My mother killed herself when I was 19. I didn't completely understand why - she never really talked about it. She was a bitch to me growing up - critical of everything I did. I hated her. Then when my father died, when I was 17, I ended up taking care of her...she kind of fell apart...couldn't cook or drive...she tried to OD once, and I think one other time...I went away to college a month before she finally did it..by hanging. I've got a son. I've sworn I'd never do that to him. So I just survive; sometimes that's the best I can do. I've gone to therapy, seen a psychiatrist (let's throw some meds at this woman), and most recently, he's sent me to a shrink who thinks I need to commit to (at least) three years of therapy. I have tried SO HARD to get it together. I can see the sunshine and think how good it would be if I could enjoy it. I go to work, I come home. I've gathered my pets around me - two dogs and four cats - all in an attempt to keep myself feeling needed. If I left them, where would they be? Being all they've got...keeps me alive. But I've begun to think about how to engineer my death. I want to make it easy on everyone...especially my son and my pets. It may take years...I'm not one to abandon my pets [my son is a senior in college; I will make sure he gets launched]. The alternative would be to not feel this way! Can it really happen? After 35 years of trying..so hard...to find some joy, some meaning to my life. I know that life is a gift. And I know that there are thousands, millions of wonderful things in the world to experience. But I find no joy. Each moment is an effort. I get up, go to work, come home...it is all an effort. Do most people find meaning in all that? Do most people have to force themselves to get out of bed, dress, go to work? Do most people avoid others..phone calls...invitations to go out...? I suppose I will just continue to show up. For awhile anyways, until I can figure out a way to go without hurting someone else.