Reddit is usually a place for news, views, updates and little sardonic (or sometimes plain silly) humor on the side that will, at its best, make you think for a few minutes and then go on with what you were doing. But every now and then, in the heap of obscure cultural references and inside jokes, you find a gem that truly stands out.
I present to you today, dear reader, one such gem. A Reddit user suffering from depression declared on Reddit (because that’s what you do on Reddit when you’re suffering from depression, you discuss it with fellow Redditors!) that he wished he had a terminal disease so he could die a slow and peaceful death. Little did he know that he would catch the attention of a man who actually happens to be suffering from such a disease and is willing to share his perspective on it. The comment is incredibly honest, hard hitting and perhaps macabre, but it has a lot of wisdom in it; and just like millions of catchy titles on UpWorthy seem to claim, it will change the way you think.
It happens that I do have terminal cancer. And I don’t honestly blame you for your feelings on the matter. There is a quality to knowing that you’re going to die and that there’s nothing you can do about it which is in a way liberating. But, the thing is, if you’ve ever sat at someone’s bedside and watched as that evil fucking weed took everything from them and left nothing behind but the sort of agony that no drug can drown out, you would not think it an easy death.
Please don’t think I’m trying to belittle you or invalidate your thoughts. It’s just that there’s a growing movement among the terminally ill (though it can only grow so large before shrinking again due to factors which should be obvious) that waiting for the cancer to take its toll might not be the best idea. And while some of the more civilized folks may be lobbying to legalize assisted suicide, this crazy old redneck is gonna use a 3 inch magnum double-ought buckshot shell and his 12-gauge to leave this world with his boots on once he’s no longer able to live his life in the manner to which he’s become accustomed. I’m thinking somewhere agrarian with a nice view after a good meal and a better glass of bourbon. Hopefully I’ll make it to Spring so the flowers will be in bloom.
And on that day, there will be no one left behind to update this account or browse the front page, read the comment section of really interesting articles, and decide it’s best not to piss into the wind by presenting his genuine opinion. On that day, you’ll still be alive hopefully. And six billion other people on the planet will go about their business as if I had never existed and my death meant nothing at all to them. Because it doesn’t. My life and my death are valuable to me and possibly to a few annoying relatives I really wish I didn’t have. Maybe a few friends will remember my name. That would be nice. But that’s it. No more mornings and a Monster energy drink for a kick in the ass. No more evenings with a decaf and a percocet to help deal with life’s aches and pains.
And that’s the crux of it, I think. Life is supposed to hurt. Because when the pain is gone, you’re dead, and the one person to whom your life and death was most valuable is now gone.
I hope you can find the strength to fight the current that wants to drag you under and pull you to an ignominious fate. Depression, as I’ve found, is just like trying to wade up river. Each step takes all the energy you can muster, bringing about with it a new sense of despair with such little achievement for so strenuous an effort. And every bone in your body is begging you to just give in to the pull of the waters around you.
You could become the sort of masochist who enjoys the suffering. I’ve met a few like that, and probably had my own episodes if I’m honest. Or you could find your way to shore. Good luck.