Take My Lungs


I believe, against all supposedly natural human instinct, that it’s okay to die. It’s not that I want people to die, it isn’t that I don’t sometimes value being alive, it’s just that I get a mental rash every time humans fluff their grubby feathers up and act like death is the most antithetical thing to life there is. As far as I can tell life and death aren’t antithetical to each other but are two ends of the same string. They are the beginning and the ending of the same experience. They’re a matched set, not opponents.

To be obsessed with life but see death as the enemy is unnatural to me. Death is not an enemy, it’s the natural end to every beginning. I’m not suggesting it isn’t painful, both for those doing the dying and for the loved ones witness to the dying and experiencing the losing. There’s so much pain for those of us losing the ones we love – pain that feels limitless and expansive.

But we all fit into a permanent place in the universal memory like a shiny jigsaw piece that takes children and seniors years of patience to put into place like a gravestone. Would you prefer it be easier to settle our ghosts as though they were nothing more than an after dinner burp followed by an insincere apology?

I’ve spent a few hours today sorting through the Suicide for Beginners survey results and it’s the same every time I do, I feel like I’m swimming in the same dark spirit-infested waters from which I rose before I was born and will return to when I die. I feel I’m with my spirit family. I feel my heart break in a thousand pieces simultaneously as I feel inordinate pride in everyone’s strengths that the world has yet to recognize, that most of the time we don’t/can’t recognize for ourselves. But I see it, this incredible vibrancy it takes to survive even half a life with the crippling drowning sensation many of us feel just trying to breath.

The worst thing is knowing that the best I can do for all of us is maybe educate a few people who don’t get what we’re dealing with, maybe make a few more people listen to us, and hopefully throw adequate life support to a few of the most desperate of us who are drifting dangerously towards the point of no return. I want to do more. I want to rewrite the manuscript, repaint the landscape, and change the entire narrative.

One of the hardest things about this project is that it takes tremendous energy to see it through and as a person with serious chronic depression I have very little energy at the best of times and no matter how motivated I am to get this project off the ground I first have to contend with my powerful inertia. I have a day job that sucks most of my energy from me. I’m grateful to have it, I really enjoy my coworkers, but that doesn’t change how little energy it leaves me for anything outside of it.

This is what depression IS.

This is what depression TAKES.

Nearly everyone who took my Suicide for Beginners survey can appreciate this bullshit.

Time for sleep and slim reflection.




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