The project begins!


Thank you everyone for your support early on. I began this blog for many reasons, not the least of which is to get my head right for the project I am about to start. Essentially, I want to write a story (we shall see whether it is a short story or novel) dealing with one of my favorite topics: isolation. You see, to me, and I’m sure to many others, isolation is one of the scariest experiences a human can have. There are several types of isolation, including physical, emotional,spiritual and social. Others types likely exist, but these seem to be the most salient, or at least the ones that spring to mind😄. 

The series of posts to follow will include updates and summaries from my research, as well as reactions and thoughts surrounding the project. I welcome and encourage feedback on any of the posts on my site, and I will do my best to respond to everyone in a timely manner. If you have questions regarding a certain aspect of isolation, feel free to bring it forward. Your input is invaluable and the central reason for keeping this blog in the first place. In case you aren’t sure if this will be interesting, here is a quickie to whet your appetite!

Autophobia – the fear of being alone; also known as isolophobia or monophobia

Fear of being alone is not uncommon. To a degree, it is evolutionarily advantageous. Consider the following:

You are a member of a hunter-gatherer society. As a gatherer, all your life you made sure to follow one rule: travel with the group. You follow this rule without question, until one day, you find yourself in an unfamiliar part of the woods. You have two options. Option 1 would see you turn around and go back to the group. Option 2 sees you on your way as you explore the new area, potentially discovering a treasure trove of nuts and berries. 

You look longingly toward the undiscovered country for a moment, then dutifully trod back to the pack. Why did this happen? Maybe it was because the group leaders had done such a good job of instilling the rule of survival. Or maybe, it was because of the reason the rule existed in the first place. All the lone adventurers were eaten, there lone adventurer personality was never propagated to future generations, and the survivors thought, “Maybe it’s best to play it safe from here on out.”

Some may think, “The tribesmen were cowards. How can they advance if they never take risk?” That’s a valid question, one for which I have a response. They advanced, but they did so SLOWLY, cautiously, and as a group. We have the luxury of thinking that way because when we strike out on our own, say to see what new movie is on, we probably won’t get eaten on the way to the theater. Even so, how often can most people honestly say they do something where they are truly alone? I would venture to say not often, and maybe never for some.

Present idea of isolation.

This just goes to show how powerful our drive to be together with others is. And when you are presented with a situation where that drive cannot be satisfied, fear is never far away.

I eagerly await your feedback. If you liked this post, please like and share it with others!

Why suicide?


If I die, I won’t feel this pain anymore. When my wife asked me why anyone would ever want to kill themselves, this is the answer I gave her. It is hard to understand why someone would want to die, unless you have had such feelings yourself. You know you are being selfish. You know it is wrong and terrible. But you can only live in the moment when you are suicidal. There is no future, and consequences do not matter. All that matters is that you cannot bear another moment of horrible, pointless life on this planet.

 

You know your wife and kids will be devastated and you could never hurt them. But soon, you start rationalizing, convincing yourself they will be okay without you. You’ve been paying on your life insurance policy for years, so they shouldn’t have money problems. More and more, you internalize your life. You stop worrying about what’s out there and focus only on the turmoil inside of you. Work no longer matters. Nothing matters except the ball of sadness and self hatred at your core. Like a black hole, it draws you toward its event horizon, and if you ever cross it…

 

Then, you reach a critical point. You are about to pass the point of no return, and you look outward one more time. The tiny points of light all around you are still visible, and you reach out, knowing it is too far to touch; just one final gesture toward a universe that is light years away. And it reaches back. And it takes your hand. It begins to pull you to it, away from the void waiting just below. Someone heard your final plea for help and cared enough to do something about it. And just like that, you were saved. That is what happens to the lucky ones, like me. Or…

You look out at the fading lights, and you reach out; but the lights don’t notice. Or maybe they just don’t know how to get to you. You decide it doesn’t matter as you fall past the point of no return. Here, there is only darkness. No light can reach you now. You secretly wanted this, and you hate yourself more for that. Finally, you give up, curl into a ball, and sink into oblivion. The rest is just a matter of imagination.

 

Analogy only gets you so far. Until you have felt the pull of gravity from that black hole, suicide is pretty much inconceivable. Like my wife says, “I just don’t get it. How could anyone be that selfish?” Is it selfish to put a wounded dog out of its misery? If you were in a situation where you were mortally wounded with no hope for rescue, would you not wish for the same? No, I don’t believe it is truly selfish, at least not as far as intention is concerned. It is simply misguided, because there is always hope for rescue.

 

If you ever feel like you are starting to near the event horizon, or someone you care for is, it helps to know where to reach. I couldn’t talk to my family about it, so I called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. For me, it was easier to talk to a caring stranger, and the woman I talked to that night may have saved my life. Keep in mind that “God has a plan” is not terribly helpful to many people, but showing love and compassion definitely is. Know the signs, and be willing to reach back if the time comes.

 

Werdsmith – day 1


Started writing again today. I began at the beginning. For real. Here’s a link to my first werdsmith post.

http://werdsmith.com/p/wCtVcVmig

I’m using werdsmith because it will help me get back in the habit of writing…plus, it’s easy. Once I feel a little less rusty, I’m going to start on some more complex projects. I want to write short stories, mainly because they have always felt particularly artistic to me. I need the artistic outlet. I think the first main project I work on will be something scary. Not in a gore and horror way, but in a discomforting, isolated way. We’ll see. I’m going to post something everyday, so this will be an evolution.