Manifesto to Keep Living by Justin Ayran

"Being" is a decision, a choice we need to make every day. I have had a pretty crappy year, and there is a constant buzz of suicidal ideation in my head that makes it difficult for me to be happy. Every minor inconvenience has been met with a whispered, “Kill yourself”, followed by an overwhelming urge to retreat to my flat, lock the door, and crawl into bed. I realize that unhappiness isn’t a simple thing to solve, and that if left to my own devices I will most likely end up floating in my building’s pool after taking a 20 floor dive, so though I don’t really value my life all that much I owe it to myself to at least try to make something worth remembering me by. If Death wants me, it’ll have to be through something thoroughly dramatic, like a meteor strike or an aneurysm caused by too many orgasms during a reverse gangbang. So this is what I think will help me keep breathing. Yes, this whole thing may be vain, and maybe no one cares, but if I let that stop me then I might as well run into oncoming traffic right now. Live an artful life - Nothing has made me forget my suicidal thoughts more than working in theater. I absolutely love making art, and though my other loves (writing, stand up comedy, and poetry) have recently taken a back seat, I want to go back to them and truly grow in them again. Continue acting, continue growing in theater - Get more acting jobs, work with more directors, write and direct more plays, continue to be passionate about it. Write more poems, tell more jokes - Join open mics and other events as a spoken word artist and as a comic. Make content - Make poetry videos, start that Magic: the Gathering vlog, start that podcast. Make money doing what you love - I have a lot of friends who have started to go down or currently are on this path, and their success is quite encouraging. I want to have more control over my own time, and to truly enjoy the work that I do. Being financially stable allows me to not be anxious about a lot of things. Work freelance - Focus on copywriting, editing, and voiceover work. Look for higher-paying acting gigs - Work in TV and movies. Monetize art - Consider starting a Patreon once content creation is rolling. Cut out toxicity - I realize that a large part of what makes each day difficult is the thought of facing traffic and situations I have no control over. A large portion of my spending comes from purchases that I make to make myself feel better at the end of the day, or at the very least to avoid more hassle. I can’t continue living this way. Get out of toxic situations - Escape from bad environments, bad relationships, and bad people Avoid stressful moments - Avoid travelling when possible, don’t invite vexations to the spirit. Prioritize my happiness - Always ask myself if an action would make me happy. Take care of my body - I’m very quick to dismiss this part, and honestly it’s mostly because I’m lazy, but wandering the earth as a disembodied spirit seems rather dreary, so I do have to take care of this mortal coil. Take meds - Go back to taking my maintenance medication, talk to a doctor to see if I need more. Go to therapy - Try to attend more sessions regularly, seek other avenues for mental health maintenance Eat well - Go back to fasting, cut out the excess alcohol, try to exercise more. Again, this may all be thrown out tomorrow. But for a brief moment this Tuesday evening, I thought enough about myself to actually want to save myself.

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