Had a conversation with Cara this afternoon. She champions a project, “Talking about suicide – because it’s not a taboo.” I was sharing my experience with her, and also sparked off some inspiration for this post. Indeed, just yesterday with my shrink, we discussed my friend’s suicide earlier this year and how I felt.
I struggle with myself every other day, if not every day, on why I should stay alive. It frustrates my fiance and my shrink I guess, that after my suicidal attempts, and as I am out of that bottomless pit of dark days although “still in remission”, I continue to have these “suicide ideations” (I’ve picked up some medical jargons here and there). It’s not “normal”, so they say.
But what is normal? Just because everyone thinks that I’m thinking wrong doesn’t necessarily make me wrong? Dude, I detest it when anyone says to me “don’t think like that”. So what, think like you? Then that makes me you, and not me. More often than not, I wake up these days, and consciously have to put the thoughts “I really want to die” out of my head. So I busy myself with calligraphy class, cooking and trying out recipes, walking Bamboo, and rearranging and tidying things in the house. However, when I’m busy I feel like I have no time for myself, so I stop and try to read a book. Yet, once I quiet down, I start thinking about ending my life again. So, I start to busy myself once more – and the cycle keeps repeating itself.
So many times I’ve sat on my window sill ready to jump down, and then I start thinking: I will miss my dog, who will make smoothies for Timmie, I can’t play the new Angry Birds updates anymore, my Spanish is not fluent yet…. And my head floods with all these things I want to do.
Then I think, “well, all that won’t matter anyways after I die.” The thoughts go round and round until eventually I get too tired thinking, and fall asleep on the bed adjacent. And anyways, the 6th floor is not high enough to get me killed I don’t think, last thing I want is to break my spine and not die, and have to hang on in a coma or something for the next 30 years.
Indulge me – if the Bill of Rights and constitutions and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights etc all stipulate that we have a right to live, then why is the converse not true? Even euthanasia in the case of terminal illnesses is still an ethical debate. Why are we not free to decide when and how we want to die? If we don’t want to live, who or what has the authority to stop us? Honestly, I don’t understand why people make such a big hype about suicide, why it’s something we need to prevent, and why in some countries, an attempt becomes a criminal offense if you don’t actually die? Is it really such a negative thing, or we just define it as such? After all, it’s all part of life – well, it’s part of life until the act terminates life.
People tell me, it would be a pity if I died, there are many great things I could do. Yeah, if I live long enough I could become some worldwide influential figure of some sort and say, make the world peaceful. And then what? And even if I don’t accomplish that, someone else would. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t matter so much.
What’s more, they all say that these people who love me will miss me and be sad if I left – um, hold on right there… so I have to stay alive just to make everyone else happy, and I have to keep breathing so as to keep all these other people from feeling negative emotions? Well, what about me? That seems to go against my own blog of just being myself and not needing to answer to anyone, and putting my own interests and emotions first in order to take care of myself. It’s a bit unfair, that we want to keep someone alive just so that we don’t have to go through the agony of losing them and missing them, even if that someone might actually be “happier” dead, assuming there’s a future life and all that.
It’s quite confusing. I don’t quite have an answer, and didn’t set out on providing one. Just my muse. I don’t think I’m going to try to kill myself again. But I need to work out why I continue to think like this.
Oh wells, today is sunny, my puppy is cute and just stopped going nuts racing around the coffee table, I am sipping tea and busy writing this, so let’s just leave it at that for now.
And really, the point of this, if I must give what I write a point, is to bring this topic out in the open, so it becomes less of a taboo, and people struggling with the same issues as me can find some encouragement.
Thank to Cara for your efforts for giving us a platform and a voice.
Only through more awareness and understanding, can we find closure.
UThank you once again for being so open about your feelings and thoughts. It takes a lot of courage to embrace vulnerability. Most people are so numbed they don’t even know their emotional state. When you are able to acknowledge and accept the pain, that’s when you can let them go and move on. It’s all part of healing process. xoxo
Hi Viv – good to hear from you hear. Thanks for understanding where I come from and supporting me, and not telling me : ” you shouldn’t think like that!”
LIke you say, it’s a process that i need to go through. I have the card you sent me on my desk and I look at it everyday and think of you 🙂
noch, you’re intense!
You never cease to amaze me with your openness and courage! You are right, you don’t have to live only just to make someone else happy. You’re making me think. Why does anyone live? What’s the purpose of any life? Why not just stop procreating, because no life is that important. The galaxy will go on without our miniscule presence. I don’t know why. But I do know that if we are here, it must be a part of a divine plan. Because if we did not matter, we wouldn’t be writing this in the first place.
Perhaps the purpose of this life is to question our very existence. Perhaps it’s so that we can grow beyond ourselves. So that we can evolve into something more. This can be achieved through a mondane, day to day life, through contemplation, prayer and even suffering. Yes, suffering. And if that’s the card you were dealt… play it to the end!
Be well. Vlad
Hi Vlad, always good to hear from you here. I guess part of it is also my question why suicide and/or depression is so stigmatized, so just throwing out my ideas out. But you are right, it must be some sort of divine plan. And it’s to grow beyond ourselves, all this questioning and pondering. I always think to myself, “i’m here for something great. one day the world will be a better place because of me” 🙂
slightly arrogant perhaps, but the confidence we need to strive on despite our miniscule presence 🙂
[…] and reminds you to not forsake your inner zeal. Mine came with suffering from major depression, and giving up my life a few times. A necessary evil. After all, Sylvia Plath wrote her best works during her periods of despair too. […]
[…] depression or not, to carry on an extra mile. I do not purport to hold the panacea to problems, for I still struggle. Nevertheless, through my struggles, maybe it would give you some reassurance that you are not […]
Hi Noch Noch:
It definitely takes a lot of strength to share yourself in the way that you are. I don’t know what it is like to have the feeling of taking one’s life. Sure, everyone thinks it at least once in their life when everything seems to be going wrong in one’s life, but on an ongoing basis that is entirely different.
