Self Preservation and the Task Manager

My Mom told me today that a friend of our family slit their wrists.  My first thought was “I understand.”

Is that wrong?

What I meant was that I understand the darkness that can be in our heads and that there is a careful balance of processes that keeps us from harming ourselves. Many people don’t even realize this is going on.  Self preservation is just something that happens in the background, like a process on your computer that you don’t ever mess with.  For some of us, at points in our lives, it takes a conscious effort to keep that self preservation at the top of our normal processes.

Most people don’t ever look at their task manager on their computer when things are going well but there are all these processes that run without you having a clue what they do.  As long as your computer is running you just march on with your work or Facebooking or Tweeting or whatever. 


When something throws your computer off, it freezes and gets slow.  If you have a little knowledge of your PC, you’ll check out your Task Manager.  All of a sudden it all becomes clear, there are a million processes running, taking up all of your memory and messing with the priorities of the processes that should be running.  All of a sudden, the number one thing that is keeping your computer running is somewhere low on the list, getting outrun by other crap. 

This is what happens to your self preservation when you have something interfering with your normal processes; stress or something from outside like drugs or alcohol.  It can be devastating to the normal process of life in the worst cases.  In the worst cases, thoughts of suicide can come through and in the very worst case, they can become more than thoughts. 

In the case of your computer, you can try to close some programs to slow things down, get the priorities straightened out.  That is the healthy way to deal with it.  The worst thing you can do, in a fit of frustration and confusion is a cold shut down – turn it off – pull the plug.  After you have done that you have run the risk that you can’t get your computer back.  It could be gone forever. 

In the case of a life – the same is true. 

  • Los

    My best friend slit his wrists about 10 years ago … he was having a tough time with his girlfriend and he was hooked on cocaine. I didn't know about the second part. I remember driving him home to his parents' place in Reading from Philly the night after it happened, and I had a long talk with him about things. That's what friends do, I think.

  • Pincher Voice

    An interesting and apt analogy.