Existential Issues: Meaning, Purpose and Trancendence

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Black Sun, Sep 29, 2012.

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  1. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Bon Nuit,

    I've been going through some really dark depressions since I lost everything for the second time, in 2008. I started scaring myself in July of 2012. I am seriously wondering if during one of my depressions "in a place so dark that even the light is like unto darkness" (Job), I won't make it through. It definitley seems possible, if not likely.

    I thought when I decided on a new career in counseling (at age 56) that I would be living a life which would resonate with who I am and give my life some meaning, purpose, and perhaps, some satisfaction. What I have learned, to a large degree is what went wrong in my life, and when. This has been intellectually illuminating but emotionally difficult, to say the least. I often seriously doubt that I will ever be healthy enough in my own right, to help anyone else. The stress and strain of deling with other peoples issues is probably more than I can bear.

    After more than 4 years of hard work and another 1 1/2 to go to get my masters degree, this is not how I want to feel; namely adrift in a ocean of doubt and uncertainty.

    Adding to this confusion is the thought that life has no purpose or meaning, at least not in a normal sense of the words. One day soon, I will be gone, and at a later date, all of humanity will vanish as well. None of the theories I've read concerning the fate of our universe suggest that there is any continuity. All our accomplishments, both noteworthy and notorious, will be erased; as if they had never been. The only person who could remember would be God, because He is the only one who exists, or transcends our material universe.

    So, the question is, how can a person (dust) reach beyond the stars and time and find life, meaning and purpose? My best friend hanged himself about 23 years ago to end his pain. I think he was also looking for something beyond what his eyes could see and his mind could grasp. As Jim Morrison is portrayed to have said in the Oliver Stone movie, The Doors, "People are looking for something sacred (lit. "set apart")

    I'd hate to follow his example and would like to play this hand to the end, but I have lost so much and FEAR that what remains of my future will just be more of the same. I have worked so hard, all my life to try to achieve goals, and always right at the moment when success seems assured, the flying carpet beneath my feet is yanked away and I tumble downward through the night skies until I hit bottom; in hell yet again. I seem to know my way around this familiar place. It is not hot; it is cold, uncaring and mocking.

    I want to live in a better place, which is kind and just. All I know is that it is not of this world. I used to have faith, and still have some small measure, but I am so weary from the struggle. I don't know if I can make it to the appointed finish line. I just can't see a future for myself anymore though I continue to get high grades in school. Working hard is not a problem for me, there just seems to be no point to it. What I have learned has overwhelmed me. I pray for death most days, wanting to be with God, away from here.

    Though there have been many miracles in my life story, I just can't see miracles large enough to overcome my desire to quit. Perhaps a Christian is really only permitted the grace to endure the unendurable. To shine while being beaten, whipped, scourged, stoned, fed to wild animals, burnt alive, robbed, mocked, ridiculed, and humiliated. Maybe in the end, the only meaningful prayer is to pray to do God's will in this almost entirely God-forsaken, temporal universe, and for the strength to endure it with a "peace that passes understanding" as a witness to others of something greater than the horror and pain of this hellish world. Peace eludes me daily.

    I suppose if I really believed that peace was assured with my early demise, "to sleep, perhaps to dream," then suicide would be easier for me. I am just so tired of working to achieve something and failing again and again. It seems that my education is just the latest example. Though I currently have a 4.0 GPA I doubt I'll ever be able to use it for any good purpose. I cannot overcome my past, the damage runs too deep. I'm out of ideas. I thought school, was the answer, but it seems to only have made my misery more complete.

    I thought writing here might make me feel better but it didn't. Times up, now I have to study to learn more about what I lack.

    God's peace,

    HMcGill
     
  2. exkend

    exkend Well-Known Member

    What an elegant post. Have you read anything on suicide? Have you read the bible? I think both subjects could help enlighten you.
    I get the vibe that your isolated and not challenged, which leads you to feel your life has no meaning. These are typical characteristic to suicidal ideation, so already you have personal insight into a subject matter that has profound meaning to many who need assistance.

    Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
    Khalil Gibran
     
  3. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Well, Exkend, thank you for the compliment. Writing is one activity that gives me a certain pleasure and compliments are well received and much appreciated!

    Actually, I believe I have read little to nothing on suicide. In July I had a clear mental picture of how I would do it, and it it would be sudden and final. I also experienced feeling very refreshed. This is the part that haunts me. I know how I would do it and it feels much better than my overwhelming feelings of failure and hopelessness.

    I am isolated socially. I have tried to make friends and do have a few acquaintances but the only person I ever truly connected with killed himself, as I wrote, abouit 23 years ago. I am plenty challenged with school. The raised the standard for a 4.0 "A" to a 96% and so far I have achieved this. I do enjoy my classes. I just don't see any practical application for them in the future. I believe I am doing what I should be doing and that it resonates with my core. I think God has a plan but I can no longer imagine what it might be. I am a mess from childhood til the present day.

    I have read the Bible many times and think on Biblical themes regularly. I even attend a Christian university!

    Actually, I don't really belive that most suicidal people need profound personal insights or pithy, inspirational quotes. I think they need to find a place where they feel loved, understood, and appreciated, at least initially. All the intellectual insight and wisdom in the world won't heal a broken heart. Someone has to care. "Enlightenment" is highly overrated. It's just one piece, or aspect of what it means to be human and happy to be alive.

    Thank you for writing; "elegant post" made my day! I have received some very nice compliments from a few of my professors as well. It may be that writing, and perhaps public speaking, may be that which allows me to connect with people on a deeper, more meaningful, and therefre, more satisying level which makes me want to live instead of croaking.

    Vaya con Dios,

    HMc
     
  4. exkend

    exkend Well-Known Member

    I believe as you do that enlightenment is not the answer to suicidal ideation, however it can cast a little light on the mechanics or to put it another way bio-psycho-social characteristics and thus at least keep one consciously aware of the dynamics occurring. I again agree whole heartedly that to have a place to belong, to be loved and valued would be the ultimate goal for most if not all of us.
    The tragic loss of your friend could be something that you might want to explore with a pt. I understand that suicide is contagious and so is romanticizing it, not that I'm saying you are, but I'm sure you can appreciate that one can often transference could be a an issue.
    I sincerely hope you manage to find some comfort in the future, and I hope to read more of your elegant posts in helping out others who reach out for help.

    God Bless
     
  5. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Indeed, a well-written and literate post, HMc!

    From what you've written, I'd say you have a great deal of empathy and caring. That is so good and wonderful! I think that if people have issues from their past and they are doing counselling courses, it's not uncommon to be triggered sometimes. Have you ever talked to a counsellor/therapist? Many unis/colleges have student counselling services for free or at low cost. A counsellor might help you to resolve your feelings so you can put things behind you now, and thus be able to help others. I don't think all is lost in your case. Give yourself some time to settle your own past issues before you decide that you will never be of help to others. Healing is a process, and it sounds like you are well into that process. So please don't give up on yourself.

    As for the frustrations we sometimes have with the world we live in and can we ever make a difference? I truly believe that every single good thing we do in this world "counts" to make the world a better place. To me, a kindness or good deed doesn't need to be world-shaking, it just needs to help one person...and then the goodness of that ripples out into the world. I think you have lots to offer to the world and could make positive changes for many people. I sincerely hope you do not give up. The world needs caring and compassionate people. Every little positive effort helps.

    No one ever really knows what the future holds. If what you are doing now resonates with you, that's fabulous. You believe that God has a plan for you, but you don't know what that plan is. Perhaps it is one of those times when you must simply keep your faith until your path is revealed or you find yourself actually on it. I'm sure you will find your way. :smile:

    Stay safe, HMc. :hug:
     
  6. ACPhilosopher

    ACPhilosopher Active Member

    I can relate to so much of what you're saying. At age 53, I feel the same sense of futility about how hard I've tried to make a go of life, only to find that nothing worked out. I look around and see others who enjoyed success in life, and wonder why I just couldn't make a go of anything. I think a lot of people start reflecting back on their life around age 50, and wondering what the point of it was and why we have ended up where we are, after doing the best we could with the information we had at the time.

