Did you know they came up with a standardized suicide hotline for the USA and Canada?  I don’t know about other countries, but here and across the moosey border you can dial 988 to reach somebody to talk to when you feel like giving up on life, somebody whose job is to help you not do that.  This is pretty new, think it just rolled out last year.

It’s tough that some feelings need to find verbal expression -like, you need to be able to say what you’re feeling to somebody- but that the expression of those feelings in mixed company can do harm to others by reinforcing their own bad feelings.  You often see “group therapy” spaces on the internet turn into death spirals of ruin and misery, rivaling the pro-ana blogs of tumblr and incel chatrooms.

If your thoughts are frequently catastrophic or apocalyptic, that’s understandable of course, but it’s better not to turn all your online conversations into that.  Get more hobbies, get mental help if you can, and if you’re earnestly thinking about suicide, call 988.  I’m sure there are a lot of barriers, a lot of unideal circumstances for getting help when you need it, but something can be better than nothing.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m the last person you wanna talk to when you feel suicidal.  I have a dark perspective and a pathological aversion to gentle untruths.  I think the world is in bad shape and can get worse (although we can live through it – we really can), and I also think death is perfect relief from all of what ails one in life – you will not exist to feel bad because there’s no afterlife.  However I kinda fucken hate that about myself, especially lately.

At the end of the day I hate death and love life, and I think that often the people who want to live the least are the people who deserve to live the most.  I just don’t think I can really get that across.  It never comes out of my mouth right.  Be alive, people.  That is all, because anything more elaborate I try to say about it is always undercut by asides and caveats and philosophical horseshit.

Good luck out there.


  1. John Morales says

    There’s always philosophy.

    “Death is nothing to us. When we exist, death is not; and when death exists, we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the belief that in death, there is awareness.”
    ― Epicurus

  2. John Morales says

    Obs, that means that whatever pleasure you have, you have in life. There is none in death.

    [Just to be clear]

  3. says

    i’ve never heard an epicurus quote i didn’t love, but he would suck balls as a 988* operator.

    …yeah boyee the divinyls, i’m down with that.

    *13 11 14 in Oz

  4. John Morales says

    he would suck balls as a 988* operator

    Oh, yeah. I got caught out; for me, its inspiring, but then I read what I posted, and so posted #3 to try to fix things.

    Just to be clear.

  5. Allison says

    One concern I’ve heard expressed about 988 — and most suicide hotlines — is that they are willing to call the police on you even if you don’t agree. Which can turn into a real mess if you’re really just depressed and expressing it in suicidal terms.

    Not to mention that most police officers don’t handle mental illness cases very well — there are a number of well-known cases just in my area where the police were called and escalated things and ended up killing the people they were supposedly trying to help. They tend to be well-trained in shooting people, but not trained in how to deescalate tense situations.

    I would never call 988.

  6. says

    While it’s worth pointing out the possibility, it’s also dangerous to overstate the case and cut people off from a possible source of help. Hard to find reliable info on a quick search, but seems like a very low percentage of calls result in police being called.

    But if you know of contact numbers for useful alternatives, post it up.

  7. Dennis K says

    That Epicurus quote is a thing of beauty.

    Obs, that means that whatever pleasure you have, you have in life. There is none in death.

    Nor is there regret in death.

    I had a great therapist years ago, who, after a rather rough point in my life, warned me she was legally bound to report any talk of suicide to the police. Of course it changed the whole dynamic between us until I realized I’d had enough self-censoring our sessions.

  8. John Morales says

    Dennis K, yeah, that’s why I hastened to spray the silver lining.


    Life is not so long, end will come soon enough. Why hasten things?

  9. says

    this is why i said read for comprehension. if anyone wants to hash out their suicidal feelings in here, absolutely don’t. we’re a bunch of epicuruses and that’s not who you need to be talking to. anything more specific than the dennis k comment there i will be deleting, for your good and that of others.

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