Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Suicide Is a Choice, So Don't Choose It.

Update 2016: This article was featured in my book "Saying NO to Suicide", with added commentary.

Feeling a little down tonight. I know intellectually it's just a bout of depression, but emotionally I'm a bit drained. I'm going to vent my spleen, to use a curious expression, and then I'll go off and be more productive.

Suicidal ideation is a
pain in the butt.

(cc) Douglas CooteyI realize that isn't eloquently worded, and perhaps you may not understand how I could be so glib about such a stark matter, but I'm rather tired of this old issue resurfacing to occupy my time.

Somebody tweeted the other day about how suicide wasn't a choice, but instead "happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain". I contemplated that for a moment, but to my way of thinking it sounded like an excuse. Just because emotional pain seems to exceed resources for coping doesn't mean that one's volition is absolved. That means to me that the person has stopped fighting. They chose suicide as a viable option. Suicidal ideation for me is always just that: ideation. It is never something I act on no matter how deeply I hurt or wish to end the pain because I choose not to.

Earlier yesterday evening I wanted to die. Every option I could think of involved me dying and nobody truly missing me. I've had feelings like this off and on through the years since I was fifteen. What a pile of rubbish. I'm insulted that I even thought that way, yet all I could focus on yesterday evening was the negative things people have told me, even recently: I'm too intimidating. I'm too intellectual. I'm too finicky. I'm too grumpy. I'm too deep. I'm too weird. And somehow in my mind me being removed from the stage of life would make things better.

You know what I am? I'm not too much of this and I'm not too much of that. I'm simply lonely and unhappy with my lot in life. I'm a disabled, stay-at-home dad who doesn't get out much. I'm tired, frustrated, and just a bit weary of the fight. Somedays it gets like this. Occasionally these feelings surface strongly and all the positive thinking in the Universe seems feeble against the onslaught. It's not logical. It doesn't make a lick of sense, and yet the idea that I'd be better off dead becomes a certainty in my mind during those moments.

I thank my Father in Heaven that I have sense enough to know that way of thinking is faulty. I wouldn't be better off dead. The idea is ridiculous.

I won't discuss the event that triggered the depression because looking back I find it so trivial that it embarrasses me. Suicide has always been a poor solution. I could give in to it or I could fight it. I always fight. Maybe I am too grumpy, after all…

Some time has passed since I wrote the above and I'm in a better place. Depression is a trick of the mind and I am determined not to let it rob me of life, both physically and mentally. I am an eccentric man in a world of farmers and accountants. I will find my path and make the best of it. To those who suffer from occasional suicidal ideation as I do, I have the following advice to give: You are not the sum of your thoughts. You are eternal and are far greater than the wetware that makes up your body. Some of us have buggy minds in need of a reboot from time to time, but don't pull the plug. The pain is an illusion and will pass. Your life is precious. Cherish it.