Sportswriter Blogs his own Suicide

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2013 6:54 PM GMT
    His reasons for doing so actually have some logic behind them.

    It's not an easy read, but here is the site that he set to go live at the very moment he committed suicide.


    http://martinmanley.org/index2.html
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Aug 24, 2013 7:24 PM GMT
    I respect his choice, but he strikes me as profoundly self-absorbed.
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    Aug 24, 2013 7:32 PM GMT
    starboard5 saidI respect his choice, but he strikes me as profoundly self-absorbed.


    Among the pernicious myths is the one where people always get very upbeat and generous and other-directed right before they eliminate their own map for keeps. The truth is that the hours before a suicide are usually an interval of enormous conceit and self-involvement
    - Infinite Jest, DFW

    No wonder suicide notes are so profoundly boring
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Aug 24, 2013 8:10 PM GMT
    starboard5 saidI respect his choice, but he strikes me as profoundly self-absorbed.
    and u gathered that from what. from what i read he seemed like a pretty descent guy. there was nothing self absorbed about his entire site. anyhow,thanks OP it was a long read but at least he offered what he thought was a good reason for him. may he find peace
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Aug 24, 2013 9:17 PM GMT
    Sobering.

    Sure suicide is undeniably "selfish" and perhaps even "cowardly." But as someone five years older than Mr. Manley, these snippets resonate:

    When I considered the options of living to be old and all the negatives associated with that alternative, I knew there was no way on earth I was going to allow myself to deal with such an intolerable situation. In order to guarantee that I avoided it, I also knew that I had to commit the act before I was incapacitated and unable to carry it out.

    The thought of being in a nursing home, physically or mentally disabled, was the single scariest thing I had ever thought about ... So, in order to make sure that it never happened, I determined that I would have to end things when I was still semi-intelligent and physically able. That’s what I mean by saying “Because I can.” ...

    The apt analogy is that I've run the race. I already got to the finish line. I didn't croak on the way. I didn't get embarrassed. I didn't break a leg. I sprinted most of the time and sometimes I slowed to a walk to catch my breath. But, I could see the finish line and I liked it!! The last thing on Earth I was going to do when I got there was... keep going. I completed the race because I went over every hurdle that was in my way. Sometimes I fell. But, I got back up and ran that much harder. Perhaps your finish line is a little farther off in the distance than mine. I don't know. I only know I reached mine and when I got there the only thing I wanted to do was rest. And, so I shall. ...

    Someday, I would fall down the stairs or slip in the bathtub or get caught walking in a never-ending circle or driving to the store only to end up in Maine. ...

    And, here’s the clincher… it’s only going to get worse!

    This is different from a child or teenager giving up on life before it has truly begun or a young or mid-life adult facing what appears to be insurmountable life problems. He is an adult who has lived his life up to the point where he sees "it's all down hill from here" (more or less) and is faced with the realization that if he puts it off too long he could find himself in a situation where it would be *much* more difficult, if not impossible, to choose the time, place and means. He chose to end his life on his own terms.

    And in another place he also says this:
    ...if I was seriously needed by anyone or if I had parents or children, I would never have considered it. As it turns out, my daily freedom from responsibilities gave me the ultimate freedom.

    I certainly haven't read the whole site but it is clear from what I have read that for Mr. Manley, this was not an ill-considered or irresponsible act. Did it hurt others? Yes, of course. I have suffered two close suicides in my life so I know how it feels to be a survivor. But I've also witnessed close deaths by accident, disease and, short of death, seen people I know and loved 'loose themselves' to stroke, insanity and old age. It is difficult to say which hurts worse but clearly the latter are much more prolonged suffering for all concerned.


  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Aug 24, 2013 10:01 PM GMT
    MikeW saidSobering.

    Sure suicide is undeniably "selfish" and perhaps even "cowardly." But as someone five years older than Mr. Manley, these snippets resonate:

    When I considered the options of living to be old and all the negatives associated with that alternative, I knew there was no way on earth I was going to allow myself to deal with such an intolerable situation. In order to guarantee that I avoided it, I also knew that I had to commit the act before I was incapacitated and unable to carry it out.

