With my novel NOT YET about to be launched in December, I'm getting two advance copies and thinking about Robin Williams. 

After Robin Williams completed suicide, blasted on the front page of every newspaper was a summation — “He hung himself and died.” Imagine if the headlines had read, “He succumbed after years of suffering from depression and completed suicide.” 

Sounds more like an accomplishment.  Sounds more like a decision.

The first line in Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus presents an existential truth: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”

Think of the word "problem" as a mathematician does, an inquiry to be solved. Conditions are given and a solution must be found. And at some point in our lives, each of us must reach a conclusion about this problem. Life or death seems to be a simple choice.

So, is suicide a choice?  Unfortunately, the difficulty of depression is this: 

    Falling is not a choice.  

    Pain is not a choice.

Even Camus is guilty of suicide's great fallacy — we fixate on the end result and neglect the reasons. We rarely witness someone falling and in pain, we only see the impact. A person's death becomes the punctuation at the end of their life. And suicide leaves a huge question mark.  

Last year, 1.4 million people attempted suicide in the United States. That’s 129 attempts per day. 

Of all those attempts, 47,000 completed.   

This means that out of 100 people in pain who attempt to kill themselves, 3 or 4 will succeed.

Now, if we know that there were about 800,000 global completed suicides, then how many suicide attempts were there in the world? 

    23 million people attempted suicide worldwide last year!

That’s 23 million people thinking about all the Reasons for Dying instead of contemplating their personal Reasons for Living.

23 million people trying to listen for help and instead hearing an echo.

23 million people focused on what they DON’T have instead of what they DO have.

Here’s what I do have. The Publisher wrote today and NOT YET is currently being printed. In my contract, I am entitled to two (2) complimentary copies of what’s called an ARC – Advance Review Copy.  I guess two copies is fairly standard, as no one wants 1,000 copies of their own book sitting in the closet. 

I’m just excited because for the first time, I don’t have to spend 30 bucks on an ink cartridge and a stack of 500 sheets of standard white paper to print out my own manuscript.  Someone else is printing it for me! And I’ll get two copies.

Of course, I called my mother who immediately asked, “Well, that’s wonderful! So, do I get the second copy?”

“No . . . ” I said, followed by a long pause, “you get the first.”