I’m killing myself.
I know this. Slowly but deliberately killing myself.
I recently turned 56 and for the first time in my life I feel truly old.
And I talked to my shrink and told her that it took 40 years to figure out what the hell was wrong with me and why and how it happened but that my life was pretty much over so what was the point?
She suggested I continue to hold on to the vibrating hand cones (EMDR) and, well, just do it. She makes money that way.
No one gives a fuck about people my age or older in the US. Unless they’re rich or famous and I am not.
I used to be a journalist and in radio. When use the bathroom in my basement bar I see a front-page article I did on the Illinois State University marching band being invited to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I wrote the article and took the photo (back in the film day) for the Peoria Journal-Star.
Two weeks ago, I noticed the date on the newspaper was exactly 20 years ago that day. I looked at the writing and didn’t recognize it. I used to be that good? Really?
I’m surrounded by these memories of what I did and who I used to be. I should be proud of them but now it just seems like a room full of epitaphs and eulogies. A world lost.
It’s all over.
And no matter what I do, what I eat, what pills I take, how much I exercise, I am so. Damn. Tired. All. The. Time.
I have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Almost every night and weekends, I’m drinking, which I suppose is trying to turn my condition into alcoholic liver disease. And smoking cigars too – one a day on average.
I tell my doctors none of this. I don’t need the lectures.
I know exactly what I am doing.
One day I’ll be told I need a liver transplant.
But I am not going to get a liver transplant. Even if they didn’t figure out it was from the drinking, I wouldn’t want one anyway. Too much pain, too much money, no ROI.
What would be the point when life if pointless?
I’ve lost the ability to do much. I can’t do the work I want, I can’t find any energy and the inability to feel both mental and physical pleasure makes the rest of life seem vanilla at best.
I try to put up a good front to people but inside I think I’m already dead. Because hope died. Without hope there is nothing. And trying to replace those feelings I used to love with toys really doesn’t work.
And all the pills and therapy are not going to change that.
(OK, now It’s really going to turn dark and bitter)
They say that one of the reasons for the increased suicide rate for middle aged men is that men don’t seek help. That’s bullshit. Even if they did seek help, they find themselves sitting across from a usually much younger, more often than not, female therapist who can’t relate to them in any way. It just doesn’t matter.
I hate Donald Trump, Fox News and the GOP. I voted for Hillary. I think the mens’ rights movement is nuts. I hate Illinois Nazis – always have. I’ve been reliably pro-choice even though it meant a serious breach with my mother who was convinced I would go to Hell unless I changed my mind. It’s another reason I can never go back to Catholicism. I’ve bent over backwards to look, listen and learn.
I went to a tolerant liberal church where I was accused of spouting white privilege by some snot-nosed punk. To this day I don’t know how.
I worked for a local mental health advocacy group where I was accused of committing a microaggression in telling the story about the SWAT raid on my house because of my illness. Frank Sinatra could do it ‘his way’ I guess I can’t.
So I am done begging to be relevant in progressive causes. It doesn’t mean shit because. . . we’re old white men. We’re not hot, we’re not hip, we’re not intersectional, we’re not relevant and we’ve done far more harm than good, society says. We’re the bad guys. We’re supposed to disappear — do everyone a favor and die. So we will and do.
Especially those of us who have mental illness and can’t let shit roll off our backs.
So please stop with the concern-trolling articles and the statistics and the pretend caring about suicide. We’re dying for reasons no one really cares about. We’re outdated machinery, unneeded, vanguard of the Patriarchy, incredibly lonely, and even us progressive guys are shunned because: ewww — old guys!
I won’t really be missed and I no longer care.
If you need me for anything, I’ll be in my ‘man cave’ next to the no longer used podcasting mics and mixers and video production equipment; pickling my liver with Scotch, my lungs with cigars and watching You Tube videos of a world I used to know when I was much younger – one I recognize.
Say a prayer for the Pretender.
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender.