You might as well live

The last time I was in Finland, my mum set up an appointment for me to see a neurologist. My hands had been shaking uncontrollably for the past year, regardless of the time of day or my mood.

It was horrible. I’d continuously give out an image that I’m nervous, which in turn would make me even more anxious. My trembling hands were a constant reminder of the pressure cooker inside of me.

The man we went to see was a specialist in tremors. A short man in his late fifties with a raspy voice, he had ruled out such things as Parkinson’s within the first five minutes. It’s clearly worth going straight to the top of the tremor chain for answers.

“Obviously I can see that you’re shaking,” he says as he writes out a prescription. “But I couldn’t tell you what exactly causes it. What I think is going to happen is that as you recover, the trembles will also ease.”

We go over my recent history. My stay in hospital. Depression. Suicide attempts.

He types on his computer, prints out the prescription and hands it to me. Then he prints out another piece of paper.

“This has nothing to do with the trembling,” he says. “But I thought I’d still give it to you.”

It was a printout of a poem by Dorothy Parker. Nowadays I keep the poem in my purse as a reminder of all the kind people I’ve met throughout this journey. I would like to share it with you on this World Suicide Prevention Day.


By Dorothy Parker
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.


  1. Thank you, as always, for sharing a glimpse into your story. It’s nice to know that along the way, you’ve met kind people who have shone a little light on you.

    That poem is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Dorothy Parker – she was witty as all hell. I’ve found (at least in my own life) tremors are caused by lithium (nasty stuff that!) and my parathyroid issues. It’s likely neither applies to you, but I’m glad to see that you saw a doctor who had compassion and a wee sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I seem to shake on my own! At least it’s only hand tremors now. When I was hospitalised last year I had full body shakes that went on for hours on end and nobody could tell why. Betablockers have helped tremendously! I think of that doctor with warmth, he was one of the good ones.

      Liked by 1 person

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