“The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.”
—Eudora Welty, WD
In the many radio interviews I’ve done since launching The Little Black Book of Suicide Notes on February 14th earlier this year, I’ve been asked again and again, “Is this a work of fiction, or is this based on real life?” How does one answer this question? As an author and an artist, as a woman living my life out each day, I cannot separate fact from fiction. Eudora Welty’s comment on the process of writing a novel says it so perfectly. We take life as we know it, and through the process of writing, a new entity emerges.
I wrote The Little Black Book of Suicide Notes because I wanted to share my story with the world. I’ve had my fair share of struggles and I am still here, I’m thriving, and I wanted to let people who are suffering know that there is still hope. After years of spiritual searching, I had a realization that there is no cure for suffering. Suffering is just part of being alive.
Even if you’re suffering, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy and find fulfillment. I and so many of us put pressure on ourselves to find the cure for suffering. But I have discovered a secret: It doesn’t exist. There is no cure for suffering. I wrote The Little Black Book of Suicide Notes to share that secret. Through the story and the protagonist, I wanted to show that you can find a way to understand and deal with the inherent suffering of existence, and find your way to the other side. The suicidal tendency is based on a feeling of hopelessness, and the feeling of not being able to experience anything beyond that feeling. It’s been my experience that once you realize what is really going on in life, you can then begin to get more of a handle on how to relate to it and make peace with that truth.
In the months since finishing the book, I’ve continued to find new ways to make peace with myself and with Life. I hope that in the pages of this little book, some of you find a companion on your journey.