Keeping a promise

My issues go way back, same as most people I spose. I’ve seen 6 different shrinks and been on 8 different meds throughout my life so, not really wanting to try those anymore. It’s to the point now where I’m beyond depressed, anxiety and panic stricken, basically a non-functioning mess that smiles when I’m around others. I gotta tell ya, it’s getting harder to hide it. My wife, she gets to see it, lucky her. Promised her I would reach out to someone, and I like the anonymity this board offers so here we go.

I look around and all I see is hypocrisy, hate, the worst in people. Used to try and help, people just get mad at me and deflect. Guess it’s easier than people admitting they might be part of a problem. I’m no innocent myself. I have my bad moments, my own hypocrisies, my own regrets. But the worst of it, the more I lose hope for any kind of progress with people, the more I obsess over the Big Picture. Truth is that it doesn’t matter. No point in arguing it, it does not matter. Unless your face is on currency or in a movie, 100 years from now no one will remember your name, your face, or what you did with your life. All the while people seem content to split themselves into groups, preach hate in the name of tolerance, backstab, starve, and literally kill one another. All feigning innocence and justification. I’ve often assumed that everyone is as miserable as me, only more distracted and less restrained. Call it fear, call it altruism; I’ve never been able to harm someone else. In fact I usually try to protect them at my own expense. I was never protected growing up, so I take it very personally whenever I see someone who needs protecting.

My life is run by fear and only getting worse. Anxiety and OCD are the primary labels. I know that doesn’t sound too bad and I could tell some stories, but I’ll just say that no person should live like this. Imagine being forced to read a book with a gun loaded and pointed at your head. Every so often the gun cocks and you have to start over. Literally the fear, panic, and anxiety of life or death over something as simple flipping a light switch, closing a door, or just being alone in a room. No, I’m not exaggerating. I gave up my Christianity when I realized I’d be this way the rest of my life. I’m agnostic now and have been for about 18 years. Since becoming agnostic, my reasons for turning my back on my faith have only increased. Look at all the pain that is life. Existence is an all or nothing game. Either it’s all here, or it’s all not here; the good and the bad. Stack it all up, and all the good of life can’t begin to outweigh 1% of the bad. If there is an almighty creator, some being responsible for setting the whole thing in motion, then I hold it personally responsible. Not for creating the bad, but for saying there is anything that can justify it.

Speaking of the good. Yes, I’ve had some high moments in my life. Yes, I know my situation is not the most dire that exists. But here’s another kicker of OCD. It’s a lot about control. The compulsions, the things you’re drawn to, what you invest your life in. You think you’re happy. You may collect something, play video games “Yes! I collected All of them! Yes! I maxed out the levels of All my characters!” Wasn’t until much later in life I realized these things weren’t for my happiness. They didn’t make me happy. They were compulsions. I was drawn to them because they were easy and accessible outlets for control since I had had no control over anything else in my life. Kind of a ‘A Beautiful Mind’ moment: “Imagine all the great things and people of your life, not really gone, but worse, were never there to begin with”; but more of a Tom Waits ‘Martha’ moment where it’s revealed he didn’t miss his love, rather he was sad he let fear rob him of the time they did have together. Obscure references aside, you wake up one day to finally see that you’ve wasted your entire life and are surrounded by a mass of coping mechanisms you fooled yourself into thinking was happiness. And what’s worse, once you realize it and try to find a path to actual happiness, you find out you have no idea how to even start looking cause you can’t get past the same old habits.

