What I Learnt From My Depression: Suicide Is Not Selfish

What I Learnt From My Depression: Suicide Is Not Selfish

My suicide would be selfish. I don’t give a fuck what you say. If I committed suicide, I am a selfish bastard. People don’t like you saying that because it hurts people’s feelings. Guess what? Suicide, the choice to end your own life because you are drastically struggling with the problems of life hurts those who love and care for you. This is a fight I am constantly having with myself because the honest truth is I don’t know if my suicide would be selfish. I don’t know if anyone’s suicide is a selfish act.

What I do know is that it is a hard subject to deal with and I am too hard on myself.

The war is hard

I have considered suicide twice. I considered hanging myself from the attic by my school tie. My parents, likely my Mum who came home first would have found my hanging corpse swinging slightly, the life chokes out of me. What a fair way to treat the woman who gave me life to find me in my moment of premature death.

The second time I was seventeen and I considered leaping off the bus station in Preston (ironic considering I’m terrified of heights). It is a hotspot for suicides in a city that is known to be the suicide capital of Britain. Innocent strangers would have witnessed my splattering on the concrete below, would have heard the crunching of bone as I landed. I have seen someone do the same and it was horrible to witness. Those strangers and children do not deserve to see someone end their own life.

It is another form in which my anxiety and depression manifest itself. It tells me that I am being selfish. My mind makes me believe that even in death, I will be worthless.

I have regular casual thoughts of suicide almost weekly. The choice I try to make is to never act upon them. I have three reasons to reject these bullshit thoughts, for that is what they are: BULLSHIT.

To have lived is the greatest adventure of all

The first is that life is a gift from your parents. Your mother carries you to term after nine months and in the majority of cases, your parents raise you. When you reach adulthood, the rest is down to you and life offers you so much potential. Suicide is a waste of that gift and that potential. The best thing about death is that I ever lived in the first place. I choose not to waste it by ending it myself. I refuse to listen to the traitors in my own mind who wish to sabotage my life so that they don’t need to deal with me anymore. Fuck them.

By ending your own pain, you cause pain to others

My second reason is the unnecessary pain it will cause others. We will all die one day and we will leave loved ones behind. But suicide is a very different way of dying. To die in an accident or murder is the actions of another. Natural death is just the way life goes. Suicide is your decision to end it. That means that the loved ones around you will have to live with the fact that you ended it and they didn’t know how to help you. Survival guilt is a real issue and I believe it is unfair to inflict such unnecessary guilt on those I love.

Never let the traitors win

The third issue is that I know I can win. These suicidal thoughts are a test for me, set by the traitors in my mind. They taunt me with feelings of weakness and helplessness. They tell me I am worthless. I hate to lose. I have to push past them to succeed. The measurement of my success? Life. It is terrible, hard work that draws out the worst in people. More importantly, it is glorious fun. It is filled with happiness and love that we miss because we prefer to focus on our own misery. My brain tells me there is nothing happy in the world. I tell it to fuck off. I tell it that I have a life to live and it will not stop me. Suicide will not be my option.

You deserve better than the end you map for yourself

“Suicide is the selfish act because you treat the loved ones you leave behind with contempt. It is selfish because you surrender the gift of life that so many have never made it into because of miscarriages or abortions or one of the many other ways a small child can die. You are wasting the potential of life because you surrender to the traitors in your own mind that lie to you on a daily basis.” This is what I continually tell myself whenever my mind sinks to that darkest of places, despite not being sure whether it is a selfish action or not.

Suicide is not selfish!

Despite what I tell myself about suicide being selfish as a way of preventing myself going down that darker path, it isn’t true. Suicide is a complicated issue and claiming it is selfish takes away much of the struggle and emotionally draining toil that goes through a person’s head when they make the choice to end it.

Suicide is not the realm of cowards. To go through with the act of killing yourself, you are committing to an act of bravery that no person should ever have to make. And people do make this choice for a variety of different, difficult decisions.

How can we call someone selfish for committing suicide when in their depressed and anxious minds, they may believe that their deaths will ease the burden they feel they have placed on others?

How can we say that no one causes anyone else to commit suicide as if the criticism of the Netflix TV show, 13 Reasons Why when there are times when others have pushed people to commit suicide? What about the young LGBT kids like Tyler Clementi and others who commit suicide because of the bullying, abuse and rejection they receive from those around them? Sometimes, other people are to blame for such bright lights snuffing themselves out.

Be open to talk

The only way we can reduce the number of suicides is by opening up and allowing others to open up about their issues. And even then it will not stop every suicide because we all have traitors in our minds pushing us towards our own exit. When I hear about another person, like Chester Bennington, committing suicide, I feel an overwhelming sadness for them and those who are left behind to mourn them.

This world is full of so many bright lights that need not be extinguished by their own hand. We need to help those people by offering an ear when they need it. I have a place I can go when I need help with the traitors in my mind. I have my best friend’s ear as he has mine if we ever both approach the dark of the exit door.

Do not throw the accusation of selfishness at a person who has committed or attempted to commit suicide. Instead, use that energy to try and understand why they chose to leave this life earlier than they should. Research the illnesses that plagued their mind and move forward with that knowledge with the chance to help others.

You are a unique individual who has so much to offer the world. I don’t just mean the world as in countries, but the people you love and who love you, the community you live and grow in and more. You owe that to yourself and you can do it. I believe in you. For each suicide, I hear about (I live in the suicide capital of Britain), I feel sad for the loss the world has suffered. Each individual has a uniqueness to offer and you should focus on that. Focus on the light that makes you unique.

Choose to live. Choose to fight. You deserve it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *