Between July 2009 and December 2010, I thought about dying a lot. At least twice a day, every day the thought would cross my mind that I should die. I wanted to die. Dealing with life was difficult at the time. Life was kinda fucked up…in good ways, and bad ways. I hated school and wasn’t trying to go back to finish, I decided to focus on being a designer and just figure things out as they came along. My girlfriend and I were breaking up and making up every few days. I wasn’t feeling God either, I was a mess, I was breaking down. I had such intense emotional reactions to everything. No one could really help, I mean no one was in my specific shoes. All anyone I managed to speak to could do was give cliché advice or stare at me blankly, or tell me to push through the pain. Whatever.
I wondered about escaping it all, embracing the still nothingness that is death, or at least moving on to whatever comes next after this life. I didn’t just want to die though. I wanted to die violently. I would be walking along the road on a busy day, and I would have the sudden urge to throw myself in front of a speeding car, or bus. In fact, the bigger the vehicle, the better. One night, I slept with a huge kitchen knife beside me on the bed. It was raining hard outside, my roommate was out of town. I felt extremely terrible, such a darkness, such sadness, almost physical agony. I just kept breathing, observing my mind race from thought to thought, clenching and unclenching the handle of the knife. I eventually slept.
I was growing an afro then…
For me, there is a correlation between growing one’s hair as a guy and one’s general emotional state. Obviously it doesn’t work like that for everyone, but for me, it fit. I cut my hair in April, and then I just decided there was no point cutting it again, I just let it grow…until my mum emotionally blackmailed me into getting rid of it in December.
I was watching Lupe Fiasco’s interview with Tavis Smiley about a month ago. I’m a big fan of Lupe as a person (as far as I know him) and of his music. He’s been sporting an afro recently, and on this interview he’s talking about his battle with depression and contemplating suicide during the production of the LASERS album. There is something about going through the darkness. I don’t know if it ever completely leaves though. Sure, you get happy, you laugh and smile…somehow it always lingers though. Looking at Lupe during the interview, he was smiling and everything, but I could see weariness in his eyes so to speak. Maybe it’s just me projecting or whatever. I feel like that a lot. I feel tired.
But we get through it, things get better. We just need to remember to leave the baggage behind and not carry it along. Every time I thought about dying, I always thought to myself, ‘Oto, you could jump off the 7th floor of this building, but what if you would be missing out on some awesome shit that’s going happen months from now. Don’t you want at least see how it plays out?” And that would always hold me back. I’ve never had the balls the kill myself or maybe I had enough balls not to. Like no matter how crappy things may seem, it’s just life, shit happens, whatever, get over it.
I once read something in the comments section of a blog post by James Altucher. If you ever at the point of suicide, if you are at the brink and you want to end it all, realize that the old you/life you trying to escape from was that crappy, and that needs to die. You can arise from it like a phoenix and reinvent yourself.
Don’t kill yourself, reinvent yourself.