Suicide is Invisible

Suicidal Thought, Blaming Religion, and more, on this weeks episode of The Distracted Philosopher.

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I’m Regis Jack, and from the day I was born I've wanted to die. Well, maybe not the DAY I was born, but as least as far back as I can remember. It’s not because my life has been bad — it's actually the opposite — I’ve lead a good life. A great life in fact. I have family, loved ones, shelter, food, a career, hobbies, and lots of unnecessary stuff. But my quality of life has no bearing whatsoever on why I want to die. It’s all inside my head. It’s about how I think and how I feel.

And some of you are probably asking, “So, how DO you feel?”

I’m happy. That’s how I feel. I’m a happy guy. Maybe not ALL the time, but most of the time. Other times, well, dark, depressing, sad, suicidal. But who doesn’t feel like that at one time or another? I mean, everybody does, right? Of course that doesn’t mean everyone feels dark, depressing, sad, and suicidal in the same way. Far from it.

Some people just feel sad for a brief period of time, then move on (I call these people "lucky bastards")

Some people feel this darkness, sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts for short periods of time and it’s not a big deal; maybe they cry in their car for a while, feel better then continue on with their life as if nothing happened; at least until it happens again

Some people are driven by the darkness, driven by the depression, driven by the sadness, driven by the suicidal thoughts; some people know that's what's driving them and controlling them — others are not so lucky as they are absorbed and controlled by it

Some people dive in the darkness, embrace the depression, sadness, and suicidal thoughts, dig deep into them, become friends with them, accept them as normal

And some people spend their entire existence within darkness, depression, sadness, and suicidal thoughts — not knowing any other way of life

I dive into it. I embrace the darkness, the sadness, the depression, the suicidal thought as if they are the only way of life. I'd say I actually enjoy those dark, depressing times. Sounds absurd doesn’t it? But it’s true. I find solace in my depression. It’s warm embrace can protect and suffocate me at the same time. It’s just like feeling happy, only not. Some times these feelings are a small part of my life, some times a much larger part, and a few times (including a few consecutive years) it was my entire existence.

When I'm deep in my depression I write. My creativity is fueled by my emotions, positive and negative, but I've always felt that depression served as a great emotional basis for writing (as have other writers who used their depression along with drugs and alcohol to enhance it). During these times my words are not just made up fictional stories, they are my feelings — emotional parts of me. They are me.

When I'm depressed, I know I'm depressed. It's not a secret. It's not hiding, waiting to jump out at me. I know it. I feel it. But just because I know it and recognize it, doesn't mean I can change it or fix it or even reach out for help. I'm aware, but not necessarily in control.

And while there is turmoil on the inside, on the outside I appear happy and calm — normal (what ever that means). Previously I've talked / written about how I have panic attacks and when they hit me hard, no one else can tell. On the inside I'm screaming, crying, yelling, running away … dying; but on the outside I'm calm and cool as my friends can confirm — they would never have know if I would not have told them (and asked them to help).

Darkness, depression, sadness, or suicidal thoughts are not always something you can see even when they are right in front of you. When you see me next, look into my eyes. Can you see it? Do you think I'm joking about this or looking for sympathy? I'm not. I don't care what you think about me. I do care that you understand that depression, sadness, darkness, suicidal thoughts are not outliers of our society. They are common. They are every where. There are every one. And they are invisible.

When someone is drowning, they are quiet, calm, and trying to stay afloat — they know they are downing but can't call out for help — they are NOT thrashing about, splashing, yelling, and screaming like people expect. The same goes for someone who is suicidal or contemplating suicide, they can appear normal, quiet, calm. They are not yelling for help. They can't.

This is what so many people don't understand. People still think that suicide only happens to someone whose life is going really bad — which is a big NOPE. It does happen when life is bad, like when you lose your job, suffer a relationship break, or lose a loved one or family member. But it also happens when everything in life appears to be great, when you are happy and content.

And this shouldn't be a shock to people. Doesn't everyone spend a few minutes, or hours, or days, or weeks, or more being sad over things? Doesn't everyone feel depressed now and again? The answer is YES, even if you say no. There is no shame in these feelings. There are a part of ourselves — just a part — they are not our whole being (even if it feels like it sometimes).

When someone kills themselves, it is not a selfish act. It is not them giving up. It is not a cowards way out. Those are horrible things to say. Inside of us is an internal struggle that we are not equipped to deal with, and no one is walking around with a quick answer or solution, so we go off the deep and and go to extremes because we can't face what's inside. We are afraid of what the world sees when it looks at us. We are afraid of the conflict within ourselves. This fear makes us to some pretty awful things, like excessive alcohol or drugs (prescription and illegal).

But at the same time suicidal people are doing comedy, creating music, writing, making art, doing podcasts, and some people just go about their normal every lives as if nothing is wrong.

It's interesting when you look at some of the medications that are prescribed to people with depression — many have a side effect of suicidal thoughts. Think about that. Suicidal thought are the side effect from a drug that is supposed to make you less depressed (aka happier). Why is this? Because you can be happy and have suicidal thoughts. Happy does not mean you are not depressed.

Depression, darkness, sadness, and suicidal thoughts — they are all exactly like being happy — only different. I know that may be hard for you to understand but I can't think of a better way to put it.

So when you hear of a celebrity that committed suicide like Robin Williams, Marlyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Mindy McCready, Jonathan Brandis, Sawyer Sweeten, Jovan Belcher, Alexander McQueen, Lucy Gordon, Johnny Lewis, Gia Allemand, Dana Plato, Chris Benoit, Misty Upham, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Simone Battle, Vincent Van Gogh, Christine Chubbuck, Lee Thompson Young, Sylvia Plath, Aaron Swartz, Virginia Woolf, Tony Scott, Don Cornelius, Michael Hutchence, Freddy E, David Foster Wallace, Freddie Prinze, Diane Arbus, Terry Kath, Reinaldo Arenas, James Whale, Assia Wevill, Hart Crane, Wendy O. Williams, L'Wren Scott, Michael Alfonso, Alan Turing, Socrates, Sid Vicious, Herve Villechaize, Ray Combs, Simon Brint, Paul McCullough, Richard Jeni, Charles Rocket, Joshua Andrew Koenig, Chris Cornell, or any of the hundreds of celebrities I haven't mentioned — please realize these people did not quit or give up. They cared for people, loved people, entertained people, but inside was a different story. The same goes of the rest of us. Everyone. Every. Single. Person.

If you are having suicidal thoughts and need to talk to someone and you don't want to talk with any friends or family, then please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day. They will talk with you. They will listen. They will not judge. If you don't want to talk, but like to do an online chat, they do that too just Google "suicide" and you'll find it.

You are not alone. There are many like us. Don't fight it alone. Even Batman needed help. Be like Batman.

You can find links to all the distractions from the show (and some not in the show) on my twitter feed @regisjack.

Read guest philosopher Mykl’s blog Rhetoric of The Idle Mind

Watch Aurelio Voltaire’s Gothic Homemaking And Other Stuff

Visit The Distracted Philosopher dot COM for this episode, other episodes, blogs, and other stuff.

This is episode s10e20(385) for Monday, May 22, 2017 and clocked in at 24 minutes, 33 seconds