100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #81.

I love the comment section of my blog; getting feedback from a stranger on how my behavior appears to the world around me is waaaay cheaper than therapy, although you can’t walk away from the experience with a prescription for Xanax.

I’ve heard from some people that think I’m making light of an all-too heavy subject with these posts while others admire my good intentions.

No matter what you think of this series… I want to hear about it. Reach out to me. Write angry tweets or happy comments, or ambiguous LinkedIn messages. But whatever you do, just make sure yo talk about it.

Yes, I realize this is a blog so no one’s actually “talking”. Remember, no one likes a smart-ass.

Today’s topic is, you guessed it…

#81: Conversation.

Some believe that conversing face-to-face is quickly becoming a lost art in this digital age, and while that’s true, I like to think that conversation has merely evolved (somewhat). People will always need to speak to one another but now we can do it without actually being in the same room or even the same hemisphere.

And yet, in spite of all our strides people are still staying silent when it matters most.

Personally, I love talking; though I always seem to clam up when I’m in the car with my wife and she just stares at me until she says…

Fortunately, she doesn’t resemble Ted Knight when she says it but that’s beside the point. I respond with something like, “I just don’t know what to say sometimes!” And then the sheep really hits the fan. She thinks I’m bored after twenty-three years of marriage. I say I’m not. Then I spend the rest of the trip trying to dig myself out of a hole while operating a motorized vehicle.

This isn’t exactly making my case that life is worth living, or for that matter, that marriage is awesome, is it? Just bear with me, there’s going to be a cheese log later.

The reason my wife is always so eager to chat is that she gets it, she knows that life is too short to spend it silently brooding in a car or an easy chair while staring at the tube.

Communication brings us together.

Of course, articulating our thoughts can also tear us apart, but sometimes that’s for the best.

Comedians talk and our world can light up; orating, when done in a comedic fashion, can make us laugh so hard we pee ourselves (some people actually like that) and remind us of how great it is to be alive. Politicians talk and our world grows dark; he may actually mean well but Trump just has that effect on people. And my dog.

My point is this: if you’re talking, you’re alive. If you’re alive there’s hope that your life can be more than just the darkness of mental health issues.

If my dear friend, Ron, had spoken to me about just how far gone he was the day his life ended maybe he’d still be here. Or maybe not. I’ll never know. Ron’s gone.

But you’re still here.

So talk. To anyone. About anything.

You don’t have to open up about your mental health issues or just how close to the edge you’re feeling if you’re not ready, but as long as you’re talking, you’re alive. Reach out to friends, even if you haven’t spoken to them in  awhile. Reach out to family, even if you’ve been estranged. Reach out to the barista at Starbucks, though fair warning, they’re going to be too busy to do anything but call the manager, or if you’re black, the cops.

But just reach out and talk, okay? You may regret it tomorrow but at least you’ll be around to do so.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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35 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #81.

  1. Mark Myers says:

    I think it is important for people to see that they aren’t alone and maybe open up to someone… anyone.

  2. Tara says:

    I think what you’re doing is great…sometimes opening up a subject and dialogue is best done with bluntness (is that even a word?) – ie: 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself. As my mom often says, “keep it simple stupid.” I think there’s a lot of merit in that. It’s a tough subject and there’s been way too much pussyfooting around it for way too long. Just my two cents. There’s always going to be people whose panties get twisted. And I wish them well.

  3. Santa Cucinotta says:

    I always enjoy my morning tea and your blog!

  4. Theresa says:

    I cannot imagine that someone would take this blog topic as contrite. Like really? They obviously haven’t been following you to know that this issue is foremost in your mind and one that you have been personally affected by. I think you’re doing a lot of people good, even if some may not suffer from depression, we all get low every now and then just due to life’s surprises and events. So what you have to say on this topic, even for those of us who do not suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts is insightful. But maybe someone in their/our lives will, so what you’ve observed from that side of the aisle is very important. I love your blog. I love how you’ve been turning this dark point in your life to the light by trying to help others see the value they have or that there is in life. I think you’re the best Hook! You keep it up! You have a great heart, a wonderful sense of humor and writing style.

  5. I think this is a great series Hook.
    Conversation is a dying art, TV, computers, ipads and the like have seen to that. Getting my Mum into conversation could be difficult in the later years, she preferred to sit in her chair by the window not participating in anything around her and sometimes not included anyway, which broke my heart when we witnessed it. But once we got her started, we encouraged it, even if the subject was thirty or forty years ago, it was fresh in her mind. Dementia does that. We relived happier days and laughed at things we’d long forgotten, but for Mum it was current, brought her back to us for a few minutes, an hour, whatever.

    • The Hook says:

      We have a neighbor in the same state at the moment.
      It is indeed heartbreaking but as you said, you have to cherish the few moments of lucidity they experience.

  6. davidprosser says:

    So some people think you make light of a heavy subject. Since it brings the subject of suicide to the fore I think you have just the right touch……..because you’re addressing not just the people who might be intent on self harm but also the people who might well be closest for them to reach out to. Those are the people who need to be able to show potential suicides that perhaps life can be less black and less bleak and bring just a glimmer of light into their lives even if it’s by getting them psychiatric help. As with many suicides I know Ron didn’t reach out with his problems and it’s only hindsight that might make you think there were signs to be seen but let me be clear, it is not your fault and not your responsibility.Sometimes you don’t win even when there are signs. Life doesn’t teach you how to deal with this, you have to feel your way along. But you offer a great way with your lightness of touch and by being an approachable friend. You don’t judge but you offer a refuge in your heart.Keep talking and keep listening and you might score more successes than you know.

