Tag Archives: depression

Suicide

He killed himself in June.

I didn’t know him, but I’ve witnessed the impact of his choice.

His girlfriend’s Facebook posts demand, then beg, for answers.
Her son -not quite old enough to understand- knows life is different, forever.

Today was the right time to write about this, on what should have been the 64th birthday of Robin Williams.

Suicide is stupid.
It’s awful.
It’s selfish.
It’s heart-wrenching.
It’s final.
It’s terrifying.
It’s preventable.
It’s the result of a cry for help never being answered.

Depression and anxiety can come from anywhere – the triggers are endless and the consequences can be terminal. Unfortunately, the stigma from depression, anxiety, self-infliction of pain, and suicidal considerations is overwhelming – sometimes more overwhelming than the pain itself. These afflictions are all about a need to be listened to and to know that you’re not alone, but many people suffer silently rather than risk facing derision or the lack of consideration in the eyes of others.

I come from a family that doesn’t understand depression. To their eyes, it’s not real. It’s something to be shrugged off, a battle to be fought of mind over what matters. More exercise, healthy eating, mental distractions – those are the solutions. Little weight is given to chemical depression and medicated treatment.

“If only I could just be happier, I wouldn’t be depressed.” It’s cyclical reasoning at its worst, and it’s why so many of us never get the lifeline we need.

It’s second nature to expect medical treatment when someone breaks an arm. There’s no “Just shake it off and get out of the slump” or “It’s all in your head – just push through and you’ll be fine.” Yet, in our modern society, mental illnesses still scare so many people that we’d rather just pretend they don’t exist. By belittling the issues and downplaying the severity of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, we are essentially burning victims at the stake, terrified of getting infected by this mental witchcraft.

Suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone, even you. They probably already have, at least once. Maybe not a fantasy or a command compelling you, but in some fashion or another, even if just a gentle tug on your sleeve or a subtle whisper in your ear. Driving home late one night, stressed with no end in sight, and you think, “One twist of this wheel, and it could all be over.”

It’s at this point I should make it clear that I’m not entertaining suicide as one of my long list of paths for my life. I suffer from depression, and it can be severe at times, but in the end, I am a narcissist who fears not leaving a legacy more than I fear the crushing pressures of life itself. Don’t worry about me.

If you deny that depression is real, educate yourself.
If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone.

Never be afraid to reach out for help. There is someone (and likely an entire community of someones) who has been through it before and understands. There are online communities full of empathy and support and the love you need to get the help you deserve. Because you do deserve it. Everyone does.

Here’s a small buffet of resources – there’s something for everyone, and I’ll try to add more to this list as I come across additional sources of help, information, and support:

I Am Avitable: Ask Me Anything – Day Five

This is the most consistently I’ve written on my blog in about two years, so I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to ask questions. It made me realize how much I love writing on here, and hopefully I can keep it up after this little series is done.

Let’s keep going with day five of the AAAAMA – All Adam Avitable Ask Me Anything!

Autumn asked: Ok my love….. I have known you and been your friend for many years now and I have seen you go through a lot of growing and changing. What is, for you, the most impactful, philosophical change you have had in your mind and heart over the past ten years? #shitjustgotdeep

I think a lot of that was explored in one of the hardest posts I have ever written about four years ago. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Done? Great. For me, the biggest shift was realizing that I didn’t need to put up a facade and I didn’t need to lie to anyone. I could be flawed and not only would people still love me, but they’d actually love me more. I was able to dispense with this persona I had online and just be me. It freed me up to talk about things that most people won’t, and I’ve never been in a healthier place, psychologically and emotionally. Physically – well, I eat bacon four days a week, so I’ll let you figure that one out.

Bonnie asked: Remember the knife holder you had where it looked like a guy had knives going through him? I think it was red. Who got custody of that in the divorce?

"The Ex" Knife Holder

Rose asked: If you could acquire any knowledge instantly – through osmosis or some kind of upload to the brain – what would be your top three priorities to learn??

  1. Computer programming and hacking skills well beyond my amateur capabilities that would give me access to and entire world of information otherwise unavailable.
  2. Every language in the world, dead or otherwise.
  3. Statistical information on all human beings, providing me with the ability to have Sherlockian deductive abilities.

Honorable Mention: Ninja skills.

Zach asked: What’s your social security number?

867-53-0909

Shelby asked: What is your secret guilty pleasure?

I don’t have any secret guilty pleasures. I am proud of all of my indulgences. However, if I was going to choose one that probably results in me being mocked, I would choose the TV show Gilmore Girls. Each episode is filled with lightning-fast dialogue and a sarcastic, irreverent tone that I love. I own the box set, I’ve watched it several times, and I unabashedly declare my love for that show.

