(First, thank you for the wording of this challenge. I have always thought of suicide as the ultimate act of selfishness. I wouldn’t have written about it, except you challenged me. <3)
There’s no poetry in suicide, just the empty holes it leaves behind. I know, because I’ve thought about it myself, taking my own life, but I’ve also survived the suicide of family and friends. It’s in my history, it’s all around me, and I’m left doing a lot of feeling and deep thinking. I’m a survivor; of rape, emotional abuse, and psychological torture. I know what it’s like to be done, to feel like you can’t take ”life″ anymore.
It’s a surprisingly heavy feeling, and the alluring thing about suicide, is how physically uplifting it seems to consider. To be gone. Nothing. Nothing is a very light feeling, if you’re not already too numb to feel anything at all.
But I also know about science, the body’s chemistry, and the real and very physical things happening inside me when I feel that way. My brain is literally flooding my system with specific little peptides (emotion-chemicals) that the rest of my body is parking into receptors I can feel. Every time those cells regenerate, they regenerate with the most-used receptors. The more I allow myself to sink into despair, the more I’m flooding my system with sad-chemicals, the more by body produces cells to receive them, and soon, I bodily crave the feeling without realizing it because the majority of my receptors are for receiving those chemicals.
I feel like I found a home in that sadness. I forget what it’s like to live without it.
That’s not imaginary, it’s a real, physical reaction to having more sad-chemical receptors.
I know that is why the anti-depressant pharmaceutical companies are making so much money. Why I wont go through a laundry list of side-effects to feel better. It’s why those dorky phrases about ”change your mind, change your body″ or ”mind over matter,” ”where there’s a will there’s a way,” ”if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter“, or ”whether you believe you can do a thing, or believe you can’t, you’re right″ etc., are actually true.
So, in those moments when I’m so low I’ve forgotten how to feel anything but despair and wanting to end it, how can I justify taking my life? End of cycle.
I literally have two options in that moment:
1) change my mind to find a way to better my “life” so I enjoy it rather than want to escape it, or
2) I take my life and stop my mind all together.
Option 1 will ultimately involve finding what I love, because that’s the only way to be happy. My only chance to repair my body to have more happy-chemical receptors, and have less chance of feeling despair in the first place. I may not succeed, but I will be alive to see the lives I impact with the effort, and buy myself more time to learn my own potential. Life goes on with or without us, but if I choose option 1, I’m apart of it, and it could be good...
Option 2 will ultimately involve losing everything I love, have loved, or would love, and depending on my religious/after-death beliefs, either return to repeat the cycle, exist oblivious to the world I left behind, cease to exist, or be left to watch helplessly, the very same world I couldn’t take to live in anymore. All of which amounts to... me deciding to take that option over seeing what I could do here, on Earth, with the folk who are sharing this life with me.
Selfish, both of them, but in Option 1 I have the potential to help others, inspire others, and really make a difference in my little string of existence within this huge web of a seriously messed-up society. In Option 2, I leave everyone behind. I don’t consult them, the ones that matter, they don’t matter to me, because not being matter anymore is the only thing that matters. It’s the kind of selfishness that surmounts any other selfishness because it’s finite, definite, ultimate, complete, the end... for me. The dead.
In option 2, I’m not around to help with the physical clean-up of my remains, nor the condition I’ve left them in; and let me tell you, you’re never as neat as you think you are- death is messy. Period. I’m not around to sort out my affairs, and if I was thoughtful enough to leave them in order, I’m not around to see it done right. I’m not around to share the good memories, or help those left behind in the sad ones. Even if I left a note to explain any of my parting thoughts, no one really knows what I felt, or why I would decide death over possibilities. I wont be around when they wonder what I could have been, or when there is no one to comfort the one I never knew I impacted- who now feels like their spark is gone and there is nothing left to live for.
That thing I could have discovered I loved, I could have been happy in perusing with a passion, it goes undone and those I could I have inspired must find other inspirations.
It’s like hacking the limb off the tree of life:
Nope. Sorry. You cannot travel this limb anymore, and it will grow no more branches, the leaves will never turn again, nor fall, nor grow that vibrant green you only get in spring- it’ll never bloom again, nor share it’s pollen and beauty with the world, nor offer any more seeds of anything.
What sense does it make for any of us to deny the rest of the world, or ourselves, those positive possibilities because we fear or dread, or can’t take the bad ones anymore?
Do branches get broken?
Yes. But when the tree lives, the branch grows again in a new way.
Do branches have to fight to survive?
Hell yes, every branch must navigate the others to find it’s own ray of light!
Is it difficult?
You bet, every branch is living in the same sea of life that helps it survive, threatens it’s well-being or life, or is indifferent all together but using the same resources.
Is the branch a victim of circumstance?
No branch decides where it grows from the tree, or how high it gets to the sky; but a victim waits for rescue and circumstance happens without them, while a survivor finds a way through circumstance because the other option takes them out of the equation.
My point is, when we live, possibilities are endless and we have a chance to guide them. When we commit suicide, we end that, and those left behind have to keep going in our wake, without our positive touch, or the growth of their own from helping us through our negative. Ultimately, those who commit suicide feel alone, like there is no other option, and the reality always is that there are, they just might not have realized or found them yet. The information is out there, the people are out there, the only thing needed to put them together is us. Suicide isn’t just selfish, it’s a literal no-option for everyone.
(o.o sorry for over 1200 words, been building up I guess.)