One really hot day in the summer of 1988, my stepfather of eleven years bought a hosepipe and gassed himself to death in his car. When we found out, I misheard his mode of death, thought he'd doused himself.
So that whole hot, terrible day ... I pictured his flesh burning. Later that night when I was finally told the truth around how he killed himself, I was visibly relieved. YAY! HE WASN'T BURNT ALIVE!
Suicide tears a hole in a family that can never be fully repaired. In those days, there was no therapy or family counselling. It just got swept under the big, dysfunctional family rug. We dealt with it by not dealing with it.
Today is Australia's second annual RUOK Day. The motto is, "A conversation can change a life." It encourages people to support each other through life's ups and downs, by simply asking somebody if they are ok.
I keep seeing people being cynical about it, but it's the truth. A conversation really CAN save a life.
You know what else can save a life? Being absurd. Wearing the world as a loose garment. Life is too important to be taken seriously .... it's going to be over one day.
A few months back, I wrote a post that I never published called, "The Secret Answer."
Here is its essence:
I saw my brother last week. I never know how much time will pass before I see him again. When it came time to leave I followed him outside, hugged him, and didn't want to let go. My mind raced with inspirational shit to tell him. How do you give the world to somebody, hand it all on a platter with a nice bow, fix everything? You can't.
I cut all of my advice, my teachings, my truth ... into a few sentences for him.
Like, EXTREME ADVICE.
"You can do any goddamn thing you want, in this world. It's all the unseen things that drag us down. Live your life with an open heart ... tell your brain to shut up. Your brain is not your friend. Pretend for a second that you don't know everything ... and listen to things you can't see. The answer to everything in this life is Spirit. Give more attention to your Spirit - it's the secret answer that not many people know.
It makes heroin addicts not use heroin anymore. It gives suicidal people other options. The depressed among us ... something to hope for. It's all in your Spirit, man. I swear to God. It's hard - it's why a lot of people don't do it. But fuck me, it's worth it."
He smiled, hugged his earnest sister, and walked off.
I threatened all of my Angels. "You better bloody well look after him."
They will. They owe me.
So. I hope you are ok. You, the person who needs to be asked the most. I'm not ok either, so we can be not ok together. I wish I could hold a NOT OK Event. But nobody would come, we're all too fucked up.
Here's a few things in my near future that could possibly help you:
1) Chocolate and a Modern Family marathon.
2) Double-shot lattes with cream.
3) A ridiculous conversation with somebody who loves you. You just need ONE person you can be honest with. That's all. That's enough.
4) The third series of Nurse Jackie.
5) The sky. Looking at the sky can help.
6) Being an inappropriate dipshit on twitter.
And I saved the best for last ... watch this. It's how I want to go through the rest of my life, until I'm old and grey. I love it so much it hurts ... it's like, PSY and I are actually the same person, living alternate lives in a parallel universe. He is actually a red-haired blogger from Australia, and I am actually a 35-year old Korean subversive rapper who has just made the world laugh. And we are you, because we are all one.
No toy gets left behind. I hope you're ok. And if you're not, I hope you're managing as best as you can.