There are certain things that have happened to me or that I have done that I have never particularly dealt with, at least, in any kind of non-therapuetic, unassisted, completely-coming-from-myself kind of way. I think it’s that I feel embarassed. I have been told, almost trained in fact, to not feel as if there is any stigma or negative judgement associated with what we uniform- and reductively refer to nowadays as “mental health”, and I can appreciate that, in a general social good kind of way. But personally, though I don’t think I have much confidence or self-esteem, and definitely, I would hope not anyway, any kind of vanity, I still somehow — paradoxically — have pride. It’s not so much that I have a sense of a person that I want to be — I think that changes every day. But I have a pretty firm sense of the person I don’t want to be. It’s important to me that I try, that I try to live and accomplish the kinds of things that living entails, and I feel like talking or writing about for example what it felt like to try and kill myself and how I have felt, or rather not felt, ever since, then I am doing something that the person that I don’t want to be would do. I have crossed the threshold lately, I think, from struggling to write a novel to actively failing to write a novel. The whole thing, the book, has stopped being important to me — writing isn’t a part of my day any more and I don’t feel especially affected by not doing anything. But I haven’t been able to sleep lately, or if I have it’s not been until like 4 or 5AM, and then all the way through to midday, by which point it’s as if I have, through what initially seemed like a painful and indeliberate insomnia, deliberately manufactured for myself a perfect excuse not to write, or do anything at all — I’m just too tired and fucked-up feeling. So maybe it is getting to me, the novel, the not being able to care about the novel, and that seems like a good reason, a vector even, to talk and write about the kinds of things that normally I would worry make me sound like the kind of person I don’t want to be. This is just an exercise, a short-distance sprint that makes me feel sick and throw up afterwards, but which then allows me to actually write and work and carry on trying to live. I feel like I am contradicting my sense of what and who I want to be, by writing for public consumption this kind of stuff, but I tell myself that I am doing it in order to enable myself to write and work on the kind of stuff that instantiates and affirms my sense of who I want to be, which makes it more justifiable and bearable to me.
The thing about trying to kill myself is that it has taken 8 years and counting so far for me to recover, because I didn’t think, you see, when I tried it about its implications. I didn’t think what it would mean to me or to anyone else who knew me that I died because the pain I was in was so great that I didn’t care. If it made my mother or friends or girlfriend at the time so sad and guilty that they themselves wanted to kill themselves as well, it didn’t matter to me — I thought about that possibility, but I didn’t care, because what was happening to me and how I was feeling simply could not go on, simply had to stop, and that was all. I also didn’t think, though, and this is the real fucker of it all, I didn’t think what it would mean if I didn’t die, if I failed to kill myself or pussied out (which I did) and how that would all feel afterwards, once I had to come to terms with life again and what I’d actually do now. The problem for me is that — even though this process didn’t occur consciously; I didn’t think about it, which actually, if I had, I probably wouldn’t have started to try and hang myself — the problem is that when I tried to kill myself I effectively decided and like announced to myself that I, as a person, as a life, didn’t matter to myself any more, and neither did anyone else or anything else in life whatsoever, tangible or intangible, attainable or good or bad or happy or otherwise. In the act of trying to kill myself I essentially opted out from everything. I chose that nothing that could ever happen to me in the future was worth it or valuable or interesting or fulfilling enough for me to want it any more, and I think in doing that I completely ruined life for myself in the event that I survived, which I did. Like leaving a nightclub all pissed off and rubbing the stamp off your hand in like defiance and then deciding you want to go back in. I chose to leave life and now it feels like well that’s it, I can’t get back in even if I want to, which I also don’t, but at the same time hate the fact and am plagued by it that I don’t. I think as soon as I decided I didn’t care about being alive any more, in fact, cared very much about being dead, by extension — by proximity and some sort of spiritual contagion — I decided I didn’t care about anything in life any more, and a lot of days, 8 years later, that is still how I feel, a feeling then compounded by the fact that I can see all this now and I wish it had never happened but I can’t take it back but I can’t get over it either, which exquisite, ironic, self-inflicted and inescapable kind of trap actually makes me feel like well maybe trying again to kill myself could be the answer. But I won’t. But I don’t know why I won’t. And I should know, because my life now is by all measurable critera full and rich, but I decided none of life’s full or richness meant enough to me to live and so it all seems to mean nothing. But I hate that it all means nothing. I hate myself for being someone to whom it all means nothing. Which makes me want to kill myself. And so on. But I do feel now at least sufficiently like limbered up to try and work on something, the book, having written all of this, and I’ve got my coffee and my cigarettes and some good music on, and I suppose if I can get something from the small pleasures like those, which I can, then it’s a start and there might be a way back, and after all I don’t feel like this every single day which is different to how it was 8 years ago, which has got to be something.