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Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Happiness, stability, normality; these will all one day become expensive commodities that only the rich can purchase and have access too. The rest of us will stand outside the store window, gazing in longingly at the new happiness that we can’t afford. At the shiny new stability that we will never attain. The rich, they will purchase these without much thought, only because it’s the new model that their friends have, and just as quickly toss those out for the new upgrades. We might be able to buy some at half price or lower in second hand stores, but it won’t be the same. They’ll be used. We’ll know the difference.

We’ll watch the ads. Those fast paced ads with the new hit pop single and the dozen of smiling faces of people our age trying to sell us something we can’t afford, trying to force us deeper into emotional debt. Some of us may be lucky enough to know someone who could afford the new happiness, and maybe they’ll let us play around with it for a day or so, but that’ll be it. It won’t be a long lasting experience. We’ll be jealous, and start talking down about happiness, about stability, about how the knockoffs we have are the better alternative. About how the people who own happiness and stability and normality are self entitled, narcissistic, pretentious elitists who’re ruining the economy, who’re pushing more and more people into poverty and depression and that they don’t deserve what they have.

They say money can’t buy happiness.

Not yet it can’t.

But it won’t be long.

 

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She Sells Selfish By The Seashore

I was reading an article about mental health, psychological breakdowns and death resulting because of them in young adults this morning when I came across this quote:

“We usually focus on suicide because it’s a traumatic, painful event for loved ones”

As someone who’s been eternally suicidal for as long as I can recall, it’s time we stopped acting like the only ones affected by suicide are the ones left behind. It’s also time we stopped calling suicide selfish. Why is self care not considered selfish? Because it doesn’t ‘harm’ the ones around you? So, going to therapy isn’t considered selfish because you’re bettering yourself but suicide is, despite it’s often see as the only option left? That’s ridiculous. Everything is universally selfish, when broken down into semantics. Anything one does for ones self is technically selfish. Anything one does for ones self over those around them is technically selfish. Maybe the people we should be focusing on aren’t the ones left behind, but the people who’re killing themselves. Maybe then we’d see some change.

We pretend to. Mainstream media pretends to focus on people with mental health problems. Then, when it comes down to brass tacks, we refused to treat those same people with any modicum of respect or give them any sort of treatment at all. We don’t even talk about it, often times. Yet we like to believe we’re here to help, that we’re here to care. And let’s not even get into the entire “I’m here for you so I look like a good person but won’t actually help you when you need it” persona people have or the faux positive platitudes they throw at you when you’re feeling down. The “Everything will be okay” campaign. For who? The person who wants to be dead, or the person saying it because they don’t feel as bad as the person they’re telling it to, so they can actually believe it? The people who generally say things like “It gets better” are people who’ve never faced psychological adversity. Who’ve never fought with their own brain for the benefit of their own survival. I’m not going to deny that there’s people out there who have, and who do say these things because they themselves have gotten better, just as I’m not going to deny that suicide effects those around the person who’s killed themselves. I’m just tired of suicide focusing on the people left behind.

Why are there dozens upon dozens of resources for people who’ve been affected by something but no resources for the people who’ve died from it? Every time there’s a shooting somewhere, they bring in grief counselors. Every time someone kills themselves, the remaining loved ones are talked to about how they feel. Maybe if we focused more on the people who’re killing themselves, they wouldn’t kill themselves in the first place and we’d save ourselves a whole mess of trouble. We need to be better at helping people. At helping people who really need help. We’ll talk endlessly about how to help survivors but won’t talk about how to help those who’re on the verge of killing themselves. Take it from someone who’s wanted to die for as long as she can recall, this needs to change. I’m also curious as to why we call the people who commit suicide ‘victims’, because to me, a victim is someone who’s an unwilling recipient of something happening to them, like murder. People can claim “Well, these people aren’t really interested in killing themselves! They’re sick!” but now you’re denying them how they feel, and that just isn’t right. Now, just so I don’t seem like a completely heartless bitch, let’s talk about the survivors.

The people who’re left behind by the people who kill themselves. The “loved ones”, as they’re so often referred to in these articles and studies. I’m in no way denying that they’re important, that they too deserve help and are worthy of their emotions after such a ‘tragedy’ occurs. But that’s where it gets sticky. That word, ‘tragedy’, keeps popping up. See, once someone is dead, the people around them get to build a narrative that often isn’t accurate about the person who’s killed themselves, especially when there’s no suicide note or anything left behind for clarification. The reason it’s considered selfish isn’t because they’ve done something for themselves, but because there’s no other narrative. They aren’t here to talk about why they did it, and when they did try to talk about why they’d want to do it when they were alive, nobody fucking listened to them. Everyone needs help. Those who’re suicidal, and those affected by said suicide. These are people who’re hurt by the fact that they lost someone they loved, that was very important to them. That’s brutal. I know what it’s like to lose people, I’m sure we all do, but they aren’t the ones who should be the focus. They’re collateral damage.

Maybe I’m off base, but as someone who’s tried to die, who’s wanted to die, I just thought I’d chime in on this topic, and on Easter day no less.