    I find the career aspect of my life particularly discouraging. At this point, I am working only part-time, starting over at the bottom of the totem pole for the 20th time, being passed over for younger workers and finding it even harder to bear after 35 years in the work force. By now, it's too late to start over, and I am just so very tired of playing a game that I know I have no hope of winning. Retirement is about 14 years away. I can hardly stand the thought of going through the motions, dealing with my painful feelings about being passed over for younger workers, trying to behave in the optimistic way we are now required to behave in the work place when inside I am so jaded, I can hardly bear to smile any more.

    I too believe that if I could do some kind of work that I felt had a purpose or improved anyone else's quality of life, there could be some kind of redemption for everything I've gone through. But the world is indifferent, and has no concern about my individual life, so no opportunities present themselves--at least no opportunities that don't require further education, which I can no longer afford to gamble on. I'm already over-educated and know that expensive course work doesn't guarantee a meaningful job will become available when needed.

    For the past 16 years, I got a sense of purpose out of caring for my elderly mother, but she passed away a little over a year ago, so now I honestly feel there is no point left in my existence. Unlike you, I stopped believing in God while my mother was dying of Alzheimer's disease. I can never go back to that. And I don't have any children, so I can't live for them. I have one sibling left who is in bad health and will probably be gone soon. So essentially I have no meaningful family life left, and at this age it's too late to go look for a husband, which I never wanted to do anyway, after my divorce.

    I could tolerate all the suffering a lot more easily if I felt there was a point, but right now I don't think there is one. At least after reading your very well-written post, I feel slightly less alone in my search for a meaning. I think writing helps. I like to write, also, and have a degree in Journalism which I never got to use much.

    If it helps at all, I found meaning and value in what you wrote and felt less alone after reading it. I think you're a very good writer and should keep it up. You don't need to have all the answers to help others. Just making a connection and keeping someone else company while they are lost can be a big help. Human presence is very important to people, even if their problems cannot be solved.
     
  7. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Exkend,

    Yes, you are right, knowledge of what went wrong, when, and where are important (bio-psycho-social). Some people with organic brain disorders benefit most from biological (usually meaning pharmaceutical) interventions (i.e., bi-polar disorder, psychosis). With me, the issue is primarily a matter of a lack of meaningful and supportive relationships. This is why I feel the loss of Chris more now than at any other time over the past 23 years, All my attempts at forming new relationships have been fruitless; leading to frustration; leading to feelings or worthlessness and hopelessness, which brings me to this site. I only came here as an act of desperation; I was really became scared that it was just a matter of time before I killed myself. On each new visit to the land of shadows, the shadows have grown longer and claim more of my soul.

    As Dylan Thomas said "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light." It appears I am making my last stand with brothers and sisters who are also trying to fight the urge to end the stories of their lives before the final curtain falls.

    I am wondering why you say "God Bless" but did not use the term bio-psycho-social-spiritual instead of bio-psycho-social? I ask this in the spirit of a Socratic dialogue. (Socratic Dialogue is a method widely used in Europe which allows for in-depth understanding of various issues concerning everyday life. Through rigorous inquiry and consensus we start unraveling the basic assumptions we have. An incredible experience that can regenerate your life.http://www.philodialogue.com/dialogue.htm) I did not realize it at the time but this attitude towards communication was a central component of my relationship with Chris.

    La paix (peace)

    Mac or Gilly, as you prefer
     
  8. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    AC,

    Thank you so much for your long reply and for your complement regarding my writing. I confess when reading you response I got choked up with emotion and my eyes were teary. It seems we share some very similar circumstances, feelings and thoughts. It was nice to feel connected to someone, even if it is in shared misery; but you made this point very well. I want to spend more time answering your letter. I think tommorow I will make time for this. I have several thoughts I want to share with you, but tonight I have to finish some academic assignments.

