Wednesday, 30 November 2011

An admirably honest cry for help

While surfing around the net the other day I came across this call for help. Although I've seen this kind of thing before, I was particularly struck by this instance.

I dont even know where to begin. I hate life. I dont want to be here anymore. I hate everything about myself physically, i hate that im a nobody, i hate that my family say "well we love you" like thats supposed to give my life any more purpose.. What is the point in life really? We work to pay tax/bills/buy nice things.... we exercise to look our best, we always "get through" things just so something else can get in our way. Everyone says life is about learning - no point to ANY of the things that i have previously mentioned because you know what? We are all going to die anyway. Money, nice body, friends, family, job - none of it means **** when youre dead... so whats the point in struggling and doing the same crap day by day when the result is always the same. I hate that i am always sad. I hate that i have no talent and that no matter what i do, my life will still lack meaning, i hate that i dont look like her or her or her - i hate that i hate eating because i hate starving too, i hate that i have to work every day, i hate that i have debts that dont appear to be getting any less, i hate that there are so many rude and pathetic excuses for human beings out there that have everything just fall in their lap and think nothing of it like the world owes them, i hate that i have to pretend its ok everyday. Why bother feeling this way everyday. Why not end it? I hate that people say its selfish to end it - what about me??? isnt that the reason that im wanting to end it anyway?? because im not happy??? I hate that people tell me "chin up" like this is a passing phase.... its not. I hate that every help site tells people to go get on meds - coz thats the only answer right?? I hate that i would feel dumb for seeing anyone about this anyway because its not like anyone has died, i havent had any traumatic experiences, so im not worthy right? They will only tell me to harden up and stop acting like a princess - everyones has a bad day right??? again and again and again???? I see no future for me. Im not good at anything. What i hate most of all is that i dont even know why ive posted this.... it will make as much difference as not posting it.... i want to die.

What struck me was the honesty and incisive nature of some the girl's points (I assume it's a girl):

1. i hate that my family say "well we love you" like thats supposed to give my life any more purpose.

Correct. What purpose does it lend you? Doesn't fact that people say they love a suicidal person often make them feel even more entrapped in existence due to guilt? Could it not also be construed as coded text for 'don't you dare kill yourself, because you'll fuck up our lives and we'll think of you with shame forever more'?

2. What is the point in life really? We work to pay tax/bills/buy nice things.... we exercise to look our best, we always "get through" things just so something else can get in our way.

Correct again. Every obstacle overcome clears the path for only an instant before another one looms up. Why bother? Like Dante's Belacqua, we should just sit under the rock and wait for time to take its course.

3. Everyone says life is about learning - no point to ANY of the things that i have previously mentioned because you know what? We are all going to die anyway. Money, nice body, friends, family, job - none of it means **** when youre dead... so whats the point in struggling and doing the same crap day by day when the result is always the same.

Spot on. Once you 'learn' the ultimate lesson of futility, what is the point of all those so-called "goods" other than as temporary palliatives and distractions from the inevitable?

4. no matter what i do, my life will still lack meaning,

Correct. Screw existentialism. Acting does not bestow meaning. Nothing does.

5. i hate that there are so many rude and pathetic excuses for human beings out there that have everything just fall in their lap and think nothing of it like the world owes them

Right again. So many egomaniacs exist out there who think they're "special" and the world is built for them. Jerks.

6. i hate that i have to pretend its ok everyday.

Yup, the militant optimism of our times is truly revolting. Utter a negative word and you'll have the Thought Police on your case.

7. I hate that people say its selfish to end it - what about me???

Yup, suicide is selfish, apparently, but telling people in genuine distress that they're being party-poopers and should just suck it up for everyone else's sake isn't. What a world.

8. I hate that people tell me "chin up" like this is a passing phase.... its not.

Right again. Once your eyes are open to the truth, it's damned hard to shut them again, or get a proper night's sleep. As T.S. Eliot wrote, "After such knowledge, what forgiveness?"

9. I hate that every help site tells people to go get on meds - coz thats the only answer right??

What a tribute to life that so many people are forced to artificially alter their chemical state in order to be able to get through it. Lovely.

10. I hate that i would feel dumb for seeing anyone about this anyway because its not like anyone has died, i havent had any traumatic experiences, so im not worthy right? They will only tell me to harden up and stop acting like a princess - everyones has a bad day right??? again and again and again????

