Kokoro Is Blue


Dying By Inches

People often focus on suicide where depression is concerned, zoning in on that one final act that hurts both the living and the deceased in an unforgivably permanent way. To have depression is to continually die. You lose yourself inch by inch. It is a slow death. By the time you find yourself in the head-space where your own pain is so overwhelming, so numbing. . .there is only one thing left that will alleviate it: to die.

It’s hard to explain being suicidal to someone who has never experienced it. To live that way is to spend every moment of your life in stressful agony. If you’ve ever had your life in danger, ever lived with death and torment haunting you, being suicide-prone is not much different. The stress often doesn’t get discussed. It’s overbearing, life-consuming, almost unrecoverable from without help. Stress leads to pain, pain leads to self-hate, self-hate leads to stress. This becomes the quickly unbearable rhythm that sings one to endless sleep.

Long before you first whisper to yourself, “I want to die,” you have been perishing by inches. You retreat from friends, cancel visits, cancel phone calls, avoid people, act sullen and/or ill-tempered. You create the self-fulfilling prophecy, as people begin to avoid you. Isolation then comes from without and within, both self-inflicted, and both reinforcing and expanding on the horrible whispers of your mind.

I have lost so many friends at this point, it’s, pardon the pun, depressing. I’m still responsible for that, as I often repeat here. It still is a pretty low feeling. It’s hard to move past our past.

Next week I turn thirty-three, and I am no longer married. I have no career or family to show for the past ten or so years, most squandered to illness. It’s very tempting to quit. This is the precise time that I choose to do the opposite. I must go on. Some days it’s because I want to, some days it’s because I need to, and other days it’s because there is simply no other choice. To not walk forward is to die.

And so, I walk forward. If you’ve been in my shoes, you understand. If you haven’t, then I am very grateful for you, more than words can express.

I’m not depressed about my birthday which surprises me. I’m hopeful for the future. My one request from any who read this is that if you haven’t seen someone in a while, if you haven’t talked to someone who means the world to you lately – don’t hesitate to do so. Every gift is precious…and you shouldn’t wait to be depressed to relish this small and simple gestures that really make a whole world of difference.

Happiness is a choice, not a right, and not a privilege. We have to fight with ourselves, and with others, to achieve it. Don’t settle for anything less today! As spring turns into summer, live the fullest you can, even if that means inch by inch.

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