My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

May 15

Backup razor

Category: Life

“You know, the day I did it, I took two razorblades to the bathtub. You know why? Because I knew that once I started to bleed, I’d get weak. And I didn’t wanna drop one blade and leave myself half done. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine hating your life so much that you’d wanna bring a backup razor?” – Stay

Yes, I can imagine it. I do imagine it. Suicide isn’t necessarily a wish to die, sometimes it’s a desperate way to end terrible anguish. The idea of nothingness seems better than a waking nightmare. It’s hard carrying loss, regret, pain, there comes a point when anything that could lift that weight feels like a good idea.

I suppose I have a really odd perspective on suicide, it’s something I can think about, and can never do. I can totally feel that moment of wanting it, knowing I would do it, and then have the sorrow subside. I can feel it over and over, to no end. I get to think about sharp blades splitting my wrists wide open, the way warm blood would run down my arms, but they’re just thoughts. I get genuine desire without the possibility of action. Vivid material for writing after a passing feeling. It’s sadly beautiful, in a fucked up sort of way. I often worry that I could end up a broken mess, but I’m not there yet. Close, but not quite.

When I was in the hospital for depression, I was in a tiny, electronically locked room. White walls, big shatter-proof windows on either side of the door, a security camera quietly staring down at me. I imagine some nurse saw me singing along with Elliott Smith, or Aimee Mann, posting live updates on Twitter and my blog. The team of doctors came in to ask me some questions, to guage my level of crazy. They asked, “have you ever asked anyone to kill you?” I said, “no, of course not.” I would never ask that of someone, that’s just insane. Suicide, to me, is a very personal choice. It’s a controlled end, your idea. If someone else cut my wrists, it would be terrifying, because at some point it could stop being my choice. What if I changed my mind at the last second? I think the appeal of suicide is the control. Death is scary when it happens to you, when it’s completely out of your hands. Whenever something accidentally goes wrong with my vent, I don’t think to myself, “awesome, I might get to die.” I never want to die by some mechanical malfunction, a hose falling off my vent. If I’m ever really sick in the hospital, I want every measure taken. I’ll fight all the way down. 

I’ve learned that while I have it in me to kill myself, the circumstances will never come about for me to do so, and I don’t want to go any other way. The idea of endless loneliness, constant sadness, is getting to be quite frightening, however.


10 Comments so far

  1. anonymous May 15th, 2009 6:20 am

    i fight against the temptation to kill myself, and so hope that random happenstance will take the decision from me. i have the control you don’t, and the responsibility, and i don’t want it.

  2. Jeff Bonner May 15th, 2009 9:06 am

    Mike, I can appreciate the suicidal ideations. Trust. I think everyone entertains them at a point in their lives, just some of us more frequently than others. 🙂

    But know this: You are not alone. You have so many people who care about your health, your mental wellness… and it may be presumptuous, but I consider myself your friend. If I lived in the Tampa area, I would visit you regularly. You’re one of the most thoughtful, introspective, creative people I’ve ever known (and that’s a lot over 41 years).

    I would be curious to know what kind of chemical enhancements you’re receiving to cope with these problems, but that wouldn’t be any of my business.

  3. Alan Ranta May 15th, 2009 1:09 pm

    I tried killing myself with sleeping pills and a two litre of Strongbow once. The line “all your perfect drugs and super heroes wouldn’t be enough to bring me up to zero” certainly held weight in my mind at the time. Yet, it remains one of the dumbest and most selfish things I ever did, and I regret it to this day.

    But it happened, and perhaps I wouldn’t be who and where I am today if things didn’t happen exactly as they did. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but like you said, it’s about control. Sometimes, it seems like the only thing we have control over. That’s got to be an even more depressing thought for you.

    All I can say is, try to not cave in to the downward spiral. You have a great brain, better than most. It would be a fantastic shame to waste it. Aimee Mann is still alive and touring, and she made an Xmas album a couple years ago. Use her music to get you through these times, not give you license to dwell like I did.

    Take all of that how you will. I won’t presume to know exactly what you’re going through. I just hate seeing you unhappy.

  4. Chelsea May 15th, 2009 1:53 pm

    You’re one of the strongest people I know and I don’t even know you. You’ll be ok (I’m sure you know that, though). And you’ll do great things while you’re at it.

  5. Jeff P. May 15th, 2009 3:25 pm

    I hope you never get the opportunity to kill yourself. It would really suck for the people who care about you.

  6. Eileen May 15th, 2009 8:32 pm

    please know we would miss you…as lonely as you are there are a lot of us out here who care about you.

  7. Rachel May 16th, 2009 12:19 am

    Your latest post made me think of a movie I saw called “Mar adentro” (The Sea Inside) starring Javier Bardem. It is the true story of Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die. (paralyzed in a swimming accident from the neck down as a young man)

    The thing about the movie, and reading your blogs is the unique perspective you allow us inside of your head. People think things all of the time that if spoken aloud, would horrify even those who know us best. But you do it anyway-and I really admire that about you. You show us the dark places and don’t pretend everything is ok when it’s not.

    You and your trache are a breath of fresh air. And the world would be less if you weren’t in it. You are not yet the man you are meant to be. So stay put-and figure out who that man is Michael. (one of my favorite names)


  8. Kitty May 16th, 2009 2:28 am

    What Rachel said, ditto. 🙂

    Just watched “Elegy” and Dennis Hopper tells Ben Kingley that beautiful women are invisible, that you can never see inside them (woah, the Sea Inside, I just got that).

    It got me thinking of all the people who DO let me see inside them, and what a beautifulness there is to see, there.

    I love reading what you write every day. You make a difference. You have meaning.

  9. Steph May 16th, 2009 5:06 pm

    Please remember how much light you bring.

    You have changed people, opened them up, made them think. And that ain’t easy.

    Your intelligence, your humour, your perspective, that’s something that I cherish.

    You are a shiny star.

  10. michael May 23rd, 2009 12:45 am

    anonymous, Alan: Thanks for your openness.

    Jeff Bonner: I don’t take meds, as I don’t have any chemical problems. Meds aren’t the fix for me.

    Everyone: I’m really just a nobody.