Today’s topic: a time I thought about ending my own life.
This is a tough post to write. Not because of sadness, but because I am not a suicidal type of person. I don’t understand it, I’ve never felt it, and I don’t condone it.
I’ve had my fair share of sadness, but I’ve never once thought that things were so bad I needed to end my life. I usually get to that “fuck you, I am better than this, I don’t need this” anger stage before I would get to the infinite sadness stage. So, since this particular topic doesn’t really apply to me, I thought I’d talk about a few sad times in my life and I have coped with them and moved on.
I’ve written many times about losing my friend Adam nearly three years ago, but he wasn’t the only friend I’ve lost. When I was still in my teens, I lost a very close friend to AIDS. We hadn’t really known each other long, and he was already diagnosed and having health deterioration when we met. But Michael was a great friend. A few years older than myself (five to be exact), he had been through a lot of the issues I was going through at the time; coming out, dating in the gay community, the struggles of coming from a small town, and other teenage problems. Though he was only five years my senior, he was wise beyond his years. He had had a lot of time of self reflection since his diagnosis, but before I met him.
When I met him, he knew he was dying. That did not stop me from being his friend. He often joked that he was “a lesson for me to learn what not to do in life”. He had started having sex with guys much younger than I did, and was never sure from who, or when, he contracted HIV. At the time I knew him, he felt it no longer mattered, that the damage had been done and he wanted to live his life, not concentrate on what could have been different. That was one of life’s lessons I still hold dear to me to this day. He also taught me that I needed to be careful, that I needed to be who I was and not who others wanted me to be, and to never regret anything.
Though I knew him a short time (about a year and a half) before he died, he was a major impact on my life. I rarely talk about him with others, and this is the first time I’ve ever written about him. It’s sad to remember him dying, and sadder to know he’s gone. But I’m happier for having known him.
I’ve had my heart broken a few times, but none stings as much as the one that helped change my life. I’ve written about this before, so I’ll just summarize. You can read about him briefly in my blog titled “If I Knew Then (part 2)”. Shortly before I got sober, I was truly, madly, deeply in love. He was a guy I worked with and had a mad crush on. While partying one night, things escalated, and we ended up screwing around…a lot. We were friends first, I think that was a big key. I fell hard, and we were together day and night. We weren’t really open to everyone that we were seeing each other, but from the way I felt, I’m sure everyone knew. Eventually he wanted to do his own thing. I was so heart broken. I spent a lot of time alone after that and used the time to self reflect. I was so sad, I thought I’d never connect with anyone that way again. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to be around people either. Just be alone and listen to music and think. It really made me evaluate my self worth.
I’ve done some shady things in my life, not that I am proud of it. Most of which I was young and on drugs for, but there have been a few times afterward I’m not too proud of either. I’ve lied to people, I’ve pretended not to know people, I’ve cheated. These are definitely low points in my life, and looking back on them, I feel immense guilt. I never meant to hurt people, but I was too busy thinking of myself rather than others. While being selfish isn’t really equitable to suicide, it does make you sad to look back on the shitty things you’ve done and know that no good came of it.
These are of the things that have made me sad, but not suicidal. I’ve known a few people that were suicidal, and I don’t understand it. I try to find the positive in the situation I’m in, but if I can’t I usually just get angry about the situation rather than get sad.
Tomorrow’s topic: 30 interesting facts about me.