the finest mofo this side of the west side (vicariance) wrote,
the finest mofo this side of the west side
vicariance

thoughts on suicide

Earlier tonight, an old friend of my posted a goodbye letter to facebook. The letter was short, cogent and beautiful. She expressed a life of misery and desire for an end to it. She reassured her friends and family that they had indeed been positive forces in her life, but it was clear that they were not enough to make her life worth living. She asked them to understand her choice and not begrudge her the selfish choice to attempt escape. They did not. Instead, everyone scrambled to find someone who could stop her, and they succeeded. I expect she is now in a hospital, and I imagine she is even more miserable and far more hopeless. I imagine her tear-streaked face, deadened by the knowledge that she failed, that she is now doomed to unending suffering.

I discovered the letter when it was mentioned to me by one of those so scrambling. I was shocked, naturally. But after I read her letter, I felt only deep sadness. It breaks my heart to imagine anyone in that much pain for so long--an entire life. And in the comments to her note, where others were expressing disbelief and indignation, the only thing I could think to say was "Good luck". Yeah, well, so much for luck. Shortly after I commented, someone else commented that she had been rendered "safe". Waves of relief swept the audience. I did not feel relieved. I felt something more like disappointment and frustration. And I felt the strong desire to apologize to her, on behalf of whoever intervened--for their selfishness.

Earlier today, interestingly, I was reading the wikipedia article on seppuku. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppuku
The Samurai of ancient Japan would take their own lives, rather than suffer the torture and shame of enemy capture. One quick, brutal slash across their own stomach. There lay, for them, great honor, in suicide.

Now, of course, we think they were fucked in the head. Imprisonment and torture are always better than death because at least there's HOPE. You can escape imprisonment; you can heal from torture; you can make up for your shame. What a bunch of fucking optimists we are.

Life is the greatest gift, after all.

Bullshit.

Lift is not a gift, people. That's sunday-school propaganda. Life is value-neutral. For some, life is filled to the brim with rewards and successes and above all: joy. For others life is a never-ending nightmare. At least, until it ends.

Some injuries cannot be repaired. And sometimes, in the end, it wasn't worth all the struggle.

I know there are all those walking-on-sunshine suicide-depression-recovery poster-children. And I know they would all take turns punching me in the kidneys for what I'm saying here. Fuck them. They lucked out, that's all. They won the goddamn psychological lottery. Yay. I do not believe that everyone can be saved.

And I don't think ANYONE should be. Well, kids, yes; they don't know what the fuck life is about yet. But adults? Cogent adults who regret the pain their death will cause their loved ones? Guilt like that is a symptom of maturity, not derangement.

I do not believe any reasoning, self-aware creature should be prevented from doing any damn thing to himself that he wants. Above all should be the right to quit. I feel that not having that freedom is tantamount to subjugation.

Sometimes giving up is the right thing to do. Blind persistence in the face of insurmountable opposition is stupid. And who could possibly gauge that battle other than yourself? Who would know better than you how difficult your life is? Who would know better than you if it's all worth it? You probably don't know either. I don't know if my life will ultimately have been worth it (though if I died right now, it would very much have been). Nobody should have the right to demand that you fight a battle that they can't know you'll win.

I feel deep sadness that my friend has such insurmountable opposition in her life, but I feel even sadder that she is now being forced to persist. I suppose I just have to hope now that somebody eventually succeeds in brainwashing her into loving life. Scrub-a-dub, optimists.
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