Suicidal, But Sane
By Ken K. Gourdin
For far longer than I care to admit, now, the Dog of Clinical Depression has alternated between nipping at my heels and threatening to devour me whole. Clinical Depression is so prevalent that even if you, yourself, cannot relate, chances are very good that you know someone who can.
I’ve written before on the Blog of the very tempting option of simply deciding that I don’t want to deal with my seemingly-intractable, seemingly-insoluble problems, pulling the covers over my head when the alarm goes off, and singing to myself, in Eddy Arnold’s immortal words, “Make the world go away! And get it off of my shoulders …” Or, to borrow and slightly alter the refrain and the title from The Fifth Dimension song, “One less … phone to answer! One less … angry call! One less clueless CSR … to pick up after! One less … phone to answer!”
I’ve also written before of my seemingly-perpetual job dissatisfaction, underemployment woes, and resulting economic limitations. It does seem as though no matter what else is on my resume, as soon as someone sees that I have experience answering phones, that’s what he wants to hire me for. Likewise, I’ve written of my circular odyssey of leaving a job answering phones nearly 20 years ago, at least partly swallowing my fear and uncertainty, finally applying to law school (but never completely conquering the fear and uncertainty), and taking a circuitous route through law school before finally graduating … only to be denied admission to the Bar, based largely (if not entirely) on a complex behavioral health history.
Sometimes I’ve said (and only half-jokingly, at that) that if I had received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT summa cum laude, a potential employer, upon seeing such a credential on my resume, would say, “Ohh, sorry! Our theoretical physicist position has been filled, but I do see here that you also have phone experience, and we have another department that answers phones …”
All of that is a long-winded, perhaps unnecessary prelude to introducing the following piece of poetry, which I also wrote longer ago, now, than I care to admit. Despite its fatalistic tone in spots, I intend it, perhaps oddly ) to be life-affirming. If you know someone who is in crisis, and/or someone who is contemplating suicide, please encourage him or her to get help (and do as much as you can to facilitate getting that help). Call 1-800-SUICIDE, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or contact your local behavioral health agency.
Suicidal, But Sane
Everybody thinks you’re crazy
When you talk of suicide.
But no matter where you run,
There’s still no place to hide.
Somehow it’ll find you,
This Monster we call Life,
The one with a thousand hands,
And each one of them has a knife.
No one gets out of this world alive
So why even try to stay?
How long can you run from the Monster?
Maybe another hour, maybe another day?
But still, I’ll keep on running
As long as I can remain.
It’s true I’m suicidal,
But it’s also true I’m sane.
© Ken K. Gourdin, 1988