Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Selfish Act?

(I'm talking about suicide here. Tread carefully.)

A few weekends ago I went out to a show at the request of a friend that wanted to see some familiar faces around as he coped with the fact that another friend of his (one that I never knew but was a long time friend of his) had committed suicide. While talking about it someone mentioned how suicide was such a selfish act. The idea that one who commits this act is being inconsiderate of the people they leave behind.

But I wonder.

How is that conclusion made? How can it be said that a person who commits suicide is not being considerate of those they leave behind?

Work with me here for a bit. Also as a warning these are my own thoughts and therefore I don't claim to speak for all people who have thought about suicide.

When one is suicidal they are at the point where they are truly thinking that the people they would leave behind would be better off without them. In my own thoughts on this over the years it doesn't strike me as inconsiderate if for no other reason than, at least in my case, there has already been quite a bit of thought on exactly that subject.

Whenever I've been at that point I started questioning my value to my loved ones. Its said that love conquers all but when one believes that they are so useless, so worthless, so horrible that they are actually a burden on their loved ones and friends it becomes uncertain if love can overcome that.

Now some may be thinking that yes it can overcome those feelings. The thing is with me that actually means I am a burden to you if you are coming to my aid to show that you do love me and that you love me so much that you don't want me to die. Well that just makes me feel even more worthless. Now I'm thinking to myself, "If they have to do this then why am I here?". But even taking that into account I have one other question that I want to get at. Here is where things get dark and a bit mean.

Who in the hell do these friends think they are to declare that I'm being selfish with my own life?

When I was at my darkest moments the last thing I would want to have to hear is the idea that I am being selfish with my own life. Again I can't speak for everyone that has been there but another reason I'm on that edge is because I feel that I don't have control of my life. As in, "Well if everything is hopelessly out of control then why bother?" or, "The only thing I have control over is when I die."

In short suicide can feel like an act of taking control at a time when all other control is lost. Having even friends call a suicidal person selfish rails against the very control that they are trying to take into their own hands. A sort of, "How dare you do something with your life that I do not approve of?!?"

In closing I want to say that I'm not saying these things with the intent of telling you that caring about your friends and loved one's is wrong or that you shouldn't do it (because really if love conquers all then how easy can it be to simply not acknowledge it?).

What I am saying is that you may want to bear in mind what that suicidal friend may be thinking and how that intersects with you calling them selfish.