Once upon a time I opted to take my own life. Countless others are thinking about or considering suicide at any given moment. Why does this happen? Psychologists and scientifically inclined people tend to given patented answers about depression, chemical imbalances and such. Others stoop to the level of lectures about how wonderful life "really is" and how you'll only be hurting the ones you leave behind. All this pomp and circumstance ignores the most central issues of the suicide. Most people who are driven to thoughts of suicide feel that they are out of synch with the world around them.
Losing synchronization with "the world around you" can mean any number of things. We tend to measure ourselves against those we have managed to become close to, or at least fall into some kind of regular orbit with. When their interests and goals are very dissimilar to our own, and when they become successful at those interests and goals while we fall by the wayside, we begin a harsh evaluation of ourselves. Once we realize that we don't even really want these things, or that we cannot even identify with their joy, we feel alone and we feel like we have failed.
Nothing brings you down quite as hard as coming to believe that you cannot succeed at things in life that others convince you are important that aren't really all that important to you. You aren't doing well and you can't do any better because it isn't what you are meant to be doing. You are on the wrong path.
Enter Personal Reality
The land from which mythology springs eternal
Once you find yourself feeling down and angry or depressed or whatever flavor of ice cream you've scooped onto your cone, take a step back. Separate personal reality from established collective reality. Write it all down for yourself and don't worry about showing it to anyone. Separate the things you have learned to want and desire in life from the things that really matter to you. If you begin to really think about it, you will find most of the things you are misfiring on are learned wants and desires. Now, separate wants from needs and establish what you can and cannot live without. Don't cling to things, get straight with yourself. What do you really need and what have you just managed to become convinced that you need, either by yourself or by others.
There are myths in your life and there is mythology. The myths can be dispelled. The mythology is to be reflected upon. How does one know the difference?
Personal mythology is the measurement of those people, events and places that hold great significance in the history of your own life. The history of your personal reality is no less important than the history of the collective reality.
In My Life
In my life, in your life, in anybody's life there are people and things that hold special meaning to them. To someone else, these might mean something completely different or nothing at all. Does this devalue them or does this increase their value? These are the precious stones of a life that has been lived. Their value is increased in the eye of the beholder. In your personal mythology you have given value to things that no one else has given them. Maybe only a handful of people understand the true significance of that old log out in the woods. Maybe you are the only one who really knows how beautiful and special a certain someone really is. You've seen sides of things that no one else has. The collective reality gives them a definition. The personal reality gives them an identity.
Waiting for a sign from one of my kind
In theory, it is easier to find a group of random people to try to fit in with than it is to seek out those you can truly identify with. There is value in both elements. To surround yourself only with those you can identify and agree with allows no room for exposure to alternate points of view. Differentiating your orbits has importance. Some never feel at home. Some are always searching for a kind of understanding they have never gotten. It leads to feelings of loneliness and self-doubt. You wonder if you've lost your mind and if you are just completely out of touch with reality. This is because you are out of synchronization with the reality that surrounds you. Reality is relative, dependent on how subsets of the collective reality intermingle with individual personal realities within a group setting.
You wait for a sign. You await elements of understanding. Sometimes there is a click. Someone can identify with what you are thinking or feeling. There is no longer an echo. Someone is speaking to that part of you that no one ever spoke to before.
It is in the nature of human beings to seek out understanding and companionship. Whether this is innate or learned behavior is debatable. No one is a true island. It is hard to survive completely alone. Dream of your personal mythology. Strive to understand its importance. Never forget where you once were, for it tells you much about where you are going.
Try not to kill yourself. My journey began with my own suicide, but suicides generally don't get a chance to come back. We all die at the right time. There is still much to be done. A life unfinished is like a novel that ends somewhere in the middle.