    Bonne Nuit,

    Mac or Gilly
     
  9. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Hi Acy,

    My, my, what a remarkably insightful and delightfully appropriate response to my post. I normally don't go for "cute" but the little empathic smiley face face which came alongside the other and nuzzled "him" was dead-on target. Like Robin Hood, you split the arrow in two! I have known this is what I need and have been looking for for quite some time. It has been a frustrating search. I think I have found a new home and family here. I actually have a lot to say on this subject, but that is for later.

    You are right about the all the good things we do as "counting." Victor Frankl had a perspective or epiphany, if you will on page 61, as I recall of his book "Man's search for meaning. I will probably write more about this later. The sine qua non (I love this term-'essential element") of his awakening is that he discovered one day while out on a work detail under Nazi guard is that love is the thing which brings meaning to life. In my mind, love is not of this world and brings meaning into any hopeless life because it is more powerful than any natural force or human cruelty. In other words, it may act in this world but is actually a sign of another "world" which transcends this material realm. It is the shape of things to come.

    I am certain you must have an academic background in the social sciences. I appreciate your response very much. You are wise in the ways of suffering and healing.

    Bonne Nuit,

    Mac or Gilly, (as you prefer)
     
  10. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Hi Gilly, very pleased to meet you on SF, and we have a lot in common. You ask some very searching questions and have a brilliant mind! :) I too have done the Job thing - or was rather pushed into my shadow - I absolutely know (hopefully without sounding too arrogant) that there has been a meaning in it - and it is to do with the mercy of God. Can't explain it in a couple of sentences because it's too deep, but very definitely involves the emotions and the world-view and the psycho-social stuff.
    The only one liner I could offer for hope (but knowing that any one liner would be like a band-aid for a broken leg, so apologies) is that "underneath are the everlasting arms" - said to me my my mother during my first breakdown at 15. I had no way of comprehending or appreciating it then, but have come to do so since that time.

    Like Job, stuff happens,.. of course, you know that..... and at times it seems like we're rats on a treadmill trying to make sense of it all and feel how we were always told it's possible to feel through faith.... and the conclusions we come to along the way either bring us closer or part us further from this. However, God never, ever gives up on our struggles, I know that, having attempted when I believed there was no hope left for me - he rescued me and has been healing me by insight this past 15 years. (Stuff that I never heard from the pulpit).

    :arms: ..... discovered this emoticon recently, and love it! So welcome Gilly, and may you find solace and support on SF :)
     
  11. Dear HMcGil,

    Your'e thoughts on the meaningless, absurd nature of our existances strikes out at my very heart. For years I lived in hope of finding some meaning or reason for our consciousness, I looked to the school of absurdism even flirted with nihilism but found that none could give me reason for living other than for the sake of being.

    It was a few months ago that it struck me that what if the proccess of consciousness could be enough of a reason for its own existance. Without consciousness nothing could be experienced! And it is from that very first conscious thought since the evolution of man, since the dawn of time that we as people have existed. From that very first thought, the whole of who we are today has evolved, defined itself through thought. We may have stopped evolving phsically but mentally mankind surges on, coming up with rights, furthering science and knowledge - bettering ourselves! We surge forth as a combined consciousness.

    But as you say,all things must come to an end. As ideas, we come, we develop, we reach our full conclusions and we end. So what if thats what life is, what if thats what everything around us is. The universe, coming to terms with its existance, reaching its full conclusion and dying. And we are all part of that, all streams of thought in a much larger being. It is as impossible for nothing to exist as it is for something to exist. So they both exist, in constant flux - Life and Death. The universe an endless cycle expressing the only thing it can.

