Reading Brilliant Suicidal Writing

By Mike Welsh

Sadly it’s not often I read something written by someone which stops me in my tracks. It’s possible I don’t read anywhere near enough to experience this special emotion as often as I would like or possibly, I just don’t often recognise writing which should stop me…in my tracks. Either way.

I’m reading Lust & Wonder  by the American author Augusten Burroughs. In fact I’ve read several of Burroughs’ books beginning with Dry and then much later Running With Scissors. I also learnt-through these books- of his older Aspergian brother John Elder Robison , the author of the best selling Look Me in the Eye.

This is piece from Lust & Wonder as an example of Augusten Burroughs’  track stopping words..

”I lost the ability to sleep . It was like I forgot how. I lay there and simply waited for something that did not arrive. There was no tiredness in me, but there was an exhaustion that ran much deeper, roiling like a river.

I also lost the ability to care, even slightly, about anything. I wasn’t suicidal, because deep inside the suicidal impulse, when you cut it open and look at the pit, you see faith, which is like hope without the question mark.

People cannot get what they need in this life, so they decide to give themselves the relief of an end. They care enough to generate a desire and then take the action required to fulfill this desire. It isn’t logical; there is no relief with suicide. But they believe there is. They know there is. That’s faith. And I lost that. So I wasn’t in any danger of swallowing the correct pills or cutting myself and bleeding it all away.

Augusten Burroughs Lust & Wonder ST.MARTIN’S PRESS