…Not Much Else

Making stuff is my momentary antidote to the relentless focus of my annoying brain. 
This might be why I find a great deal of comfort in making things.

Having a project to complete is like a chew toy for my brain.

Going too long without a new project can lead me on a path to creeping thoughts, and an easier slide into the spiral.

It can be so easy to slip too. Most don’t see my brain nudging me towards the lip. Most don’t see me desperately clinging to that last bit of sane. That bit that prevents me from plummeting down, spiraling into dread.

It calls to me like a distant song on repeat. “You’re not good enough, You’re not capable. Your career is meaningless and your brain generates useless ideas. You’ve always been dead on arrival.”

Making things can often help momentarily mute that song.

Anything to keep that song from forcing me to believe that anyone within my reach is left at a net negative just by knowing me.

I justify pushing others away with strange a sense of duty; with a sense of respect and compassion for that person. I often convince myself that my existence is causing pain in those that love me. Anyone I respect shouldn’t love someone as wretched as me, so let me just save you the trouble.

To that end, I can’t push me away from myself, which after many years, I have found to be the source of this problem.

So, in creeps the whisper of suicide as the chorus to that song. The real ear-worm. Total Top-40 viral hit.

When that song erupts in refrain and the fever pitch inside myself approaches the fever pitch online, I can hit a nasty feedback loop. One that grabs, and pulls, destroying any sense of well-being inside me. That’s when this refrain of suicide can become a deafening, droning shout.

This new national conversation about suicide will push more people to that conclusion. Of that, we can be certain.

Why?

Well, because there’s no good way to talk our way through this. Speaking from the outside isn’t what calms that voice inside.

Listening helps.

Compassion for the fallen, and empathy towards those slipping. That helps, too.

But dammit, it’s about accepting imperfection as human, and accepting all humans as valuable.

I need others to see value in me, because I often don’t. I don’t have a strong sense of self, or any innate sense of well-being. I’m not wired to be resilient. Not me. And not those like me. We anxious few.

We’re slaves to the whim of a hyper-critical inner monster. One we will never outrun. So that means the conventional social-cause machine isn’t prepared to combat this. The tools just don’t work here.

No hashtag activism, no t-shirt fundraiser, no figurehead.

We can’t stamp out the social stigma by educating the public because suicide will forever be a Bad Idea. But an idea it remains for we anxious few.


And the slightest thing, anything unexpected, anything embarrassing, any bump in the road can set us off. 
That’s why we can’t expect to find neatly defined categories to predict all causes of our spirals, they’ll just appear random to someone else.

So I think, collectively, we may just need to accept that this song will always be there for some, playing inside our heads, stuck on repeat.

Whispering at times, screaming at others.

Forever.