What’s in a Name?

Like everything, there is a story behind the name Suicidal Tulip. First, the name Suicidal Flower was taken, but that’s OK. That meant I had to pick a specific flower, and the tulip has always been one of my favorites. Second, yeah, I’ve been suicidal a number of times and suicidal ideation is my frequent companion. Third, I’ll get to why a flower a little later.


I’ve been on and off of a number of anti-depressants since my mid-20s. It’s sort of amazing I got that far without someone trying to force them on me. For better or for worse, I didn’t formally enter the daunting mental healthcare system until well past my depression and anxiety became constant companions.

On a physical note, my lower spine has been quite unreliable over the years. There were intermittent outages starting around age 15. By my mid-30s, pain had become another of my constant companions. In 2017, the shit hit the fan and my body told me quite clearly that it was done pussy-footing around. Oh, and I also got diagnosed with stomach cancer. It was a banner year.

In terms of how cancer could go, I got off easy. My carcinoid tumor was surgically removed. No radiation. No chemo. My last biopsies of my stomach lining were clear. There are other stomach and digestive issues still ongoing, and I’ll probably talk about them some other time.

My back was what led me to mostly quit my job as a pet sitter at the end of 2017 —no walking dogs for me, but cats I can manage. By January 2, 2018, I had a period where I couldn’t walk without assistance, spent countless hours in physical therapy, and got four shots in several spinal facet joints and my SI joints. I still have a good deal of pain. I’m working on it.

That period where I couldn’t walk? That was when a doctor put me on gabapentin for pain. The first night, I had a psychedelic trip where I thought I was a flower planted in the earth, all one with the soil and the universe and all that mystical to do. If nothing else, it confirmed I much prefer ecstatic states not created by drugs.

Almost a week ago, I was joking and commiserating with friends about the weird, strange trip my life has been lately, and out popped the phrase “suicidal flower.” My first thought was, “That would make a great band name.” My second thought was, “I need to make this the title of a blog.”

I like “Suicidal Tulip” even better than “Suicidal Flower.” Sometimes life works out like that, and I’ll take it whenever it does. Here’s to the next chapter in my weird, strange trip on Planet Earth.

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