But that's the problem; that's the trick your brain pulls. You become so convinced that your problems are going to sound dumb in the grand scheme of things that no one is going care when there are "real" problems to worry about. There are people around the world risking their lives for civil rights, and you can't be bothered to enjoy yours? What the hell's wrong with your entitled ass?
"Someone in Sierra Leone has turbo brain cancer, you big baby."
But if your problems have become serious enough that you're thinking about putting a gun to your head, they are very real. Misery isn't a competition, and if you think otherwise, then that guilt is just going to be one more thing that shouldn't eat at you, but will. So tell a friend, tell a suicide hotline, shout it from the fucking rooftops if you have to. Because if you don't, you're going to wake up one day and realize that whatever was gnawing at you ate your ability to feel happiness, and that it's going to keep eating until all that's left is a hollowed-out carcass.
I get that it's hard. There's the fear that it makes you look weak, there's the fear that no one will care. There's the fear that this will define you, that you'll stop being the funny friend or the friend who's good at fixing cars, and instead forever be the friend who wanted to kill himself, the friend who needs to be spoken of in hushed tones. But fuck, what else do you have to lose? You don't let that time you embarrassed yourself in junior high define you today, so don't let whatever you're going through now define a needlessly short life.
If you're currently embarrassing yourself in junior high, trust me, you'll get over it eventually.
Ideally, this would be the part where I tell you that my life is perfect now. But it's not, and it never will be, because that's not how this works. I still get bouts of depression and dread, I still get anxious about stuff that's out of my control, people still find me so sexually intimidating that they have trouble speaking to me. But recently I've also seen some of favorite bands put on fantastic shows, I flew across the continent to watch a friend get married, I've spent time talking about stupid Harry Potter fan theories, I told stories I wanted to tell. I'm glad I stuck around, and I'm glad there's more to come.
So I can't promise you that everything will work out. And a million years from now, no one will know or care what you did. But you're here now, goddammit. And I want you to stay here, to tell your friend a dumb joke, to make something you can be proud of while you still can. Because if we don't have each other, if we don't have you, then we don't have anything.
Click here for a suicide hotline and other resources. Mark is on Twitter and has a book.
For more check out 5 Disturbing Things I Learned Working At A Suicide Hotline and Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves.
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