    The thought of being in a nursing home, physically or mentally disabled, was the single scariest thing I had ever thought about ... So, in order to make sure that it never happened, I determined that I would have to end things when I was still semi-intelligent and physically able. That’s what I mean by saying “Because I can.” ...

    The apt analogy is that I've run the race. I already got to the finish line. I didn't croak on the way. I didn't get embarrassed. I didn't break a leg. I sprinted most of the time and sometimes I slowed to a walk to catch my breath. But, I could see the finish line and I liked it!! The last thing on Earth I was going to do when I got there was... keep going. I completed the race because I went over every hurdle that was in my way. Sometimes I fell. But, I got back up and ran that much harder. Perhaps your finish line is a little farther off in the distance than mine. I don't know. I only know I reached mine and when I got there the only thing I wanted to do was rest. And, so I shall. ...

    Someday, I would fall down the stairs or slip in the bathtub or get caught walking in a never-ending circle or driving to the store only to end up in Maine. ...

    And, here’s the clincher… it’s only going to get worse!

    This is different from a child or teenager giving up on life before it has truly begun or a young or mid-life adult facing what appears to be insurmountable life problems. He is an adult who has lived his life up to the point where he sees "it's all down hill from here" (more or less) and is faced with the realization that if he puts it off too long he could find himself in a situation where it would be *much* more difficult, if not impossible, to choose the time, place and means. He chose to end his life on his own terms.

    And in another place he also says this:
    ...if I was seriously needed by anyone or if I had parents or children, I would never have considered it. As it turns out, my daily freedom from responsibilities gave me the ultimate freedom.

    I certainly haven't read the whole site but it is clear from what I have read that for Mr. Manley, this was not an ill-considered or irresponsible act. Did it hurt others? Yes, of course. I have suffered two close suicides in my life so I know how it feels to be a survivor. But I've also witnessed close deaths by accident, disease and, short of death, seen people I know and loved 'loose themselves' to stroke, insanity and old age. It is difficult to say which hurts worse but clearly the latter are much more prolonged suffering for all concerned.


    mike, i loved your response and i agree with you except about the part of suicide being a cowardly act. i do not think killing yourself is being a coward. dude, it takes a lot of nerve and heart to end your life. i do agree with you about kids, teenagers, and young adults ending there lives before they even got a chance to really live. however, i always say you never know how bad things are in there life. what may be something you feel they can get through they might not share your views. plus, if you keep going through stuff eventually you are like jeeze i just do not see a way out of this mess.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Aug 24, 2013 10:08 PM GMT
    Sure he was self-absorbed, but what else did he have? Twice divorced, not a lot of friends that he saw in real life, and an extremely ordered and rational person. He was one of the few people that was actually in control of his own life, and he made a rational decision to end it.

    I think if this can teach you anything, it's that striving for complete rationality and order in your life might not give you the result you were hoping for. The result can be cold, hard and gruesomely inevitable.

    While this is painful to read, I actually have some respect for what he did.

    There's something to be said for living in the moment and having a romantic (i.e. irrational) attitude.

    I have seen a number of people I care about suffer from major illness that ended their life. It was terrible to see them suffer, to watch them slowly lose their independence and finally have other people make decisions for them. And all of them regretted terribly the emotional suffering and strain it put on those they cared about most who were caring for them.

    He cited one of his reasons is that he believed there was a major economic and societal collapse coming, something many people see as a strong possibility. I personally think there is a 35% chance that it will happen. But I tend to have an optimistic mind, so I focus on other things. But if that did come to pass, personally, I wouldn't want to witness it, it would be too painful. So I understand his reasons for that.

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Aug 24, 2013 10:54 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidmike, i loved your response and i agree with you except about the part of suicide being a cowardly act. i do not think killing yourself is being a coward. dude, it takes a lot of nerve and heart to end your life. i do agree with you about kids, teenagers, and young adults ending there lives before they even got a chance to really live. however, i always say you never know how bad things are in there life. what may be something you feel they can get through they might not share your views. plus, if you keep going through stuff eventually you are like jeeze i just do not see a way out of this mess.

    To be clear I said, "perhaps even "cowardly"." IOW, I don't disagree that it takes some kind of intense passion (will, fear, wish to avoid further pain and suffering, etc.) to over-ride the survival instinct. But it can be looked at in different ways. Which is more brave, to accept one's fate, whatever it may be, or to take one's fate in one's own hands? I don't have a clear answer for myself. Either can be viewed as 'brave' or 'stupid'.

    I also wasn't intending to imply anything about other people's life and death choices regardless of their age. All I can say is although I thought about suicide a lot as a kid into my young adult years, I'm glad I didn't do it. I have lived a sometimes painful but nevertheless rich and rewarding life.

    On the other hand, I'm now faced with the kinds of realizations Manley is addressing. Short of something unexpected taking my life (and heaven help me if I'm merely debilitated and not dead), the long-range personal future looks increasingly grim. Yeah, I *might* be able to 'hold it together' for another 10 to 20 years, but then what?

    Ultimately it seems a very personal, moral question. What kind of example do I want to set for those around me? How much of a burden should I allow myself to become? Should these questions be entertained or ignored and denied? How can any of us ever know what is the *right* thing to do?
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Aug 25, 2013 2:24 AM GMT
    A very sad site to read. Under all the rational arguments for suicide lies a deep desperation that at age 60 there is nothing in life left worth living for. I have many people do wonderful things later in life, and I hope and pray that when I'm there I will be among those who can still enjoy life, even with perhaps reduced physical and mental capacities, and not in the boat of who wrote this.
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    Aug 25, 2013 2:49 AM GMT
    Wow. That was deep and intense. I can understand his point though and respect his decision. I am not sure I could do that myself when I am older. I do think that at some point everyone thinks about how awful it is to be old and helpless.
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    Aug 25, 2013 7:19 AM GMT
    The amount of press that this guy is getting is obscene. I have read his narcissistic rants and I hate his message. There is no expiration date on the preciousness of life. If anything, his story just puts a fresh face on mental illness and how we're losing the battle to maintain mental health in this country.
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    Aug 25, 2013 5:37 PM GMT
    Didn't read the whole, but, not easy to read.
    self absorbed? May be...
    it's a strange feeling I'm having right now, I don't know why but this phrase keeps repeating in my head
    "he should have contacted me."
  • dtx1

    Posts: 155

    Aug 25, 2013 6:01 PM GMT
    Looks like Martin Manley's website is now down, or has been taken down. The link on the original post goes nowhere now. I tried to search for it and found only a number of articles discussing whether the site should or should not remain up.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Aug 25, 2013 6:02 PM GMT
    Harry7785 saidDidn't read the whole, but, not easy to read.
    self absorbed? May be...
    it's a strange feeling I'm having right now, I don't know why but this phrase keeps repeating in my head
    "he should have contacted me."

    Yeah....

    Back in the late '90s I went through a series of close deaths: '96, Dad (old age); '97, my partner David (brain tumor); '98, Mom (old age); and then in '99, my best gay friend, Ira (suicide). All these deaths affected me, each in their own way. Ira's was especially difficult because I felt it was so unnecessary and could have been avoided. I didn't exactly feel "responsible" but at the same time I couldn't help feeling I hadn't done enough, hadn't been a good enough or close enough friend.

    I had had dinner with him just a couple days before he did it. During that dinner conversation which centered around his feelings of desperation, loneliness, depression and anxiety, I came to the conclusion that I needed to take a new approach to my friendship with him. I wasn't sure exactly what that meant but I knew that things needed to change, needed to be taken to a whole other level.

    After his suicide I realized that he had been saying 'good bye' to me that evening. I remember that he said some very odd things to me just before he got out of my car. At the time I just didn't 'get it' but after the fact I realized he knew what he was about to do and was saying 'farewell'.

    I don't know that I could have said or done anything that would have made a difference but I felt like I had failed him. I still do, tbh. I do know that had I known he owned a gun I would have found some way to get it away from him but he'd kept it a secret from all his friends. I felt hurt, sad, and angry both at him and myself. It just didn't need to be that way.

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Aug 25, 2013 6:05 PM GMT
    dtx1 saidLooks like Martin Manley's website is now down, or has been taken down. The link on the original post goes nowhere now. I tried to search for it and found only a number of articles discussing whether the site should or should not remain up.