I first attempted suicide at age 10 if I remember right. Only stopped because I got scared. Ironically fear was also the reason I wanted to do it in the first place. I’ve physically prevented 3 suicides of other people in my life that I know of. I’ve been literally on both sides. The point of this post is NOT to encourage anyone to end their own life, but I’ve thought a lot about it. People call it selfish. Logistically I just don’t get it. No one asks to be born, but it’s considered selfish when they choose a path the rest of us don’t agree with? Realistically, it’s selfish to demand someone needlessly endure suffering just because you have a fear of death and a desire to have them around longer. You’re literally forcing a life onto someone who may be better off without it, what could be more selfish than that? It’s rare when my wife is willing to talk about these things, but even she agreed: when it’s a guarantee that all hope is gone, giving up is the best option. Which she always follows with and lives by the “but there is always hope”. I love that in her, but it’s just not true. Sometimes you know exactly how things are going to go, sometimes there is no hope. She keeps telling me I’m wrong on the big picture, yet not a day goes by she doesn’t wind up telling me “dammit, you were right again” about this or that. Hope: simultaneously man’s greatest strength, and its Achilles heel.

I’ve told her I’m pretty much done. When I was younger, the thought gave me fear. Now it literally is one of the only things that can give me calm. She obviously isn’t a fan so I agreed to try a few more things to see if I can find hope again. Not holding my breath, cause like I keep telling her “the problem isn’t how I feel, it’s that I’m right.”

Sorry for the negative rant / rage dump. Delete if needed.

PS - If I get a response to this, I’ll tell you like I tell my wife: If I disagree with something you say, I’m gonna let you know. Doesn’t mean I’m trying to prove you wrong, only means that I think you may be.


I agree that it is selfish to force someone to endure suffering, but it is also selfish to take your own life and rob those around you of a support system, leaving them to suffer without your guidance, wisdom or presence. Just knowing someone is out there that can help, or is willing to help at the drop of a hat, can be the difference in someone seeking help and taking it all away. But maybe selfish isn’t the right word. Those you leave behind are forced to now live without you, like any other death it can be tragic for close family members and friends. Unlike a natural death, however, committing suicide leaves those friends and family with the thought that maybe you could have been saved. They look back and see all the warning signs, knowing that it’s too late, cursing themselves, “If only we’d have known, we could’ve stopped this”.

But I don’t agree that the bad in the world outweighs all the good together. Sure the bad sucks, but it is so much easier to do bad or let bad happen than to do good. It’s so much easier to get ahead in life by deception and subterfuge, that’s why the good matters. Helping others is much harder and much more taxing, but in the long run, it is beneficial to society as a whole. Taking an example from nature: Vampire bats live in groups with others, and if a night of hunting went poorly for some other bats will ‘share’ so that the group continues to thrive, knowing that if they have a rough night, others will step in and bail them out. Conversely, bats who don’t share are less likely to receive help from others if their hunts are unsuccessful. It is easier and safer for your own survival to be selfish, but in the long run, assisting others is much more rewarding and beneficial.

I am interested to know in what situations there is no hope because all situations I can think of still have a degree of hope. Maybe I’m just being hopeful; just wanting to believe lies in order to stay happy. Or maybe you’re just being negative and cynical, refusing to see hope because it is easier for your brain to process. There are countless stories of cancer survivors and the like, to me, proving that giving up hope is never a valid option. In my opinion, it’s better to try and fail than to just lie down and become a hopeless mess.

I can’t really give any advice on how to find hope again and see the good society and human-kind has to offer, but I am glad that you are at least attempting to find help rather than lie down and give up.

PS - If you respond to me, I’ll tell you straight: If you disagree with me or something I say, I will also let you know. And yes, I will try to prove you wrong, doesn’t mean I dislike you or that I will always be able to. :wink:

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Disclaimer: the purpose of this and any of my other posts is not to encourage anyone to end their own lives or the lives of others.

Thank you for your response. I love your point regarding how bats function. I often think to myself these days that it’s gotten to the point that animals act more humane than humans.

Hope is about goals, whether tangible, intangible , a beginning, or an end. We take a pet to the SPCA to have it put down; I’ve been in the room when the call was made to pull a feeding tube and to not have a breathing tube put in for a relative. We as a society acknowledge and encourage the concept that all things have and should have an end. There are plenty of factors and scenarios where the question is raised whether to end a life: terminal brain cancer, vegetable status, unbearable pain unresponsive to treatment. It strikes me as hypocritical that most people would agree that there are some medical situations which are beyond treatment and release is the most ethical option. While when it comes to mental ones, those same people scoff and say ‘there is always another way’. Why is it so unfathomable that some people just as the brain cancer patient, were made in a way that just doesn’t have a solution. I would argue that living numb via medication or better living through chemistry is right on par with being a vegetable in a hospital bed. You’re still alive, but are you?

