“Hoping that he’s bent for more than arguments and failed attempts to fly…”

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I share the following email regarding my book ‘The Holistic Guide to Suicide’ because I believe the message says a handful of things that may prompt other men to give my work a chance they may otherwise forgo offering it.

 

My sincerest thanks to the author for his permission to share it in its entirety.

 

Hi Charles,

I appreciate the care you have shown me in sending me your book. Perhaps it would please you to know that I have already read it one and a half times already. There is a lot of useful wisdom found within, and fresh perspectives worth pondering. I will certainly consider its finer details for the foreseeable future, and continue to use it as a reference for navigating personal troubles.

Seeing as you spent a great deal of effort to write this book, I feel it would be fitting to provide some personal feedback, to let you know how I have interpreted your work and share with you my opinion on it, for what it’s worth. Seeing as it would be my pleasure to do so, I have written a somewhat lengthy response:

It is somewhat interesting that I finally decided to purchase and read your book when I did. After all, I first became aware of it about a year or two ago after discovering your blog, which I visit from time to time when I want to some insight into life that I can’t find elsewhere. I believe the reason I decided to finally get your book, was a matter of necessity and courage. In all honesty, I am not a happy person, and this cloud of depression has left me essentially friendless and in limbo in a world that I find increasingly hard to make sense of. I needed outside help, and judging by the quality of your blog (which is unequaled in insight in my humble opinion) your book looked like a promising information source.

Many points you make in the book about how modern life is a combination of comfort and helplessness strongly resonated with me, and your explanation for personal anxiety on a societal level is spot on, in my opinion. Issues surrounding pride, and viewing suicide as a way to maintain honor in the face of social ostracism, hit far too close to home.

My initial hesitancy to read your book, despite its admittedly alluring title, was out of fear I might learn something about myself that could push me over the edge; a concern that reading yet another manual of platitudes would convince me that there really were no genuine coping strategies for suicidal ideation and feelings of worthlessness, thereby exacerbating them to a terminal degree.

I see now that hesitation was misplaced. I believe your coping strategies are both poignant, and valid. Where you mention that over 80+ countries have no death penalty for any crime, reminds us no matter how large our perceived failings, we do not deserve to die for them. More importantly, if suicide is over a question of honor, who in this broken world deserves to be the judge of our own execution, let alone judge ourselves so harshly?

I am no stranger to suicide. I had a close boyhood friend who committed suicide about ten years ago when I was a college freshman. His case was a feeling of shame, inadequacy and depression caused by incurable childhood diabetes, which had progressively worsened his health. His suicide note mentioned he didn’t want to be a burden any longer. How many people feel this way? I certainly do sometimes, as I do not live up to expectations. But you got me thinking for the first time… where do these expectations come from? I know mine are external to myself, from an overbearing father, or jealousy of successful peers..

I had another friend, whose father killed himself by overdosing on pills. His shame of being divorced, separated from his kids, and appearing as a failure, motivated him to take his own life. Yet if he could see the absence his passing left on his son, and its everlasting effects, would he have still done it? You said that suicide is surrender, because it doesn’t solve any of the problems, it just prevents you from seeing them. I think this understanding creates resolve, and determination to do everything we can to change our situations for the better. I will certainly share this advice.

Lastly, as men, I feel we are told it is basically unacceptable to voice feelings of inadequacy out of fear of social ostracism. Yet when we are truly vulnerable, we need comradeship more than anything. Yet as the years go by, my friends have moved or drifted away without explanation, almost as if I’m living in a Twilight Episode and the script is my life. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, only that I once had lots of friends and was happy, and now I have no one to confide in. I so dearly wish to have brotherhood, but I just can’t figure out how to fit in. I wish I still was close with my childhood friends. Their intentional distancing pains me the most, and I don’t know really pushed who away. I bring this up, because you say we need to acknowledge our desperation, yet I feel if I do so, I will be worse of than before because I’ll be ostracized (at the very least privately) for my weakness. Yet for how many have so felt like I’ve been underwater, desperate for an outlet, just to scream at people and beg for an explanation, anything to rectify the situation.

There is much more I could say and discuss about this book, and I would be glad to do so. I will continue to reread it and let its contents digest in my mind, so to speak. If it was wrong of me to reveal too much about myself, I don’t mean to apologize, as apologizing doesn’t justify bad behavior. But I told you what I did because, even though I don’t know you at all, what you write in your book and on your blog, resonates with me, and if anyone could make good things from what I’ve said, it would be you. Thank you for the book, and for your time. I will continue to eagerly follow your blog and try to figure out this thing we call life.

Sincerely,

Jeremy

 

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2 Responses to ““Hoping that he’s bent for more than arguments and failed attempts to fly…””

  1. A♠,

    The zeitgeist today is one of claustrophobia even if you’re out in the broad daylight. Trapped in your own mind and unable to get out. Don’t just Not Say It … don’t you dare even Think It.

    There was once a general understanding that a Man had needs to be met, and required incentives to participate in Society. You got status for being a good citizen, husband, father and defender of the community.

    The baleful eye of Progressivism has no time for such things; all will be assimilated into an undifferentiated mass that can be poured into any container that progressives see fit.

    ‘Come, let us make bricks’

    Men have no incentive to participate? Aww poor babies, no fun without your patriarchy huh? Just lay down and die then!

    Women just want to marry and have families? Traitors to the cause, drummed out of the Monstrous Regiment of Women. Get to college, get on that Carousel, borrow and spend. Schnell! Links! Rechts!

    It makes me think of those old films of unshaven men running down the ditches, hands in the air, while the SS or NKVD stand above with pistols barking at them.

    Only difference today is, they then hand you the pistol and tell you to finish the job yourself.

    And some do. Some lost and tormented souls … do.

    You’ve woken some up to reality. You’ve told them they’re looking at this all wrong. That they’re not lost, inadequate or failures. That they’ve got a shot at Life. This, my friend, is the good fight.

    JD

    • JD,

      “Come, let us make bricks”

      An apt and chilling quotation.

      “You’ve told them they’re looking at this all wrong. That they’re not lost, inadequate or failures. That they’ve got a shot at Life. This, my friend, is the good fight.”

      Hearing you say that means the world to me.

      With sincerest gratitude,

      A♠

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