thought of suicide as a last resort as a child because I was always desperate to survive at both home and school. I was a prime target of bullying pretty much everywhere.

Now I'm 30 years old and still wonder sometimes if living a life with mental illnesses in this country is any better than dying a peaceful death. People say we all should be grateful for our lives. Why then do over 30,000 people in this country commit suicide every year? I hear this figure is about 4 times larger than the number of people who get killed by traffic accidents. I think I understand why. I've seen some foreigners on television who say they like Japan because Japanese people are nice. Well, they will be nice to you if you can be what they want you to be. In Japan, people usually express their thoughts and feelings indirectly because many seem to see it as a virtue. You're expected to become a mind reader and if you can't become one, they will ignore you and be suddenly mean without telling you why.

Likewise, being mentally ill is one of the things many Japanese people secretly want to avoid to get or discuss. I guess I was supposed not to get severely depressed because I should have known that was a taboo. Some of the Japanese people I know seem to think I'm finished, and I'm sad. It is always so challenging in this country for people like me to get well enough to work again. People in their thirties or forties who have worked only part-time jobs have a similar struggle. No matter how desperately they want to pursue a career and work full-time, Japan tends to see these people as "dropouts" because they didn't or couldn't start working full-time while they were in their twenties. Japan is very kind to people who can accept its traditional norms, but it suddenly becomes cruel to those who can't. Who feels comfortable living in a society where people keep pressuring you to become someone else? No wonder so many people in this country choose to end their lives before their time comes.

I try to be hopeful when I think about the future, but sometimes it's too difficult. Maybe I'm having a bad day. Tomorrow will be a little better, I hope. My recent coping method when I get the urge to kill myself is to go to bed as soon as possible. My medications always give me some hours of sweet oblivion. It's a little early, but I guess I'm going to bed as soon as I finish writing this. I want more sun!
Comments (3)
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After reading your post I came to the conclusion that people who are judging you are people who can't even be honest with their OWN feelings.  Like you said, in your culture, people pretty much put a "mask" on and pretend that everything is great yet they hide who they truly are.  No one talks about their feelings... and that's not healthy.

So please give yourself a LOT of credit for being HONEST about who you truly are - at least you can accept who you are and you are taking steps towards getting better!  The people who constantly act like things are okay (when they are actually hurting inside) are the ones who won't heal. 

You WON'T committ suicide becaue you have the WILL to live... You're a better person than all those people that are judging you because you're not pretending to be something you're not.  You just might be helping someone else in your life (at that horrible job) because they are seeing you take a different path than what is deemed "normal" in your "culture" and it just might give someone else who is secretly hurting the courage to get help too!!!  You just never know!

Your life has purpose - don't EVER forget that!  How wonderful is it going to feel when you prove to all those who doubted you - when you show them you are not "FINISHED" - In a world were people are constantly living behind their masks - you are the BRAVE one - you are an inspiration! :) 

I think you're right that many people around me put some kind of emotinal mask to hide their honest feelings.  In a country like Japan where you're expected strongly not to disturb the harmony of your local community, honesty can be a threat because it can force some people to face their problems or issues that are very difficult.  Those people, I suppose, are afraid that they may get hurt and confused when they confront their honest selves.

Yes, I know I will NEVER commit suicide!  As I wrote in my post titled "How do I enjoy life?", I used to firmly believe that I had to find meaning in everything I did.  Over time, however, I gradually changed my mind and started to think the process of doing something is the meaning of it, not necessarily the outcome alone.  I don't know what I can do, but at least for now I know I can keep writing and get to know other people online for support.  Plus, I can polish my writing skills by doing that.  I'm starting to feel pretty good.  Thank you!!

Yea!  I'm happy to hear that you're starting to feel pretty good :) 

Earlier today I was doing some research regarding how the stigma of depression is dealt with in other countries - one main country they discussed was Japan - and they talked about it exactly like you do... 

Just know that YOU are the strong one because you are going against what society deems "normal" - you love yourself too much to let this thing called depression suck your life away and therefore you're up front about it!! I'm so proud of you!!


Christine :) 

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