“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus.
“In the absence of hope, we must still struggle to survive, and so we do—by the skin of our teeth.”
William Styron, Darkness Visible.
“Real depression… is like being completely, totally, utterly sick. The Bad Thing is you… nothing else… you are the sickness yourself… You realize all this… when you look at the black hole and it’s wearing your face. That’s when the Bad Thing just absolutely eats you up, or rather when you just eat yourself up. When you kill yourself. All this business about people committing suicide when they’re ‘severely depressed’; we say, ‘Holy cow, we must do something to stop them from killing themselves!’ That’s wrong. Because all these people have, you see, by this time already killed themselves, where it really counts… When they ‘commit suicide,’ they’re just being orderly.”
David Foster Wallace, as quoted in Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, by D.T. Max
There seems to be an epidemic of depression/suicide going on. Every day, we're told how bleak the world has become. How's there's not enough for everyone (unless you're already rich). How hopeless it is to even have dreams, let alone aspire to them. The constant battery of bad news wears us down as a society, but it is our new reality. Our dystopian future come to fruition. Try looking for meaning and quickly discover, there is none. But, we still move on.
Yesterday, we observed the anniversary of the suicide attacks on September 11th, and the world paused to remember. Deranged fanatics who once hijacked both a religion and a jetliner in order to kill innocent people have been replaced by more fanatics who lob bombs into an embassy to protest a ridiculous amateur movie posted by an anonymous filmmaker on the internet. Neither group is courageous. They’re just crazy. We need to move on.
The future promises more attacks, more unemployment, more homelessness, more despair, more depression and more suicide. The world is less civilized, less compassionate, less cooperative, less understanding, less patient and less willing. Each new day is better than the next. And yet, we move on.
On what we know will be the best day of our lives, we commit suicide. We know we will never be more content than we are at this moment. We know we will never feel less pain than we do at this moment. We know we will never have more purpose or less fear. We know that we will never be more loved or less alone. There will never be more joy and less suffering. More fulfillment and less hunger. More life and less death. And, the prospect of a new day that is one day diminished from today, is worse than death. We can no longer move on.
In my life, I was abused, and I moved on. I was abandoned, and I moved on. I was betrayed, and I moved on. I was alone, and I moved on. I was sick, and I moved on. I was broke, and I moved on. I was unemployed, and I moved on. I was homeless, and I moved on.
I’ve spent my life moving on. And, it’s gotten me nowhere. It would be a lie to say I’ve never thought about ending my life prematurely (I say it in this way because in the depths of my despair, I am so completely unmotivated as to make even the act of suicide an ordeal I could not manage). When I think of dying, I imagine myself wandering through an icy tundra. If I stopped moving, just slowed down for a moment, I could drift peacefully into a frozen sleep. All the pain would stop and I would have no more need of shelter or material objects. I could etch a place for myself in the Earth and remain there for all eternity. And, all the happiness that I still held in my soul would remain with me, undaunted by the rising sun.