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Matt Fraction’s blog is always a fascinating read. In between the photos of Hawkeye cosplayers, comic art and pop-culture artifacts, the writer answers questions from fans with a refreshing, and frequently surprising, candor. But none has been as honest, as moving or as vital as his response to a reader’s question about depression, and suicide as a possible “alternative.”
After advising the fan to “seek professional help immediately,” Fraction reveals his own brush with suicide on a Thanksgiving night when he was still in high school.
“As I started to cut, as the corner touched my skin and that jolt of pain fired into my head, I stopped and thought — y’know, last chance. Are you SURE?” he writes. “And I was tired. I sounded like you, that I knew there’d be ups again and downs but I was just so fucking TIRED I couldn’t stand the thought of having to get there. I felt this … this never-ending crush of days that were grey and tepid but for some reason i was supposed to greet each one with a smile. the constant pressure of having to keep my shit in all the time was just exhausting.
“I wondered, then — well, is there anything you’re curious about,” he continues. “Anything you want to see play out. And I thought of a comic I was reading and I’d not figured out the end of the current storyline. And i realized I had curiosity. And that was the hook I’d hang my hat on. That by wanting to see how something played out I wasn’t really ready. That little sprout of a thing poking up through all that black earth kept me around a little longer. […] A song, a comic, something dumb, something small. From that seed can come everything else, I swear to God.”
There’s much more to Fraction’s response, and it’s all well worth reading, whether you’ve ever considered suicide or not. Just have a tissue handy.