As some of you may know, I've hit some bumpy patches in the road recently, and I have to admit, some of them have been very difficult. A lot of my identity is bound up with my profession, and feeling like I don't have one right now has made just existing a little difficult. Hence my picking up this book. I'm not ready to check out just yet, and most people who don't want you to commit suicide make the big mistake of not telling you what you should do instead. Step one, don't kill yourself, step two, what? Well, according to Kate Bornstein, author of this book, there are a lot of possible step twos.
She starts out her book with the simple, obvious stuff--call a suicide hotline, get on medication if it will help, talk to a friend, whatever. Check and check. Then she gets into the more interesting options for what to do instead of killing yourself. Some of them didn't appeal, some of them appealed a lot. "Finish Your Homework" resonated a lot with me. I have at least a year to go before I have that PhD after my name, so that one should keep me ticking for twelve more months minimum. "Treat Yourself Like an Honored Guest" sounded very good as well. "Run Away and Hide" sounded almost too good. "Make a Deal with the Devil" and "Tell a Lie" didn't appeal, but maybe someday I'll "Make Art out of It" and write an amazing novel about all this. "Serve Somebody" reminds me that the community is out there waiting for me to be a part of it. And these are just a few of her amazing suggestions. Each option is rated on how easy, self-loving, and effective it is, so that you get an idea of how desperate you should be before you give it a crack.
The whole book is written from a strongly queer-friendly, transgressive perspective, in case that wasn't already clear, so that really appealed to me, though it might not to some people, and while it's aimed to some extent at young people (they being the most likely to try and shuffle off the mortal coil), it's not oppressively youth-oriented. Most of it is just good, sound advice for anyone who needs some good ideas about how to keep on living for a little longer.