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Let Myself Be Eaten By Coyotes

Maybe if I just lay here long enough, stay quiet enough, I could just let myself be eaten by coyotes,” Nina thought, laying on the dirt in the middle of the field. She’d driven out here with no real reason in mind, and now didn’t know if she wanted to even go back. She wasn’t even sure she could find her way back in this darkness, given the lack of signage way out here. Nina dug her fingers deep into the dirt, feeling the cool night breeze wafting over her, gently blowing her bangs across her eyes.

Maybe they’ll eat me, and they’ll be starving, and the meal they get from me could save them, finally rendering me useful in some grand fashion,” she thought, “And then some day someone will come out here and find my bones, or I’ll just be buried under the dirt forever and nobody will ever know what happened to me.

Nina felt a bug crawling on her unsleeved arm, and looked over to see a large beetle stopped on her arm, looking around. She sat up and held her arm in front of her, staring at this beetle intensely. After a few minutes, she picked it up with her other hand and put him back down on the dirt and watched him quickly scurry off into the darkness. She felt herself shiver and she grabbed her jacket off the hood of her car, pulling it over her tanktop. She stood up and walked to her car door, pulling it open and getting inside, searching for a radio station but getting nothing; just static. She exhaled loudly and brushed her bangs out of the way, then reached into her backpack and pulled out a tape recorder. She got back out of the car, sighed, cleared her throat and clicked ‘record’, pacing back and forth.

“My name is Nina Turan,” she said clearly, “I’m 35, and I’m a Pisces. I’m recording this on the unlikelihood that someone finds it and cares enough, or knows how, to press ‘play’ on something this fucking antiquated. I’m…going out of my mind with frustration, of every kind. General frustration, employment frustration, physical frustration, sexual frustration. You name it, and I’m frustrated by it. But that’s not why I’m doing this. Frustration can easily be overcome with the right mixture of techniques. I’m going to blow myself up in my car, and not because of frustration but because of sheer boredom.”

She pressed ‘stop’ and took a long, deep breath, wiped her forehead on her jacket sleeve and then resumed recording.

“Not boredom like ‘I just have nothing to do tonight’ sort of boredom but more like…I’ve experienced everything I’d care to at this point in life and now it’s like 50 years of this same shit day in and day out and that’s just not for me. And I’m not gonna become a cliche, like some YA novel, and just take off on a road trip, as if a few thousand miles in a jacked up Volvo with an 80s mixtape could easily solve all of my angst. See, up to a point in life, everything is a brand new experience, everything is exciting and a first. Your first car, first kiss, first sexual experience, first apartment, first job, all of that shit. Then, you hit this peak where it’s nothing but repeats. It’s like your life was canceled and sent into late night syndication on a channel that barely comes in anyway.”

She pressed ‘stop’ again and sat on the hood of her car, surveying the empty field before continuing on.

“Then there’s everyone around you who acts like they want what’s best for you, but only because they want it for themselves. Parents are a great example, saying things like ‘you don’t want to die, what about have children? a family?’ but not because they think you’ll actually enjoy it, but more because they want grandchildren. They want to be a part of society, the grandparent portion of life, and they couldn’t give less than two shits how having children affected your life. I can’t take care of children. I can barely take care of myself. Sorry mom, too bad. Life, society, has far more expectations for me than I have ever had for myself. That’s fucked up.”

She pressed ‘stop’ again and looked around, running her hands through her dark curly brown hair, unsure of how to finish this note to…no one in particular, really. She had also just seen a flaw in her plan, which was where the fuck was she going to leave this? Just in the dirt, next to a burning pile of metal and human remains? Jesus. She could never do anything right it seemed, not even kill herself. There was always something to fuck up. She pressed ‘record’ once more.

“Anyway, I guess that about sums it up. If anyone actually ever finds and listens to this, let it be known that once again my name is, was, Nina Turan. I was 35, with brown curly hair, I liked alternative music and I fucking hated Russel Crowe with a burning passion that could only be likened to that which Americans hate religious tolerance of any religion that isn’t their own. Thanks for listening. Goodbye.”

She pressed ‘stop’ once again and slid off the hood of her car. She took her jacket off, wrapped the tape record in it and put it on the dirt, gently patting it before getting back up and walking to the tailpipe of her car. She pulled out a bottle of alcohol, a rag and a lighter, lit the rag and stuffed it into the bottle of alcohol a certain length so it’d eventually explode when the two finally touched. Nina then shoved the bottle into her tailpipe, then got into her car and put her forehead on the steering wheel. She knew it’d only take a few minutes, and she raced through everything in her life that had ever happened. Every memory she had, good or bad, and knew she was making the right choice.

She heard a howl and looked up, seeing a coyote standing outside in front of the car. Their eyes appeared to lock with hers, and she slowly got out of the car and waved her arms at it, trying to shoo it away, but it wasn’t moving. She finally picked up a rock and tossed it at it.

“Get out of here you stupid fucking mutant dog!” she shouted, and after a moment the coyote finally turned tail and ran. She sighed, rubbed her forehead and then heard the explosion of the car behind her. She turned to see the car engulfed in flames, and completely destroyed.

“God dammit,” she mumbled, before picking up her jacket and the tape recorder and starting to walk down the road, “Now I’m gonna be late for work tomorrow.”