Yup, you're only allowed complain if you've been raped/ the victim of racial discrimination/ gender discrimination etc. Nothing else officially registers. You should "count yourself lucky" for the most part. Apparently the fact that there are countless others feeling even shittier than you are is supposed to be a source of comfort. Gilded schadenfreude.

11. What i hate most of all is that i dont even know why ive posted this.... it will make as much difference as not posting it

Well, my dear, at least you've defied the authorities and vented your anger and pain, and that's not nothing. And hopefully others will take courage from your example. Well done to you!

21 comments:

  1. This person is miserable and in pain, and the only way you can react is to view her as a resource to fight your philosophical enemies?

    Fuck you.

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    Replies
    1. He was agreeing with, empathizing with, and respecting her.

      She made the decision to post it publicly, you may have noticed.

      Delete
  2. Anyway, feel free to dismiss that comment as the delusional happiness thought police rejecting the truth, like you probably do with all criticism. Anything to keep you from actually feeling sympathy for your fellow non-pessimistic man.

    Apparently "This may perhaps sound strange, but it is in keeping with the facts; it puts others in a right light; and it reminds us of that which is after all the most necessary thing in life--the tolerance, patience, regard, and love of neighbor, of which everyone stands in need, and which, therefore, every man owes to his fellow" didn't get through to anyone.

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  3. Anonymous1: This person is miserable and in pain, and the only way you can react is to view her as a resource to fight your philosophical enemies?

    Right from the start, you deny that a person's misery is a legitimate source of information about reality. Not very scientific of you. I think you've just a priori assume that life just has to have meaning without really thinking about it. I, for one, think Karl makes a lot of sense, and this girl is a perfect example of someone asking questions about the meaning of life. Divorced of the obvious emotional content, this girl is asking legitimate questions. You have to be polyannish or dishonest to deny this.

    Decent people should certainly should help her overcome her pain. Even so, it does not follow that the only way to overcome pain is to abandon the opinions she expressed. What worked for me is to realize that the only meaning we can have in life is to prevent and/or alleviate suffering, and fight that which causes suffering. It still doesn't follow we MUST bring new people into this world. In fact, Karl and I argue that this is precisely the reason we shouldn't bring people into this world - due to the stuff like this the girl (and practically everyone else for that matter) has to go through.

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  4. "Right from the start, you deny that a person's misery is a legitimate source of information about reality. "

    No I didn't. I made no mention of whether or not she was right about life sucking

    "Not very scientific of you. I think you've just a priori assume that life just has to have meaning without really thinking about it"

    Thank you for assuming that I'm completely unphilosophical

    "Divorced of the obvious emotional content, this girl is asking legitimate questions. You have to be polyannish or dishonest to deny this."

    I wasn't denying it, but thanks for calling me "pollyannish or dishonest"!

    " What worked for me is to realize that the only meaning we can have in life is to prevent and/or alleviate suffering, and fight that which causes suffering."

    Good for you! Now maybe you should go tell her that instead of being an obnoxious grabgrindian and viewing her misery as a tool to argue with.

    " It still doesn't follow we MUST bring new people into this world. In fact, Karl and I argue that this is precisely the reason we shouldn't bring people into this world - due to the stuff like this the girl (and practically everyone else for that matter) has to go through."

    How does that have any relation to anything I said in my previous posts?

    Look, I'd still find this disgustingly callous if this girl was a rape victim and someone was using her to reflect on gender politics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude, politics is supposed to make people's lives better, correct? That's kind of the point.

      If rape victims choose to publicly post their experiences, you're under the impression that talking about what they chose to disclose about their experiences as they relates to gender politics is wrong?

      Why, precisely?

      Delete
  5. Addendum: I thought the Schopenhauer quote I made in my second comment would be sufficient to show that I'd read about pessimist thought and saw some merit in it, but apparently not. Apparently the only way someone could disagree with you about anything is being some kind of hyper-optimistic pod person who believes that only the heights of mental insanity could cause someone to utter a negative sentiment and has eight children they can't afford to feed.

    Pessimism and anti-natalism are respectable, defensible, philosophical positions and I actually think you do a good job of that on your blog, filrabat. But what Karl is doing now is sickening. I can vouch from personal experience that people like him can make a depression even more of a living hell without intending to do so.

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  6. Let me just illustrate the problem I have with this:

    "Girl": I feel terrible. Life is hell

    "Wrong response": Haha, damn right! Let's see how those stupid life-lovers react when I hit them with the ammunition I've been given.