    Now, I dont know whether you will find solace in my words... For me they helped me to come to terms with the state of my mortality. However, here i am... on a suicide forum. I just want you to know, you are not alone in youre thoughts. In a world where faith is increasingly hard to find, we must learn to find meaning and purpose in ourselves. In belief that as mankind we can be better, that as societies we can grow. Im sure in time this world will be a much better place as humanity evolves, it tears me apart that I will probably never get to see it. But damn I know want to be a part of taking it there.

    Im far too young to be considered wise at only 20, but these are thoughts ive grapled with for the last 5 years and that im only just starting to gain insight on. Im sure you have much to offer and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thankyou so much for listening, your friend in the mystery of life,
    HF
     
  12. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    How amazingly wise for someone who is "only" 20! Consciousness is VERY what existence is all about - because without consciousness, as you say, nothing could be experienced or known. Spot on!

    Welcome to SF and may it be a journey from here on in for you :)

    Faith might be increasingly hard to find in this world........ but at the end of the day, everyone believes something, even if it is that they believe nothing, that is still a belief :) However, if you really, really desire to have (develop) faith in the truth - it is the truth that is the power to take us "further in and further up", which makes life exciting - even though we meet trials and obstacles along the way, it's par for life's course. So be encouraged, HF, as you have encouraged others already, this is what our journeys are all about, eh?
     
  13. Perhaps my youth fills me with a little too much faith in mankind but for all our failings the mere fact of our existance whether on its own or as a result of a higher power is an undeniable miricle (an impossibility in defiance of physics) and must be worth so much more than the value we attach today. Some find solace in god, some in life itself, eitherway its through life we learn what it is to be ourselves as individuals and as a collective of souls.

    Thankyou so much for the response, from what Ive seen you write I know there is an incredible respect to be held for your mind and I hope for further exchanges in the future. My journey on SF begain 2 years ago and little did I know how much it would have to offer me this far down the line. I saw that you are trained in counselling, Im aiming to be a clinical psychologist specialising in depression for what I imagine are similar reasons. Im sure we still both have much to offer the world. I just hope we can both make it through what faces us, in the knowledge of our relative insignificance.

    Stay strong man.
     
  14. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    For years, I looked for meaning in all the wrong places and wondered why there was no meaning...faced with a chronic (probably terminal) illness, one of the benefits has been, I have become much more naked when challenged by life, which has filtered a lot of the banality out of my stay here...having an 'expiration date'(although like most, the date to be determined) does change how one views everything...does insight and enlightenment help? Like anything else, it depends upon what it is in the service of...for me, what has been most helpful has been simplicity...tired; sleep, hungry; eat...and being 'in the world'...although I am confronted by many things to which I use the mantra of my suicidal ideations, I have acquired a different type of meaning in the past few years...not until recently, have I begun to understand The Book of Job...thought it was about giving over, but have found it is much more about the company one keeps...and faith...I could fill this server with my journey regarding faith...interesting literature about the genetic proclivity re faith...and I think I am one who is blessed to have that, because there have been times in my life when I had no reason to have faith...thanks for this discussion...reading it has been uplifting
     
  15. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Mon Amie,

    Yes, thank you for the "underneath are everlasting arms." I have recently gotten onto a first name basis with a former professor of mine. I sensed something very genuine and tender about him one day in an email correspondence (I am an on-line student) and told him that I thought the only way he could be the way he is, if if he has suffered a lot in life. He wrote me to tell me his father died when he was four and his mother blew her brains when he was 14. He then spent the next 26 years living on the streets of major metropolitan areas of the Northeast. He then went to Georgia (Bible Belt) and began a new life. He is now holds a Phd. in psychology, teaches and does some counseling, mostly groups. He signs all his emails:
    In His Grip,
    Jerry Cook (not his real last name)

    I cannot express how incongruous it is to know that God will "never forsake or abandon us" and yet FEEL so lost and alone that you want to die. I think Jerry really understands this and has been saved from death's icy hand many times and now has peace and security few people have experienced.

