I have been prompted to write this after overhearing yet another conversation in which the point that suicides are extremely selfish was being made.
I know I have made this point before but that argument completely ignores he fact that it ascribes to people an emotion they are no longer able to feel. Whatever has driven them to that point is an illness. It is an illness just like any visible illness but in many ways harder to treat. It involves very real pain but again a pain that can’t really be treated. Above all it distorts a person’s sense of reality.
I read this on an editorial piece earlier today. “A person who is about to take that lethal cocktail, turn the ignition in the sealed garage or lose their grip on a railing is a person who is lost, desperate and, as so many people with depression will tell you, feels like a burden and believe they are doing the world a favour.” This is true and a crucial point. From the person’s perspective what they are doing is far from selfish. It is releasing others as well as themselves.
My friend who drowned. It took me a long time to see it but what she did was actually a brave act. From her perspective which was the perspective of a person who was very ill. I saw what it did to people left behind. Possibly seeing that particular fallout is the only reason I’m still around today. From where she was in her very ill state she couldn’t possibly have seen that fallout. I also have to balance all of that with the knowledge that, when well, she was one of the most unselfish people I’ve known.