Creativity and suicide

This week yet another one of my heroes from my adolescence committed suicide. This time it was one of the members of The Prodigy, Keith Flint. Their music brought me through a really hard part of my life and I could always use it to get some aggression out. I can still remember the first time I heard Poison. Some friends of mine had been away at a political youth camp thing and they were pissed because some guys there had played it on loop throughout most of the event.

I can remember dancing my ass off to most of their hits and some of their more unknown stuff and it always made me forget most of my problems, which rather fittingly mostly revolved around me ending my own life. A smile will often creep across my face while thinking about how my spastic movements was meant to impress some girl on the youth club dance floor.

This is not the first of my musical heroes that has ended their life around this time. In 2017 Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington both ended their lives after battles with depression. And this isn’t just limited to music. One of my comic heroes, Robin Williams, also ended his life in similar manners. The most famous writer that killed himself was of course Ernest Hemingway.

This got my thinking about the link between creativity and suicides. The thoughts have circled around in my head. Why do so many male creative people end their lives in that manner? Is it that we need some sort existential threat or pursuit to be able to handle life and when we now longer struggle, we just decide to end it? Or is it connected to creativity itself?

I am not saying that this is a plight only reserved for creative people or men, but there does seem to be a huge amount of creative men that at some point in their life just decide to end it.

I can actually remember my lowest point. It was about 14 years ago and a relationship I cherished had just ended. I did not take it well and I saw her as being the reason for my creativity. She was my muse for lack of a better term, even though I never told her that, something I regret to this day, but I couldn’t see myself ever finding that wellspring of inspiration ever again. I had picked a time and a place, but luckily I never went through with it.

Since then I have had those thoughts again from time to time, but I manage them better now. And as those who know of my writing will know, I did not lose my inspiration. In fact I wrote a lot of good stuff since her.

This wasn’t meant to be about me, but more an exploration of why creative people end their lives. I thought I would never write again and maybe that is it. Maybe creative people need to be able to see that they can still create and live. That might be to simplistic, but I am after all a very simple person.

And for those out there who do feel that despair, self hatred or lack of purpose. Please not give up. Speak up and feel free to contact me or anyone who you know have gone through this. It helps to speak about it and sort out your thoughts.

JH

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