Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To My Friends Thinking about Suicide

When I was 20 years old my best friend killed herself and it sent me into a spiral of depression that left me awash in suicidal thoughts. After the pointless therapy and the useless drugs I realized this wasn't something that could be talked out or drugged away. The only reason I didn't do it - I knew it would kill my mother and by extension my family. I just couldn't be that much of an asshole. Instead I ended my life by moving to California, tossed everything off to let fate have its way with me. I was rewarded with the kind of life I'd always dreamed of and I had big 'D' dreams. I did it again when I moved back to NC and later when I chucked everything moving to London - events that led to the best years of my life.

There's little solace in knowing when your life is swirling down the toilet that you were the one who pulled the handle but it sure beats having the handle pulled for you. Still, it all leads to the same place - where you needed to be all along. You young folks contemplating ending your lives, you don't have to kill yourself . End your life in a positive way then reap the rewards that await you. I know it's a whole lot tougher for you than it ever was for me, when a job that paid little more than minimum wage was enough to live on and have your own place in LA. When two days looking for a job offered intriguing choices and not last resorts. But that fire inside of you that has you confused, lonely and mentally messed up is what will carry you to your destination and trust me, you do not want to miss out on what's ahead. 

Had I killed myself at 20 I never would have hung out in the punk clubs when the seminal bands you only wish you could have seen (Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Minutemen, Social D) were just bubbling up, never thrived as an artist (with no training) in the motion picture industry, watched the sun go down over the hills above Sunset Boulevard from my deck with the Hollywood sign to my right and downtown LA on the other side, never been the first to create the experience that we all take for granted on the internet (I'll likely not get credit for that!), never written to great acclaim with reviews one can only dream about, learn it's true life begins at 50, never had the most awesome sex and discovered I was the hottest guy in the room, never gone out on a book tour that landed me TV shows on VH1 & Bravo, never discovered what real love is all about (that only recently and I'm single), never been taught, the hard way naturally, to be strong enough to let go of what I can't have.

If you're suicidal there's little anyone you likely know can say or do to help you, certainly not your parents. Those that tell you they've been in your shoes are well-meaning but they have not...  in the same shoe STORE maybe but your situation is unique to you. Just realize if you have three close and dear friends you've beaten the odds already. Lean on them for a while if you are so lucky. If you have to close the blinds and take what time you need before opening them again, fine, wallow if you have to - but you'll be better off in the sunlight. Follow your heart goddamn it, take risks, if you want to kill yourself anyway what do you have to lose? Pretend you did commit suicide then treat the rest of your life as borrowed time, stick your finger in the icing for your sad little cake that you would have missed out on. 

You need a pep talk come to me, stop me and let's go for a walk, I promise I have nothing better to do. I don't come across as the warmest person on the outside, plagued as I am with insecurities and doubts, but if you're reading this I honestly love you and would do anything for you. I mean that. I wish I had the ways and means to give you what little you need, an opportunity to be the person you desire to be and express what you have inside that's pushing to get out. So that you can be the light in other people's lives.

Today is not, as they used to say, the first day of the rest of your life but tomorrow is. Relax behind today. It's not a race, thank God. So many times what looks like a hopeless situation reverses course with just one phone call. Be there for that call, that chance meeting, that unknown opportunity waiting right around the bend. What you need you have been given, you just don't know it yet.

Dark thoughts and unfulfilled longings? The only people that don't experience those are sociopaths and I'll bet we both know a lot of those. So many they skew the view and make the world look like a happier place than it is. Take your lumps, work it out over time, forgive yourself, forgive others on a minute-by-minute basis, be more authentic not less which is the tendency when you're ill.  I know you won't believe it when I tell you to smile more, you'll actually be happier. When a friend told me that I set out to prove him wrong, going around with a smile on my face for a week. Prove me wrong. More people than you know want you to be healthy and happy. Or at least as happy as anyone can be in this fucked up stew we're in...