Nobody commits suicide.At least, nobody commits suicide any more than they commit a diabetic coma or a cardiac arrest.
It isn't a crime to commit, it is the unfortunate demise brought on by years of accumulated damage - perhaps a less acceptable one than a surfeit of cheeseburgers.
If you're the one playing the devil's advocate for sinners, please rank it with gluttony and sloth.
I don't intend to minimize the act here, but nobody in their right mind goes that way. I want to talk about those that did, but I never know how to put my words together. But I talk about one death - the same death, over and over.
A loved one's suicide never quite washes off your mind. And it is never the day or the moment that just fails to fade out. What I remember vividly is the year before that, was a witness to it, from as up close as humanly possible. I saw the face of depression up close, felt the shadow if it touch my future.
Perhaps some of you can describe being depressed. For the lucky folks here, let me describe the sensation I had by proxy.
Imagine you're having an asthma attack - you can't breathe, your lungs are choking up and your throat is straining. Right at that moment, someone tells you that what you need is some fresh air in this beautiful garden of roses and shows you how they breathe in & out throwing their chests out. And then ask why you're ruining the day for everyone by reaching for the inhaler, before it was even 10 AM.
This isn't some pervasive sense of sadness, but an accute occurrance of hopelessness and despair. The weight of the world falls on your shoulders and you can't move - everyone's just asking you to get up and do things. The inability compounded by the knowledge that at least some of the world is your responsibility to move.
And there-in, Ophelia, lies the rub. Social conditioning and my personal observation tells me that's where being brought up to be a Man bites your head off.
Years of indoctrination has taught (me) that - Men are resilient, Men do things, Men have responsibilities and that when in a crisis, the rule follows that you save "Women and children first".
Imagine, after fifty long years of being that, you're stumbling for the first time. And there's a huge stigma attached to being a problem for the people who depend up on you. I suspect, the indoctrination goes to your heart for those who've survived long odds, like returning soldiers from a war front.
Except you haven't learnt to talk about your emotions. You've lived your life with rational thought and enlightenment, treating emotions as fickle pertrubances to be ignored, like fear or desire - talking about them gives them more credence than necessary.
And then there's the stigma of treatment. Treatment for the chemistry in your brain is considered somewhat different from any chemistry elsewhere. I've never seen anyone reluctant to take Insulin for social reasons. I have never seen anyone skip an X-Ray in case they need a cast for their swollen foot. I've never before seen someone dodge treatment or diagnosis for worry that they'll get caught up in it.
Insanity has a huge price attached to your sense of self, since it is the only scenario your own input into your condition can be disregarded. In fact, just worrying about your own improvement might be treated as a symptom.
I have to come to understand that death - the terminal condition of an untreatable depression.--
It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living.
-- Terry Pratchett
You get to say no last goodbyes.
One cold december evening, I walked into a house of wailing to see my dad in a casket, laid out in the living room. If I could call it a living room anymore. And I couldn't even cry. Not while things were left to be done, people left to be comforted and a pair of large shoes to be filled, before I could truly mourn.
I cried into my pillow all night. I told myself that I wouldn't. But as the waves of sorrow came crashing down, I just couldn't help myself. I told myself that I had to be brave, I had to be strong, that now more than ever, I am a man.
And I cry. For all that I've left unsaid. Respect, love and my last goodbye.--
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, must give us pause:
there's the respect that makes calamity of so long life;
-- Shakespeare, "Hamlet"
Maybe it's because my life feels so empty right now, but I keep hearing echoes of my past.
Have the courage to take your own thoughts seriously, for they will shape you.
-- Albert Einstein
We delude ourselves into thinking we are original. That all our interactions, love, hate and relationships are nothing like what the other six billion are going through. Feel like slapping the friends who said "I know what you're going through", because they just can't. Can they? Only one day to actually snap out of it, wake up and realize that you've been ad-libbing your way through a lost script written and replayed unrehearsed in pretty much every corner of the planet.
The realization that I'm ordinary is pretty much a revolting thing to digest. But it's kinda hard to dodge, when you can just press play and listen to this.
It is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette.
As I leaned on the wall of the bathroom, huddled down to reach the payphone to my ear, all I was waiting for was the voice at the other end to smile and say Hello. As much as I wish I could talk to it, just listening didn't seem to help. People walking by constrained me, timezone you were in restrained me and thus the payphone betrayed me. Couldn't shout what I wanted, couldn't hear what I needed - not even hear a goodbye right, nor say those thoughts which burst into my mind. Perhaps it's the hope that brings the pain, that to talk to you would fix my day - but to have it denied again & again. You are busy, I'm eating lunch, reasons many and then a bunch. Can't blame the system, can't blame the phone. It's just that you & I can't find the time. Miss each other, but miss the time.
I guess sometimes what you really run out of is time. It's a long way round to the start and I guess it'll just take time, what I have & what I don't.--
Perhaps the magic would last. Perhaps it wouldn't. But then, if it doesn't, what does?
A ship set sail on a new sea, with a destination unknown. Carrying on it, a cargo dear to me. Across the river and into a world that might not be. Gone away, never to come back. To find his peace with that world, having given it up on this.
And I was left on this shore. Left behind. Left alone, waving goodbye. Left waving goodbye ...--
Do not seek death; Death will find you.
But seek the path which makes death a fulfilment.
The road didn't know me, but the streetlights said hello. From the shadows they twinkled their silent message out to me. The mist hung over them like a curtain, parting for my passage. As the wheels crunched over the gravel and stopped, a light shone in the distance.
Someone. Awake. Waiting for me. I ran, ran up all the stairs. Burst open into the light and a voice, all but whispered "have you eaten?".
And I knew I was home.--
do not try this at home.
We are all so much together and yet we are all dying of loneliness.
-- A. Schweitzer
Nothing but echoes.--
There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.
-- Marie Antoinette
Run away I did. Not from myself, nor my troubles.
But run away I did - from whom I'd have hurt.
Run away I did, for their pain I cannot borrow or share their sorrow.
Run away I did, if only to come back. Come back stronger.
Run away, I did. But no longer.--
Life only demands from you the strength you possess.
Only one feat is possible -- not to have run away.
-- Dag Hammarskjold