    There is a little poem which appeared in a novel by Kurt Vonnegut which echoes your comment on making sense of it all. It goes:
    Tiger got to hunt
    Bird got to fly,
    Man got ask himself, why, why, why.

    Tiger got to eat,
    Bird got to land,
    Man got to tell himself, he understands.

    I'm afraid that I don't get much from church services (the pulpit) anymore, but there are some preachers on the radio I find stimulating. Most churches remind me more of country clubs or social gatherings than healing ministries, which is what I think they should be.

    I always refer to Job as "my friend Job." I don't think the Bible would be half the book it is without addressing the issue of righteous men and women suffering. I find the most common interpretations wholly without merit or depth of thought. But this subject is for another time and place. Anyway, we know that Christians, including the 12 disciples and even Jesus Himself were not exempt from horrible acts of brutality so mature Christians cannot expect this either. This brings up another fascinating topic which is also for another time and place.

    I am so happy you have written me, along with several others. This site is providing me with the social connection I desperately needed and a redefined mission (ministry, purpose) which is wholly congruent with who I am down to the very core of my being. Counseling individual's or even groups is a close fit but would likely destroy me. The knowledge I have gained is very important, but my true element is more in the written word than the spoken one. Discovering this was a very painful process. Although, I have no idea how I will support myself after school if I don't enter the counseling profession, ultimately, I really don't care. I trust God will see to that. What matters most is that I can express myself in ways which reaches into the hearts and minds of some individuals. The feedback I have received from you, others here on this site, professor Jerry and an assortment of other people over the years has convinced me that at heart, I am a writer. At sixty years old, I now know who and what I am, why I am here, and why I need to stay here until my work is done and I have finished the race instead of it finishing me.

    By the way, I don't speak French, but may one day. I just it whenever I can because it is so beautiful and I like beautiful things.

    Bonne Nuit,

    Gilly
     
  16. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    :) a lady vicar said once:........."belonging, becoming, behaving"........ and I think above all, we look for a place where we can belong.

    Belonging is so important for a soul.

    That's amazing about Jerry - on the streets for 26 years..... and yet, not beyond the reach of our loving Creator.

    No one is beyond His reach, unless they truly desire to make themselves so. And even then, I reckon the reason for that is they can have no idea of His Real Nature, that we also can come to share...... (which is the 'becoming' part) - and then the 'behaving' will just be the natural outflow from that.....

    instead of the other way around, trying to 'reach God' by trying to be good enough, which will never ever work in a million years........ :) Not the cart infront of the horse. The horse must always go infront! (Sorry God, we all know you're not a horse, lol!) :mlp:
     
  17. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    Mon Ami,

    Please call me either "Mac" or "Gilly," as you prefer. Also, thank you very much for reading my post and responding. It is always an honor to meet a "thinking man."

    I haven't enough time to address each issue you raise but would like to share a few thoughts I have. Firstly, I do not think you just started grappling with serious thoughts in just the last 5 years. I would bet you have been thinking, watching and observing life for a very long time. I am glad to see you are able to conceptualize, to draw meaning and understanding from life. When it comes to many of your conclusions, however, such as the modernist view that "this world will be a much better place as humanity evolves." This fantasy has been throughly debunked by the history of the 20th Century. Three books come to mind: Bloodlands by Harvard historian, Timothy Snyder, Maos' Great Famine by Dikotter, and just about anything on the Bolshevik Revolution. There is a DVD called the "Russian Revolution in Color" which is simply amazing. It was a democatic revolution which was highjacked by the Bolshevicks and then the real killing began. Probably the most important issue you will ever have to resolve in your mind is whether man is basically evil or good. Then, depending upon your answer, you will either have to find an authentic Savior or align yourself with the next popular movement billed as the answer (savior) to all mankinds ills and woes. "Science" was billed as such and has failed as a messiah, why?

