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Chris Jones on depression (his own) and suicide

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Powerful, powerful stuff in this month's Esquire.

    I had no idea. I know some of you are close to him, so you probably did. But I had no idea.

    After everyone went to bed and the house was dark and quiet, I went down to the kitchen, and I pulled a long knife out of the rack we kept on our counter. I didn't want to make a mess - the kitchen floor was cork, and it would soak up my blood like a sponge; cork is very absorbent - so I decided to go down to the basement, two floors removed from my sleeping wife and my sleeping children. When I walked down those stairs, I was certain that I was taking the last steps I would ever take.

    Sorry, I can't find a link on their site as of yet.
  2. There's nothing on his blog. In fact, it hasn't been updated since the end of August.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's strange... Sometimes it seems like the more brilliant the writer the stronger the demons...

    I know one well-known writer (a pretty close friend of mine) who has made several attempts, and refuses to go on anti-depressants because he says he can't write as well if he's happy. I've heard a lot of people make similar claims...
  4. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    I guess the demons that drive you to do this also drive your writing. The thin line dividing genius and madness, I suppose.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Early in my career a friend told me he wasn't the same writer/reporter that he was before he got married. I assumed he meant that his wife didn't like him traveling, and he said, "No, I'm happier and more relaxed and that's not a good place to be when you're doing this job."

    I must admit I experienced a bit of that after I got married and had kids.

    I'm sure it's different for everyone...
  6. reformedhack

    reformedhack Well-Known Member

    It's true. You lose a little of your edge when you get married and/or have a kid. You moderate yourself somewhat. Sometimes it's an effort to demonstrate your maturity, or perhaps come to terms with it. Sometimes it's an effort to not make waves in exchange for what you hope will be a degree of job security because you have responsibility for more than yourself now. Sometimes it's because you just see the world through a different prism. Or because you've gotten older and you now realize what really matters and what doesn't.

    You stop staying late at the office to put the cherry on your feature because someone needs you at home. You don't go out for a cold one with your fellow hacks because you have dinner plans with the in-laws. You don't keep up with the latest in pop culture because you simply don't have time for it anymore.

    You don't like that it's happening, but you go along with it anyway. Sure, you'll fight it for a while, but it will overcome you. Something's gotta give, and if it's not your "edge," then it'll be your marriage or parenting. So you make your choice, willingly or otherwise.

    I speak from experience.
  7. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I would think great writing comes from passion. When you are close to the edge, you have passion.

    But when you are a parent you feel a passion that you never, ever have felt before. If you have skill as a writer, channeling the passion you feel as a parent can help you just like living on a cutting edge.

    I hope he gets the help he needs. There are a lot more important things in this world than writing.
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Hemingway once said something along the lines of the best writing comes from inner pain.
  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

  10. If me or Boom get blamed for this - I'll be pissed.

    Too soon?
  11. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I bet that typefitter dude would have some insight on this. And here's hoping Jones has gotten help, if this stuff is true. I've seen first-hand how debilitating depression can be.
  12. jeff.pearlman

    jeff.pearlman Member

    Wow. Takes real courage to write on such a topic. Bravo to Chris.

    I've always thought that, for all the amazing perks that come with being a writer (never having to wear shoes being #1), the isolation is the biggest drawback. It can be very lonely, and you're inside your own skull quite a bit. I've been a hypochondriac for years (a real one, not just someone who has occasional health worries), and I'm ALWAYS at my worst mid-project, when I'm bunkered down writing.

    I digress. Huge props to Chris—great writer, great guy.
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