It sounds like this is going to be one of those inspirational posts giving a list of arbitrary reasons why life is worth living. Spoiler alert: it ain’t.
Suicide can be described as many things. Selfish. Cowardly. The Easy Way Out. And it leaves the people behind you desperately wondering why. Well, as for the cowardly and easy way out, I ask folk with such opinions if they’ve ever tried suicide. Because as someone who’s considered it on more than one occasion (this week), it really fucking isn’t easy. Or cowardly. It’s choosing to remove everything about life. All the potential life that could be led, all the people who could be met, all the lives that could be made better, will all be extinguished within a moment. All the lives you leave behind will be shattered and broken. Even the most superficial of relationships - work colleagues, people you know from the bus stop - will be changed as a result. To know all this and still commit suicide? That’s not cowardly, and it’s certainly not fucking easy. It’s not brave either, I’m not saying that. I am saying that one has to be pretty godsdamned desperate in order to consider this, the most final of acts, as the only option left.
As for selfish, well yes, you’ve got me there. That’s not necessarily an entirely negative thing, you understand, but still. By dying, your worries, your issues, your horrible, crushing, debilitating depression will end. The lives of those around you will not, and it’s them who have to deal with your death, not you. You’re dead, after all. A lot of the suicidal depressives I’ve talked to over the years have been genuinely under the impression that they are a burden to their loved ones, and that said loved ones would be much better off without them on this mortal plane. That might not be the truth, but it’s a powerful belief, and in that mindset suicide can be seen by the sufferer as an act of kindness - the only one they’re capable of. Whether it is or not is another argument entirely.
But those issues aside, it’s the idea that suicide is an irrational desire that I’ve been thinking about recently. It’s not the norm, and so when a suicide makes the news, as Stephen Fry’s has done, the internet is ablaze with comments wondering how such a lovely man could ever think of ending his own life. How could someone like that wish to leave this world?
My argument is another question. Have you seen this world? It’s being destroyed by idiots, wars are waging, people rape and loot and steal and kill every minute of every day. People are born addicted to heroin and meth and alcohol, and the fact that people are being born into a heavily overpopulated ecosystem is a worry in itself. There’s AIDS and cancer and TB and cholera and all sorts of horrible things. People are horrific. They are a disgusting plague on this once beautiful rock, and the way I see suicide is that at least that’s one less person out of it, even if that person is me.
For the record, I will never commit suicide. The desire is there - oh sweet gods, the desire is there - but I have made too many promises to folk. And I never, ever break promises. If I can’t keep ‘em, I don’t make ‘em. I just wanted to chip in my own two cents.