Audrey Horne. Twin Peaks. Always. Forever. ♥
No. Absolutely not. I think people who try to end their lives are in excruciating emotional pain that is invisible to others; who feel hopeless and helpless and alone; and who are desperate to make the pain stop.
There are people who insist that suicide is the most selfish thing in the world to do- that may or may not be true. I don’t really know the answer to that- and I don’t really care. Because when you’re in that much pain, I think a person has a right to be selfish. It’s only natural to try anything and everything that might help you stop hurting all the time. I can see why people say suicide is “selfish” or “the easy way out”- people who have lost someone to suicide not only experience grief but also sometimes emotional trauma and a great amount of guilt, confusion, and a deep feeling of failure: failure to “see the signs”; failure to be supportive enough; failure to do this or that- all kinds of things. I think when people say those things about suicide, though, it’s out of anger- a need to protect oneself emotionally from the very thought that someone close to them might ever do something like that. Because it’s a scary possibility to think about for the non-depressed person; and they also cannot even fathom having a desire to end their own lives; they cannot understand how painful depression can be. It doesn’t make sense to them; so it is dismissed. Meanwhile, those who have lost someone to suicide are going to have a lot of strong, negative feelings about it and may respond with anger or dismissal as a way to minimize the hurt they’ve experienced from their loss (and continue to experience, since we never truly stop missing someone who is gone) and to deflect some of the perceived responsibility they may have had in the deceased’s untimely death (when in reality, they are not responsible for another person’s decisions and actions; but they may feel that they are).
I’ve also been hospitalized for suicide. And while I can acknowledge that there are usually more ways to resolve things than what a person is able to see at the time when they are feeling that desperate and hopeless, it also seems like a reasonable thing to consider given the kinds of thoughts and feelings swirling around inside. No, I do not think people who try to kill themselves are pathetic. I think they are afraid of living an entire life being miserable. I think they actually have more intent to kill the pain rather than themselves (the death of the person just happens to be the price of doing the most extreme, definite thing they can think of to kill the pain). And I think they deserve compassion and help rather than condemnation. Being depressed to the point of wanting to end your life is, to me, kind of like when a predator like a fox or wolf gets caught in a trap- the trap is clamped tightly around the animal’s leg, usually inflicting injuring and a lot of pain. The animal feels trapped and panics, as it has no way of knowing if or when whatever has hold of it will let go. They sometimes become so desperate that they gnaw their own foot off to get away from the trap. In a normal circumstance, chewing its own foot off would not aid in its survival at all; but in some extreme cases, it might be better than to remain in its current situation. With people who are suicidal, generally speaking, most people who have never been severely depressed nor suicidal cannot even comprehend the concept of wanting to die because that goes against our survival instincts. However, when there is real, severe, chronic pain, we can only tolerate so much before we begin to feel trapped and worry that it will never end. Self-preservation is twisted into something ironic; I think it could still be considered some sense of self-preservation, but it is an effort to preserve one’s emotional comfort and safety at the cost of one’s physical safety. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I can’t think of another way to explain it at this time.
Be well and stay safe.