For the last day or so Noah and I have been talking about how he thinks the next book shouldn’t just be part two of the autobiographical series. He thinks the next book should be about suicide. So far this morning I’ve written about 2,000 words. I think there is a part of me that wants to hurry up and write about suicide now because I want to work on part two during NaNoWriMo. This isn’t the same kind of story telling. I want to tell stories! But he’s right. This is weighing heavily on my mind.
He keeps asking me who I want to talk to and why. Who do I want to talk to? People who think they have it so bad that there is no point in continuing to try. It couldn’t possibly ever stop hurting. Life is pain. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
But how do you bear it? How do you keep going? How do you get through yet another shitty day? A big part of it for me is this obsessive, tenacious belief I have that I am not alone and there are people in the world who understand me, at least a little, and more importantly there are people who love me and need me. I don’t just mean the kids.
I was a teacher for two and a half years. Former students talk to me at least once a week telling me thank you for helping them with something or other. I’ve helped some of them become better educated about their birth choices. A student told me that she avoided a c-section because I gave her the strength and assurance to argue for her rights. I feel like that’s a big deal. She had the brass plated balls to argue with a doctor about her rights because I told her she could. Fuck yeah.
When people are very suicidal they call me. Even if we aren’t close. Even if they barely know me. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I seem safe. I am not going to look down on someone no matter how low they feel because I feel like I’m sitting there in the gutter with them. You can’t look down when your chin is on the ground. Everything is level or up.
I feel pretty ridiculous sometimes because I feel like part of my gift this lifetime is the easing of other peoples pain. Even if I am not that important in and of myself I touch people. Maybe they will be important. Maybe they will be able to do something because they felt seen by me. Maybe I will be able to lend them some of my strength and stubbornness.
How do I make it through another day? By making deals and trades. Over time I have made some bad deals but all that mattered to me was making it through the day. By that metric I’ve been quite successful.
I feel pathetic because I measure my success in “not dead”. Seems like a pathetically low bar. Not so much of a high jump but rather something to trip you up. If you fuck up on “not dying” the consequences are bad. If you hit a trip wire it hurts even though it’s not a high bar. Landing on your face really really hurts.
I think a lot about survival. What does it mean to live? Why are we here? What am I doing? I feel overwhelmed by life. It’s too much and not enough. But I have to stay. I have things to do. There are people who need me. I have to believe in the pit of my stomach that somewhere out there in the world there is someone who needs me quite badly. I can’t die yet because I haven’t met that person. I want to. That’s enough to get me through today. I’ll find a reason to get through tomorrow then.