Most of us have never had brain cancer, but we take the doctors word for it, and we take the patients word for it. What is the mental block preventing such acceptance for mental conditions? On that same note, it’s even more hypocritical given the current state of society. In an age of forced tolerance and acceptance to the point of people resorting to anger and violence over social issues, why is it that this is the one decision fairly uniformly met with such disdain and demonization? Why is it impossible for anyone to say “I’m gonna miss them, but they did what they felt was best, and I know they tried everything else first.” Or heck, would it be asking too much for the possibility of someone saying “I wish they were still here, but this is what they wanted.” The argument is made daily regarding people in living relationships; that if they don’t love each other for who they truly are, they shouldn’t be together. Likewise, if someone only loves me for living a life I don’t want or agree with, they don’t really love me do they?
Hope is about goals, sometimes meaning an end to suffering. To make a very long story as short as possible, I had a friend: wife cheated a bunch of times, stole, gave him an STD, etc. There was a time when he was contemplating divorce and he asked me “when do I call it quits? when? should I wait til she does this when she’s already done that?” He stayed with her, she had a kid from another man, said it was his. They eventually divorced and now he’s on the run for not paying child support for a kid that isn’t his. I would argue that some things should come to an end before they get to a certain point.

His question is a valid one. When is it enough? What would it take for society to say “yup, dude tried everything else, I don’t blame him.” How many times have we heard someone say it about an elderly relative passing “well, it was for the best. Things were beyond rough toward the end.” Regarding a situation of metal suffering that only gets worse: Is not being able to see it physically enough reason to ignore the possibility?

It IS hypocritical. But people can more easy empathise with physical pain, vegetable status and even severe memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease (one of my fears). Most of the general public either ignores or doesn’t see mental health issues in their daily life. And even more of them don’t fully understand the illness and the issues related to living with it day-in-day-out. I don’t think I’d be entirely wrong if I said, most people believe there is a magic pill that cures depression.

The examples you give are related in a way but also completely different. For the example for euthanasia; the main candidates for euthanasia are the elderly or terminally ill. In the case of the terminally ill, we know the outcome they will die and suffer through most of their final days, why not expedite the process? But for mental illness, there is nothing that is going to kill them before their time. Sure they suffer, but it is harder to see, easier to hide (in most cases) and (I want to be careful saying this) it’s not inherently life-threatening.
In the case of relationships: you can go out a find another one and fix all the mistakes that were made but, you don’t get another shot at life.
Suicide is a permanent decision, you can’t take it back. Hell, you can’t even think about taking it back once it’s done. And situations change; this week may leave you feeling like shit, but next week will be different. For better or worse.

But I think the main reason suicide is seen with disgust and disdain is that it is completely against the self-preservation present in all of us. The fear you felt that stopped you at 10, was your self-preservation instinct; every cell in your body collectively telling you that ending all biological processes was a mistake. And others feel this way when hearing about a suicide.

You said before no-one asks to be born, and while true, life is still a precious thing. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a gift, but, every individual has the capacity for change and good. Look at this forum; just a bunch of people with no professional experience (I assume), devoting time to random strangers on the internet, giving advice or just lending an ear, to help them deal with the issues in their life.

It seems that you’re just apathetic with life. I, of course, don’t know your personal situation and there may be another reason you’re feeling this way, but you can and will find ways to reignite your passion for life; if you are just feeling apathetic.

I sincerely hope you didn’t come here looking for a reason to live. If that’s what you need, please try to find another therapist. I know you’ve been to 6 already, but sometimes finding the right therapist for you takes time.