I want to tell you a secret. It’s something I’ve never told anyone before and something I hope never to tell anyone again.
When I’m having a hard day, or thought of something I don’t like about myself, or remembered something embarrassing I did, or looked in the mirror, I say to myself: I want to die, I want to be dead, I want to burn, or some similar sentence, and I repeat it over and over.
I don’t mean it, it’s not suicidal ideation or a threat or a plan. It just feels comforting.
When they installed mirrors in the private bathrooms at work I started to do it there and then started to add “Not at work, Kay, not at work. Don’t do this at work.” to the end of it.
I’ve mostly stopped.
Globally, violence resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.28 million people in 2013 up from 1.13 million in 1990. Of the deaths in 2013, roughly 842,000 were attributed to self-harm (suicide), 405,000 to interpersonal violence, and 31,000 to collective violence (war) and legal intervention.
When I first read that I was really astounded. I still am. Suicide accounts for over half of all deaths from violence. Statistically, the person you most need to worry about killing you is yourself.
Are any other animals like this? Sometimes I imagine being in a cage with a lion but the lion is me and the cage is me and I’m also me and I have to keep fighting myself off with that stool that’s me and the crack of the whip that is also me.
When I was 13-14 I happened across the online diary of a young man who had died by suicide. His name was Brian. I had figured out how to hack into these online diaries a few months earlier, so I did and I read all the private entries. This was back in the days when accounts would expire through inactivity, and someone who knew him had commented to say they were sad it was going to expire. So I signed in once every six months or so to keep it from getting deleted.
I’m ashamed of it. The website is gone now.
Deaths of notable lion tamers:
1. George Wombell (1777–1850): Unknown, presumed natural causes
2. Isaac A. Van Amburgh (1811–1865): Heart attack
3. Martini Maccomo (c.1839-1871): Rheumatic fever
4. Carl Hagenbeck (1844–1913): Snake bite
5. Suresh Biswas (1861-1905): Unknown
6. Rose Flanders Bascom (1880-1915): Infection due to being clawed by a lion
7. Mabel Stark (1889–1968): Unknown, presumed natural causes
8. Clyde Beatty (1903–1965): Cancer
9. Gunther Gebel-Williams (1934–2001): Brain tumour
10. Ángel Cristo (1943-2010): Heart attack