Today a Twitter funny guy, @fedge, took his own life. He left as his suicide note a Tumblr post. He’s not the first to have used this template, I’m sorry to say. I never knew him and yet I feel strongly affected by his passing.
I’m not going to make the mistake of giving advice to the clinically depressed or even pretend to know his particular story. There are plenty of Tumblr posts from people who have taken a stick to depression after a long battle and then go on to provide a road map out. I’ve linked to them before and there’s damned good advice in there.
This chap @fedge, real name Jeff Barszcz, referenced a few things in his Tumblr that got me thinking. What was triggering him, he said, was approaching age, not having friends around him, not being where he wanted to be in his career, and not being in a relationship. I’m sure there are/were other factors and clinical depression itself is a bear. It can happen with your friends around youthful you, with your family surrounding you, and with your job going great.
It’s terrible that Jeff’s gone. I hope there’s peace where he is, finally.
His list of reasons, if you look at them dispassionately, are about what he wasn’t getting. He wasn’t getting adulation, he wasn’t getting friends, and he wasn’t getting love. The real tragedy, to my way of thinking, is that he also had all those things to give and now no one’s going to get to experience any of that.
If you think I’m stupid or evil enough to have told him to get off his couch and read to sick kids in the hospital or sling hash at a soup kitchen, coach youth sports or become a volunteer librarian and then he’d be magically cured, you’re wrong. But I will tell you that if you’re susceptible to feeling the walls closing in, if you become isolated easily, if you’re prone to feeling friendless or stuck in your career, then I want you to at least try these kinds of experiences. Because it feels good to give. It IS good to give, and it feeds you psychologically and in other ways. A lot of your fellow humans need a lot of other fellow humans to help them live. Could you be that human? You could be that human. When you help them, they help you in surprising ways. Yes, get meds, get the meds right, find a good doctor, talk it out, and work it out. But do good works, be among good people, and let that be part of your plan.
Reblogging so that somebody, somewhere might get the message.