Stacy asked: What is the most unpleasant thing you’ve ever done sexually and would never do again because it’s just not your thing?

Have sex with my ex-wife. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, seriously. I haven’t had any experiences that were so unpleasant that I wouldn’t do them again. That’s not to say that they’ve been vanilla sexual experiences, but the ones that have ventured into exciting territory have been fun as well.

I’m not into pain, though, and while it’s nice having fingernails in your back, when they actually scratch you and make you bleed, I don’t enjoy that. And I find it extremely difficult to hurt someone else, even if that’s what they want, because I’m terrified of my own strength. Light slapping and choking, sure. Until you almost pass out, though? I’m just not comfortable with the possible repercussions of that.

Anonymous asked: Which model of flesh light do you recommend? Which penis pump? And how you feel about the hot/cold lubes?

About six years ago, I did some product reviews for a sex toy website. The blowjob imitator video is below. It was an interesting product and I did actually test it out for real. After the novelty wears off, it’s not worth it. I’ve never found any type of masturbatory device to be useful, and that’s after decades of masturbation. Nothing beats a hand.

They should call it a blowfun! from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

Brad asked: Do you think you will ever get over being in love with me?

Not as long as you keep sending me those naked photos of you covered in bacon and mayo.

Ben asked: What would be your dream job?

I would like to have the resources to be able to come up ideas and concepts and hire teams to work on those concepts. Just innovate and create and then pick the projects I want to work on personally. I come up with so many ideas for ventures but don’t have the time or staff to implement more than a percentage of them.

I yearn to create as much as I can, and I want the freedom to do that.

Is that a job? Or is that just a thing that I’ve imagined?

I’d also like to be an international assassin. That would be fun.


I’m having a blast with these! Can’t wait until tomorrow’s post – see you then. In the meantime:

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I Am Avitable: Ask Me Anything – Day Three

In six days, I’ll be thirty-eight years old. These next six days will be filled with one event, one birthday party, three gigs, and one open mic. My time scarcely belongs to me now, so let’s get on with one of the more fun projects I’ve done recently. Day three of my Avitablized version of Ask Me Anything continues . . .

Zach asked: What are your top 3 self-pleasure mental scenarios?

I could never deign to choose between the vast multitude of fantasies that spur on my onanistic activities, but I can tell you this. She’s always red-haired, she’s always pale, she’s always tiny, and she always has two sisters that look just like her.

Amber and Clayton asked: Why are you doing this? 
Alan asked: Did we hurt you? That’s why you’re punishing us with this?

Why am I doing this? Why not? Is it abnormal to want to know what other people would ask you if they had a blank check and a handy pen? I’ve written about myself for over fifteen years and sometimes it’s nice to let friends, fans, readers, and frenemies take control instead.

The questions asked might jumpstart my creativity, provide me with new material for the computer screen or the late night stage, or give me further insight into myself. My readers and audience are my collective morphous muse.

Mik asked: Which late night talk show would be your preference to appear on as a guest first?

Right now, my favorite late night show is Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. His enthusiasm is almost impossible to ignore, and I love the games he plays with his guests. Being a guest on his show would be no less than fucking amazing.

Though, I really want to go on @midnight, as well. Chris Hardwick entertains me, and I love seeing comedians just being comedians.

Yvonne asked: If there was just one thing you could do in life, and it could be anything, what would it be?

Read minds. I didn’t even have to think about this (okay, well, that’s not entirely true because I did think about answering that I would totally participate in autofellatio if I could, but then I decided to be serious). Understanding how people think is one of the most powerful tools and gifts anyone can have. Knowing how they actually think would be immeasurable.

If it was something that is actually possible, though, I would write. I would write books and screenplays and short stories and scripts and get lost in the worlds I want so badly to create.

Winter asked: What’s the secret to life?

The secret to life can be summed up in three easy steps:

  1. Be honest yet tactful.
  2. Indulge yourself, but not to excess.
  3. Dispense with tradition and superstition.

Following these steps will make sure that you treat people right, because if you’re honest, that also means being honest with yourself. You can do the things you enjoy – don’t sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. Old rules and traditions just box us in, keeping us in line for no good reason except “that’s the way it’s always been”. Get rid of those and you’ll find new paths that will take you somewhere you never expected.

Joshua asked: Would you rather hug an British man who is racist or punch a blind kid to save him?

Would I be punching the blind kid to save the racist British man? Is the blind kid white or another race? Would punching the kid save him from having to grow up blind because my punch is so strong it would kill him? Can I hug the British man with my car? Details, man, details!