  7. dianaepona says:

    This sojourn of yours has been awesome! Not only does it cause some thought on the part of the reader, but man! You must be doing some serious introspection as well! Well, maybe not serious, but…time consuming? Either way, even Alice would find the fall down this rabbit hole more than a little “trippy.” Writing isn’t like a one-way road. It’s more like a turnpike and collisions are just part of the experience. And it takes more than a little courage to get behind the wheel. Keep up the great work!

  8. There is a significant problem in trying to discuss issues or even feelings. Its the elephant in the room called political correctness. So many times discussions degenerate into name calling along racial, religious, political, and gender lines that other than, “Have a nice day,” all words are time bombs. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get better in the near term. I believe the inability to discuss problems is one reason why the suicide rate is so high. Thanks for listening. You are doing a great job with this series, Hook. If you get just one to think their way out of taking their own life, you can tell your critics to shove it. Of course, you probably won’t know, so tell your critic to shove it anyway.

  9. Doug in Oakland says:

    You’re using your special skill, writing, to try and help something you care deeply about. What could be better than that?
    People who have been touched by suicide can see what you’re doing, or at least I feel like I can.
    You can’t bring them back, but you can make people aware that they have the power to help the ones in danger now.
    If even one person who is feeling that opting out is their best choice can be brought back to the land of the living through conversation and the discovery that, yeah, someone does give a damn, then all of your efforts have been worth while.
    All we can do is try, right?

  10. https://nobodysreadingme.wordpress.com/ is all about me talking. That’s its entire purpose. I may not make sense, not all the time, but hell. So what? Things make me angry. I tell you all. Things make me happy. I tell you all. Let’s be honest, any bloke who can be made to smile by pied wagtails AND Harleys has to be fun. Especially when he hates the vulgarity of Rolls Royces while fully appreciating the vulgarity of NASCAR. Some vulgar things are fun. Some are simply vulgar

    • The Hook says:

      Blogs are self-therapy and even in no one reads them, they serve a valuable purpose in a person’s life, old friend.

      • I seem to take this to the very edge. Lots of people, many of my Followers, have gone, ‘You don’t work right.’ This is fine. NDT Mark told me the same. And my biggest accolade. Rosie told me that my description of her was what SHE would have said. But nobody else would have described her that way. Nobody. That makes me happy

  11. Yes! This! It can be really hard to reach out and talk sometimes, especially when one’s brain is flooded with thoughts that they don’t recognize are lies. But connecting, conversing, being heard and valued, are priceless and can go a very long way.

  12. 3bones says:

    Hey Hook … I’ve been in the background here following your latest series of posts. I have followed you for quite a while now (prior to this series), and I have always enjoyed your posts and your very unique perspective on life around you as it unfolds. I must admit, I have found this particular series on suicide difficult at times and I have purposefully not “Liked” any of these posts due to their sensitive nature. The most recent post on my blog involved me writing a letter to my brother, who died 35 years ago this February 10th, it’s been such a long time that he’s been gone …

    But, this particular post where you talk about Ron is different, and I have decided to “Like” this post in your series as well as some of the comments. If your friend Ron (and my own brother, Brian), had reached out to someone … they could have perhaps been pointed in a direction where talking with a psychiatrist or a professional counsellor might have changed their fate. Maybe, just maybe their lives may not have ended in the way they did and they would still be here today. Or maybe not. The one thing that I have come to realize (maybe confirmed is a better way to put it) about these posts, Hook, is that you do have a good heart and you are broaching a subject that is painful and difficult for people to talk about. But, as painful as the subject is, it has to be in the forefront if we are to help others through whatever personal dark times they are going through. All life is sacred.

    And thanks for continuing on your journey with this difficult series of posts … you still have another 80 to go …

    • davidprosser says:

      I’m truly sorry for your loss no matter how long ago it was. You obviously loved your brother as I love mine and would be bereft if I lost him, though I may well blame him at first for not reaching out. Sometimes though it seems like reaching out places a burden on those we love which is why so many become insular. All any of us can do is act on anything we see that is out of the ordinary but that isn’t always easy to spot. Try and remember that what our brother did in no way means he didn’t love you, he may have felt he was protecting you. Just cherish his memory for the years he lived.

      • 3bones says:

        Thanks for your comments, David. It was your reply to this post of Hook’s that I appreciated the most and actually liked first. I appreciate you writing to me, even if it is using Hook’s blog … take care …

    • The Hook says:

      Don’t remind me of how far I still have to travel, 3!
      Thank you for having faith in me.
      I hope, no I have to believe, that Ronnie and Brian are at peace.

  13. curvyroads says:

    You keep doing what you’re doing and screw the haters. This is a valuable public service, and if you can add some humor…well, that’s a bonus! 😘

    • The Hook says:

      And who doesn’t love a bonus, right?
      Besides, adding humor is the only way I know how to approach this topic.
      Without it I would’ve succumbed to the weight of my grief long ago.

  14. Important to realize when you encounter a person that you may possibly be the only one he/she will meet all day long that will say something positive to them – even offer a smile may be a life saver.
    (Humor makes difficult topics able to be tolerated and discussed – those complain, well, it’s THEIR problem, not yours. )

  15. I do not understand isolation. If I cannot communicate with SOMEONE or SOMETHING (even if it is my dog) I would go mad! I do understand wanting to be alone at times because I crave that. I have very little of it and I start feeling claustrophobic when we go on vacation because there is someone in my presence 24/7! I never have a break! I know.. I am an enigma LOL!

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