    I don't know whether you are in college or not but I don't think you will ever achieve anything more than an idiosyncractic worldview, without the discipline found at a good school. Be carefull though, many institutions are centers for indoctrination, not education. You should sense the freedom to express yourself without censure as long as you make cogent, coherent and properly researched arguments. Some schools will express extreme displeasure unless you babble their inanities. Sincerity of belief is no measure of validity, no matter how passionate.

    If you haven't entered college yet, I strongly recommend taking some personalty tests which help match you to a profession. It is a bitch to have to change majors and wastes time and money.

    Life is a mystery and hopefully it always will be whether in this temporal universe or a transcendent imperishable one. Making wonderous new discoveries about ourselves and our environment is a very exciting process leading to growth and understanding. We will never understand everything but that is no reason not to seek elusive truth. That reminds me of a definition of history I heard not too long ago; "History is the lies which no one disputes."

    I have to leave now and hope to hear from you again. I am sorry to be so direct. I wish I were your age again although I would not change a moment of my life. That would be a form of suicide, a sign of ignorance, weakness and would dishonor the One who watches over me.

    Bonne Nuit,

    Gilly
     
  18. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    .
    Dear AC,

    Yes, the similarities between us are remarkable. Not so long ago (2-3 mo.) I described myself as “Cardboard Man,” two-dimensional and flat emotionally. This was on a good day, when I didn’t want to kill myself for the reasons we have in common.

    However, I don’t think it too late to start over, but it may be the time to reassess priorities and make some adjustments. I am happy to hear that you believe that all your experiences could make a positive impact upon mankind and that this work could provide you with some meaning and purpose.
    Speaking of opportunities, I think they are always present at some level, but that we are often blind to them, and so are incapable of making the first step in the direction which gives both the giver and receiver what they truly need. Hopelessness based upon a huge garbage heap of consecutive “failures” (I question perspective here) will paralyze a man faster and more completely than a curare dart to the neck. The really impossible aspect of depression, hopelessness and suicidality is that, at least in my own case, it seems to make absolute sense.
    In this “vein” to continue the metaphor, I hit upon the brilliant idea that at age sixty I was already in the winter of difficult life; that I could see the late afternoon shadow from my own gravestone touching my toes, so what possible difference could it make if I just skipped to the end, and embraced what was inevitable anyway. After sixty years of endless losses what possible hope could a reasonable man have for realizing or reaching his potential? I don’t recall ever hearing about any awards being given out anywhere for being a Big Loser. I was getting into some deep do-do at this point. I knew I could aim and squeeze (you never “pull” a trigger, it affects proper aiming) the trigger and the curtain would fall with a limp, pathetic thud to the stage floor. This had little “sex appeal” but I knew that time was not on my side. Then I came here and am experiencing a sort of personal renaissance.
    The first thing to exit the birdbrain of this risen Phoenix is all the crap about money and societal standards and notions of success. There’s a movie on DVD called “Happy” which is very enlightening. I streamed it on Netflix. They should start kids watching it in grade school. The fact is that all my past and all my education are very valuable assets which just need the right forum for expression. I suspect this true of everyone. I expect to make little to nothing trying to live authentically, but don’t care.
    I enjoyed reading the last two sentences of your response and you are so right. However, there are many ways to view problems and I think solutions, or at least accommodations can be found for all of them. This may sound mad, but I have given it a lot of thought and have a way to back-up my hyperbole.
    I have been wondering about something since you mentioned having a journalism degree. I have a domain name for which, I would like to find some useful purpose. I fantasize about all sorts of possibilities but am too old to dream like a youth. After spending just these last few days here at SF I have something in mind. I am not certain if what is on my mind is just duplicating what is contained here or offers something else or more.
    My education has taught me to write at a level higher than mere personal opinion. My life story is also full of strange, but interesting, perhaps even compelling incidents and experiences and I am thinking about maybe combing some scholarly reporting with personal autobiographies. As such, this site could offer high quality insight into our inner workings and inspire through the tales of undefeated individuals.
    As the “cafe” aspect of the name implies, the site is a place where people can meet and discuss whatever is on their mind or heart. One day, I would love to see hundreds of actual suicide cafés scattered around the country and a Café Ranch for R & R located high in Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is where it gets personal. I lost something precious and irreplaceable when my friend, Chris, hanged himself 23 years ago. It is him I want to reach in everything I do from this time own. I know him like I know myself, perhaps better. I want to put out a “product,” a venue, a spot which would attract him and thereby intervene and affect his decision to kill himself. Of course, I can’t bring him back so my hope of re-joining up with him depends upon an afterlife and a gracious Creator.
    The best I can do now is to try to save as many as possible of other people’s Chris’s. Nothing else means as much to me, as no one has ever meant as much to me, as him. It’s like the best part of me died with him. It just gets worse with time.
    So, I guess what I am asking is if any of this has any appeal for you? Please consider it. You have a warm, sensitive heart and perceptive mind. The journalism degree is a real bonus as well! There are at least a hundred articles I could write on my own. That is a lie. There are more. What I need is a cohort or confederate in crime to accomplish this goal. I despise clichés but two heads really are better than one. Think it over, listen to your heart, and let me know.
    Please forgive any typos in this letter, I always proofread everything before I send or submit but my time is very short. I have class assignments to finish and I’ve been spending a lot of time on this site.