Joshua asked: Would you co adopt a dog with someone?

I’m not an animal person. I like animals, but I have learned over the last five years of being single that I have absolutely no need for an animal in my house. I used to have a dog, I had a cat for a week, and once in law school I had ferrets. I’ve never been happier without any of them.

The only way I could see myself co-adopting a dog with someone would be if they were the ones who would be taking care of said animal at all times, and I just had to tolerate its presence in my home. Even then, that someone had better be pretty amazing – sexually, intellectually, emotionally, and otherwise.

So, in summation, my answer is no, I will not co-adopt a dog with you.

Brian asked: On which side of the family does above average body fur run?

Paolo di Avitabile - my ancestor

Well, on one side of the family is Paolo di Avitabile, whose reign over a province called Peshawar was so tyrannical that the natives of that region turned him into the bogeyman, even to this day telling their children that if they did not behave, “Abutabela” will come to get them. You might have heard of Peshawar – it’s now part of Pakistan.

And on the other side, a gorilla. So, you decide.

tbt-sandiegozoo

Stacy asked: I know too well – and I know you do, too – that all too often the funniest, most gregarious, compassionate people are those who are most tortured inside. Whether it’s demons, an asshole inner critic, or any other negative thoughts descending, how do you ward them off? Robin Williams is a tragic example of what I mean when I ask you: what do you to to make sure you’re making yourself smile as much as you make others smile and laugh? How do you strike a balance between Adam the Real Person and Adam the Altruistic Comedian? Do you ever find it difficult to separate yourself from the stage?

I don’t ward them off. I let them out. It’s just as important to me to write about the things that weigh me down as those that lift me back up again.

Sometimes I just want someone to love me, hold me, tell me it's all going to be okay, then tell me to look for the rabbit and shoot me in the head.

For someone like myself, a narcissist who has no true identity beyond what his audience thinks of him, I can’t ever separate myself from the stage. Even at home, alone, I treat my life as if it were on TV. But as long as I have that outlet for the darkness that makes me who I am, I will always be fine.


That’s it for part 3! The rest will come over the next few days, but in the meantime:

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Why I Write

One by one, as I sit in an ocean of silence in my preternaturally still home, my stresses and worries, buried deep by days of distractions, pop to the surface. They bob and flash, buoys daring me to ignore them.

Staying busy keeps them at bay. Too busy to look at the pile of mail on the table. To read those emails from the bank. To feel alone. Treading water may not get me anywhere, but it’s better than drowning.

When I sink like a stone, my breath comes to me in shallow, pitiful gasps and my vision dims, obscured by a haze that probes and pokes and jeers. My strengths and values and confidence transform in an instant, pushing on my chest with exponential strength.

It’s too much. The only solution is to keep going down, in the dank trenches, where the darkness snuffs out any semblance of hope. There’s no way to throw off the weight, to distinguish between up and down, to draw one more breath. It’s impossible.

Except for these words.

The unvarnished black on white draws me back to see the larger picture. The keyboard clicks with a comforting rhythm, each word a beacon. I find myself prodded gently towards the surface.

Writing doesn’t make everything okay.

It just shows me that it will be.

It can’t be winter doldrums when it’s 75 degrees out.

Stress coats my world in wide strokes of muted gray. A Lilliputian army of obligations and responsibilities mount an incessant offensive, bringing me to the ground as I give up reaching for happiness, dangling from a string, the carrot I’ll never reach.

I use schadenfreude to keep going. As long as there are people worse than me, I have no right to feel this way. This stupid, weak, pathetic, lonely, overwhelming way. Keep working. Respond to emails. Answer phone calls. Put on the mask. Hide your eyes so nobody looks too deeply. Stop your fucking whining.

I am an extrovert who hasn’t left his house in 36 hours. Batteries draining as my source of power is unattainable, I fold into myself, looking for something redeeming. Six months of mail sits on the table beside me. My grocery shopping list is dated September 1st. And my bed draws me in like a Siren.

Adam Avitable in his gray period

I can be the writer and creator and explorer into imagination.
I can be the business owner and bill payer and grounded realist.
I CAN’T BE BOTH.

At my core, I am a narcissist. Selfish, egotistical, and focused on taking actions that benefit me, create buzz about me, put me in the spotlight. But at the center of that core, I am a romantic martyr and a soft-hearted court jester, searching for her. The love and devotion of the right woman combined with the love and attention of the public would make me an unstoppable juggernaut.

Right now, though, I’d settle for a personal assistant who works for sexual favors.