Sunday, August 17, 2014


All my life, I've been surrounded by suicidal people. For a while, I spent most of my time helping talk them out of offing themselves. I've been successful for the most part, but because of that, I've felt like kind of a fraud. I'll get to that in a second.

People wonder about those who have committed suicide. The social media explosion over Robin Williams killing himself has thrown the world off kilter. A lot of his fans knew he was deeply damaged, but most of us figured he'd go off the wagon, and the drugs and booze would kill him. Few of us thought he'd kill himself because, and I don't mean to sound like an asshole, he did it right. I'll get back to that in a second, too.

My greatest hero Hunter S. Thompson killed himself. This surprised a lot of people, but not me. Those of us who were close fans of his knew that he'd been having physical problems before his death. For a guy who was so active, that was a death sentence. He would have been living in a wheelchair if he hadn't killed himself, and for a guy who loved shooting things and blowing shit up and driving cars at top speed . . . well, that would have killed the quality of his life. So I support his decision, just like I support Robin Williams's decision.

You see, it just came out that Robin Williams had Parkinson's. He hadn't gotten fucked up by it yet, not like Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali, but he was headed down that path. It's easy for people who don't suffer from that problem to condemn the suicides of those who do, but that's uninformed and it lacks empathy. I would have done the same thing. So yeah. Williams offed himself, and for him, that was a good thing. For those he left behind, it blows. Here's the thing: most people were surprised that he took this way out. But he didn't talk about it, which meant that he really wanted to do it. Hold that thought.

I'm pretty sure that most people have thought about suicide. I certainly have. Almost every day, I wish that I didn't exist. It would make things easier, for me at least. For those I would leave behind? Maybe not so much. I've got a lot of problems rolling around in my head, but that doesn't make me different from anybody else. If you've never considered offing yourself, I'm pretty sure you're either delusional or you're lying to someone, either us or yourself. It's a tough ol' world, and when you think about it, suicide is the only sane answer.

That's why I feel like a fraud. Every time I reacted to a friend's suicidal thoughts, I lied to them and said the thought of killing myself had never occurred to me. But it had, every day since I was an abused child at the age of five.

Relax. I'm not going to do it. Maybe five years ago, I would have, but not now. I have two books out right now, even though one of them is not doing so well. I have a new book coming out. I have another book coming out next year. I'm taking part in a major three-novella book with two other authors. Now is certainly not the time to kill myself. Things are finally going my way. But without these things? I don't know.

One thing remains for certain: I'm here to stay. For now. But if I come down with something that will eventually paralyze me? Or completely ruin the quality of my life? Something thick and juicy like terminal illness? I'm checking out before it gets me. Call it hubris, but I refuse to let something like that tear me to pieces. I will go out on top, before it destroys a single aspect of my life.

But to those who I love (and to those who love me back), I promise to never tell you about it. I don't want you thinking you could have saved me, because you can't. That's why Robin Williams did it right. So did Hunter S. Thompson.

I probably won't. I've been banking on a fatal heart attack at the age of 40 since I was 16. Because I can't quit fast food, that's still the odds favorite of how I will go out. Place your bets now, but you probably won't make much. 2:1 bets won't make you a lot of dough. It's the 20:1 bets that do. So . . . bet on me dying of old age, I guess. It might happen. I've cut back on a lot of my bad habits, so it's within the realm of possibility.

Wow, I sound like a dick. I don't mean to. And I know that if I offed myself because of some terrible disease, it would still get me. I'm aware of that hypocrisy. But since I don't have that disease (and most of you don't, either), it's an hypocrisy I can afford. No one can truly understand until one is in that position. If you're reading this, please know that I love you all, and I would never want to actively hurt you. And if you've read this far, I know that you love me, too. Thank you and goodnight, you wonderful, beautiful people who aren't fuckers at all.

This isn't a cry for help, either. Please don't respond with offers of help. I'm OK for now. I'm just posting this for the benefit of those who DON'T understand suicide and maybe need help getting their heads around it.

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