On selfishness and being scared.

It’s been a heavy week. A few days ago we lost one of our heroes, someone who was better than anyone else at reminding us to hold onto laughter when it gets dark. I’ve heard members of the choir murmur “suicide is selfish” in passing. I imagine we’ll be hearing it a lot more, and that’s a shame. It’s also not true. First it was tutted at LAX by a woman watching TMZ. Anonymous commenters on news sites. Little burps on twitter. A well-meaning friend to me over text. I don’t mean to diminish in any way the serious business of taking one’s life, but what about a dialogue that didn’t rest on the axis of “selfishness?” For many the suicidal state is involuntary. You get there because you feel trapped in a corner. You get there because you can’t see any other way out. Being told it is a selfish thing to do reinforces feelings of helpless- and hopelessness while driving the discussion away from what is most important: helping people who are seriously ill receive treatment. Depression moors you on an island where you can’t feel anything beyond pain, can’t see what lies ahead. It’s not a fog, it’s a white out. It’s a brutal illness. I know from experience.

Read More

Load More