Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Stupidest Reason To Live

What is the stupidest reason to live?

Now this may sound like a set up for one of my romps descents into (alleged) humor but it's not. And I am being serious here.

What is the stupidest reason to live?

When I find myself being sucked down into a deep, dark hole of depression, all I can hear is the universe collectively saying: "Why are you still here?" And I can only reply, "I don't know."

It's lonely in that deep, dark hole. Lonely and devoid of warmth and hope and there seems to be no way out. What is the point living through all this? What is the reason to live?

Now those who mean well can rattle off a list of big things that they think should cause you to pull yourself out of that deep, dark hole. Spouse, children, parents, loved ones, friends and family, co-workers, all the people left behind and hurt by what you did. But lets be blunt: some or all of those people or the lack thereof may be why you're in that deep, dark hole in the first place. When you're in the grip of depression, the big reasons to live are just part of the case against living. The pressure of responsibilities and associated failures (both real and perceived) only serve to push you closer to the edge, whether its the edge of a blade or a bridge.

So forget the big picture. Forget even about the spouse, children, parents, loved ones, friends and family, co-workers and ask yourself this question.

What is the stupidest reason to live?

Sometimes we need something small, something absurd to hold on to. Everything else is too big to grasp so reach for something you can grasp.

Here is a link to Matt Fraction's reply to a suicidal person. It is a moving, insightful, brutally honest and funny in the way that only a person in pain can understand. But below is a significant section from Matt's post.

i thought of a comic i was reading and i’d not figured out the end of the current storyline. And i realized I had curiosity. And that was the hook i’d hang my hat on. that by wanting to see how something played out I wasn’t really ready. That little sprout of a thing poking up through all that black earth kept me around a little longer.
I discovered this post thanks to someone linking to it on Twitter.  After reading it, I posted the following:

Damned if I didn't come to the same answer: find something, any one thing to say I'm not done yet.

What is the stupidest reason to live?

One time I contemplated the end of my life with the certain knowledge that the pain and the anguish and the loneliness and the despair would be over. Then slipping in under the cracks was the thought of a movie that was coming out in a few months. I realized, "I really wanted to see that."

Now there was no great halo of light or a choir of angels singing. In fact, pain, anguish, loneliness and despair were still woefully present and was as dark and heavy a burden as ever. And I wanted it to end.

But my mind kept scampering back to that thought about the stupid movie. If it wasn't for all this shit that was all but screaming at me that the universe did not want me, I would get to see that movie. Shut up about the damn movie already, I'd argued with myself. Life sucks and no stupid movie was going to fix that.

Like Matt Fraction's account, I found myself drawn towards the sheer absurdity of this debate in my head. I needed to live, if only for the sole purpose of seeing that movie.

It was the stupidest reason to live.

Occasionally I have found myself at the edge of a dark abyss with a strong compulsion to jump in and be done with it.  And when the good solid reasons to hold on don't work---like love and family, I find something small that I can grab hold of. I've got to see how this TV show will end or how that next comic book turns out.

Because the stupidest reason to live is still a reason to live. 

Current stupid reason to live:
Got to see how  Peter Capaldi plays the Doctor on Doctor Who.


Next on the blog: The Internet Is For Corn (Sigh.)

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