    Hmm.... not surprising, really.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Aug 25, 2013 6:06 PM GMT
    MikeW said
    tuffguyndc saidmike, i loved your response and i agree with you except about the part of suicide being a cowardly act. i do not think killing yourself is being a coward. dude, it takes a lot of nerve and heart to end your life. i do agree with you about kids, teenagers, and young adults ending there lives before they even got a chance to really live. however, i always say you never know how bad things are in there life. what may be something you feel they can get through they might not share your views. plus, if you keep going through stuff eventually you are like jeeze i just do not see a way out of this mess.

    To be clear I said, "perhaps even "cowardly"." IOW, I don't disagree that it takes some kind of intense passion (will, fear, wish to avoid further pain and suffering, etc.) to over-ride the survival instinct. But it can be looked at in different ways. Which is more brave, to accept one's fate, whatever it may be, or to take one's fate in one's own hands? I don't have a clear answer for myself. Either can be viewed as 'brave' or 'stupid'.

    I also wasn't intending to imply anything about other people's life and death choices regardless of their age. All I can say is although I thought about suicide a lot as a kid into my young adult years, I'm glad I didn't do it. I have lived a sometimes painful but nevertheless rich and rewarding life.

    On the other hand, I'm now faced with the kinds of realizations Manley is addressing. Short of something unexpected taking my life (and heaven help me if I'm merely debilitated and not dead), the long-range personal future looks increasingly grim. Yeah, I *might* be able to 'hold it together' for another 10 to 20 years, but then what?

    Ultimately it seems a very personal, moral question. What kind of example do I want to set for those around me? How much of a burden should I allow myself to become? Should these questions be entertained or ignored and denied? How can any of us ever know what is the *right* thing to do?
    precisely!
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    Aug 26, 2013 4:40 AM GMT
    MikeW said
    Harry7785 said

    I don't know that I could have said or done anything that would have made a difference but I felt like I had failed him. I still do, tbh. I do know that had I known he owned a gun I would have found some way to get it away from him but he'd kept it a secret from all his friends. I felt hurt, sad, and angry both at him and myself. It just didn't need to be that way.

    What happened after that, I mean do you see people differently?
    If someone approaches you and share their feelings & when you feel something strange about it, little hints which they give away unknowingly...how do you deal those kind of situations? any similar incidents happened after that?
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    Aug 26, 2013 5:03 AM GMT
    I do not want to wind up in a nursing home. Besides that I don't have children to check on me, they hire help from homophobic countries like Jamaica and Haiti, especially if I wind up in Florida, so I could be abused by caregivers.

    While Alzheimer's comes down only one line of my great grandparents, I'm at risk and do not want to live that. Not only do I not have children like my mom, not only am I susceptible for being abused because of my sexual orientation, but also I feel that living life is about learning and growing which Alzheimer's prevents. So there's no point of living through that.

    I might even be able to justify living through some other disease, that I might learn to appreciate some stranger wiping my ass and bathing me in old age, yikes, but dementia would rob me of even those learning opportunities.

    Early death would protect me from torment and potential abuse. My mother remained self-aware enough during the entire deteriorative process to tell me that it was horrendous, her word exactly. I have no intention to live similarly.

    To avoid that, you have to be willing to give up some life. Because once you start to get it, you can be lulled into thinking all okay and then by the time you realize how horrible it is you might be unable to accomplish the task.

    I would wait until I saw it happening and then I would get myself tested to assure a reasonably certain diagnosis. At which time I hope I have the wherewithal to use that window of opportunity for a final exit. No blog required.

    I just read a tiny bit of that. It strikes me that the guy just gave up and I detected some vanity there. He doesn't like being old.

    I often say getting old sucks and that's true of the physical aspects. I hate arthritis. But I do like my mind more now than when I was younger. I perceive and process differently than I once did. I'm glad to have experienced life thus far and I'm interested to see how my mind will work 30 years from now, assuming it still works. I see clearer now than I did 30 years ago so I'm curious to see how I'll see 30 years from now.

    Depending on circumstance, I think it an action which can take either courage or stupidity.
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    Aug 26, 2013 4:46 PM GMT
    dtx1 saidLooks like Martin Manley's website is now down, or has been taken down. The link on the original post goes nowhere now. I tried to search for it and found only a number of articles discussing whether the site should or should not remain up.


    Another RJ member has forwarded me a mirror site link to the original site:

    http://eulopedia.com/home_page.html