Is a question I have found myself asking recently. Quite frequently,too. And then I start to think to myself, "Suicide isn't so bad," "Death isn't that much to be afraid of," "It's a release, freedom, an ending to the pressures and frustrations." Thoughts that, for the most part, sit idly by, drowned out by the noises of the day to day. But, in that creeping aloneness, when the mind wanders and turns itself inward, the niggling thoughts grow louder and louder. I'm not suicidal. At least, I don't think I am. Suicidal carries connotations of psychosis, or at least noticeable emotional instability. Always seeming to be something that seems to be just a little bit crazy, requiring a delicate touch. I don't feel like that. Not a bit. The idea of death just seems to become so much simpler. So much more peaceful. A sleep that never, ever ends, quiet and dreamless. A better alternative, not a "suicidal" frenzy. Death loses its biting cold, and gains a warmth not dissimilar to the embrace of a loved one. The only reason I'm posting is because I've had half a bottle of scotch, an end of the school year present to myself. It may not be the most effective of truth serums, but it's enough to make me realize I potentially have a problem. Not with drinking, that is. At least not anymore. I've always dealt with depression in my life. It ruined most of my formative years, and only became something I fought to overcome halfway through high school, when I started to live for the first time in my life. I started to try to find happiness instead of wallowing in despair at the cards life had dealt me. I began to believe in a greater tomorrow. I began to believe friends could be relied on and trusted, that the dark and despair only foretold of a far greater day to come. I found faith in Christ and Christianity, finding something that spoke to the overwhelming compassion I felt towards the world around me. A belief that bespoke of sacrifice to help the ones we love. For the first time in 16 years, I found a reason for being. My raison d'etre. This contentedness lasted for half a decade. Then, in the space of less than a month, my mom confessed suicidal feelings to me due to our financial situation, my first and best friend betrayed me and our friendship, and I found that alcohol shielded me from the overwhelming feelings of pain and betrayal. I had just turned 21. And I drank. And drank. And drank. Two bottles of wine a night, for almost 6 months. Three months of binge drinking before that. I became an alcoholic, and I knew it. Though I masterfully hid it from the world around me, I fully admitted the fact of my condition to myself. Alcohol gave me freedom. Life put me into bondage. And, of course, my grades and friendships began to falter. To stumble. But none came to me in concern; none came to determine my well-being. We all just drifted apart. Further, and further, and further. And I cared less, and less, and less. In an ironic twist, when, in my alcoholic haze I chose to smoke pot with my mom, I found the solution to the alcoholism. Marijuana made me not want to drink. Further, it made me face myself and face my decisions, instead of hiding behind alcohol. I didn't simply stop drinking-- I started drinking responsibly. Two beers was enough to make me say, "No more." Not out of shame, but because I felt no need for more. I faced myself, my alcoholism, and the terrible string of decisions I had been making, and turned away from that path. In truth, this half bottle of scotch is the most I've had to drink in months. For that I am glad. Those of you wondering if I have just traded one substance for another may have a point, but I've noticed enough improvement in my life to not feel that marijuana is being abused on a scale remotely near how I was using alcohol. But I a far from healed. I feel so empty now. So filled with despair all the time. My faith seems to be mere motions I go through, even as a Bible study leader, and grows more and more distant with each passing day. As does all of my passion. All of my joy. Everything feels so empty, and all my pursuits so devoid of motivation. My passion for mathematics has abated-- I chose to remain an undergraduate instead of attending graduate school because I fear I am so burned out I would be just throwing myself into debt. I keep in contact with very few of my friends, and find it hard to care about anyone other than myself. My personality has changed. Before the alcoholism and events leading up to it, I felt so happy and full of life. I felt like I had principles and values, and a reason to for living. Now, I feel nothing. I can't bring myself to believe in the goodness of me or my fellow man. I am terrifyingly empty. And so I wonder if death wouldn't be so terrible. It seems so peaceful, and free of responsibility. I just don't want to hurt all the time anymore. I don't know why I posted this. Alcohol, maybe. Because I need support and don't feel comfortable admitting to these feelings and events without anonymity, probably. Thank you for reading through my story.