Caryssa Perez


August 19, 20214 min read Personal

TW: Suicide

TL;DR I tried to kill myself, but I didn’t and now I’m trying to unlearn all the bad shit I’ve learned.

Really leaning into the heaviness on this blog post. Turns out this website is kind of like my diary. I am unashamed because I’m a fucking person.

I’m still here

It’s challenging to take or feel joy from videogames or reading or painting or really anything outside of work. My brain is literally addicted to work. It’s painful giving it up like how giving up alcohol was. Yet I know I feel extraordinarily better sober than I felt drinking. And now I’m almost 1,000 days sober.

I have to continue to push through, which means I have to get used to doing nothing and resting and doing things that make me think that I’m wasting my life because I’m not monetizing it. I literally feel guilty doing nothing, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. It’s a fucking sickness.

No, I don’t want to be a part of hustle culture or sell my art or freelance on the side.

I don’t want my self-worth to equate to how much I’m working.

I don’t want my worth to equate to how much money I’m making.

By our culture’s standards, I’m successful. I make good money, I have a great career, I own a house, I own a car, I have things. Shouldn’t I just be happy?

Why didn't I think of that

Let’s go ahead and follow through with this, though. I’m unhappy now, so if I stick with it, I’ll be more happy? Then what?

Do I spend all my money on things and more things? No, worshipping things will kill me because it will never be enough. And I don’t want things.

Do I make more and more money? I’ve learned through our culture that my purpose should be grandiose and that I can also be a successful, masterful person like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, but fuck those guys. Billionaires should not exist, and I’m not out to exploit other people as a career. So then do I stop when I’m a millionaire? Is there a magic number? Do I continue to climb the ranks until I make so much money that I forget that I wasn’t the only person responsible for it?

So if I don’t need to make more money and I don’t need to buy more things and I’m capable of loving and caring for other people regardless (which actually makes me happy), then why do I need to be a part of the system I know does more harm than good? I want to have that choice.

Life is not a fucking zero-sum game

I’m also dealing with the guilt of saying no when there’s so many people that don’t have the privilege to. Like who am I? Why do I get to do that? I’m a privileged American who gets to make a bunch of money typing shit on my computer. What about the people that are doing harder work than me or who have no choice but to work multiple jobs to survive? Obviously, these people matter just as much as I do. I want other people to have that choice too. Me focusing on my needs doesn’t mean that I’m invalidating someone else’s needs.

Or am I only valid when I’m a silent martyr wearing my pain like a badge of honor like everybody else? Does suffering in silence mean you can take me more seriously? Is that the only way you can understand me? You can hold me at arms length and pretend that you’re not feeling the exact same fucking way.

It’s wild to me how American culture is so individualistic and yet asking for what you need is crossing a line. I shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to do the thing that makes me want to kill myself. I don’t need permission not to suffer.

Before I tried to die, I found that I believed in:

I have no power.

I am nothing.

I am alone.

That my actions were insignificant in the grand scheme of things because I can’t change anything by myself. That climate change is already ravaging this world and me recycling won’t do anything. That billionaires have already exploited thousands to get to where they are and me calling them names is like us insulting the sun. That our system will stay in place and me refusing to take part means nothing. That I am a drop against a tidal wave.

If living is pain, then what’s the fucking point?

These beliefs are so narrow and solipsistic and whiny, but the cost of maintaining them is my life.

It’s the extreme response to the helplessness I feel about my value when I gave everyone else power to define it except myself.

I am allowed to ask for what I need. I’m not spitting in anyone’s face by doing so. Life is NOT a zero-sum game. I don’t need a reason to live or an excuse or an approval.

I also can’t do it alone. I’ve been seeing a therapist for the past three years and I have a partner that I would do anything for. Now it sounds contradictory to rely on others when me giving them power is the cause of this. But like everything, it’s a balance. I have to give them power and love and I have to give myself power and love too.

Now what?

I really don’t know. But I can be ok with listening to myself and relying on the love of other people to get me through.

I am enough.

I am still worthy.

I am a loved person.

I am a loving person.

I am still worthy.