Having spent a lot of time studying alternative health, I know how much what you put in your body has an effect on your mind and health. Trying to eat as much organic, unprocessed, unrefined food and non GMO food. Also, any medications that are not necessary, I would avoid. I am not sure if you are taking anything, but I suspect a doctor would have prescribed an anti depressant, etc. They have have a huge effect on ones’ state of mind and I have witnessed it in people around me. Not sure if any of these helps, but I thought I would point out these things as places to look.
Hi Wendy – Thanks so much for the advice. I have stopped antidepressants now for quite a few months. I’ve been taking some Chinese medicine given that I’m in Beijing, as I think herbs tend to be more natural. But I do agree with you that its best not to take any medication if possible. I used to be very drowsy when I was on anti depressants. Have been exploring organic food, though authentic ones are not necessarily easy to come by here in Beijing. On good days I’m good, on bad days I’m really bad, but at least now I can manage the bad days better and keep myself more in check. Thanks for the encouragement and see you here again soon
[…] myself stay alive when all I wanted to do was escape from life. Perhaps this is not so much a risk in the conventional sense. Yet in the mindset at that moment […]
hi noch noch,
your writing presence is very unique and inspiring. so unbelievably refreshing.
i have struggled with some of these same questions myself. and this same pattern on occasion. i think it runs in creative people – really! the ability and tendency to question everything is common in creative people, which can lend itself to intense experiences of mood shifts.
creative people tend to not be so happy in the 9-5 routine with weekend getaways and a 401k – with everything in neat little boxes. we like to take the boxes apart and burn the edges and make an art piece with the pieces. its not all bad!
i have loved exploring the world of poetry. i think you might, too. some of rumi’s poetry is beautiful and ecstatic; emily dickinson’s is great for introspection and self awareness. i took a poetry writing class that really pushed me and the therapeutic benefits from that were really astounding. you touch a part of yourself that is deeper than writing. and it can be so beautiful, even the ugly parts.
also, you say you want to find a reason for why we are significant. i can understand this too. i believe that we are small little parts of a web of energy; that God or whomever created this world created our energy in it, too to keep everything running. i also believe that we are of very little consequence for the world, you’re right. but i dont think thats the point of living. i think the point is to learn to come back to the center of your being, the Source, where there is an “insular Tahiti” or an endless summer. the place of peace and joy that has never left, that is always deep inside under all the layers. to unfold into love, where we came from. to say Yes to everything in life and see the beauty in all of it. to fall in love with ourselves and treat our bodies like goddesses. then living can be a total precious jewel, to be savored and then given up when its time. like eating a really delicious cookie. society doesnt know what is right for us. the body and the mind are our guides. what feels good and natural is what is right.
sorry this was so long! sending hugs.
First off – please don’t apologize for writing so long. Thank YOU for doing so, and sharing your thoughts here. Rumi and Dickinson are some of my favourite poets too!! I want to start reading them again when I have more energy. You are right, the body and mind are our guides, and we should know what’s right for us. I appreciate you consider me a creative person. I used to discount myself and think creativity exists with artists, painters, ideas people. I never thought my writing was creative. but i guess it’s got its creative strains too 🙂
I’m happy to hear that you like my writing. I’m rediscovering this passion and find my voice in this
Hope you will come back
[…] the most appropriate thing to do then, in that trapped logic, was to die instead of going through the torture of […]
[…] you to end up like me 14 years later, and I don’t want you to have to go through depression and suicide attempts like I did, because you felt you have let the whole world […]
The world is a better place today because you are in it. I had to get that out right out front. Now I have two points. First, people who say they never wonder about why they should go on living are probably lying. Everybody does it. Its not normal? Really? Who among is normal? Of course you think about these things and with your history it makes sense that you think about it more than others. But let me say again, the world is a better place because you are in it and you share your words with the rest of us. You are better than any fireman, doctor or super hero in my book but you share and you help people to know they are not alone. My final point is this. I know why you should keep living and it isn’t just because the world is a better place with you in it. It is because each day is new and tomorrow may suck but it might be perfect. There may be that one moment of absolutely clarity that makes everything else worth it. There is always that next minute that next day that next year and you never know what it holds. Life sucks but life is also great and giving. Life is life and you of all people need to live it and love it and expect some great days out of your future.
First off – thanks for the encouragement that the world is a better place because I’m in it. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when I’m in low mood. I get what you mean, for some of the great days. we live on. I have survived for now, I might as well live it and be alive, right?
Moments of clarity come as well. More and more frequent. One day I will make it. but every day could be challenges. just need to take it in a stride
thanks for coming by, and reminding me that I’m of some value 🙂
Hope you are well
[…] days when I could not get up from bed, hospital visits everyday, shutting myself up from the world, attempts at ending my own life, and losing 15kilos because I had no […]
[…] much more to do and see – perhaps a reason to stay alive for […]
[…] many people like to talk about stress, death, suicides, depression, anxiety, panic attacks. So we reword and focus on “how to be happy,” “how to […]
[…] Gently, they helped me onto the bed. In my daze, I surveyed my sanctuary, decorated with white lights and curtains, and white bed sheets in between the machines that beeped. I even had my own bathroom in this petit ward. Everything was pristine, immaculately clean, and white. There was an eerie peace to it. I thought I was in heaven and was about to meet God and defend my myself as to why I had chosen to die. […]