kottke.org posts about Donald Antrim

Finding a Way Back

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 19, 2021

For the New Yorker, the novelist Donald Antrim wrote about wanting to die by suicide and being saved by electroconvulsive therapy: Finding a Way Back from Suicide.

I had survived, or thought that I’d survived, my parents’ drinking and shouting, our constant moving, the losses of places and friends, annihilation after annihilation. I’d played in the yard, and smashed tennis balls against walls for hours, and built model airplanes, and listened to my records at night in my room. I’d slept with cats for company, and ridden my bike, and struggled in school, and, later in life, gone to bars, and then quit going to bars, and smoked cigarettes and pot, and fallen in love, and argued and made up, and refused to speak to my father, and suffered my mother. None of this had stopped my dying. Writing had not stopped my dying. The Twelve Steps had not stopped my dying. Therapy hadn’t stopped it, and my old friends couldn’t stop it; nor could Regan. No one could.