Thursday, 3 February 2011

30 Day challenge: Day 5

Day 5: A time you thought about ending your life

I don't think I ever have seriously thought about ending my life. I've been depressed, but never suicidal. Well, I guess that's not *entirely* true.

Before I did my nursing training, I had a crappy job that paid enough to fund my boozing and smoking and food, but not much more. It had no future and gave me no satisfaction from a day's labour. During the time I worked there, I think I became clinically depressed. I don't know for sure as I never went to see a doctor - I didn't like the idea of a mental health problem on my permanent record. I would miss days of work because I just didn't feel like getting out of bed. I would sit, in the dark, and think about how pointless my life was. Nothing gave me any genuine pleasure. My mother said she could hear it in my voice.

There were times when I would stand at the bus stop waiting to go to my shitty job and wonder "if I just step out in front of this bus, would it be any worse?"

The answer, of course, was yes. And I knew that. I think it was more self-indulgent emo-kid behaviour than genuine suicidal ideation, to be honest. And all the bad thoughts dissipated when I left where I was living and started nursing. In retrospect, I could make a compelling case for what I experienced being that kind of whiny misery that you have to white, middle-class and male to really *own*.

So maybe it wasn't depression at all. Maybe I was just being a self-indulgent asshole. That sounds plausible, though maybe a bit more pedestrian. Recall bias and not having had an objective assessment at the time makes it hard to tell, but I guess it was an experience from which I am still learning.


  1. I felt much the same way before I quit my job and officially started nursing school. In fact, you did a pretty good job of describing how I felt about a year ago.

    Maybe you don't have to be "male" to own it at all. :p

  2. Haha, that warms my heart to know this is a familiar path ;)

  3. Yep, I felt that way for about 3-4 years in between college and when I decided to do this med school thing with my life. That was a dark time.

    I don't know if I would describe it as "self indulgent" really. People would tell me, "Having a job you hate is what being a grown-up is," and, "You need to grow up," which just made me feel worse. I don't think either of those things are true. It's natural (and probably productive) to feel shitty when you're a shitty place in life.

  4. This white middle class self indulgent Asshole owns it too...