Recently RedOmega posted a disconcerting daylog of a fatalistic and self-destructive nature. Upon first reading it, I made a mental note to respond with something encouraging as soon as possible. Driving to work this morning I remembered the writeup, and it bothered me on a couple of levels. Specifically:

I was bothered that I had not yet responded.

I was bothered that, having myself been in a serious, untenable mental state before, some part of me took offense at the writeup, when in fact my own history should have made me that much more sympathetic.

I was bothered that, after rereading it, Red seemed to be indicating a lack of receptivity to encouragement, and thus, I was at a loss as how to proceed.

And now I've given it more thought, and I'm still at a loss. On the one hand, I reached a point in my life when I felt completely isolated and detached from the world. This was a bad place. I wanted very much to have someone to talk to about it, but at the same time I was determined that no one could understand my situation and any discussion would be a waste of my time.

On the other hand, and I realize this is what bothered me about the writeup, I have developed a complete aversion to dying. Since my wife became pregnant with our daughter, and in the intervening three years, I have repeatedly experienced these poignant, almost paralyzing moments of awareness of what I can best describe as the inevitable and infinite finality of my existence. This terror resonates on such a fundamental level that no philosophy nor religion has been able to assuage it. So to read that Red is contemplating intentionally rushing towards that point bewildered me.

I want to highlight that there is no return from that point, and since we will all end up there irregardless, why not give life another year?

I'm sure that I'm not the only one here who has had severe bouts of depression at some point in their life, so maybe others can provide more useful comments. But I can say, looking back on that period of my life, I am so monumentally grateful that I never carried through with something irrevocable. It was difficult to have hope then, but following what little was available led me to this wonderful place where I value each and every day.