The hard things to write about

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Some of the things that happen in my life I've tended to avoid writing about - or at least delay writing about - because I just don't quite know how to treat the subject matter. My normal style of writing is either dry wry wit or as accurate a record of traveling as possible.. and that's about it. One or the other, I seem to have a hard time putting anything into any other sort of form. So when I've got something that it's hard or in poor taste to be witty about and I'm not out traveling I just sort of flounder and don't know what to do.. and the blog sort of dies while I sort that out or something more in keeping with my style happens. Now I've been challenged to just write about it anyway.

5 days ago a friend of mine tried to kill himself. Thankfully unsuccessful, it's not really clear how serious he was in his endeavor. He's not one of my very closest friends but close enough, and closer to friends who I'm closer to so that it affected me a fair bit. Over at the Etrurian house during game night there was a furious pounding on the door - it was assumed someone was trying to get us to shut up (we can be somewhat noisy at times) but instead it was someone looking for a key to get into this fellow's apartment to try and find out what he'd taken. The rest of the evening can be summarized as breaking into the house, finding six empty pill bottles (thinking "oh man, what have you done"), helping the paramedics, talking with the police and holding a crying friend for a half hour or so.

As a practical matter I'm glad I've inherited my pop's sense of "right, let's get done what needs to be done" mentality during crisises - making sure at least one person around could do what, well, needed to be done, but it also means I don't really get to process a lot of whats happening the moment it's happening and I'm left to rehash it later when my brain takes it back down a notch. In this particular case it was the next day at work during a meeting at around 2 in the afternoon - no feeling really concrete enough to place a nice label on, just sort of a depressed sense of "wow". Some of my general thoughts...

I've felt low before, after a breakup, whatever, but I don't think my mind has ever gone to that little potentiality so the fact that someone's would is a pretty foreign concept to me. Maybe it was the pills (combined with alcohol) that lead to that - frightening since I take one of them as well, maybe something to talk about with the doc? What's it going to be like when he gets home from the hospital, is this something that will ever be talked about? Even if it is, since I'm of distant friendship will I get to know about it?

Like I said, hard to focus on the meeting.

So there you have it, that explains the last week of silence - the proceeding three probably from struggling with an escaping dog and what that may entail in terms of fixing the problem. Oddly enough this all just motivates me more to find someplace to travel to since I really miss writing and wanting something a little more positive to write about. That or learn to write in a third style. Patrick, pointers?


One of the hardest things ever. I know what you mean, having to go search the city for a friend at 2 in the morning, and get them back to a good place. Finding the right thing to say isn't easy, or possible - you just have to say what's on your mind, and hope it all works out for the best. Speaking of which, good luck on the continued dog psychology front... :)

No pointers. Sometimes life forces you to write the way it forces you to live, and when you look back, there wasn't any other way. I feel the same way; I feel bad making people read something that may not be (god forbid!) entertaining. But really, what we're reading is meant to be a reflection of you, and if there weren't rough edges it wouldn't seem particularly real or interesting. Sorry it took me so long to stumble on this.

I have always envied you and Patrick for your writing abilities, because you are able to be witty and entertaining in what you say, and I am grateful that (normally) neither of you have situations that require any other kind of writing. My writing style evolved as a therapeutic outlet, so I can only write well when bad things happen (which is why I don't really write anymore). From my experience, there is no particular style when writing about the hard things - the truth makes its own story, and the writer is merely a medium. I never felt control over my writing - it just seemed to flow and I just tried to keep up. You did a lot for your friend, especially because you were able to get things done in the tiny window of time they needed it most. Even if they never talk about it, they will appreciate your generosity. I hope things have gotten better. For better or worse, I have a good amount of experience in the more difficult aspects of life, should you ever require a resource.

I can really relate to feeling like you don't know how to talk about something like this... or you just don't know what is in good form and what isn't. When I was growing up I was always the one that had everything under control, and as an adult I have tried hard to allow myself to be vulnerable/not together in those kinds of spaces. But unfortunately it doesn't amount to much in a crisis other than a good sense of how to listen to someone cry. I am glad you were there so I didn't have to go into his apartment. I would of if I had had to, but I am glad you were there. Thanks Z.


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