Suicide Is Painless


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I could disagree

I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting here on this blog. Truth to be told my depression is currently so bad that I can barely write and when I do it’s so black and dark I can barely get myself to read it over, let alone edit it for public consumption.

I’ve just got over a two week stretch with a chest infection and bad asthma. It wasn’t helped when the first Doctor I saw gave me the wrong antibiotic for a chest infection and it got worse for a week before the right one started fixing it. I’ve been taking so much medication that my body is a mass of bad side-effects. I just tried to have some crackers, cheese and dip for a snack but the skin on the roof of my mouth is sore and it felt like eating daggers. I’m shaking constantly from the steroids and other drugs. I’m also having really bad postural hypotension so standing up is a slow and dizzying process.

At the moment my depression truly has me in it’s grip. I don’t see any reason to keep on living.

I think I make my biggest mistake of the day first thing every morning. I don’t think I can be blamed that my autonomic nervous system kept my heart and lungs working during the night. No, that’s not my fault, but every morning I wake up and open my eyes. Big mistake. On most days that also means I’m starting the process that gets me off to work.

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Letting Go


A photo of a group conducting psychotherapy.

A photo of a group conducting psychotherapy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A question came up on Soul Pancake: “Why can’t we let go of those memories which have brought nothing but suffering and pain?” This is an expanded and edited version of my answer there.

This is a question that interests me a great deal at the moment. I’m currently in analysis and I feel that one of the purposes of analysis is “letting go” of the past.

When we say letting go I don’t think it’s the memory itself but the burst of pain that comes with it that we need to let go. Memories will always fade with time, the problem is that some memories can actually hurt in the here and now – not just a memory of the pain of the moment but real, new pain.

That’s what we need to free ourselves from, the pain that remembering some things brings us.

So how do we do that?

Over the years I’ve read a great deal of psychology and some philosophy. I’ve also undergone therapy with psychiatrists and psychologists and taken part in a large amount of group therapy.

The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that “reality” is entirely subjective. It doesn’t matter what “really” happened or what someone else believes happened. To me (or you) the only thing that matters is how I remember it – that’s reality.

The second thing is we need to be understood. Back when we were small children we needed Mum to come and say “Let me look at your knee. That must have hurt, but it’ll get better.” When we grow up that need doesn’t go away. When we are hurt we need to be heard, we need to be understood. This is where therapy can be so useful, it provides a place where you can be understood.

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Pain Is Pain – Why Make It Noble?


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 (Photo credit: M-J Milloy)

Lorelle VanFossen of “Lorrelle on WordPress” (an excellent blog on blogging and WordPress) is currently running a series of blog exercises.

The one from earlier today starts:

You know, the number one thing we want to avoid in life is pain. But at the same time, it’s the number one thing that forces us to grow as human beings. It deepens our ability to feel empathy, turns knowledge into wisdom. And there was enough pain in this situation that I think in a lot of ways it can turn you into a better person.

This is a quote from Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three. Now he had a bunch of terrible stuff happen and he suffered for many years. I’m not surprised he has tried hard to find some good out of all that pain, it may have been the only thing that kept him sane.

She continues:

Today’s Blog Exercise is to explore what that quote means to you.

It is the truth. We want to avoid pain, but it is the pain that makes us grow, as human beings as well as compassionate members of society. It turns knowledge into wisdom. We must learn from our mistakes in order to grow.

It is through pain and suffering that we find courage, motivation, and inspiration to move forward in our lives. Pain, and the avoidance of pain, directs our path.

Publish a post on how pain in your life, the struggles, the challenges, have made you a better person and impacted who you are and how you blog.

Well I’m sorry Lorelle, I call b#llsh#t. I just totally disagree with the premise. It’s not truth. Pain is pain, it doesn’t necessarily make you grow and you can grow without pain. It’s perfectly possible to direct your path without pain or the avoidance of pain. Experience of all types creates wisdom and knowledge has nothing to do with wisdom. We can learn from our successes and even grow from them.

Do you want an example? I’m a loving and devoted father and I have learnt so much from the experience. Being a father is one of the major things that has directed my path for the last twenty years. The mutual love of my daughter and myself has given me more courage, motivation and inspiration than any of the pain and suffering I have experienced.

Here’s another from the other side of the ledger. I suffer from chronic asthma, I can have attacks that last for days of pain. I have done so for fifty years, any possible learning or wisdom (and I don’t think there has been any) would have been many, many years ago. Asthma may have directed my path a little, it had a physical effect on my body when I was young keeping me thin and scrawny but I may have been a little thin and scrawny anyway, my mother was always thin without any asthma.

I wonder where we get this ennobling of pain and suffering? Is it part of the baggage of our Christian culture? The ethos of you can suffer in this world because the next is paradise. Or is it that humanity wants a reason for everything. If we have to suffer and feel pain there must be a reason for it, there must be something on the good side of the ledger. Then we have the concept of reincarnation, that we suffer in this life to make up for the sins of a previous one and to make us better for a better life next time.

Well folks, I have to tell you that the universe isn’t built that way. A lot of things happen without that sort of reason. A lot of bad things just happen without any benefit at the time or in the future, they just happen.

What do you think?