    Until then,

    Mac or Gilly (as you prefer)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2012
  19. Black Sun

    Black Sun Active Member

    For years, I looked for meaning in all the wrong places and wondered why there was no meaning...faced with a chronic (probably terminal) illness, one of the benefits has been, I have become much more naked when challenged by life, which has filtered a lot of the banality out of my stay here...having an 'expiration date'(although like most, the date to be determined) does change how one views everything...does insight and enlightenment help? Like anything else, it depends upon what it is in the service of...for me, what has been most helpful has been simplicity...tired; sleep, hungry; eat...and being 'in the world'...although I am confronted by many things to which I use the mantra of my suicidal ideations, I have acquired a different type of meaning in the past few years...not until recently, have I begun to understand The Book of Job...thought it was about giving over, but have found it is much more about the company one keeps...and faith...I could fill this server with my journey regarding faith...interesting literature about the genetic proclivity re faith...and I think I am one who is blessed to have that, because there have been times in my life when I had no reason to have faith...thanks for this discussion...reading it has been uplifting

    Hello Sadeyes,
    Mon Amie,
    Thank you sharing and letting me know you found something useful in my post. On Job, I actually think yor initial understanding was more insighful. In a way, when Job saw God, in all his Glory, he repented. Job had heard of God and was held blameless before the Lord but Satan incited the Lord against Job, a basically innocent man. Job had to endure the unendurable and freely complained why his punishment so exceeded his crimes. God never said Job had no right to question his horrendous fall. That poor man lost all seven children whom he prayed for every day!

    In the end, I think that once Job was confronted with the awesomeness and splendor of God he realized that "no plan of yours (Gods) can be thwarted" and that ultimately, God's in charge and perhaps it's best to let Job be Job and God be God. Job had elevated himself to the position of deciding what is fair and what is not fair but after seeing the Lord, he was content to leave his life's circumstances in the hand's of the Lord. Job was just being "sifted" as we all are. You may recall the Jesus once told Peter "that Satan has asked permission to sift you." This is what happened to Job and to all believers. If we are never put the test, then we never know what we are made of and how much we need God whose original intention was never to be separated from man in the first place. Free will is a bitch but what kind of creation is one in which only robots exist?

    You mention being "confronted by many things to which I use the mantra of my suicidal ideations." I think I know what you mean from my own experiences but am very interested to hear you elaborate more on this idea. I am also interested in the feelings involved while you go through this coping(?) process.

    Bonne Nuit,

    Mac or Gilly (as you prefer)
     
  20. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    I just sent you a PM...hope that clarifies what I have written...all the best
     
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