Sunday, January 16, 2011

There was no note...

An acquaintance of mine recently committed suicide. Everyone I know is incredibly broken up by this.

I feel nothing.

I handle death differently than most that I know. Death inevitably comes with life and I don't see it as anything but natural. What will be worse for me is when it does hit and I start thinking about my own mortality. I don't believe in an afterlife. There is life, and there is the void of nonexistence. I literally feel a drop in the pit of my stomach at the contemplation of utter nonexistence. Spending any great amount of time thinking about this will drop me into an almost paralyzing anxiety. Afterwards, I waver between a reckless need to experience everything in life because this is the only one I have, and clinging to that which is safe but makes me enjoy life all the more, but can cause me to hermit. I may be reckless, or structured to stabilize. Now, I don't know. I guess I'll see.

While my friends are screaming about how selfish he was, how could he do this to his friends, his family, why didn’t he ask for help, anger, etc. I can empathize. I have a slightly different perspective on suicide as I've contemplated it so often, for so long. 
I’m sure he did ask for help. For years. Doubtful, this was a quick decision. When you are loved, and still, all you feel is the oppression of hopelessness, there is nothing more to look forward to. Nothing tying you to this plane. Death is a release. The only escape from the pain. It may be selfish, but not understanding, not forgiving someone a release from a life lived in misery because you feel a loss, is selfish too. What makes one act of selfishness, more relevant than another? Who’s to say.

When you tell people you want it all to end, and they cry about how it will make everyone else feel, all this does is add guilt on top of pain. I’m sure there’s the undertone of ‘all these people love you, you have so much to be grateful for’ there, but that’s not how it feels. It’s becomes just one more reason why you suffer and create suffering for those around you.

I can only wonder if he found the release he clearly needed so desperately. I feel no sadness just a sort of resigned understanding.

Most of my friends don’t know how tenuous my hold to my life can be some days. I don’t talk about it. But I understand the need. I can’t feel sad about his decision to end his life. While I understand why his friends and family miss him, I don’t understand the thoughts that he was selfish and inconsiderate. The pain caused to others in the wake of the event I understand. To me it seems like people are forgetting that for someone to make this decision, they pain they have lived with for so long masks the future in only more crippling pain. Why would you want someone to live like that for your own sake? That, to me, is selfish.

There's too little life to waste it on things that make you unhappy. Let go. Forgive. Move on. Reconcile. Release. Find things that make you happy. There is no second chance to live. 



5 comments:

  1. You obviously do if you are typing a blog about the fag.

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  2. This may be a foreign concept to you, but it is possible to Think /and/ be emotionally detached.

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  3. yeah, i can't judge those who commit suicide, and the attitude people have that it's selfish are simply the hurt people left behind to mourn. They simply can't grasp it, or grasp that everyone has their own extremity and value-system for their own lives.
    Suicide is undeniably tragic. But selfish? I doubt that has any relevance when you're dealing with a sick, deeply pained and wounded person.

    Plus, I'd love to see one of these people try to kill themselves, it's the hardest thing on earth, and takes balls of steel and a conquering of the fear of potential excrutiating pain, brain damage, and oh yeah, that little thing called death. Death, the great unknown. That's pretty damn scary.

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  4. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way "To me it seems like people are forgetting that for someone to make this decision, they pain they have lived with for so long masks the future in only more crippling pain. Why would you want someone to live like that for your own sake? That, to me, is selfish." I completely agree. It makes me so mad when people get so angry and acusatory of people who have committed or tried to commit suicide.... I understand how unbelievably painful it is to lose someone, for someone you love to die, but death will happen eventually to them, to all of us. To want someone to be alive in utter misery just so you can postpone losing them is selfish, it's closeminded. It's not compassionate or understanding.

    Someone I dearly love and who's been in my life a long time (and has BPD) has been suicidal since she was 8 years old. One time she took loads of pills when she was spending the night in my house. She ended up telling me though.
    Of course I had to phone an ambulance, we had to get her parents involved. But I never judged her once. I wasn't mad at her.
    How cruel is it to add your anger to that person's already excruciating emotions?
    Her parents screamed at her and made her feel horrible in the hospital that night, and there was nothing I could do. But they made it so much worse, I could see it in her eyes.

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  5. I know this is a few years old now, but I just read it now and I really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your writing this.

    Earlier today, I had seen a post on facebook all about the reasons someone shouldn't kill themselves (of course, all of the reasons included the pain and suffering it would cause everybody else). I don't really know why, but I had read the comments on it and so many people kept referring to suicidal people as "stupid and selfish". Not only did I feel very enraged about this, but it also made me feel bad about myself. While I did leave a comment, probably in vain, to state that suicidal people don't believe anybody will be sad about their death, so many people saying it was selfish to even so much as CONSIDER suicide really got to me. My already shaky self-image was disturbed and I started to wonder, "Am I selfish for having attempted suicide? Does the fact that I wanted to die so badly I swallowed a bottle of pills make me a bad, uncaring person?" And, ironically, it made me feel like killing myself because I felt like such a bad person for feeling that way (if you can follow that logic).

    So thank you. Thank you for being the decent human being who shows compassion toward the suicidal. I realize this is likely due to your personal experiences with such thoughts, but thank you for writing this.

    I would also like to say that I thought I was the only one who thought about death in this way. I always feel bad when I feel a complete absence of feeling when someone I know dies, but I never feel anything. It occurs to me that it may have something to do with a lack of object constancy. Sort of similar to the way I tend to lose my emotional connection to people once they're no longer in my life and they start to feel like characters instead of real people.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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