    "Right response(s)": I know, it's a hard truth to deal with and I'm sorry that you have to do so/everyone has to do so. You should try coping this way or that way/there's no way to cope, and I wish I could say something to make you feel better but I can't. I suppose this just illustrates the awful conclusions I've come to about life.

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  7. As another depressive I do not feel offended by Karl's post at all.

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  8. Well, allow me to say that I did not for one second intend disrespect toward that girl. Quite the contrary. I was very moved by her suffering and plight and that's why I was moved to make this post.

    My point is that the feelings she expresses are perfectly legitimate and deserve a wider hearing than they get in the mainstream. By expressing my agreement with her, I'm offering my support. She herself states that no one she's approached does this: they all just tell her to buck up and get on with it and stop being such a misery guts. I'm saying that not only has she the right to her feelings, (as we all do to whatever feelings we may happen to have), but that I think her feelings happen to have an objective correlative in reality.

    Anonymous says:

    "Right response(s)": I know, it's a hard truth to deal with and I'm sorry that you have to do so/everyone has to do so. You should try coping this way or that way/there's no way to cope, and I wish I could say something to make you feel better but I can't. I suppose this just illustrates the awful conclusions I've come to about life."

    I couldn't agree more. The point is that there's more or less zero chance that anyone she consults is going to tell her that. The odds are (as she states herself) that they're going to prescibe meds/ tell her she's wrong/ tell her "it's a phase" etc.

    I would hope that the fact that her feelings about life are shared by plenty of others out there might help make her feel better. There's very few things worse than thinking you're the only one in the world who happens to feel a certain way and that maybe you're just "fucked up" as a result. Well, you're not and she certainly isn't, and I truly hope she's found a way to cope.

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  9. hey! where is my post?? I put one yesterday!

    anyways! great finding karl! =) And also great analysis.

    To the haters, we wish her the best, but to not learn with life is the greatest waste of all! learn through her words, her pain!


    Cheers

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  10. I believe this anonymous is crazy.

    Karl is welcoming truth. We have to learn to embrace life´s horribleness, not shun it.

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  11. Okay, see, I'd have liked to have seen more of the that kind of thing in the blog post. It's all about compassion. It's a wonderful thing to know that you're not alone.

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  12. Let's take off our cranky pants
    And put on our happy pants!

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  13. Another positive effect of posting this girl's message for a wider audience may be to give potential future breeders pause to contemplate the possibility that their offspring may end up feeling like her. And what parent would want that? I don't think enough ppl think about that possibility. It's forefront in our own minds as ANs, but the general public doesn't appear to give it much thought. Maybe this will have prevented a few births down the line, and that would be most lovely.

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  14. Every day I am frustrated from my full time job. I have no hope or probable way of quitting this rat race, working forever and resting in order to regenerate for... work. How to cope with this vision for next 30-40 years? I don't want to spend my life at work. Count with me day: 8 hours work 1-2 hours travelling to work 8 hours sleep 6 hours of general tiredness from exhausting job -no will, power and energy to do anything that would resemble a hobby or a satisfying activity. week 5 days work 2 days rest where the saturdays aren't spent meaningfully, I just recover from the 5 day load. year 4 weeks holiday 48 weeks work is this a joke? I am working for six years after the graduation and I already feel that I can't go on anymore. I just want to slash this corporate office to pieces. I don't want to work. How to quit this? It is very naive and perhaps childish, but it really bothers me 99% of all time. I would like to know how others deal with this sad reality. Thanks

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  15. Thanks, Jim. I'm going to make a post about this, as the same issue has been on my mind recently (to put it mildly). Stay tuned.

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  16. Jim-
    You are SO not alone on this one.

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  17. Anonymous,

    It is said that when a woman goes to her husband, and tells about how her office sucks, he would say, "Why don't you take a day or two off?" But if she tells that to another woman, the latter will say, "Yes, for me too!" and then complain about her own horrible days at office. It seems that women actually find the second kind of response more comforting.

    It also logically makes no less sense, if their financial conditions don't allow the woman to just resign her job once for all.

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  18. Good point Srikant. I personally don't find the "take a day or two off" response very satisfying. I'll still have to go back to the hellish office by day 3, so what have I really gained? Sometimes people want their misery validated, whether that helps in any material way or not. It's a bit of a comfort in some pathetic way.

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