Suicide is on the rise
Suicide and suicidal thoughts seem more prevalent at the moment. There have been several high profile suicides in the news recently.
Even at a local level, suicide rates have been on the rise.
A person I knew killed themselves at the start of July.
I wouldn’t say that we were close, but we knew each other. The person was a Mental Deficiency fan so their taste was impeccable. I was surprised that the person took their own life, it’s sad. It got me thinking about suicidal thoughts.
What must happen to someone to let that voice get so loud that it’s all you can hear?
I don’t know.
I’m going to type up an entry from my journal for you. I wanted to get my thoughts on paper. This was for myself. We have complicated relationships with that urge for self-destruction. At least I do. I’m sharing it with you so that maybe if you see someone else expressing these thoughts you can maybe do something to help them.
Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, I’ve been hesitant to publish this post. I understand if you find the content upsetting.
No one should kill themselves. Not even bad people.
I’m sure you can come up with instances where I would agree that allowing someone to kill themselves would be OK. You could get me to accept that assisted suicide for the terminally ill is alright.
If I ever get Alzheimers or dementia you have permission to take me out the back of the bunkhouse like I’m Candy’s dog.
If you’re of sound body and mind, you should not kill yourself. It feels weird to have to state this. It also got me thinking. Maybe the person who killed themselves wasn’t of sound body and mind. Maybe they were suffering in ways that weren’t visible.
I know the person who took their own life had health problems were they fed up being sick the whole time?
I don’t know.
It’s not that I am trying to analyse this person. The reason that I’m telling you this is that it felt like it came out of the blue.
Again, we weren’t that close, so I’m not an expert. The surprise of their death got me thinking because I didn’t see it coming. I like to believe that I can spot moods in people. Their sudden death blindsided me and now I’m guessing is there someone else in my circle in pain that I can do something to remedy?
I don’t like the thought of people I care about (even those I don’t) thinking that they are backed into such a corner that they can only see suicide as the way forward.
Life is so good I wish that I could help people see it.
I know you’re out there
I’m worried because I know there’s someone out there who is aware of this person killing themselves and thinking, “This suicide thing is looking more and more like a good idea”. This is to the psychological concept of social proof. One person does it, more people will do it.
I don’t want that to happen.
I know that there’s someone out there with suicidal thoughts. This is because their death rekindled those thoughts in me.
When I was in my teens, I tried to kill myself. Looking back it seems like such an alien concept.
It feels like it was a different person carrying out the actions.
I don’t like to say that I suffered from depression, it feels offensive to people who are going through actual problems. Not me, in actual fact, it was just me being a hormonal teen.
I admit that occasionally there is a voice that quietly whispers to me when I’m in low form. It’s used to be a loud voice. Not anymore, it’s a voice so quiet, like someone accidentally brushing past your chair at a library only instead of a soft “excuse me”, it whispers “It would be much easier if you were dead”. Like a girlfriend who tells me that I need to grow up, I give the impression of listening before disregarding and getting back to doing my own thing.
You and I have those thoughts
Whether you like to admit it or not you’ll have contemplations of ending it all. It’s not even that serious it’s a form of playing pretend.
“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.”- Friedrich Nietzsche
Suicidal thoughts are always there, hanging around in the background. It depends on how much credence you give them.
So I’m going to share some thoughts with you in my journal.
You don’t have to read on but I didn’t know what else to say, I have done some editing and removed names and signifiers.
Be warned when I write for an audience of me I go full pretentious.
Diary Entry -17/7/18
I’m in the midst of mild depression. My sleep patterns are all messed up. I’m waking up late, and I’m avoiding people. A person committed suicide, and it’s left a weird feeling. I wouldn’t have said that we were close, but it didn’t feel like that long ago that when we last messaged. (Start of April)
Do I feel guilty, I don’t know. Maybe if I reached out more than I did. They always seemed to be getting on fine, busy social life and working on projects. That’s how social media can dupe people. When all you see is surface, you don’t feel the need to explore the depths.
It was hard to tell from appearances if I asked more about her. It’s too late now.
It’s sad that they’re gone. There seemed to be a lot of love between them and their family. The hole that they will leave in their lives will be huge.
Knock on effect
Will their suicide lead to a knock on effect with others? I know this because I can feel it in myself. Years ago the siren’s call would have been too loud for me to resist. If something like this had happened I would have dashed myself on the rocks.
Now I’m Odysseus. I hear the song calling me, but the love I have for those in my life keeps me tied to the mast.
It feels so long ago. All the dark thoughts. Looking back it feels like I was a different person. How I had friends, how I still have friends is a mystery. How my family put up with me is a miracle.
I don’t know if anything could cause those thoughts to resurface. If something happened to Claire.
The word itself
Suicide the word feels like it is a means to avoid saying an uglier truth. Regicide, patricide, infanticide all words that are a pleasant way of saying murder.
Suicide is the murder of the self.
Are there even cliches that go around about suicide anymore? Do people say that it is a coward’s way out? Has anyone stopped to consider just how brave it is to take your own life?
When they call suicide bombers cowards, I don’t agree.
It takes a lot of balls to strap a bomb to yourself and blow yourself up. I wouldn’t have the balls to do that.
Do people say that people aren’t in their right mind? What if someone logically worked it out that this is for the best?
The fact is that there is no answer as to why people take their own lives. We are retreating into bubbles. These bubbles keep us safe and reaffirm our own biases but we become dull and fragile. The slightest of pinpricks, it pops and it all comes crashing down. We have replaced our actual communities with digital ones and because you and I are customers, we’re always right. We pick and choose the views that we are exposed to. It’s not good for our mental health and it will take some kind of critical mass to correct the course. There will be more suicides.
In a conversation, someone told me that it wasn’t my place to say that they made the wrong choice. This is an issue that I have with moral relativism. You get argued with that saying that someone dying is sad and a waste.
It’s sad that she’s gone. It’s a waste.