No. You Don't Get To Kill Yourself. Neither Do I.
I'm a relatively new writer here at Wonkette and I regret to inform you that despite my best efforts at just doing dick jokes and satire, it turns out I am going to be the writer that covers death and oppression and rape and shit. (There can still be dick jokes though because obviously there's going to be dick jokes.)
So this post is about me trying to kill myself last night (which incidentally is WEIRDLY A STORY ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY TOO BECAUSE FUCK YEAH AMERICA) and the reason I'm telling you about it is the same reason I wrote the rape piece: it's just occurred to me that holy fuck, maybe someone else needs to be told the thing someone should have told me yesterday if anyone had known. So I'm going to tell you, just in case.
I have never been what we would call "well." I had a traumatic childhood and things didn't get picket-fency when I left home. I've always just sort of held my shit together by a string and hoped for the best, because that is as much as I'm gonna get. I came to terms with that when I was eleven, and I don't mind it much except that I'd obviously prefer nothing in my life but roses and giant cocks. (See there you are, dick joke lovers) (phrasing) (but only kind of. Just the tip.) (phrasing. For real.) (inapprops.)
Point is, I didn't know I was so close to the edge even though I've been drinking far far far too much and doing very inadvisable things for days. It's possible that I knew and just didn't admit it to myself, or that I'd been trying for days and just hadn't been left alone for long enough to get my shit together and do it. I don't really know and haven't had time to sort it yet, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that last night I tried to drive into a tree quite intentionally, and only didn't make it because my car has a wonky belt and it didn't accelerate fast enough.
ENTER THE WHITE SUPREMACY. No, really, this is a spectacular fucking example of what we mean when we say "privilege." So clearly the cops get called after some lady tries and fails to drive into a tree. (I was, you can infer, not sober in the slightest, although to be fair I went for the embankment I was parked in front of to begin with. Don't drink and drive where other people are going to be, kids, that would be dangerous!)
I, because I have recently been reliving things like police pointing rifles wildly into crowds and pointing guns at me specifically, freaked out even more when the cops were called. I was perfectly polite, I was just clearly not having a good night and the guns were not helping. I didn't care about potential charges; I just didn't want armed agents of the state quite so near me because it turned out I was still alive and suddenly wanted to stay that way.
A friend of mine who lives nearby and is a veteran and a black dude which by both tokens means he's seen some shit involving guns and humans, once asked police to disarm and they handcuffed him. I asked the police to disarm and they asked me politely why, to which I answered that I was in the middle of a memory involving armed police. They backed away from me and let me get through it as politely as you could ask if you are the subject of a mental health call and you're drunk in a condo lobby after midnight on a Tuesday having a PTSD episode.
By all rights, I should be in jail right now. The fact that I am not is entirely down to the color of my skin and the fact that white ladies are allowed to get drunk and do stupid shit and most police will very kindly wait around to make sure someone comes to collect them and take them to a couch somewhere to sleep it off. I was clearly trying to kill myself and white-lady suburban public safety dictated that they make it better, not worse.
So that's one takeaway: Policing is racist as fuck even when you're on the privilege side of it; I wasn't put on a 72-hour hold. I wasn't arrested. I'm not gonna say I'm not glad of that; I'm just going to note it here really quick before we carry on.
Anyway, so here's the thing I'm going to tell you: If you're one of the people whose brains have memories that sometimes make you want to saw your own head off to stop those synapses firing, take a minute and check in with yourself. Seriously. It's 2017 and if you only hear snatches of the TV in the morning you hear things like "increasing autocracy" and "President Trump" and it's enough to make even a normal person crazy. If you're as not-normal as me but you mostly cope, take an inventory of yourself. The episode you're avoiding might sneak up on you this year.
I am a journalist who covers trauma and destruction and I have no lack of material, and that is going to have an effect on us all. We live in a really fucked-up society, guys, and if you are not made partially unhinged by the fact that we can't just ban guns or get clean water to all our citizens or figure out mass transport but we claim to be a leading nation then you're part of the thing that's making the rest of us fucking crazy.
You don't need the details of my mental health struggles because they're fucking boring. How I got the damage is sometimes interesting, but the stuff itself is mundane. Point is I usually manage and last night I had an episode and got so lucky on so many levels because I'm alive and well enough to write this. I would not be without my friends saving me. Check in with yourself.
And if you find yourself feeling like I did last night let me tell you a thing or two: fuck you. Seriously. Fuck you. You're not done yet and you don't get to rest that easy. There are people depending on you to stay alive right now. They want you to be healthy and that may or may not ever happen but alive is fine for them right now. You don't get to fuck them over like that, even if you know they deserve more apologies than you could ever give them. Maybe especially because of that.
And also you shouldn't because for all the darkness and heartache in the world there is also always shining love that spikes through the haze somewhere too. Maybe you can't feel it, but it's in the frozen water on the concertina wire and the flowers that struggle through the cracks in the sidewalks. It's in old forests and rose petals and the people who will hold your hand even when you're pretty sure and with good reason that you're not worth it.
I love you. That's why I write about my own trauma and pain, because for whatever fucked-up reason I have been gifted with the skill to articulate things like that and it helps people sometimes. It is because I love you that I talk about your trauma and pain, so that you can say "yes this is real" and also "other people feel this exact lonely thing too" which are important. It is why I go to places where people are being brutalized and why I talk to endless amounts of strangers about their most painful moments and why I bare my soul. I love you and so I am vulnerable to you so that you can take whatever strength there might be from it.
You are valuable because if you didn't care about making things better for other people you wouldn't be in my audience. You'd be reading books about how to get a bigger dick or something. When I say that you don't know what you bring to the world I mean that I travel a lot and see horrible shit and sometimes the thing that stops me killing myself is spotting a bougainvillea and you have flowers in your front yard too so I owe you a preemptive thanks in case you ever accidentally keep me alive. Your value is literally incalculable but I can promise you it's not zero.
If you are walking an edge of any sort, come and hold my hand and we will steady each other quietly if you have no other hands to hold. I have been loved well enough in this life that I have some to spare, even if my asshole brain tricks me into forgetting sometimes. Just breathe and get through the memory or the guilt or whatever it is and when it's over we will remember that there are flowers to be seen even in the most broken of neighborhoods.
(Note: I am perfectly well now, or as well as I ever get. I have minutes where I get overwhelmed is all, and last night was one of the really bad ones. I am hugely embarrassed, and even more grateful to the people who've kept me alive, but fine. I am loved well by good friends that I'm going to have to spend the day apologizing to because you don't do something like that without being a dick to at least a dozen people by the end of the night, but I'm not alone and I'm stable now. Those of us who struggle don't share these things because we need help coping; it's because we need to help each other cope when we can and if I'm gonna get that spectacular with it I might as well share with the class in case someone needed it today.)
Now, this is your open thread, so use it to love each other, OK?