Friday, August 9, 2019

Dark Places

When I first encountered this picture, it was accompanied by the following, exactly as I found it:
Suicide was never the answer to your problems, my friend. It never was. You see, Life has hardships and we have to live with them whether we want it or not. Everybody experiences pain, yet some people are just there, being a coward, trying to kill themselves. Yes i said it, coward. Well what do you call someone who runs away from everything?

It may take your pain away from this "cruel" very world, but think of your loved ones, even yourself. And think what would happen if you killed yourself.

You see, everybody gets sad, depressed or whatever. You just gotta have to think of the good things that happened in you and think how life would eventually get better if you will stay strong and positive. If you're killing yourself, you'll miss out a lot of good stuffs.
I never speak ill of the dead, especially when it comes to labeling suicides as cowards, in the service of salving my own feelings of hurt or to make myself feel strong. The dead cannot come back and defend themselves.

A smirking hipster with a sign is no substitute for really attempting to help another human being through the dark times in their lives. When people kill themselves, it's not because they suddenly stop believing in lights at the end of tunnels - it's because they understand themselves to be trapped in a cave in. And that feeling may be fleeting. I recall being told that the gap between suicidal ideation and taking action may be as little as five seconds.

When I was in college, I understood for the first time just how much many people fear dying. Anything that can overcome that fear must be powerful indeed. So simply expecting people to buck up - telling them that everyone has to deal with pain, and that being unable to deal with whatever is hurting them is a sign of moral failure - that's not helping. That's saying: "Not only has life dealt you a hand that you can't understand how to deal with, but you're culpably weak and therefore detestable." And I don't know that it helps to say that to someone. They labor under enough sorrow without my self-righteous condescension on their backs.

But with all of that having been said, I think I understand the impulse to label suicides as cowardly and selfish. It's a common enough perspective that it's clear that it serves a purpose. Just not, I think, the purpose that one might wish.

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