Social Media is the gift that keeps on giving, apparently, and most recently some American celebrities have gifted us with candid thoughts about feeling suicidal. Kanye West and Pete Davidson come to mind, but I think there were others. That this is surprising to people, or that others rush in to say fluffy warm things about treating mental illness...surprises me.

I recently tried to bring this up in a WhatsApp Mom's group that I belong to, which is the digital remnant of a real moms group that I once belonged to in Chelsea, when I was living in NYC. One of the moms said her life felt as if she were hanging on by one overtaxed thread, and that beyond the love she feels for her child, she is not sure than anything else can be salvaged. I tried to tell this mom, "if it makes you feel better, I don't remember a time that I didn't feel the same way."

I've been talking to these moms for the better part of two years, and I thought that would mean that I might have influenced some of them, so much so that they might see where I am coming from. I told them that I consider it totally normal (and maybe even high-functioning) to be suicidal every single day of your life. To my surprise, I was met with concern, "There is always a way out," and "Have you shared this with your doctor?"

"Moms: Look at your babies!" I said, "Isnt' it obvious that being sentient is synonymous with restlessness and discomfort? And isn't the other side of the coin, the desire for closure and safety, just a longing for death?" Every other thought I have almost everyday is "I want to die." When I'm alone, I will even mumble this to myself. I mumble other things like, "I'm going to win," or other seemingly structurally recurring thoughts, and I don't see a problem with this at all.

It has always been crystal clear to me that I could never kill myself. I have never considered it. Does that mean I haven't imagined ways that it could be done? No. Images of my death, whether self-imposed or otherwise haunt my mind constantly. I'm pretty sure this is called "fear," and I'm pretty sure that fear is a very useful adaptation that has kept the human race alive (and enslaved) for all of its time on earth.

In fact, I don't even think of "I want to die" as a thought at all. My "thoughts" are things like, "I want to redo the cottage if I ever have money again," or "Has Ian taken his vitamin D?" or "Is John getting enough exercise?" or "I have an idea that will solve that problem." Wanting to die is, I think, a constitutional part of living. It's the very horizon of possibility, and the telos of action: Wanting to go home. Wanting to be whole again. Wanting to be so rich that nothing can harm you.

For people who are not as tuned into their own minds as I might be, as a philosopher, and a philosopher who has lived through significant tragedy, it may be shocking or disturbing to imagine dying or killing oneself. But I want to call their bluff. In life, I find that people come around to my way of thinking the older they get, the more they face, and I've gotten used to this.

So let me say this: If you do think about killing yourself constantly, that isn't worrisome. You probably just sense the madness inherent in this world. This world of paradoxes. This world that, I promise you, will never make sense without a remainder element. If you aren't suicidal, maybe you should be. Because, do you really matter? Does your job really add value to anyone's life? Is there anything worth risking it all?

If this post isn't balm to your chapped soul, add a reminder to your calendar to check again in ten years. Oh, and Happy New Year!