It seems I never have time to sit down and compose my thoughts lately. It all started with the suicide of Robin Williams. Once it was plastered all over the news and social media that he took his own life, people started excusing it. They started saying suicide was a sad way to go, but its not wrong. The good that came of it is awareness that mental issues are serious, such as depression, anxiety and addictions. But the rest of what circulated was bologna.
I was raised with the belief that suicide is a selfish act, and also the cowards way out…. that when you have problems in life, you work them out, and that taking your own life should not be an option. And I suppose some of the beliefs or theories I’ve held about what happens after you kill yourself in the afterlife are from my Christian upbringing and from media such as “What Dreams May Come.” Oddly, that ties right back to Robin Williams, as he was the star in the movie adaptation of that story. So I was already heartbroken that he was gone, disgusted with everyone’s excuses for suicide, and tired of hearing about it.
So I posted my beliefs on Facebook, saying suicide is selfish and solves nothing, and hurts your family members, etc. The reactions from my friends got very heated real quickly. I was called insensitive, close minded, irrational, ignorant, and a bunch more very unfriendly names. The insults didn’t bother me as much as one sentence: “You live life for yourself, not anyone else.” As that relates back to the topic at hand, the phrase ate at me and ate at me for about 24 hours, and it broke me down, shattering my formerly held beliefs about suicide being selfish. I have always lived life to please others – my mom, my friends, my kids. I do believe the act itself is selfish because it leaves a wake of sadness. All your family members, friends and loved ones are left mourning your loss and trying to pick up the pieces of their lives without you. But besides that, if you aren’t happy with your own life, is suicide really the answer? It honestly doesn’t solve anything. And we as humans really have no clue what happens after we die. So how do we know that suicide will end the suffering? What if the suffering was to learn a lesson, and your consciousness continues to experience the hardship until the lesson has been learned? Is it truly up to us whether we live or die? In my opinion we were given a life to live, a body to use to live the life, and options and choices to choose our own path. If something is causing you to feel miserable, CHANGE IT! Talk to people, reach out. Make changes. Find something that makes you happy and run with it.
Life is hard, there is no doubt about that. Money is impossible sometimes, sicknesses and injuries make our bodies useless at times. But there is almost always a way to improve what we have, even if its just a change in our state of mind.
I must say, thinking about this made me reconsider the concept and reality of suicide. I have been at points in my life when I didn’t feel I could move past grief, or get through being desperately poor and homeless. I have been at the bottom of life. But I always kept in my mind that it could have been worse. Things can always get worse. So I counted my blessings, realized what I had to be thankful for, and kept on breathing, day in and day out. And I survived. And things got better. And then they got bad again, and then better again. And I’m sure I will have plenty more ups and downs. But I have children to live for. And a mom. And a sister. And a fiance. And friends. And yes I may live my life for them, but making them happy is what makes me happy. And that is my reality and no matter what anyone says, that makes life worth living for ME. I live life for them. And that is what makes life good for me. And though my views may not have been worded in a way people could understand them, it makes perfect sense to me.
I stand by my former statement. If you are feeling down, like there is no hope left in your life, please reach out! More people care than you believe. And if you feel you have no one to turn to, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit http://www.afsp.org/ to find out who can help you locally. No one should suffer in silence.