Sadness has been pricking my skin these last few days, with a ferocity somewhere between tattoo needles and static shock. An Out of the Darkness Walk passed by my neighborhood over the weekend. It’s one of those events held to raise suicide awareness and prevention and I was forced to reflect on my own fights as I watched it.
I was suicidal when I was 13. Some family life, problems with sociability and mental health issues left me feeling alien. I either didn’t know how to connect with those around me or I wasn’t worth understanding. I was exhausted already with trying to work out what it was.
I had a plan in place. I don’t publish detailed suicide plans, but suffice it to say, it was designed to minimize visual trauma for the people who would eventually find my body. I prioritized highly the inconvenience and discomfort I assumed I caused people. The “suicide is selfish” crowd never made much sense to me. For all I knew, I was doing everyone else a favor.
A few hours ahead of my own unmaking, and in great, nerdy fashion, I was distracted by a Muppet movie marathon.
It isn’t easy being green, felt frog or not. Gonzo is a weirdo and a practical guru in self-love. Animal is a manic, shaggy storm of chaos and literally no one knows what he’s saying, but the Electric Mayhem couldn’t jam without him. And only Bunsen understands Beaker, but the point is that someone does.
All of them are some brand of strange, but they are key to the collective they form.
The idea that I could use my other-ness to become who I would need to be and eventually find my place in the weird, sustained me. I haven’t always loved it. There are days and weeks when I don’t. There are longer periods of time when I feel on the verge of greatness, or at least, of becoming.
I’m going on 30 now and I’ve looked beyond the Muppets to the life of Jim Henson, the love with which everyone STILL speaks of him, and the joy that even emanated at his funeral. There is no more clear model of the inspiration I want to emulate. By my very nature, demons and all, I am poised to make a positive impact on those things that matter to me. All I have to do is stay alive and stay open to the ways I can use my life to that end. I don’t want a quiet, unobtrusive death by my own hand. I want to live forever through a legacy of love I can promote for self, between people, for cause and community.
This is anecdotal of course. Even with the colorful life I’ve led since choosing to live, I know that I cannot impose my threshold for suffering on anyone else. I may be able to bear more than you. Or you’ve endured more than I have and you’re so, so tired. And today might seem like a good day to break, but chances are there’s something happening tomorrow, the hour, the minute after you’re gone, that could totally be worth it.
LeKesha is a web developer and book blerd. She advocates strongly for carefree blackness in literature, and prefers bloody over sparkly when selecting her anime. She takes her whiskey neat and her coffee with cream, sugar, and marshmallows too if you have them. If not, don’t worry about it.