How can we talk about life when we cannot talk about death. No one tells you they are going to kill themselves because family and friends will call out the cavalry. So they do not talk about it.
When I was 15, I told a therapist that I considered suicide regularly. He tried to have me committed to a psychiatric institution. Lesson learned. And yet I have often contemplated suicide. But why, or why not.
Like many of my readers I suffer from emotional, financial, psychological and spiritual difficulties. Addiction, loss of financial well-being and the loss of love due to death and break-ups.
Much of my life I struggled with my demons. Made friends with em and broke up with em. Worked through them. Got tired and quit. Came back and started over. Made progress, back pedaled rinse repeat.
I will not likely die a natural death. I expect an accident or suicide will end this chapter of my story. I have no wish to suffer death via illness. As my abilities fade and the losses of life mount, I will go on my terms. Not a damn thing will change that. Buddha sensed what I have been going through and he proposed a path to free me from suffering. It has been very helpful. But I do not think I will achieve enlightenment in time. Talking with my favorite monk 2 days ago, I agreed to investigate some teachings on rebirth. That is for Buddhists. I think maybe Christians get to be with Jesus. My friend Jerry is with Jesus, wherever that may be.
But the reason I started writing today is I have spent many hours in solitude contemplating things. I wonder about love. So many folks are in love with someone who does not love them back. So many of us are trying to navigate romance and it can be a source of great frustration, ache and intense pain comparable to physical pain of the worse kind. Others have loved well and long and then lost to death them that they loved. Alone at the end of the day when they are least likely to re-engage with the types of social milieu that will reintegrate them to romance. Bars and social activities reserved for the younger crowd.
Unlike some, I have tremendous resilience and resources when I am hurt. I trudge on and rebound. But today I looked around and did an assessment. My two daughters live with their mom. I got divorced 5 years ago. I am jobless and my finances are thin and I may be broke before I die. I am starting over and I am simply not ready, willing and able to do so except in short spurts and even then I wonder why.
Do or did I have a soul mate? Did I meet her but we did not figure it out. Did she meet me but I was emotionally unavailable? I met someone I felt so comfortable with and so close to, for 6 months and then it was no more. She was gone. No amount of love, money, or gestures could prevent or return her to me. She was my soul-mate. Big fucking deal.
Aging boomers may become the next “lost generation”. Shell-shocked from cultural shifts unseen in modern times. The digital age leaving us in its dirt. The magnification of regressive politics, polarization and aging leads many of us to feelings of vulnerability, isolation and regret.
I for one lived large. Much to my detriment and regret. But on the plus side so many personal and professional encounters in my life saw benefit to others from my being a warrior. Ex-cons, drug addicts, gangs, and everyday people need what I have and there is no shame in being that special snowflake that they can relate to.
As he said, “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Theodore Roosevelt
Or him, “Old age isn’t a battle; old age is a massacre.” Philip Roth
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
― W. Somerset Maugham